|Location of the Becher estates in County Cork. The estates named in the text are marked in red.|
Sir William did not long survive his father, and at his death in 1850 he bequeathed Creagh, Ballygiblin and Assolas to his eldest son, Sir Henry Wrixon-Becher (1826-93), 2nd bt. The concentration of estates in the hands of his father and grandfather meant that the family had become comparatively rich, and Sir Henry was able to spend freely, especially as he remained a bachelor without dependents until his belated and childless marriage in 1878. As a young man, he travelled extensively, not just in Europe but also in the Near East and the Americas. He had a passion for sailing, and in the 1850s took his yacht across the Atlantic and back, and he continued to be a yachtsman throughout his life. In 1861 he purchased the Castle Hyde estate near Fermoy, although this may always have been intended as a home for his younger brother, Sir John Wrixon-Becher (1828-1914), 3rd bt., who occupied it from 1864. As Sir Henry was childless, when he died in 1893 the baronetcy and the four estates of Castle Hyde, Ballygiblin, Assolas and Creagh all passed to his brother Sir John, who in contrast to his brother had a large family of fourteen children. By the time of Sir John's death in 1914, the need to provide for this brood, together with the Agricultural Depression, the general trend of social legislation, increasing taxation and the deteriorating security situation for Protestant families (even popular and well-regarded ones like the Wrixon-Bechers), had made such an extensive estate unsustainable. Sir John's heir, Sir Eustace Wrixon-Becher (1859-1934), 4th bt., sold Castle Hyde in 1914 and Assolas in 1917.
|Rowdell House (Sussex) in the early 20th century.|
Image: West Sussex County Council Library Service
Ballygiblin House, Co. Cork
|Ballygiblin House: this seems to be the only known view of the house when it was still intact.|
Creagh House, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
|Creagh House: after restoration in the early 21st century.|
|Creagh House: the Gothic folly created from the ruin of an old mill in the gardens. Image: Roaringwater Journal.|
Assolas House, Castlemagner, Co. Cork
|Assolas House: the earlier part of the house, with the converted tower house at the centre and later wings.|
|Assolas House: the 18th century wing, as altered in the early 19th century.|
Descent: sold c.1714 to Rev. Francis Gore (1683-1748); sold to Philip Oliver (fl. 1749); sold before 1781 to Henry Wrixon (c.1725-94); to son, William Wrixon (c.1756-1847); to son, Sir William Wrixon-Becher (1780-1850), 1st bt., to son, Sir Henry Wrixon-Becher (1826-93), 2nd bt.; to brother, Sir John Wrixon-Becher (1828-1914), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Eustace William Windham Wrixon-Becher (1859-1934), 4th bt.; who sold 1917 to John Owen Bourke; to son, Hugh Bourke; handed over 1984 to son, Joe Bourke (fl. 2006); for sale, 2022.
Castle Hyde, Fermoy, Co. Cork
|Castle Hyde: the house in 1991. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.|
|Castle Hyde: the bridge linking the upper part of the staircase to |
the gardens behind. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
|Castle Hyde: entrance hall in 1991,|
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
|Castle Hyde: staircase hall in 1991.|
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
Becher of Creagh
(1.1) Thomas Becher (1697-98), born 6 February 1696/7; died in infancy about February 1697/8;
(1.2) Elizabeth Becher (1698-c.1730), born 10 March 1697/8; married, 1723 (licence), Robert Travers of Cork, merchant, and had issue one daughter; living in 1726 but perhaps died before 1733 when a Robert Travers of Cork married an Elizabeth Dunscombe;(1.3) Thomas Becher (b. & d. 1699), born 12 March 1698/9; died in infancy, 15 April 1699;(1.4) John Becher (1700-37) (q.v.);(1.5) Susanna Becher (b. & d. 1701), born 13 March 1700/1; died in infancy, July 1701;(1.6) Rev. Henry Becher (1702-43), born 26 April and baptised at St Michael, Bristol, 27 April 1702; educated at Merton and St John's Colleges, Oxford (matriculated 1718; BA 1724; MA 1728); curate in Oxford and Winchester, 1725-28; served as chaplain to his distant kinsman, Sir Edward Becher (1682-1732) during his term as Lord Mayor of London, 1727-28; burgess of Bristol, 1731; minister of St James, Duke's Place, Westminster, 1728-43; rector of St Stephen, Bristol, 1730-43 and of Temple church, Bristol, 1739-43; chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales*, 1738; married, 22 August 1725 at St James, Duke's