St. Vincent was born in London the twenty-first child of William Beechey, court painter to King George III and Ann (née Jessup) Beechey. He was also named after his godfather, John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, in recognition of his great naval victory in 1797. St. Vincent Beechey was also brother to Frederick William Beechey the great naval commander and Richard Brydges Beechey, painter and admiral. He was educated in Sidcup under a Mr Knowles and at Caius College, Cambridge.
He married Mary Ann Ommaney in 1836. They had seven children.
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