George Skirrow Beecroft Esq.
Birth: 16 Nov 1809 - Kirkstall Forge, Yorkshire, England Christening: 5 Jul 1810 - Horsforth, Yorkshire, England 1 Death: 18 Mar 1869 - London, England Burial: in Kensal Green Cemetery Cause of Death: after a short illness AFN :
George Skirrow Beecroft (1809-1869) was the leading partner at Kirkstall Forge and decided in 1841 to turn Abbey House into his family home. As well as being a major ironmaster, he was Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding and Chairman of the Ebbw Vale Steel Company. He was also elected Member of Parliament for the Borough of Leeds in 1851, 1859 and 1866. His wife Septima was the sister of Ambrose Butler.• Biography, Old Yorkshire, by William Smith, Robnert Collyer
page 29• Estate, The Register, and magazine of biography [ed. by T. Cooper]
[Pertaining to Kirkstall Abbey]
To the late G. S. Beecroft, Esq., formerly M.P. for Leeds, the antiquarian world is deeply indebted, as he, in the exercise of a judicious taste, was the means of causing the long-neglected ruins to be cleared, to a great extent, from the accumulated rubbish of centuries. The present lessee, J.O. Butler, Esq., is however, using every endeavour to preserve the place in its present condition.
The foregoing particulars of this ancient religious house are taken from Wardell's "History of Kirkstall Abbey," from which other interesting particulars may be obtained.
[List of M.P.'s for Leeds since 1832 they allowed 3 for Leeds]
June, 1857, 20 Victoria ............ George Skirrow Beecroft, vice Hall.
April, 1859, 22 Victoria ......... Edward Baines, jun and George Skirrow Beecroft.
July, 1865, 28 Victoria ............ Geo. Skirrow Beecraft, and Edward Baines
George Skirrow Beecroft was the eldest son of the late George Beecroft, of Kirkstall Forge, Leeds, by Mary, eldest daughter of the late John Audus, of Selby, co. York. He was born on the 16th November, 1809, at Outwood House, Horsforth. He married, in 1835, his first cousin, Septima Garland, daughter of the late Thomas Butler, of Kirkstall Forge. She died in 1837; had two daughters - one died in infancy, and the second, Septima, died in 1868. He married, as his second wife, in 1842, Mary Isabella, only daughter of George Beaumont, J.P., of Halifax, by whom he had issue - George Audus Beaumont, born in 1844, who died in 1873, and Mary Alice, whodied in her infancy. Mr. G. S. Beecroft was educated for a mercantile life, at Horton House, Bradford, until he was about seventeen years of age. After leaving school he was brought up to the iron trade, at Kirkstall Forge, under his father and his uncle, the late Thomas Butler, the then principal of those works. He afterwards became a partner, and, in conjunction with his relatives and partners - the present Messrs. Butler - he continued in the works until 1855, when he retired from business, and was subsequently elected M.P. for Leeds, in Jun, 1857. He always took an active part in local parochial matters, as surveyor of highways (at that time under the management of the parishioners), churchwarden, and other offices: and was a member of the Leeds Town Council from 1849 to 1856, and an active member of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce for several years, by the members of which institution a mural monument was erected to his memory in the Leeds Parish Church, the epitaph on which runs thus: - "In grateful remembrance of the services of George Skirrow Beecroft, who faithfully, ably, and zealously represented the commercial interests of his native town in three successive Parliaments. This tablet is erected by the Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Obiit March 18th, 1869." Mr. Beecroft died in London, aged 60, after a short illness, and was interred in Kensal Green Cemetery. He was a subject eminently loyal and patriotic, as well as a thorough man of business, and he also took great interest in archaeological matters. He was a J.P. and D. L. for the West Riding, and was elected M.P. for Leeds in 1857, a second time in 1859, and a third in 1864; he had the honour of seconding the Address in reply to the Royal Speech, February 34d, 1859; but declined to be re-nominated at the general election in 1869, owing to failing health, caused by unremitting and nightly attention to his Parliamentary duties. He was eminently useful to Government on all iron and steel subjects, gun trials, and manufacture. A liberal Conservative; President of the Leeds Conservative Association for several years; a supporter of the Church of England and encourager of popular education; and favourable to an extended enfranchisement.
Page 520• Obituary, The Register, and magazine of biography [ed. by T. Cooper]
Letters of administratoin of the personal estate of George Skirrow Beecroft, esq. (who is noticed at p. 394), granted at Wakefield on 23rd of April, to Mrs. Beecroft, the widow, and George Audus Beaumont Beecroft, his only child. The personalty was sworn under 100,000 l, besides which Mr. Beecroft left considerable real estate. The duty paid was 2,025 l.