Place, Westminster (Middx), Mary Matthews and had issue six sons and four daughters; died 17 December 1743 and was buried at St Stephen, Bristol;(1.7) William Becher (b. & d. 1703), born 26 August 1703; died in infancy, 18 September 1703;(1.8) Michael Becher (1704-58), baptised at St Michael, Bristol, 9 January 1704/5; merchant and burgess in Bristol; sheriff of Bristol, 1739-40; Master of the Bristol Merchant Venturers, 1749-50; died unmarried, 18 December and was buried in the Gaunts Chapel, St Marks, Bristol, 21 December 1758;(2.1) Edward Becher (1711-46), born 18 September 1711; manager of a sugar plantation in Jamaica; married, 1736 in Jamaica, Hannah (1714-88) (who m2, by 1753, William Jenkyns), daughter of Richard Sharpe, and had issue three sons and six daughters; died in Jamaica, October 1746;(2.2) Cranfield Becher (1713-99), born 13 June 1713; merchant in Bristol; married, 5 January 1741 at the Mayor's Chapel, Bristol, Bridget Swymmer (1719-1820), but had no issue; died 10 May and was buried at St Augustine-the-Less, 13 May 1799; will proved in the PCC, 1 June 1799;(2.3) George Becher (1715-54), born 26 June and baptised at St Stephen, Bristol, 11 July 1715; apprenticed to his father and was admitted a burgess of Bristol, 1739; lived latterly at Winterbourne (Glos); married 1st, 10 February 1742/3 at Temple Church, Bristol, Elizabeth Williams (d. by 1751) and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 8 October 1751 at Bedminster (Som.), Ann (1727-62), daughter of Rosewell Gibbs of Bath (Som.), and had issue a further daughter; died in April 1754 and was buried in Gaunts Chapel, St Mark, Bristol;(2.4) Mary Cranfield Becher (1716-c.1747), born 6 December 1716; married, 12 February 1738 in Dublin (apparently against her father's wishes as he cut her out of his will with a legacy of five shillings), Richard Hungerford (who m2, 1747, his cousin Mary Hungerford); living in 1742 but died in or before 1747;(2.5) William Becher (1718-23), born 21 February 1717/8; died young and was buried at Gaunts Chapel, St Mark, Bristol, 8 February 1722/3;(2.6) Ann Becher (1721-48), born 14 May 1721; married, 26 March 1747 at Bath Abbey, Charles Porter of Bristol, attorney; died without issue, 3 April and was buried at Gaunt's Chapel, St Mark, Bristol, 7 April 1748;(2.7) William Becher (b. & d. 1723), born 3 February 1722/3; died in infancy, 7 February, and was buried at St Augustine-the-Less, Bristol, 8 February 1722/3.
(1) Helena Becher (c.1730-c.1760), born about 1730; married, 1752, Edward Mansel Townsend (b. 1727) of Whitehall (Co. Cork) (who m2, 2 October 1762, Anne Baldwin (d. 1778?), and had further issue one son), son of Samuel Townsend (1692-1759), and had issue one daughter; living in 1754 but died before 1762;
(2) Thomas Becher (c.1732-54), born about 1732; inherited the Creagh estate from his father in 1737 and came of age about 1753; died unmarried of a fever at Creagh, 2 August 1754;(3) John Townsend Becher (c.1734-60) (q.v.);(4) Michael Henry Becher (c.1735-78), born about 1735; married, 10 January 1767 at St Nicholas, Cork, Catherine (b. 1741), daughter of Col. Savage French of Marino, Cork, and had issue one son and one daughter; they also raised his elder brother's three orphaned children; died August 1778; will proved 1779;(5) Eliza Turner Becher (c.1737-63), born about 1737; married, 28 October 1758 at Aughadown (Co. Cork), Richard Cox (1735-60), eldest son of Sir Richard Cox of Dunmanway, but had no issue; died June 1763.
(1) Mary Becher (1758-1818), born 1758; married, 27 July 1778 at Creagh, William Wrixon (1756-1847) [for whom see below], and had issue four sons and four daughters; died 17 April 1818;
(2) Henry Townsend Becher (1759-80), born 21 December 1759; educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1776); JP for Co. Cork, 1779-80; inherited Creagh from his father in 1760, but was unmarried and without issue when he was killed on his twenty-first birthday by the explosion of a gun he was loading, which blew off both his arms; died 21 December 1780 and was buried at Aughadown, where he is commemorated by a monument erected by his nephew, Sir William Wrixon-Becher, in 1818, who inherited the Creagh estate on the condition that he took the name Becher; his will was proved in 1787;(3) Anne Townsend Becher (1761-1830), born after the death of her father, 20 January 1761; married, 1 May 1786 at Ballygiblin, Maj. James Lombard (1760-99) of Ballygriffin (Co. Tipperary), and had issue at least four daughters; died 17 July 1830 and was buried at Castlemagner, where she is commemorated by a monument.
