William Beckwith was born in 1795, the eldest son of William Beckwith of Trimdon, County Durham. He entered the 16th Light Dragoons and served with them in the Peninsula War at the battles of Nive and Nivelle. He was at the battle of Waterloo and was promoted to lieutenant without purchase. He went onto half-pay but exchanged to the 14th Light Dragoons in 1817. He purchased his way up to major in the 14th. In 1831 he commanded a troop at the Bristol Riots. Blame was apportioned to some officers for failing to control the situation, and one shamed officer shot himself, but Beckwith acquitted himself well and was rewarded by being created Knight of he Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. He reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel but did not command the 14th, instead he retired onto the unattached half-pay list in 1833. The photo shows him in the uniform of the 16th Lancers. He was Colonel of the 14th Light Dragoons from 12 Nov 1860 until his death. During his colonelcy the regiment converted to hussars, in 1861.
Regimental Details | 14th Light Dragoons Colonels | 14th Hussars Colonels