1st Baron Grimthorpe of Grimthorpe, who designed the Great Clock in St. Stephen's tower at the Palace of Westminster in London, known as Big Ben in reference to civil engineering administrator Benjamin Hall, who ordered the bell.
He was born on May 12, 1816 in Carlton Hall, near Newark-upon-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England. He attended Trinity College at Cambridge, became a member of the Bar in 1841, and practiced law for some forty years, earning large sums of money and gaining a reputation for being a rather rambunctious person.
Throughout his life, he was a controversial person with many interests. Most notably is of course his interest in horology and the fact that he was involved in the restoration of several public buildings. Except for Westminster, the most famous of the buildings he worked on is probably St Paul's Cathedral.
The first Big Ben was in fact too big; Becket's first design of a 16-ton bell failed as the bell cracked soon after its making in 1856, and he devised a lighter one, weighing in at 13.5 tons, installed two years later. In 1859, the hammer was replaced and moved due to a crack in the new bell, but Becket's design has worked flawlessly (well, almost) ever since.
However, that was not the only thing he did not get quite right. For this fact, he is remembered through the less than flattering term Grimthorpe.
In 1874 he inherited his father's baronetcy and became known as Sir Edmund Beckett. In 1886 he was raised to become a Baron, known as Lord Grimthorpe of Grimthorpe (not to be redundant or anything). He died in St. Albans, Hertfordshire on April 29, 1905.