Lord Cutler Beckett was an evil English nobleman who represented the East India Trading Company. He was an old enemy of Jack Sparrow, and the man responsible for the "P" brand on Jack's forearm. Beckett claimed Jack also left a mark on him, but did not elaborate. Beckett sought to obtain Jack's magic compass, and pressured multiple parties into getting it for him, including Will Turner by threatening to kill Elizabeth. The reason Beckett desired the compass was so that he could use it to find the Dead Man's Chest which contained the heart of Davy Jones, for who so ever held Jones' heart could compell Jones to do their bidding. Although Beckett never got the compass, he did end up getting Jones' heart when it was delivered to him by the disgraced Captain Norrington, in return for a promotion to admiral.
With Davy Jones, Admiral Norrington and Governor Swann under his command, Beckett launched an all-out assault against the pirates of the Caribbean using the East India Trading Company fleet and the Flying Dutchman. He placed soldiers Murtogg and Mullroy to guard Jones' heart, threatening to destroy it unless Jones did his bidding, and even forced Jones to kill the Kraken so it could never be used against him. But the tide of battle soon turned against Beckett, beginning with betrayals by his various pawns. First, he was forced to kill Governor Swann when Swann began asking too many questions about Jones' heart, and then Norrington, who was assigned to be Jones' keeper, betrayed Beckett and helped Elizabeth and the crew of the Empress escape the Flying Dutchman, resulting in the Admiral's death and necessitating his replacement by Mercer.
Beckett's world came crashing down not long after this, when cannonfire killed most of the East India troops placed aboard the Dutchman, and Jones, seeing his opportunity, turned against Beckett and killed Mercer, before he himself was killed by Will Turner (with some help from Jack Sparrow), making Turner the new captain of the Dutchman. With his flaship the Endeavor surrounded by both the Dutchman and the Black Pearl, Beckett refused to surrender. His men abandoned him after this, leaving him to perish when both ships opened fire and sunk the Endeavor, taking Beckett with it.