Person    | Male  Born 19/12/1709  Died 21/6/1770

William Beckford, Alderman

Lord Mayor of London 1762 and 1769. Born Jamaica. Inherited a fortune from the family slave-based business. Lived at 22 Soho Square (the house has been demolished) from 1751 until his death while travelling from the family seat at Fonthill to London. His only legitimate son, William Beckford the younger, was born in Soho Square in 1759 and went on to write the gothic novel, Vathek. Guildhall contains a statue to Beckford Sr, at the east end of the south wall.

2020: Following the Black Lives Matter protests there are reports that the Beckford Primary School in Hampstead will change its name. And calls for the statue in the Guildhall to be removed.

2021: The statue in the Guildhall will be "re-sited and replaced with a new work". A few months later: Beckford gets a stay of execution. October - there was a vote to retain the statue and just add a plaque.

2022: Lost London has an interesting post about this anti-abolitionist.

2023, July: The Guildhall statue will be kept in place and an explainer plaque added "later this year".

2023, October: Robert Beckford, "a descendant of the people he enslaved" wrote an article in the Guardian: "... a plaque is not sufficient to recontextualise the acts of a West Indian mass murderer."

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
William Beckford, Alderman

Commemorated ati

Spirit of Soho Mural

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