Wrixon (later Wrixon-Becher) family of Ballygiblin, Creagh, Assolas, and Castle Hyde, baronets
(1) Ellinor Wrixon (b. c.1672), born about 1672; married 1st, 1691, Richard Lake, and had issue one son; married 2nd, 1699 (licence 9 December), Roger Crofts (d. 1724) of Knockbarry, and had further issue two sons and four daughters;
(2) Robert Wrixon (c.1674- 1750), born about 1674; married, 1701, Mary Raymund (d. 1760), and had issue two sons and two daughters; said to have died 7 February 1749/50; will proved in Dublin, 19 June 1750;(3) John Wrixon (c.1675-1744), of Blossomfort (Co. Cork), born about 1675; married 1st, 1703, Mary, sister of Arthur Bastable of Castlemagner, and had issue four sons; married 2nd, Mary (d. 1745), daughter of Thomas Owgan; will proved 27 March 1744;(4) Henry Wrixon (c.1678-1732), of Glenfield (Co. Cork), born about 1678; JP for Co. Cork from 1723; married, 1710, Mary, sister of John Yeamans, and had issue five sons and five daughters; will proved 31 May 1732;(5) Nicholas Wrixon (c.1680-1740) (q.v.);(6) Alicia Wrixon (c.1682-1760), born about 1682; married, 1706, John Freeman (1678-1741) of Ballinguile (Co. Cork), second son of Richard Freeman of Castle Cor (Co. Cork), and had issue six sons and four daughters; died 13 December 1760.
(1) Charity Wrixon (b. c.1718); married, 1736, Arthur Lysaght (b. c.1710), son of Nicholas Lysaght and younger brother of John Lysaght, 1st Baron Lisle of Mountnorth, and had issue three sons and two daughters;
(2) Henry Wrixon (c.1725-94) (q.v.).
(1) Mary Wrixon (c.1751-1810), born about 1751; married, 30 May 1772, William Hare (1751-1837), 1st Baron Ennismore (and later 1st Viscount and 1st Earl of Listowel) (who m2, 5 March 1812, Anne, daughter of John Latham of Meldrum (Co. Tipperary)), and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 5 August and was buried at Westminster Abbey, 11 August 1810;(2) William Wrixon (1756-1847) (q.v.).
|Col. William Wrixon (1756-1847)|
(1) Henry Wrixon (1779-86) said to have been born in 1779 and to have died young, 1786;
(2) Sir William Wrixon-Becher (1780-1850), 1st bt. (q.v.);(3) John Michael Wrixon (1781-1855), born 31 August 1781; educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1798; BA 1803), Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1800; called 1807) and King's Inns, Dublin (admitted 1802); barrister-at-law; High Sheriff of Co. Cork, 1815; JP for Co. Cork; Mayor of Youghal (Co. Cork), 1838; died unmarried, 27 April 1855 and was buried at Castlemagner; will proved in the PCC, 20 May 1856;(4) Rev. Nicholas Wrixon (1783-1869), born 18 February 1783; educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1801) and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1805; BA 1806; MA 1819); rector of Mallow, 1808-28; vicar of Kilbrin and Liscarroll, 1828-69 and rector of Subulter, 1858-69; prebendary of Cloyne; died 9 April 1869; will proved in Dublin, 4 June 1869 (effects under £12,000);(5) Henrietta Wrixon (1784-1800); educated at Blacklands School, London, where she died, 27 May 1800; buried in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey, 2 June 1800;(6) Marianne Wrixon (c.1788-1872), born about 1788; married, 15 May 1813 at Ballynamona (Co. Cork), Thomas Harris (b. c.1784; d. by 1849) and had issue at least two sons and three daughters; died at Kilkenny, 11 August 1872;(7) Jane Charlotte Wrixon (1790-1864); died unmarried, 4 May, and was buried at Castlemagner, 9 May 1864; administration of her goods was granted 4 July 1864 (effects under £600);(8) Georgina Charlotte Wrixon (c.1793-1867), born about 1793; married, 19 October 1813 at Ballymagooly (Co. Cork), Robert de la Cour (c.1788-1878) of Fairy Hill, Mallow (Co. Cork); died 9 September 1867.
