Memorial to William Beckett (1784-1863) by Baron Marochetti. c.1863. Marble. St Peter, Kirkgate, Leeds. Left: Charity. Right: Relief portrait of Wliiam Beckett on the base. Close-up of the children. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

An angel and two children, representing Charity, stand atop a tall base bearing a relief of Beckett, an eminent banker from a wealthy local family who gave handsomely and regularly to local charities. As an MP first for Leeds and then for nearby Ripon, he warmly supported factory reform and the repeal of the Corn Laws in the 1840s (see Victorian Legislation: A Timeline). He funded several schools, and left many charitable bequests. Although he died in Brighton and was buried at Kensal Green cemetery in London, his passing was widely mourned in Leeds (see Taylor 506-09). Compare this allegorical depiction of Charity with a later one by Sir George Frampton, which emphasises maternal love.

Photographs by the author 2011. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this UR, or cite the Victorian Web in a print document.]


Leach, Peter, and Nikolaus Pevsner. Yorkshire West Riding, Leeds, Bradford and the North. The Buildings of England series. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2009.

Taylor, Rev. Richard Vickerman. The Biographia Leodiensis; or, biographical sketches of the worthies of Leeds. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co, 1865. Internet Archive. Web. 10 July 2011.

Created 16 July 2011

Last modified 16 February 2020