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Richard Beckett (born 18 June 1772 at Leeds; died 28 July 1809 at the Battle of Talavera) was an English amateur cricketer and a captain in the Coldstream Guards during the Napoleonic Wars.

Cricket career[]

He was mainly associated with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and he made 9 known appearances in first-class matches from 1804 to 1807.[1]

Military service[]

Beckett served his country in several theatres of the Napoleonic Wars. He was a captain in the Coldstream Guards and was killed in action during the closing stages of the Battle of Talavera.[2]

His death is mentioned in one of the main histories of the Peninsular War:

"Captain Samuel Walker of the 3rd Regiment of Guards like his gallant companion in arms Captain Richard Beckett of the Coldstream Guards fell on the 28th of July in the prime of life and in the moment of victory on the plains of Talavera. These officers had fought the battles of their country in Egypt in Germany in Denmark and in Portugal and their fellow townsmen the inhabitants of Leeds erected a monument in the parish church of that place to commemorate their public services and to hand down their memory to future ages".[3]

The memorial to Beckett and his friend Walker is in St Peter's Parish Church, Leeds. The inscription says:

"To the memory of Captain Samuel Walker of the Third Regiment of Guards and Captain Richard Beckett of the Coldstream Regiment of Guards, natives of Leeds, who having bravely served their country together in Egypt, Germany, Denmark and Portugal fell in the prime of life at the glorious battle of Talavera in Spain on the 28th of July 1809. Their fellow townsmen dedicate this monument".[4]


External sources[]

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