(19 December – 21 June 1770) was a well-known political figure in 18th century London, who twice held the office of Lord Mayor of London (1762 and 1769). His vast wealth came largely from his plantations in Jamaica. He was, and is, often referred to as "Alderman Beckford" to distinguish him from his son William Thomas Beckford, the author, art collector and builder of follies.
William Thomas Beckford (1 October – 2 May 1844), usually known as William Beckford, was an English novelist, a profligate and consummately knowledgeable art collector and patron of works of decorative art, a critic, travel writer and sometime politician, reputed at one stage in his life to be the richest commoner in England. His parents were William Beckford and Maria Hamilton, daughter of Hon. George Hamilton (MP). He was Member of Parliament for Wells from to 1790, for Hindon from to and to He is remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Vathek, the builder of the remarkable lost Fonthill Abbey and Lansdown Tower ("Beckford's Tower"), Bath, and especially for his art collection.
I fear I shall never be…good for anything in this world, but composing airs, building towers, forming gardens, collecting old Japan, and writing a journey to China or the Moon. - Letter to Catherine, Lady Hamilton, April 1781; cited from Lewis Melville The Life and Letters of William Beckford of Fonthill (London: William Heinemann, 1910) p. 92.
[Christian Davies Antiques (blog)] - The Ashmolean Museum gained a lacquered Imari porcelain garniture for £ , while the aforementioned William Beckford antique cabinet-on-stand was purchased for £ by the Beckford Tower Trust, its original home. Together, these four items have