John Beckett (1799-1864) was the son of a tailor and the youngest of 8 children born in Dorking. He took up the trade of house painter and decorator but was soon doing painting of a more artistic nature. Working in oils, his compositions were mostly landscapes in the neighbourhood of Dorking. He often included his favourite dog in these paintings.
He exhibited at the British Institution in London in 1846 and at the Sketching Society. John Beckett lived at No. 5 South Street near the present War Memorial with his niece; this building can be seen in his painting of South Street from Pump Corner.