Personal information about Henry Froom Beck

Below is all the information we have about Henry Froom Beck. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Death Information

   Henry Froom Beck
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Death certificate for Henry Froom Beck
Certificate provided by Brian Sylvester
Death certificate for
Henry Froom Beck
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Maiden name:
Date of Death:
   09 January 1872
Age at death:
Date of birth:
(From death certificate)
Place of birth:
(From death certificate)
Place of death:
Usual address:
Cause of death:
  Enlarged Prostate, Retention of Urine, Typhoid symptoms.
Death certificate information
Registration year:
Registration quarter:
Registration district:
Register volume:
Register page/folio:
Information Sources: Certificate

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Henry Froome Beck
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   13 January 1872
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
Burial register information:
Book number: 1868
Page number: 061
Record number: 2887
Official at burial:
   The Rev'd. C Grinstead, Curate of Newbury.
Source of information:
  Burial Register.

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    13 November 1958
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



This reproduction of a painting presented to Newbury Records Office is of a man whose job died out with the increase of motor traffic, simply because his voice could no longer be heard in the streets.

It is of Henry Beck, in his official uniform of bellman, a post to which he was appointed in 1838. The bellman was, in fact, the town crier, though he did not hold that title, his full designation being bellman and beadle tithing man. His ‘perks’ of office included small fees charged people for tolling his bell and crying out items such as the loss of possessions - a dog or a purse. He also ‘cried’ official announcements, repeating them every 20 or 30 yards. He accompanied the Mayor on official engagements, always being present at the opening of the two-day St. Bartholomew Fair.

The tithing man’s duties were to report any infringements of the current town by-laws. A trader, for example, might be reported for having a sunblind or display extending on the public footway. Justice would be done by the imposition of a quit rent. Then a house-holder in Northbrook-street might need to be brought to book for an offence such as emptying house refuse or ashes into the roadway. People were permitted to empty their bowls and pans of dirty water into the brook that ran past their front doors and gave the street its name.

Newbury had several quaintly-styled officials in those days, all appointed by the Court Leet, consisting of the Court Baron and lords of the Manor of Newbury, which met on the same day as the Borough Sessions.

Records in the Borough Archivist’s Office show, for example, that in 1838, the second year of Queen Victoria’s reign, appointments included two constables; tithing men for Bartholomew-street, Northbrook-street and Cheap-street; two bailiffs for the Mayor (they probably acted as mace-bearers as well); a mug and pot sealer, whose job it was to check the drinking vessels used in public houses, bread and butter weighers, a fish and flesh taster, haywards for the common ground in the Marsh (now Victoria Park) and Northcroft; and surveyors of the streets.

The post of bellman was never officially extinguished - it gradually died out with the changing times, the growing noise from mechanical transport in the streets - and the rising importance of newspapers, together with their increasing use as advertising media.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
Henry Beck
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    11 January 1872
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



It is not every official whose death is more genuinely regretted than that of Henry Beck, the town crier of Newbury. He retained the character throughout a long career of being a straightforward, honest man, and a faithful servant to the public; in his family relations he leaves behind him the testimony of being an affectionate husband and a loving father.

He was a native of Reading and came to Newbury nearly half a century ago, working as a journeyman baker to Mr. Witherington. For 40 years Beck had been a constable of the borough and for 33 years bill poster and town crier. It is in his latter capacity that he will be remembered, his stentorian2 voice being as clear and distinct as the bell that he rung. So much did he excel in this particular that he has often been described as ‘the best town crier in England’.

He was gifted with an excellent memory for past events, and was always punctual at his post, even if the appointment had been made weeks previously, and the person making it had forgotten the same.

It was evident to those who knew him that for the past twelve months his constitution was breaking up, and the unexpected death of a son about two months’ since caused him much grief. The last lot of bills he distributed was for the Christy Minstrels, and he died on Tuesday last, the day of the entertainment, at the age of 70. An announcement for the coal club was, we believe, his last public act as town crier.

He will be buried on Saturday at the Cemetery, and the police force will follow his remains.


Pictures and photographs

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Henry Beck gravestone as found by Friends

Henry Beck gravestone as found by Friends
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Order made when Henry Beck became part of the local constabulary

©Newbury Weekly News
Order made when Henry Beck became part of the local constabulary
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Henry Beck
Painting of Henry Beck
©West Berkshire Museum
Henry Beck
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Henry Beck
Photo of gravestone with Friends, after restoration
Henry Beck


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