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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 Friend of Liberty

The Friend of Liberty

(p.107) Chapter Five The Friend of Liberty
William Beckford

Perry Gauci

Yale University Press

This chapter depicts Beckford as one of the first and most strident movers for parliamentary reform. Historians have also been quick to identify him as a torchbearer for the views of the “people,” a vision that encompassed a broad and ambiguous social canvas and excluded only the aristocracy and the poor. Few scholars, however, have sought to investigate how his conception of society was influenced by his Creole roots or Jamaican concerns, perspectives that help to explain why the absentee planter was so keen to align himself with the country gentleman and the industrious citizen among the ranks of the virtuous. After 1761, his outlook was influenced by the domestic upheavals of the early years of George III, but his thinking and the ways in which it was perceived were still influenced by events overseas.

Keywords:   most strident movers, parliamentary reform, torchbearer, conception of society, Creole roots, Jamaican concerns, George III

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