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Gilbert Abbott à Beckett (9 January 1811 – 30 August 1856) was an English humorist.

He was born in Londonmarker, the son of a lawyer, and belonged to a family claiming descent from Thomas Becket. He was educated at Westminster Schoolmarker and was called to the bar at Gray's Innmarker in 1841.

He edited the comic paper Figaro in London and was one of the original staff of Punch and a contributor until his death. 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 Charles Dickens's shorter stories, written in collaboration with Mark Lemon. He is perhaps best known as the author of Comic History of England, Comic History of Rome, Comic Blackstone, etc.

As poor-law commissioner he presented a valuable report to the Home Secretary regarding the Andover workhouse scandal, and in 1849 he became a metropolitan police magistrate. He died in Boulogne-sur-Mermarker, Francemarker, of typhoid fever.

His elder brother, Sir William à Beckett (1806–1869), became chief justice of Victoriamarker, Australia. He was the father of two other Victorian writers, Gilbert Arthur à Beckett and Arthur William à Beckett. His wife, Mrs. G. A. à Beckett (1817?–1863) was a composer.


  1. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 3
  2. University of Michigan, Women Composers Collection, (Gale ) [1]

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