- Bettyfield House a Georgian period mansion (c.1760 to 1800)
- OS Map's of the estate sourced from Buildings of
- Map c.1840
A detached five-bay three-storey over basement house, c1780,
with carved granite dressings including door cases and Diocletian windows to
front and to rear. Renovated, c.1825, with portico added, granite window
surrounds added to centre and interior remodelled. Stable complex, c.1825,
It was once owned by Benjamin D'israeli, the uncle of the man
of the same name who made quite a name for himself as Prime Minister of
Great Britain. D'israeli (the elder) purchased Beechy Park in 1800. I can't
find any information about who originally built the house.
Benjamin D'Israeli of Beechy Park, Rathvilly, bequeathed £3000 for
the establishment and support of a non- denominational school "for the
education of the poor of Rathvilly". Bough School was completed in 1826
and still stands today, not far from Beechy Park. I think I'm right in
saying D'Israeli won some form of early 19th century lottery. The house
was later the home to the Rev. Quintin Dick Hume (1806-1871), son of Captain
Fitzwilliam Hume of Humewood, Co Wicklow (see: http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history/history_houses/hist_hse_humewood.html
Source: Irish Independent, The Irish Times,
Buildings of Ireland, Bill Gawne & Turtle Bunbury
by John Keogh
In the year 1766, Benjamin D'Israeli was born in England. There are
conflicting reports concerning his early childhood and this matter is
still under investigation. It is reported that he came to Ireland with
his mother at a very early age. Benjamin started to serve his
apprenticeship with Richard Bayly at the tender age of seventeen. Mr.
Bayley was identified with the running of Lotteries, Stockbroking,
Moneylending and Insurance. His new apprentice proved himself both
diligent and honest. Concerning the lottery system, by buying a lottery
ticket for £7.10s, one had two chances of winning £20,000.
This draw was
not confined to Ireland but also extended to England. Having completed
his apprenticeship, Benjamin acquired a licence on the 12th February,
1788 to run lotteries from the Right Honourable Stephen Ratcliffe, Judge
of His Majesty's Court of Prerogative in Ireland. Following this he
opened an office at 105 Grafton Street, Dublin. As a result of his
business transactions, D'Israeli acquired property in Suffolk Street,
Grafton Street, Summer Hill and Essex Street. Having accumulated vast
amounts of property and money, Benjamin D'Israeli turned his interests
to the country area.
On the advice of a friend of his, namely Wm. Hoare
Hume of Humewood Castle, he purchased Betty-field House and lands (now
Beechy Park, presently owned by Mrs. V. Burgess). Circumstances did not
allow him to take up residence at once, consequently he leased the
property to one George Pilsworth in 1804. After a period of five years,
he took up residence himself and became one of the landed gentry.
Benjamin D'Israeli was appointed High Sheriff of Carlow by the Lord
Lieutenant in 1810, evidence of this to be found in the minute book of
Kiltegan Vestry dated 16 April, 1811.
As the years progressed, he
transferred his interest from Lotteries to Stock-broking. Five days
before his death at Beechy Park he bequested £3,000 towards the erection
of a school for the education of the poor at Bough, Rathvilly. The
school was built 12 years after his death. For one hundred and fifty
years this lovely structure has been in use, thus fulfilling its
purpose. Benjamin D'Israeli died 1814 aged 48 years and was laid to rest
in Saint Peter's Churchyard, Dublin.
In his will he also left a sum of
£500 to the church wardens at Rathvilly which was to be invested in
Government Securities and the interest to be distributed to the poor of
Rathvilly Parish every Christmas. This is still the practice today.
Benjamin D'Israeli will be remembered as a man of generous nature, with
the poor of the district ever present in his heart. May he rest in
REF: Dublin Chronicle 28/10/1 788. Kil. Jour. Arch.
Soc. Vol. V. P329. R.S.A.I. Vol. LXXVIII 1948.
Carloviana 1983. Vol 2. No. 31 p.10 & 11.
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