Page 394• Occupation, ironmaster and wrote a book
G.S. Beecroft, Esq.
George Skirrow Beecroft, esq. formerly M.P. for Leeds, died at his town residence, 4, Gloucester-terrace, Regent's park, after a short illness, on the 18th of March.
He was the eldest son of the late George Beecroft, esq. of Kirkstall, by his wife Mary, daughter of John Audus, esq. of Selby, Yorkshire, and was born at Outwood House, Horsforth, near Leeds, in 1809. He succeeded his father as proprietor of the well-known Kirkstall Forge, near Leeds, but retired from the business some years ago in favour of Messrs. Butler.
Mr. Beecroft, who was a Liberal-Conservative, successfully contested Leeds on three several occasions, in the first instance on the death of Mr. Robert Hall (Conservative), in 1857, when he headedMr. Remington Mills (Liberal) by only six votes. At the general election in 1859 he was returned, along with Mr. E. Baines, beating Mr. W.E. Forster, one of the present members for Bradford, and the Vice-President of the Council, by 22 votes; and in 1863 he was for the third time returned, being then placed at the head of the poll. The numbers on that occasion were:
G.S. Beecroft, esq. 3,223
E. Baines, esq.... 3,045
Lord Amberley... 2,902
On account of his failing health Mr. Beecroft declined to be put in nomination at the general election last year. In 1859, when the Earl of Derby was in power, he seconded the address of the House of Commons in reply to the speech from the Throne.
Mr. Beecroft was a West Riding magistrate, and a deputy-lieutenant of the same division of the county.
He married, first, in 1835, Septima Garland, daughter of Thomas Butler, esq. of Kirkstall, which lady died in 1837. On 28 July 1842 he married Mary Isabelle, only daughter of George Beaumont, esq. of Halifax. By this lady, who survives him, he leaves issue one son, George Andrew Beaumont, born 21 July 1844.
The institutions of popular education, an essay• Will, James Audus
By George Beecroft, Esq.
Second Edition. 12 mo., Price 8s., Half bound.
The Companion to the Iron Trade, &c.,
Being a general Assistant to the Iron-Master and Merchant, Iron and Brass founder, Lead Merchant, Coppersmith, Machine-Maker, White-smith, &c., in a Series of Comprehensive Tables, for expeditiously ascertaining the Value of Goods sold by the Hundred-Weight of 112 Pounds, from One Farthing to One Shilling per pound, each Table extending from 1 lb. to 20 Tons; to which is added, a variety of Valuable Information, useful in Daily Practice; compiled from the best Authors.
BY George Beecroft,
Iron-Master, Kirkstall-Forge, near Leeds.
Samuel Turner of Caistor - Mary, dau. Of John Harneis Swan of Hundon Manor• Census, English, 1841 in Kirkstall Forge, Yorkshire, England
Mary, born at Caistor 5 Mar 1796, bapt. There privately the same day (baptism registered at Caistor); marr. At Caistor 6 February 1854, James Audus (son of John Audus of Robin Hood Bay, co. Yro); born at Selby 28 July 1781; J.P. and D.L. for the East and Wst Ridings of co. Yok; died s.p. at Selby, aged 85, 14 May 1867, bur. At Selby Abbey. Will dated 13 November 1863, with codicil dated 13 May 1867, poved (Prin Reg. 454, 67) 31 July 1867, by George Skirow Beecroft of the Abbey House Kirkstall, co. York, George Whitehead of Park House, Selby, and Richard Audus Clark of York, nephews, the Exors. She died at Selby 13 November 1869, and was bur. At Selby Abbey. Will dated 20 May 1868, with five codicils dated 6 November 1868 to 12 October 1869, proved at Wakefield 24 January 1870, by Thomas Johnson Borman of Swallaw, co. Lincoln, and Richard Audus Clark of York, the surviving Exors. Portrait in oils at Brattley Hall.
