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The Township of Beckwith was surveyed in 1816 and settlement started around 1817 with about 27 land grants being acted on.

The Township was named after Sir Thomas Sydney Beckwith (born in 1772 and died in 1831). Sir Sydney Beckwith was the Quarter Master for Canada between 1815 and 1823. He also made arrangements and personally superintended the arrival of the Scottish immigrants in 1816.

When Beckwith was first established the only village was Morphy's Falls which is now known as the Town of Carleton Place. Carleton Place was later established as a separate municipality.

The Township of Beckwith had its extensive history published in 1991 by Glen J. Lockwood. Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community, is on display in the Township office reception area, and copies are available for sale at the price of $45.53 (G.S.T. included).