Beriah Botfield

Beriah Botfield FRSE FRS FSA FRGS (5 March 1807 – 7 August 1863) was a British Member of Parliament representing Ludlow in Shropshire. He was also a Conservative Party politician.[1] He was also a noted bibliographer, geologist and botanist.[2]


He was born on 5 March 1807 in Earl's Ditton, Shropshire, the son of Beriah Botfield of Norton Hall (died 1813) and Charlotte Withering. He was educated at Harrow School and then Christ Church College, Oxford University, graduating BA in 1828.[3]

He inherited the family's extensive coal mining and ironmaking business, which was based in Shropshire. Perhaps not so surprisingly, Beriah Botfield entered into political affairs.

In 1831 he became High Sheriff of Northamptonshire.[2]

In 1840, Beriah was elected as a Member of Parliament for Ludlow in a by-election and held the seat until a defeat in the 1847 general election.[4] He did manage to regain the position when he was re-elected in 1857, and continued to serve until his death in 1863. In 1858, he had erected a stone cross near the Wales–England border on Shadwell Hill, to commemorate a pedlar named William Cantlin who was robbed and murdered there in 1691.

Botfield was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in January 1839.[5] He was president of the British Archaeological Association.[6]

Beriah Botfield died on 7 August 1863, at his home at Grosvenor Square, London, at the age of fifty-six.[6]

In his will he left a considerable bequest to the Institute of Civil Engineers.[3]


Beriah was a well known bibliographer who set up a private printing press at his home in Norton Hall, Northamptonshire. Among the works which he printed there was an anonymous Journal of a Tour through the Highlands of Scotland (1830). 'Stemmata Botevilliana.' (1843) was printed for a private collection, then much enlarged and presented to the general public in 1858, as an account of the family of Boteville or Botfield. The issue of Bibliotheca Hearniana—excerpts from the Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Heame (1848) was afterwards reprinted in the Reliquiæ Hearnianæ (1869 ed.).[6]


On 21 October 1858, Beriah married Isabella Leighton in Alberbury, Shropshire. She was the daughter of Sir Baldwin Leighton, the Eighth Baronet, who was also a Conservative party politician.[6] They had no children.


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 4)
  2. 1 2 "Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  3. 1 2 "Beriah Botfield". 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  4. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 193. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  5. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Riyal Society. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Courtney 1886.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Courtney, William Prideaux (1886). "Botfield, Beriah". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 5. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 443–444. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Alcock
Henry Salwey
Member of Parliament for Ludlow
1840 – 1847
With: Henry Salwey to 1841
James Ackers from 1841
Succeeded by
Henry Bayley Clive
Henry Salwey
Preceded by
Percy Egerton Herbert
Lord William Powlett
Member of Parliament for Ludlow
With: Percy Egerton Herbert to 1860
George Windsor-Clive from 1860
Succeeded by
Sir William Fraser
George Windsor-Clive
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