Kirkstall Forge• Census, English, 1851 in Kirkstall Forge, Yorkshire, England
Ann Butler 55 iron founder
Jane 30 Ind
Thomas 30 iron master
Septima Beecroft 3
James Holgate 15 iron monger
Jane Stewart 25 f/s
Jane Grange 25 f/s
Grace Dutton 20 f/s
George Beecroft 30 iron manufacturer
Sarah Bingley 30 f/s
Mary Beecroft 55 iron manufacturer
Mary 25 ind
Eliza 20 ind
Louisa 20 ind
Elizabeth Halliday 20 f/s
Jane Pickard 25 f/s
HO107/1344/2 folio 6
George S Beecroft 40 iron master b Horsforth• Event, Building Committee Member, 17 Aug 1853 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Mary I 32 wife b Halifax
George A B 6 b Kirkstall
address Abbey House Headingley Kirkstall also 4 servanys
The inscription on the brass plate covering the cavity in the foundation stone read as follows: 'The Corner Stone of this Town Hall, erected by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Leeds, was laid on the 17th August 1853, in the 16th year of the reign of Queen Victoria , by John Hope Shaw, Esq., Mayor. Building Committee:-Chairman, Alderman William Edward Hepper; Aldermen John Wilson, John Darnton Luccock, William Kelsall, Charles Gascoigne Maclea, Francis Carbutt; Councillors Richard Bissington, John Marshall, George Brook, John Ardill, David Newton, Joshua Garsed Heaps, Joseph Broadhead, John Croysdale, William Kettlewell, James Smith, Robert Wood, Robert Meek Carter, William Illingworth, John Lister, George Skirrow Beecroft, Robert White. Town Clerk:-John Arthur Ikin. Architect:- Cuthbert Brodrick.'• Court, 23 Sep 1854 in London, England
Reports of Cases Adjudged in the High Court of Chancery: before Sir William Page Wood, Knt• Election, Leeds Election, 4 Jun 1857 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England
The Merchant Shipping Act 1854, Part 9 --- Liability --- Jurisdiction ---- In a bill filed under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, to stay actions in orther Courts for damage occasioned by a collision with the Plaintiff's ship, and to have the alleged damage ascertained, the Plaintiff must aver that he has incurred liability in respect of some damage.
Hill v. Audus and Others
The Plaintiff in this suit was the sole owner of the brig Clara, registered at Sunderland, between which and a ship called the Eliza of Selby a collision took place at the mouth of the river Thames, on the 23rd of September, 1854. The Eliza was laden with iron elonging to the South Eastern Railway Company; and the result of such collision was, that the Eliza and her cargo were totally lost, and the wife and two children of the Defendant Robert Pearson, the master of the Eliza, who were on board at the time, were unhappily drowned, and certain money, clothes, and private effects, belonging partly to him and partly to others of the crew of the Eliza, were lost, and some personal injury was also sustained by the said master.
The actual value of the Clara at the time of such collision was 1250 and there was no freight due or to grow due or contracted for in respect of the Clara during her voyage.
The Defendants James Audus and George Skirrow Beecroft, the owners of the Eliza at the time of the collision, on behalf of themselves and of the master and the rest of the crew of the Eliza, on the 30th of September last, commenced an action in the High Court of Admiralty in England, against the Plaintiff in a cause civil and maritime, founded on the alleged improper navigation of the Clara, for the purpose of recovering the value of the vessel Eliza, and of the said clothes and private effects of her master and crew.
The Clara was, on the 9th day of October last, seized under a warrant from the High Court of Admiralty in that action. Bail was thereupon given by the Plaintiff, and the vessel was released from arrest, the bail bond being still in force.
The owner of the Clara filed his bill in this suit against James Audus and George Skirrow Beecroft, Robert Pearson, and the South Eastern Railway Company, stating these facts, and also stating as follows:
"The said action is founded upon the alleged improper navigation of the vessel or brig Clara, and which improper navigation the Plaintiff does not y any means admit. Liability is alleged to have been incurred by the Plaintiff as owner of the said brig Clara; in respect of the loss of the lives aforesaid, by reason of the alleged imprope navigation of the said brig Clara; and claims by the said Robert Pearson in respect of such alleged liability are apprehended by the Plaintiff, but the Plaintiff does not admit any such liability. Liability is alleged to have been incurred by the Plaintiff as owner of the said brig Clara in respect of personal injury alleged to have been suffered by the said Robert Pearson, by reason of the alleged improper navigation of the said brig Clara, but the Plaintiff does not admit any such liability.
"Liability is alleged by the Defendants, the South Eastern Railway Company, to have been incurred by the Plaintiff as owner of the said brig Clara, for the loss of the iron which was on board the said vessel or schooner Eliza at the time of the said collision; and a suit has been commenced by the said South Eastern Railway Company in the said Court of Admiralty in respect of such alleged liability, but the Plaintiff does not admit any such liability.
"The Plaintiff is at present unable to discover the names of any of the crew of the said brig or vessel Eliza, so as to make them parties to this suit.
"If the said claims and several apprehended claims are established, the amount of liability in respect thereof may exceed the value of the said brig Clara at the time of the happening of the said collision."
