Beamish, William (1760–1828), merchant and landowner, was born 10 May 1760, third son of William Beamish (d. 1772), captain RN, of Willsgrove, Co. Cork, and Alice Beamish (née Bernard; d. 1792) of Castle Bernard, Co. Cork. He entered the navy like his father, but exchanged into the army and served in the war of American independence as adjutant of the 19th Regiment (possibly either the 19th Foot or 19th Light Dragoons; both regiments existed at this time). Beamish exemplified those gentry who balanced rising expenditure with new sources of income: retiring from the army, he became a merchant in Cork and was made a freeman of the city (23 February 1790), and in January 1792 he and William Crawford formed a partnership with the brewers Allen and Barrett, whose brewery had been in small-scale operation since the early seventeenth century. As ‘Beamish & Crawford’ the firm became one of the largest Irish breweries. He also bought estates in Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary, and built Beaumont House two miles south of Cork city. ‘Our truly honest friend, Mr Beamish’ (O'Connell corr., i, 280) is probably William; he supported the proposal by the catholic bishop, John Murphy (qv), that led to the founding of a Cork city savings bank (1817). He married (19 September 1789) Anne Jane Margaret (1769–1852), only daughter of Robert De La Cour of Mallow, treasurer of Co. Cork; they had eleven sons (five of whom became partners in the firm after Beamish's death) and two daughters. He died 17 April 1828 and his wife 12 August 1852; both are buried in the parish of Desert Serges. His monument by John Hogan (qv) is in St Michael's church, Blackrock, Cork.
C. T. M. Beamish (ed.), Beamish: a genealogical study of a family in County Cork and elsewhere (1950); Burke, LGI (1912); ‘Cork Savings Bank—1817–1917’, Cork Arch. Soc. Jn., xxiii (1917), 178