Beckford a Jamaican plantation owner and slaver, was Lord Mayor of London twice 1762
and 1769. In 1770 Beckford, an ardent supporter of John Wilks, a political reformer
and advocate of voting rights, publicly admonished George III. Breaking contemporary
protocol he asked the King to dissolve Parliament and to remove his civil councillors.
The city councillors in gratitude erected this monument to him.
In 1940 an incendiary bomb destroyed the roof causing timbers to crash down onto
the monuments smashing projecting elements of the marble carving. After the war a
very quick and cursory restoration was carried out in plaster of Paris so the building
was tidy for the state ceremonies surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s coronation . In
1988 we were asked to replace some of these plaster repairs with accurate and finished
marble carvings. Geoffrey Preston had started the project which I took over with