Beke, charles Tilstone, an English geographer and explorer in Africa, born in London, Oct. 10, 1800. He received a commercial education, then studied law, and afterward engaged in mercantile pursuits, residing for several years in the island of Mauritius. In 1836-'8 he resided at Leipsic, acting as British consul for Saxony. Considering Abyssinia of great importance in connection with the commerce of central Africa, he set out in 1840 on a journey of discovery in that region. In 1861, in company with his wife, he made a journey in Syria, in the course of which he identified Harran, near Damascus, as the residence of the patriarch Abraham. In 1865 Mr. and Mrs. Beke lett England on a fruitless mission to effect the release of the Abyssinian captives. In 1870 he received a pension of £100 in consideration of his geographical researches, and especially of the value of his explorations in Abyssinia. Among his works are: "Origines Biblicae, or Researches in Primeval History" (1834), for which the university of Tubingen conferred upon him the degree of Ph. D.; "Statement of Facts" relating to his journey to Abyssinia (1845); "Essay on the Nile and its Tributaries " (1847); "The Sources of the Nile in the Mountains of the Moon" (1848); "Geographical Distribution of Languages in Abyssinia" (1849); "Sources of the Nile, with the History of Nilotic Discovery," in which are incorporated the results of his previous labors (1860); "Jacob's Flight, or a Pilgrimage to Harran," written in conjunction with his wife (1865); and "The British Captives in Abyssinia" (1867).
Bekes. I. A county of S. E. Hungary, watered by the Koros, an affluent of the Theiss; area, 1,320 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 209,729, of whom about two thirds are Magyars, upward of one fourth Slavs, and the rest chiefly Germans and Roumans. The county is exceedingly fertile, but exposed to inundations. Agriculture and the raising of cattle, horses, and sheep are the main occupations. The pusztas and studs of Bekes are renowned. Capital, Gyula. II. A town of the preceding county, situated at the confluence of the White and Black Koros, 33 m. S. W. of Grosswardein; pop. in 1870, 22,-547. It has a considerable grain trade. It was formerly strongly fortified.