William I Betham (1749–1839)
He was born at Little Strickland, near Morland, Westmoreland, on 17 May 1749. He was educated at the public school of Bampton, was ordained in 1773, apparently without graduating at a university, and became chaplain to the Earl of Ancaster. From 1784 to 1833 he was head master of the endowed school at Stonham Aspel in Suffolk, which post he resigned in 1833, on being presented to the rectory of Stoke Lacy, in the Diocese of Hereford. He died six years later in 1839, aged 90.
Betham was the author of two antiquarian works.
Genealogical Tables of the Sovereigns of the World
In 1795 in London he published by subscription Genealogical Tables of the Sovereigns of the World, from the Earliest to the Present Period, giving Pedigrees of Royal Families, beginning with the Antediluvian Patriarchs, and concluding with the House of Cromwell. It was dedicated to King George III.
Baronetage of England
Betham's The Baronetage of England, or the History of the English Baronets, and such Baronets of Scotland as are of English Families, with Genealogical Tables and Engravings of their Armorial Bearings was published in five volumes between 1801 and 1805. The baronets are listed in the volumes by reign of monarch and by order of creation. The armorials of each baronet are illustrated in monochrome plates at the end of each volume. The volumes are as follows:
- Volume I (1801), Baronets created by King James I, published in Ipswich, dedicated to James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury. From Bacon of Redgrave (1) (22 May 1611) to Haggerston (96) (15 August 1643).
- Volume II (1802), published in London, dedicated to Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis.
- Volume III (1803), Baronets created by King Charles II (continued), dedicated to the Earl of Dysart. Dyke (194) of Horeham (3 March 1676) to Smith (313) of Sydling (3 May 1774)
- Volume IV (1804), Baronets created by King George III (continued), dedicated to Sir William Jerningham, Baronet; Duntze (314) (28 October 1774) to Stirling (466) of Faskine (30 November 1800)
- Volume V (1805).
Marriage & progeny
In 1774 he married Mary Damont, daughter of William Damont, of Eye, Suffolk, by whom he had fifteen children, including:
- Sir William II Betham (1779–1853), eldest surviving son, an antiquarian and herald, Ulster King of Arms from 1820 until his death in 1853.
- Mary Matilda Betham
- "Betham, William (1749-1839)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.