Thomas Turner à Beckett

Last updated

Thomas Turner a Beckett, 1870 engraving Thomas Turner A'Beckett by Henry Samuel Sadd - Illustrated Australian News (1870).jpg
Thomas Turner à Beckett, 1870 engraving

Thomas Turner à Beckett (13 September 1808 – 1 July 1892) was a lawyer and politician in colonial Victoria (Australia), member of the Victorian Legislative Council. [1]


Early life

à Beckett was born in London, England, son of William à Beckett (senior) and his wife Sarah, née Abbott. [1] Thomas junior was brother of Sir William à Beckett and Gilbert Abbott à Beckett. [2] Thomas was educated at Westminster School. In 1829 he joined his father in practice as a solicitor. Before leaving London, Thomas a'Beckett published "Remarks on the Present State of the Law of Debtor and Creditor", 1844; "Railway Litigation, and How to Check It", 1846; "Law-reforming Difficulties: a Letter to Lord Brougham", 1849. [3]

Career in Australia

à Beckett migrated to Victoria, Australia, in 1850 and was called to the Victorian Bar a year later. From 14 July 1852 to March 1856 he was a nominee member of the unicameral Victorian Legislative Council, replacing James Ross. [4] In October 1858 à Beckett was elected to the Central Province of the new Council (since 1856 the upper house of the Victorian parliament). This was a seat he held until August 1878. [5]

à Beckett was in office twice when he was a Minister without portfolio from 1860 to 1861 and the Commissioner for Trade and Customs 1870 until 1871. In 1870 he was chairman of the Royal Commission on the civil service. Between 1854 and 1887 Beckett was the Registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne as well as for a part of this time becoming a member of the University Council and he became the trustee of the Public Library.


à Beckett published "A Comparative View of Court Fees and Attorneys' Charges", 1854; "A Defence of State Aid to Religion", 1856; "State Aid Question—Strictures on Pamphlets of Dr. Cairns", 1856. Mr. a'Beckett from time to time delivered lectures at the Industrial and Technological Museum, Melbourne. Several of these, including "Painting and Painters," have been published. [3]

Late life

à Beckett retired from the Legislative Council in August 1878 [5] and from all public duties in 1887, at the age of 79 years. He died in Brighton, Victoria, on 1 July 1892. [5] His eldest son, Thomas à Beckett, was also a solicitor; later a judge.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Turner (Australian politician)</span> Australian politician

Sir George Turner was an Australian politician. He served two terms as Premier of Victoria, holding office from 1894 to 1899 and 1900 to 1901 as a liberal. After Federation he was invited by Edmund Barton to join the inaugural federal ministry, becoming the first Treasurer of Australia. He held office until 1904 under Barton and Alfred Deakin, then a few months later resumed office under George Reid. The government fell in 1905 and Turner retired from politics at the 1906 election.

Sir Thomas à Beckett was an Australian solicitor and judge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gilbert Abbott à Beckett</span> English barrister and humorist (1811–1856)

Gilbert Abbott à Beckett was an English humorist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William à Beckett</span> British barrister and colonial judge

Sir William à Beckett was a British barrister and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ted à Beckett</span> Australian cricketer

Edward Lambert à Beckett was an Australian cricketer who played in four Test matches between 1928 and 1931. He played in 47 first-class matches for Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Butler Cole Aspinall</span> Australian politician

Butler Cole Aspinall was a British-born journalist, barrister who migrated with his young wife to Melbourne, Australia, at first as an editor and writer for The Argus. He soon took up his lucrative legal practice as a defence advocate and later as a politician in the state of Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Macpherson Grant</span> Australian politician

James Macpherson Grant was an Australian solicitor who defended the Eureka Stockade rebels and a politician who was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and the Victorian Legislative Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Molesworth (judge)</span> Australian politician

Sir Robert Molesworth was an Irish-born Australian Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Solicitor-General.

The Henty brothers were a family of seven brothers, sons of Thomas Henty and Frances Elizabeth née Hopkins, who are generally considered to be the first Europeans to establish a permanent agricultural settlement in Victoria, Australia. The brothers were:

Thomas Howard Fellows was an English rower and an Australian politician and Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Robert Palmer Abbott was a politician and solicitor in colonial New South Wales, a member of both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Arthur Callendar à Beckett</span> Australian politician

William Arthur Callendar à Beckett (1833–1901) eldest son of Sir William à Beckett, was in the Legislative Council of Victoria from 1868 to 1876, and held office without portfolio in the Administration of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy from June 1871 to 10 June 1872. He was sworn in as a member of the Executive Council on 31 July 1871. He represented the first Berry Government in the Legislative Council, being a member of the Ministry without office from 7 August to 20 October 1875. He was admitted to the Victorian bar on 15 September 1875.

The first Parkes ministry was the fourteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and the first of five occasions of being led by Henry Parkes.

A'Beckett or à Beckett is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Henry Chomley</span> Australian writer and newspaper editor (1868–1942)

Charles Henry Chomley was an Australian farmer, barrister, writer, and journalist. His non-fiction and fiction works alike reflected his strong interest and involvement in politics and law.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Archibald Michie</span> Australian politician

Sir Archibald Michie, was an English-born Australian lawyer, journalist, Agent-General, Attorney-General of Victoria and politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Balfour (Australian politician)</span> Australian politician

James Balfour was a Scottish-born Australian merchant and politician, member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly 1866 to 1868 and of the Victorian Legislative Council from 1874 to 1913.

Hon. Frank Stanley Dobson, was an Australian politician. A former member of the Victorian Legislative Council, Dobson was born in Tasmania to parents John and Mary Anne, and was the brother of Sir William Dobson and half-brother of Alfred and Henry Dobson. He was educated in Tasmania and England, earning degrees in arts and law, eventually becoming an academic, then a parliamentarian and Solicitor-General of Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arthur A'Beckett</span> Australian politician and novelist

Arthur Martin A'Beckett was an English-born Australian surgeon and politician who served in the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1856 to 1860. Arthur A'Beckett died in Sydney in 1871.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ada Mary à Beckett</span> Australian educationist (1872-1948)

Ada Mary à Beckett MSc, née Lambert, was an Australian biologist, academic and leader of the kindergarten movement in Australia. She was the first woman appointed lecturer at Melbourne University.


  1. 1 2 Malone, Betty. "Thomas Turner à Beckett". Australian Dictionary of Biography . National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN   1833-7538 . Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott"  . Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 31.
  3. 1 2 Mennell, Philip (1892). "a'Beckett, Hon. Thomas Turner"  . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co via Wikisource.
  4. Sweetman, Edward (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851-6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p.  169 . Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 "a Beckett, Thomas Turner". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
Victorian Legislative Council
Preceded by Nominated Member
14 July 1852 – Mar 1856
Original Council
Preceded by Member for Central Province
Sep 1858 – Aug 1878
With: John Hodgson 1858–60
William Hull 1860–66
James Graham 1866–78
John Pascoe Fawkner 1858–69
Henry Walsh 1869–71
Archibald Michie 1871–73
Theodotus Sumner 1873–78
Thomas Fellows 1858–68
John O'Shanassy 1868–74
Frederick T. Sargood 1874–78
John Hood 1858–59
George Cole 1859–78
Succeeded by