Thomas Wentworth Beaumont was the eldest son of Colonel Thomas Richard Beaumont (1758-1829) of Darton, Yorkshire and his wife Diana (d. 1831), the illegitimate daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Wentworth Blackett, 5th Bt., of Hexham Abbey, Northumberland, and Bretton Hall, near Wakefield, Yorkshire.
Educated at Eton and at St John's College, Cambridge, Beaumont went on to become MP for Northumberland. He married Henrietta Jane Emma Hawks, daughter of John Atkinson of Maple Hayes, Staffordshire in November 1827, they had four sons and two daughters. Following the deaths of his father in 1829 and his mother in 1831, Beaumont came into full possession of the Blackett estates and the wealth that came with them. He retired from politics in 1837 and spent much of the next decade, until his death in 1848, travelling on the continent. Thomas' son was created Baron Allendale in 1906 and his grandson Viscount Allendale in 1911.
This engraved tankard is part of a small group produced in York during the last half of the 17th century. Charles Oman records six such peg tankards hallmarked in York between 1656 and 1669 (C. Oman, English Engraved Silver, London, 1978, p. 67). The earlier tankards of this series are engraved with what Oman describes as a 'mock botanical character' (Christie's London, 10 November 1993, lot 249) while later ones, such as the present example, are more fantastical in character. A closely related example hallmarked for 1663 from the collection of Lord Gisborough is on loan to Temple Newsam, (J. Lomax, British Silver at Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall, Leeds, 1992, p.49).
One possible source, or at any rate inspiration, for the engraving is the designs of Nicaise Roussel an engraver who arrived in England from Bruges some time in the last quarter of the 16th century and certainly by 1587 when he engraved a pair of Livery pots for St. Mary Woolnoth Church, London, (C. Oman, op cit., p. 47, fig. 45 and 46). Another pair of livery pots of 1594, also engraved by Roussel, was given to the Tsar Mikhail Romanov as part of the Embassy of John Merrick in 1615 and is now in the collection of the Kremlin (E.A. Jones, the Old English Silver of the Emperor of Russia, London, 1909, pl. V, no. 1.). Roussel's designs were published by John Overton in 1623 as de Grotesco with a dedication to the Royal jeweller George Heriot.