Beckwith, Thomas

, an ingenious artist and antiquary, was the son of a respectable attorney in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was early apprenticed as a housepainter to Mr. George Fleming of Wakefield, from whom he derived his skill in drawing and limning, as well as imbibed a love for the study of antiquities. To these he added heraldic and genealogical knowledge, to all which he applied himself, in his leisure hours, with such unwearied diligence, that his collection, together with the works of his own hands, became at length very considerable. Scarcely any object arrested his curiosity, particucularly if an antique, of which he did not make a drawing, and scarcely a church or a ruin in the vicinities of the places of his abode, that he did not preserve either in pencil or water-colours. Some years before his death he obtained a patent for a species of hardened crayons, which would bear the knife, and carry a point like a pencil; and about the same time he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. But what contributed most to make | him known to those who were unacquainted with him in any other branch, was his extensive information respecting genealogical subjects, in consequence of which he frequently had the arrangement of the pedigrees of some of the first families, which he was enabled to execute from visitation books, and other authentic documents, which fell into his hands. Few men possessed more intelligence respecting the antiquity and descents of the principal families in the inland adjacent counties, and of various others more remote from him. It is much to his credit, likewise, that his industry in collecting could only be exceeded by his willingness to impart any information which he had received. Mr. Beck with died Feb. 17, 1786. Previous to his death, he had compiled “A Walk in and about the city of York,” an the plan of Mr. Gostling’s “Walk in and about the city of Canterbury,” but we have not heard that it has been published. 1


Maj. 1786.