William Beamont

William Beamont (1797–1889) was an English solicitor and local philanthropist.[1] He lived in the town of Warrington, in the north-west of England.


Beamont was the first mayor of Warrington after its incorporation as a municipal borough in 1847. As mayor, he founded its municipal library, the first rate-aided library in the UK, in 1848. He travelled extensively, including in the Holy Land, where he met William Holman Hunt. His diaries, stored in the town's main library, are a valuable source of social history. For many years he lived at Orford Hall. Beamont was a Member of the Chetham Society, and served as Member of Council (1849–82) and Vice-President (1879–82).[2]

A high school (Beamont Collegiate Academy) and a primary school in the town are named after him.

His grave lies in the churchyard of Christ Church, Padgate, one of several Church of England churches that he helped found.


Beamont married Ann Gaskell (died 1859), daughter of John Gaskell of Warrington.[3] He outlived his only son William John Beamont, who was a clergyman and author.[4]


  1. ^ "Beamont, William (1797–1889) Solicitor, antiquary and philanthropist, The National Archives". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Chetham Society: Officers and Council" (PDF). Chetham Society. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  3. ^ Chapple, John; Shelston, Alan (2003). Further Letters of Mrs. Gaskell. Manchester University Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780719067716. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ Matthew, H. C. G. "Beamont, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1811. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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