Born 1811 Died 1856
Gilbert Abbott à Beckett was born in north London on the 9th of January 1811. He belonged to a family claiming descent from the father of St Thomas Becket. His elder brother, Sir William à Beckett (1806-1869), became chief justice of Victoria (Australia). Gilbert Abbott à Beckett was educated at Westminster school, and was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1841. He edited Figaro in London and was one of the original staff of Punch and a contributor all his life.
He was an active journalist on The Times and The Morning Herald, contributed a series of light articles to The Illustrated London News, conducted in 1846 The Almanack of the Month and found time to produce some fifty or sixty plays, among them dramatized versions of Dickens's shorter stories in collaboration with Mark Lemon. As poor-law commissioner he presented a valuable report to the home secretary regarding scandals in connection with the Andover Union, and in 1849 he became a metropolitan police magistrate. He died at Boulogne on the 30th of August 1856 of typhus fever.
Extracted from the entry for A BECKETT, GILBERT ABBOTT in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.