Ernest Beckett, 2nd Baron Grimthorpe
Grimthorpe was the eldest son of William Beckett, younger son of
Sir Edmund Beckett, 4th Baronet. Edmund Beckett, 1st Baron Grimthorpewas his uncle and Sir John Beckett, 2nd Baronethis great-uncle. Grimthorpe was a partner in the banking firm of Beckett & Co, of Leeds. In 1885, he was elected to Parliament for Whitby, a seat he held until 1905. The latter year he succeeded his uncle Lord Grimthorpe as 2nd Baron according to a special remainder in the letters patent, as well as in the family baronetcy.
Grimthorpe is believed to have been the father of
Violet Trefusis(1894–1972), whose mother, Alice Keppelwas a mistress of King Edward VII. [cite encyclopedia | first=Clare L. | last=Taylor | title=Trefusis, Violet (1894–1972) | encyclopedia=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography | publisher=Oxford University Press | date=2004 | url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/76253 | accessdate=2007-11-29]
In 1904, Grimthorpe bought a ruined farmhouse outside
Ravello, on the Amalfi Coastin southern Italy. He transformed it into a fortified palace with towers, battlements and a mixture of Arabic, Venetian and Gothic details, and called it Villa Cimbrone. [cite web | url=http://www.villacimbrone.com/en/storia3.php | title=Villa Cimbrone: history | accessdate=2007-11-29] Between the house and the cliff edge he built a garden, high above the Gulf of Salerno. The garden is an eccentric mixture of formal, English rosebeds, Moorish tea houses, picturesque grottoes and classical temples. Today the house is a luxurious hotel, and the garden is open to the public.
Lord Grimthorpe died in April 1917, aged 60. He was succeeded in the baronetcy and barony by his son, Ralph William Ernest Beckett. Lord Grimthorpe's younger brother,
Gervase Beckett, also sat as a Conservative Member of Parliament and was created a Baronet in 1921 (see Beckett Baronets).
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