Beswick was a low-born laborer, working as a gravedigger in a small cemetery in the Strand. Sometime during the thirty-five years he worked there, he started accepting money from the local university, occasionally allowing them to take some of the cadavers for research purposes.
In 1868, Beswick accepted seven pounds sterling from Virginia. He then broke the lock on the Byng family crypt and left the cadaver of the recently deceased professor on a barrow behind the tomb. He noticed it being carted away later, but could not identify the individual.
The following day, he was confronted by the Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye, who asked about the body-snatching, investigating the professor's second death. Despite his initial reluctance, he was soon forced to confess to his crime. Since he could not identify who had taken the cadaver the night before, he advised them to follow the muddy trail, which led the Frye twins to the murder scene.