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William BeckfordFirst Prime Minister of the London Empire$
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Perry Gauci

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300166750

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300166750.001.0001

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The Torrid Zone

The Torrid Zone

(p.10) Chapter One The Torrid Zone
William Beckford

Perry Gauci

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the untimely death of Colonel Peter Beckford, a celebrated architect of Britain's eighteenth-century empire, and how his last moments on the Kings Parade in Spanish Town, Jamaica, reflected the troubled origins of Britain's global eminence. Accounts of Beckford's death vary significantly in their detail, although the circumstances are very clear. Beckford was one of the leaders of a faction in opposition to the island's royal governor, Thomas Handasyd. Clashes between the islanders and the agents of the Crown were standard fare by the early eighteenth century, but Handasyd specifically targeted members of the Beckford family as “the chief formentors” of his troubles. He had complained to his masters in Whitehall that the Beckfords were too powerful, and that two of Colonel Peter's relatives had escaped justice after killing fellow colonists.

Keywords:   untimely death, Colonel Peter Beckford, celebrated architect, Britain's global eminence, Thomas Handasyd, Colonel Peter

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