William Wither Beach

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"West Hampshire"
Beach as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, June 1895

William Wither Bramston Beach, PC (25 December 1826 – 3 August 1901) was an English Conservative politician, who served in the House of Commons for 44 years between 1857 and 1901, becoming Father of the House of Commons until he was run over by a cab.


Beach was the son of William Beach of Oakley Hall, Hampshire and his wife Jane Henrietta Browne daughter of John Browne of Salperton Park, Gloucestershire . His family was connected to the Hicks Beach baronets. Beach was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford where he excelled as an athlete. He was a J. P. for Hampshire and Hon. Major of the Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry.[1]

In 1857 Beach was elected Member of Parliament for North Hampshire.[2] He held the seat until the seat was reorganised under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. He was then elected MP for Andover and held the seat until his death in 1901.[3] In the House of Commons, he spoke little but did much hard work in committee and was appointed a Privy Councillor in January 1900.[4] He died at the age of 75 after being run over by a cab.[5]

Beach married Caroline Chichester Clevland, daughter of Colonel Augustus Clevland of Tapeley Park, North Devon in 1857.[1] They lived at Oakley Hall, near Basingstoke.


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Shaw-Lefevre
Melville Portal
Member of Parliament for North Hampshire
With: George Sclater-Booth
Constituency divided
Preceded by
Francis William Buxton
Member of Parliament for Andover
1885 – 1901
Succeeded by
Edmund Beckett Faber
Preceded by
Sir John Mowbray, 1st Baronet
Father of the House
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Hicks Beach