Thomas Turner à Beckett

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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]

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea, to the east, and South Australia to the west.

Victorian Legislative Council upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria, Australia

The Victorian Legislative Council (VLC) is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria, Australia; the lower house being the Legislative Assembly. Both houses sit at Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne. The Legislative Council serves as a house of review, in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, the Australian Senate. Although it is possible for legislation to be first introduced in the Council, most bills receive their first hearing in the Legislative Assembly.


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]

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

Gilbert Abbott à Beckett English barrister and humorist

Gilbert Abbott à Beckett was an English humorist.

Westminster School school in Westminster, UK

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

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]

The Victorian Bar is the bar association for the Australian State of Victoria. Its members are barristers registered to practise in Victoria. On 2 April 2014, there were 2738 counsel practising as members of the Victorian Bar. Once a barrister has been admitted to practise by the Supreme Court of Victoria, he or she is usually eligible to join the Victorian Bar. The Victorian Bar is affiliated with the Australian Bar Association and is a member of the Law Council of Australia.

James Hunter Ross was a lawyer and politician in colonial Victoria (Australia).

Central Province (Victoria) former electoral province of the Victorian Legislative Council, Australia

Central Province was an electorate of the Victorian Legislative Council.

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.

A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure is particularly common in countries ruled by coalition governments and a cabinet with decision-making authority wherein a minister without portfolio, while he or she may not head any particular office or ministry, still receives a ministerial salary and has the right to cast a vote in cabinet decisions. In some countries where the executive branch is not composed of a coalition of parties and, more often, in countries with purely presidential systems of government, such as the United States, the position of minister without portfolio is uncommon.

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Victoria in the Anglican Church of Australia. The diocese was founded from the Diocese of Australia by letters patent of 25 June 1847 and includes the cities of Melbourne and Geelong and also some more rural areas. The cathedral church is St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. The ordinary of the diocese is the Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, who was translated from the Anglican Diocese of The Northern Territory.


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.

Brighton, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Brighton is an affluent coastal suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Bayside. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Brighton had a population of 23,253 people in 2016. Brighton is named after Brighton in England.

Sir Thomas à Beckett was an Australian solicitor and judge.

See also

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A'Beckett or à Beckett may refer to:

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  1. 1 2 Malone, Betty. "Thomas Turner à Beckett". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 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
James Ross
Nominated Member
14 Jul 1852 – Mar 1856
Original Council
Preceded by
Nehemiah Guthridge
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
William Hearn