The bill prayed, 1. That, if necessary, the question of the Plaintiff's liability as owner of the Clara at the time of the collision on account of such collision, might be determined. 2. That the amount of such liability, if any, in respect of the loss of life or personal injury, o loss or damage to the Eliza, or to the goods, merchandise, or other things on board thereof, sustained by the said collision, might be determined. 3. That the amount of such liability, if any, might be distributed rateably among the several claimants who had made, o should, within such reasonable time as the Court should direct make and establish any claim in respect of such liability. 4. That the claims of all parties who should not come in and establish their claims within such reasonable time as aforesaid might be excluded; and for an injunction to restrain the Defendants, and also the crew of the Eliza, when discovered and made parties to this suit, from prosecuting the actions commenced in the Court of Admiralty, and from commencing or prosecuting any other proceedings n that Court or at law against the Plaintiff in respect of any liability or alleged liability arising out of the said collision or loss.
The bill was filed under "The Merchant Shipping Act, 1854," Part 9, which, by "The Merchant Shipping Repeal Act, 1854," sect. 14, came into operation immediately after the 11th of August, 1854.
The nomination of a candidate to supply the vacancy in the representation of Leeds, caused by the melancholy death of Robert Hall, Esq., took place on Woodhouse Moor at eleven o'clock this day. Mr. Ald. Fairburn proposed, and T.W. George esq., seconded, John Remington Mills, Esq. J.R.W. Atkinson Esq., proposed and C. Bousfield seconded the nomination of George Skirrow Beecroft Esq. After the candidates had addressed the meeting, a show of hands was taken, which the mayor declared to be in favour of Mr. Beecroft; a poll was demanded on behalf of Mr. Mills, which took place on the following day, the 5th. The poll commenced in good earnest, and the energies of the two parties never flagged for an instant during the whole day. At the close each party claimed the victory - Mr. Mills' committee claimed a majority of nine, and Beecroft's a majority of five. The poll books of the several deputy returning officers, as handed to the mayor on the moor, showed a majority of five for Mr. Beecroft. The mayor, (J. Botterill Esq.) with so small a majority determined to open and examine the poll books himself. This was a work of time. At length he declared Mr. Beecroft to be duly elected. The numbers being :• Election, a constituent to the House of Commons, 5 Jun 1857-1868
George Shirrow Beecroft, Esq. ( C ) 2,070
John Remington Mills, Esq. ( L ) 2,064
6,204 registered, voted, 4,134
• Event, Speech, 3 Feb 1859
George Beecroft, Esq., M.P. for Leeds had the honour of seconding the address in reply to the royal speech.• Event, Banquet, 27 May 1859 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England
G.S. Beecroft, Esq., M.P.was entertained at a banquet in the Victoria Hall, Town Hall, Leeds in commemoration of his being returned a second time asone of the parliamentary representatives of the borough. The proceedings were of a most animated and enthusiastic character, and the reception given to the honourable member will long be remembered for its spontaneous cordiality and heartiness. As a demonstration of the strength of the conservativer principles in Leeds, the banquet was eminently successful, being very numerously and influentially attended. Upwards of 750 gentlemen were present. Charles Bousfield, Esq., the chairman of Mr Beecroft's election committee, presided.• Census, England, 1861
George Beecroft 51 head-M P for Leeds• Event, Presentation, Apr 1863
Mary E 42
George A B 16
Septima B 23
Alice Beecroft(think it should be Beaumont) 67 mother in law b Halifax
3 servants and a butler
address 24 Gloucester Street Marylebone St Pancras
RG9/95 folio 175 p 16
Annals of Yorkshire
10th. Mr. S. Lawson, who for a many years had taken a prominent part in the administration of the poor-law in the Leeds township, was presented with his portrait by his friends, as a recognition of his services. The presentation was made by G. S. Beecroft, Esq., M.P., at the White Horse Hotel. Mr. Lawson in reply to the question "what should he do with it?" (the portrait) he observed that Mrs, Lawson said she had had 62 years of so much anxious care with the original, that she would not have the copy, he therefore begged to hand it over to the Guardiaus, who might dispose of it as they thought proper. It was placed
in the Board Room, South Parade.
Father: George Beecroft Mother: Mary Audus
Spouses and Children
1. *Septima Garland Butler Marriage: 6 Aug 1835 - Saint Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire, England 2 Status: Children: 1. Beecroft 2. Septima Beecroft 2. Mary Isabelle Beaumont Marriage: 28 Jul 1842 Status: Children: 1. George Audus-Beaumont Beecroft 2. Mary Alice Beecroft
1. LDS - IGI Index (familysearch.org).
1 LDS - IGI Index (familysearch.org).