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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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(p.164) Chapter Seven Apotheosis
William Beckford

Perry Gauci

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the last two years of Beckford's life, which saw his British and imperial interests intertwined as never before. The intense divisions revealed by the Middlesex election and the Boston Massacre forced Beckford to take an ever clearer stand on his principles and loyalties, and in turn these crises elevated him to new heights of public prominence. His confrontation with George III only weeks before his own death cemented his status with the radicals as a martyr to their cause. Although the focus of his energies was largely centered in London circles, he gained wide recognition as a representative of the broader colonial interest. In his final years he wholeheartedly embraced the cause of the North Americans, transcending an Atlantic divide that had previously forestalled a common colonial response to imperial reforms of the postwar era.

Keywords:   imperial interests, Middlesex election, Boston Massacre, George III, martyr, broader colonial interest, imperial reforms, postwar era

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