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Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) attrib. Charles Couzens, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...