Thomas James Beckett, lost in the woods


Sacred to the memory of Thomas James Beckett, a native of England, aged 21 years, who fell asleep in the Lord in the woods near Springfield in September, 1863. "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord for they rest from their labours."

Helen M. born Oct. 8th 1872, died May 20th 1874. Daughter of Charles W. and M. Helen Beckwith.

The Beckett stone is in a large lot surrounded by a handsome cast-iron fence.

Thomas James Beckett was a son of one of the London directors of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company. When young Beckett arrived in Fredericton from England, he went directly to the home of John A. Beckwith, Commissioner in New Brunswick for the company. Mrs. Beckwith told him that her husband had taken a party to Southampton to run out some lines for the company. When Mr. Beckwith returned some days later, his wife asked him where young Beckett was, and Mr. Beckwith asked, "Who’s Beckett?" The survey party went back at once and made a fruitless search of the woods. Help was obtained from Fredericton and the regiment was called out. Mr. Beckwith offered a reward of one hundred dollars, but it was about six weeks later when a farmer by the name of Jesse Clark found the body. Thomas James Beckett had fallen over a log, broken his kneecap, and perished.

Cathedral records:

Thomas Beckett of Norfolk, England buried Dec. 8, 1863. Lost in the woods in Sept. 1863.

The little child, Helen, a granddaughter of the Honourable John A. Beckwith, was buried in the Beckett lot eleven years later. Charles W. Beckwith, her father, was a barrister and for many years city clerk of Fredericton. His wife was Mary Helen Glazier. The Beckett family in England objected to the burial and the lot remains otherwise unused.

One thought on “Thomas James Beckett, lost in the woods”

  1. There is a memorial brass to him in the parish church at Ingoldisthorpe, Norfolk, England with two pictures – one showing him sitting in a study, one lying in the woods with a fleet of ships in the background.

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