Cross Beames

The late John Beames, Esq., QC - 1781-1853

(John Beames IV - "Cross Beames")

The Times of Wednesday last announced the death of this eminent gentleman, which took place it his seat, Bashley Lodge, Hants., on the 17th inst. Mr. Beames was descended from a family long connected with this neighbourhood, and the earlier part of his career was passed in Clifton. In the year 1808 he obtained his degree at Oxford and was examined on the same day as the late Sir Robert Peel, the latter took a First, the former a Second Class.

In 1811 Mr. Beames was called to the bar by the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and his practice was for many years extension as an equity draftsman and chambers counsel. He was for some time connected with his friend, the late Francis Vedey (?), junior, in the production in the well known Chancery Reports, "Vedey and Beames Reports" and he was the author of numerous works, always considered of high authority, upon subjects relating to the pleadings and practice of the Court of Chancery.

The Lord Chancellor Eldon appointed him, about the year 1852, one of the Commissioners to enquire into the practice and proceedings of the Court of Chancery, and the very able report of the Commission was from the pen of Mr. Beames. About the same time also, we believe, he was appointed one of the Commissioners of Bankruptcy.

Upon the elevation of the late Sir Anthony Hart to the office of Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Beames succeeded him as standing counsel to the six clerks in Chancery. The late Chancellor Brougham gave him the silk gown, and shortly afterwards Mr. Beames retired with ample fortune from the practice of the profession.

In politics, the deceased was through life a consistent Whig, and it is believed much prejudiced his professional prospects by the dedication of his first work to Chancellor Eldon's great political antagonist, the late Sir Samuel Romilly. Sir Samuel himself, well knowing the Chancellor's strong political feelings, pointed out the inevitable consequences.

After the retirement from the Bar, Mr. Beames devoted himself assiduously to his duties as County Magistrate, and some years ago, at the request of Lord John Russell, he proposed and strongly enforced at the sessions the necessity of establishing a rural or county police for Hampshire. This suggestion was opposed by Sir Thomas Baring and others, and we are not acquainted with the result.

In his conduct through life Mr. Beames was a strictly honorable man, and endeavoured to uphold the character and independence of the bar. It is stated that, after a hearing before Lord Brougham in the great ease of Wellesley v Wellesley, Mr. Wellesley, (now Lord Mornington) awaited the return of Mr. Beames to his chambers, and, after expressing his thanks for his services, presented him with a check for five hundred guineas - Mr. Beames immediately destroyed the check, as its acceptance was inconsistent with the etiquette of the profession.

Upon referring to Mathew's Bristol Directory for the year 1806, we observe Mr. Beames' name as one of the officers at that period of the Royal Bristol Volunteers. The deceased was in his 73rd year, was a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Hants.

From a correspondent
Bristol Times, 22 October 1853.

In the possession of B. G. Burroughs Esq.
(husband of Sarah, the deceased's sister)
Copied July 10th 1894
21, Sion Hill