Beamish, North Ludlow (1797–1872), army officer, military historian, and antiquarian, was born 31 December 1797 (some sources suggest 1796), probably at Beaumont House, Co. Cork, seat of his father, William Beamish (qv), a retired naval and army officer and renowned Cork brewer, and his wife Anne Jane Margaret, eldest daughter of Robert Delacour of Mallow, Co. Cork. North was the fifth among eleven sons and two daughters, several of whom died young. He and his surviving siblings succeeded remarkably in professional, political, and social life: in particular, his elder brother Robert Delacour Beamish (1791–1877), barrister and high sheriff of Cork, and his younger brothers Richard (1798–1873), Guards officer and civil engineer (who assisted Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the Thames tunnel and wrote his biography), and Francis Bernard (qv), politician and brewer. His sister Dorcas (d. 1873) married Maj.-gen. Frederick Meade, also of Cork.
North Ludlow Beamish himself had a life centred on military and antiquarian interests. Commissioned in the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards in November 1816, he purchased captaincy of a troop in 1823. He studied languages, especially German, and post-Napoleonic German military reorganisation. In 1825 Beamish translated a cavalry manual by F. A. Graf von Bismarck into English as Instructions for the field service of cavalry. He was promoted major on half-pay in 1826 and shortly afterwards served at the viceregal court as lieutenant-colonel in the Hanoverian service, linked to Britain by its shared royal dynasty. In 1827 Beamish translated Bismarck's Lectures on cavalry, which led to subsequent reform of British cavalry. His only work of fiction was Peace campaigns of a cornet (1829) in which the Irish hero, Pierse Butler, exchanges a dull and secure life for one of military excitement. Beamish later published a finely illustrated History of the King's German Legion (2 vols, 1834, 1837). He thus preserved the memory of the corps of Hanoverian exiles formed in 1803 for George III and disbanded a year after their heroic action at Waterloo (1815). He recorded their Irish experience, citing conflict with the Irish militia, notably at Tullamore in 1806. Beamish was created a knight of the Guelphic Order in recognition of services to the German kingdom just as the accession (1837) of Victoria foreshadowed the end of Hanoverian Britain.
Retiring to Cork, Beamish resided at Annmount and married (27 May 1841) Aline Marie, daughter of the Rev. John Eric Forsström, dean of Munktorp, Sweden, and his wife Petronella Elizabeth Robertson. The Beamishes had three sons and two daughters, of whom one died young. In retirement Beamish, an FRS since 1827, devoted more time to the study of Scandinavian antiquities. In 1837 he became president of the Cork Scientific and Literary Society, where he set out his anglocentric prescription for Irish cultural progress. In 1841 he published The discovery of America by the Northmen in the tenth century, with notes on the early settlement of the Irish in the western hemisphere, based on researches by a Professor Rafn of Copenhagen, while ably translating the relevant Norse sagas. He published On the alterations of level in the Baltic in 1843 and returned to a military theme in 1855, On the uses and application of cavalry in war. Beamish's eclecticism reflected the Victorian certainties of a ‘renaissance man’ emboldened by his own success. He, like his brothers, held titles of honour locally, including JP and sheriff of Cork (1855).
With the opening of QCC on 7 November 1849, Beamish, as vice-chairman of the Munster Provincial College Committee under the chairmanship of catholic banker James Roche (qv), formally presented the committee's papers to Sir Robert Kane (qv), first president of the college. He thereby staked the committee's claim to a crucial role in founding the college and praised Roche's sterling work in that achievement. On the same day Beamish joined the ‘farm committee’ formed to establish a model farm and museum for agricultural instruction, which in time also pioneered modern dairy science. He displayed the same bullish enthusiasm for QCC as for his other interests until his death at Annmount (28 April 1872). Beamish was buried at St Michael's, Blackrock. His wife died 13 February 1900; the family name retained lasting prominence through its Cork city brewery.