Thomas Beecher

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Colonel Thomas Be(e)cher JP (1640 – 10 October 1709)[1] was an Irish politician and soldier. The family's surname varies in its spelling, caused by its pronunciation.


Born in Baltimore, County Cork, he was the son of Major Henry Becher and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Notte.[2] His paternal grandfather Henry was Lord President of Munster.[3] Becher was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and graduated in 1658.[4]


Becher was nominated a Justice of the Peace in 1665, assigned to County Cork.[5] He fought in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, serving as aide-de-camp to William of Orange, for which he was awarded a watch by the later King.[6] In 1692, he was appointed Governor of Sherkin Island.[5] Later in that year he entered the Irish House of Commons, having stood for Baltimore.[1] He was returned for the constituency until his death in 1709.[1] In Parliament he supported Henry Capell, 1st Baron Capell of Tewkesbury, at that time the Lord Deputy of Ireland.[7]

Signature of Thomas Becher 1702

Family and legacy[edit]

In 1665, he married Elizabeth Turner, daughter of Henry Turner; they had fifteen children, nine sons and six daughters.[8] Becher died in 1709 and was buried at St Matthew's Church in Aughadown.[8] Elizabeth died about 1720, her will being dated 26 September was proved in the prerogative court in Cork in the following year. His son Michael sat also in the Parliament of Ireland, representing the same constituency as his father.[1]

Surviving letters are held by the Bristol Archives.[9] Notable descendants were the social reformer John Thomas Becher (1769–1848), a friend of the poet Lord Byron as well as Anne Becher (1792–1864), the mother of William Makepeace Thackeray.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Johnston-Lilk (2006), p. 69
  2. ^ Cork Historical and Archaeological Society (1907), p. 185
  3. ^ Gibson (1861), p. 18
  4. ^ Burtchaell (1935), p. 55
  5. ^ a b Cork Historical and Archaeological Society (1907), p. 180
  6. ^ Burke (1847), p. 77
  7. ^ Hayton (2004), p. 97
  8. ^ a b c Burke (1976), p. 100
  9. ^ "Letters". Boston Record Office. Retrieved 2 January 2010. [dead link]


  • Hayton, David (2004). Ruling Ireland, 1685-1742: Politics, Politicians and Parties. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 97. ISBN 1-84383-058-2. 
  • Gibson, C. B. (1861). The History of the County and City of Cork. vol. II. London: Thomas C. Newby. 
  • Johnston-Liik, Edith Mary (2006). MPs in Dublin: Companion to History of the Irish Parliament 1692–1800. Ulster Historical Foundation. ISBN 1-903688-60-4. 
  • Burke, John (1847). John Bernhard Burke, ed. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry. vol. I. London: Henry Colburn. 
  • Burke, Bernhard (1976). Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Irish Family Records. London: Henry Colburn. ISBN 978-0-85011-050-0. 
  • Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. vol. XIII. Cork: Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. 1907. 
  • Burtchaell, George Dames (1935). Alumni Dublinenses: A Register of the Students, Graduates, Professors and Provosts of Trinity college in the University of Dublin (1593–1860). London: A. Thom & Co. Ltd. 
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Patriot Parliament
Member of Parliament for Baltimore
With: Edward Richardson 1692–1703
Percy Freke 1703–1707
Edward Riggs 1707–1709
Succeeded by
Francis Langston
Edward Riggs