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William Beckford

(1709-1770), Slave owner and politician

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 15 portraits
Born in Jamaica, William Beckford's family had the largest sugar fortune in the West Indies. He was sent to England at the age of fourteen to be educated and after studying at Oxford, studied medicine at the University of Leiden. The sudden death of his father in 1735 forced him to return to Jamaica to run the family sugar plantations. Inventories show he owned 13 sugar plantations and approximately 3,000 enslaved people. On returning to England, he entered politics, becoming Lord Mayor of London in 1762. A radical reformer, he supported William Pitt.

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'The Times', Plate 1, by William Hogarth - NPG D21366

'The Times', Plate 1

by William Hogarth
etching and engraving, published 1762
NPG D21366

William Beckford, by John Dixon - NPG D31606

William Beckford

by John Dixon
mezzotint, published 1769
NPG D31606

William Beckford; John Sawbridge; James Townsend, by Richard Houston, published by  John Smith of Cheapside, and published by  Robert Sayer - NPG D39268

William Beckford; John Sawbridge; James Townsend

by Richard Houston, published by John Smith of Cheapside, and published by Robert Sayer
mezzotint, published 29 September 1769
NPG D39268

William Beckford, after Unknown artist - NPG D675

William Beckford

after Unknown artist
mezzotint, 1769 or after
NPG D675

William Beckford; John Sawbridge; James Townsend, by Richard Houston, published by  John Smith of Cheapside, and published by  Robert Sayer - NPG D19402

William Beckford; John Sawbridge; James Townsend

by Richard Houston, published by John Smith of Cheapside, and published by Robert Sayer
mezzotint, published 29 September 1769
NPG D19402

William Beckford, by Unknown artist - NPG D42240

William Beckford

by Unknown artist
line engraving, 1770 or after
NPG D42240

William Beckford, by John Dixon - NPG D676

William Beckford

by John Dixon
mezzotint, published 1770
NPG D676

William Beckford, by John Dixon - NPG D677

William Beckford

by John Dixon
mezzotint, published 1770
NPG D677

William Beckford, by John Dixon - NPG D678

William Beckford

by John Dixon
mezzotint, published 1770
NPG D678

William Beckford, by John Dixon, printed for  Carington Bowles - NPG D19348

William Beckford

by John Dixon, printed for Carington Bowles
mezzotint, published 1770
NPG D19348

William Beckford, by John Chapman, published by  John Wilkes - NPG D42241

William Beckford

by John Chapman, published by John Wilkes
stipple engraving printed in colours, published 19 April 1798
NPG D42241

William Beckford, by John Chapman, published by  John Wilkes - NPG D42242

William Beckford

by John Chapman, published by John Wilkes
stipple engraving printed in colours, published 19 April 1798
NPG D42242

William Beckford, by John Chapman, published by  John Wilkes, after  Agostino Carlini - NPG D14113

William Beckford

by John Chapman, published by John Wilkes, after Agostino Carlini
stipple engraving, published 19 April 1798
NPG D14113

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