THE LATE MR. SAMUEL BEAZLEY,
ARCHITECT AND DRAMATIST.
The death of Mr. Beazley, which occurred
on the 12th of October will be regretted by all
who knew him. He was an extraordinary
man, and has had an eventful life: the story of
it fully written would form a singular volume.
Mr. Beazley was born in Parliament-street, in
1786, and was in his 66th year when he died.
On the day previously he had attended a meet-
ing of the Committee of Renters at Drury-
lane Theatre, apparently in the enjoyment of
good health and spirits. After the meeting he
went to his country residence, Tonbridge Castle,
Kent, and on the following morning was seized
with an apoplectic fit, from which he never
recovered. He was interred in the burial-
ground attached to the Old Church at Ber-
mondsey. From his childhood his tastes were
dramatic and artistic. When only twelve years
old, we are told, at school at Acton, he wrote
a farce, and put together the theatre in which
it was acted. Since then he has written or
arranged more than 100 dramatic pieces, two
novels � �The Oxonians� and �The Rou� �
and a large number of detached articles.
Amongst the former may be mentioned �Is
he Jealous� (for the introduction of the late
Mr. Wrench), �Gretna Green,� �The Board-
ing-House,� �The Steward,� �Old Cus-
toms,� �Five Hours at Brighton� (the first
of his pieces that was played), �The Lot-
tery Ticket,� �My Uncle,� �Batchelors�
Wives,� �Hints to Husbands,� �Fire and
Water,� and �The Bull�s Head,� also the
English words for the operas of �Robert the
Devil,� �Queen of Cyprus,� and �Som-
nambula.� The latter opera, by the way,
was written mostly by the bedside of Madame
Malibran, in the mornings, to adapt the words
to her pronunciation.
As an architect, also, Mr Beazley�s practice
has been great in connection with the stage,
having built more theatres probably than any
other modern practitioner. Amongst them
are the St. James�s Theatre, the Lyceum, the
City of London, the Birmingham, and two in
Dublin. He gave drawings also for one in
the Brazils (similar to St. James�s), and one in
Belgium�thirteen or fourteen in all. The
interior of Drury-lane Theatre, the external
colonnade there, and the Strand front of the
Adelphi Theatre are also by him. His other
works were numerous and include Studley
Castle, the seat of Sir Francis Goodricke; a
castle in Inverness, some additions to the
University of Bonn, the works on the South-
Eastern Railway, especially at London-bridge,
the Warden�s Hotel, and the Pilot House, Dover
(of which we gave a view some time ago), the
stations on the North Kent line, and the new
town at Ashford.
In the early part of his life, the subject of
this notice served as a volunteer in the Penin-
sula, where his adventures were of a very
singular character. On one occasion, for ex-
ample, he awoke and found himself in the
dead-house at Lisbon, laid out for burial. To
facilitate the escape of the Duchess d�Angou-
l�me, he was sixty hours in the saddle, and
crossed the Pyranees at the head of her horses,
with sometimes a bayonet at his breast. He
had never visited Italy.
In conversation, Mr. Beazley was singularly
sparkling and amusing: his wit was both
refined and ready. We cannot attempt to
justify this character by examples, for such
matters are seldom chronicled, and when they
are, usually lose much of the point which the
moment and the manner give them. A
friend once took him into his wine cellar,
and pointed out amongst its contents, some
brandy as having been his poor father�s.
�Spirit of my sainted sire,� breathed Beazley.
A new staircase at Sir Henry Meux�s (pro-
nounced Muse), he would call Gradus ad Par-
nassum�stairs to the muses. And when, walk-
ing in a client�s park, the lady of the domain
expressed her wonder that the rooks were so
seldom quiet, he hazarded the opinion that it
was because they had caws for conversation.
His amiability endeared him to all who knew
him, and his industry must have been great,
notwithstanding a mode of life which led many
to regard him simply as a man of pleasure.
[handwritten by Gunn]
Nov 1, 1851.