|Sir William Wrixon-Becher, 1st bt.|
(1) A son (b. & d. 1820), born 4 September 1820 but died the following day;
(2) Mary Sarah Wrixon-Becher (1821-99), born in London, 4 November 1821 and baptised at Castlemagner, 10 July 1822; married, 4 November 1852 at St Peter, Eaton Sq., Westminster (Middx), Richard Wallis Goold-Adams (1802-73) of Jamesbrook (Co. Cork), and had issue seven sons; died 31 December 1899; administration of her goods was granted 12 March 1900 (estate £1,163);(3) Elizabeth Wrixon-Becher (1823-1906), born 4 July 1823; married, 19 January 1856 at Kilbrin (Co. Cork), as his second wife, William Norton Barry (1814-71) of Castle Cor (Co. Cork) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 22 May 1906; will proved in London, 25 July 1906 (estate £3,196);(4) Sir Henry Wrixon-Becher (1826-93), 2nd bt. (q.v.);(5) Sir John Wrixon-Becher (1828-1914), 3rd bt. (q.v.);(6) William Nicholas Wrixon-Becher (1831-1912), born 25 August and baptised at Castlemagner, 26 August 1831; an officer in 62nd Foot (Ensign, 1851; Lt., 1852; retired 1853); DL for Co. Cork from 1863; married, 16 August 1888 at Shippool (Co. Cork), Georgiana Henrietta (c.1837-1916), fourth daughter of Capt. William Henry Herrick RN of Shippool, but had no issue; died 12 December 1912; administration of his goods granted to his widow at Dublin, 14 August 1913 (estate £4,519).
(1) Victoria Emily Wrixon-Becher (1858-1930), born at Convamore, 10 November 1858; died unmarried at the home of her sister Georgiana, 6 August 1930; administration of goods granted 24 February 1931 (estate £500);
(2) Sir Eustace William Windham Wrixon-Becher (1859-1934), 4th bt. (q.v.);(3) Mary Wrixon-Becher (1861-1939), born at Hollybrook, 16 April 1861; lived at Killetra, Mallow (Co. Cork); died unmarried, 27 June 1939; will proved 11 October 1939 (estate in England, £2,939) and 21 November 1939 (estate in Ireland, £29);(4) Edgar Wrixon-Becher (1862-1929?), born at Hollybrook, 12 October 1862; seaman; in US Navy, 1881-84 (Ordinary Seaman) and by 1911 a farmworker at Ardee (Co. Louth); retired by 1915, but seems to have had little contact with his family; probably the man of this name who died unmarried in Cardiff, 1929;(5) Cecil Eleanor Wrixon-Becher (1864-1927), born at Hollybrook, 19 January 1864; educated at St John the Baptist School, St. John's Wood, London; trained as a nurse at Queen's Nursing Institute, 1888-92; nursing superintendent at Buxton (Derbys), 1893-94; married, 27 March 1894 at Castlemagner, as his first wife, Dr. Percy Hope Murray MB (1869-1957) of Oakhurst, Hambledon (Hants) (who m2, 27 September 1927, her sister Hilda), son of Robert Mitchell Murray, and had issue two sons (the elder of whom inherited Castle Cor (Co. Cork) from his aunt Adelaide Norton Barry but sold it c.1960); died 18 March 1927; administration of her goods granted 5 July 1927 (estate £1,128);(6) Barbara Elizabeth Wrixon-Becher (1865-1943), born at Creagh, 28 May 1865; lived at Killetra, Mallow (Co. Cork); died unmarried, 8 March 1943; will proved 3 September 1943 (in Ireland) and 28 September 1943 in England (estate in Ireland, £560; estate in England, £9,083);(7) Henry Wrixon-Becher (1866-1951), born 27 July 1866; an officer in the army (Lt., 1886; Capt., 1895; Maj. 1905; retired 1907 but returned to colours as Temp. Lt-Col. by 1914), who served in the Boer War (mentioned in despatches) and First World War (mentioned in despatches, wounded); awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre; lived latterly at Killetra, Mallow (Co. Cork); died unmarried, 9 June 1951; will proved in England 7 November 1951 (estate in England, £16,908) and Ireland, 17 October 1951 (estate in Ireland £1,296);(8) Arthur Nicholas Wrixon-Becher (b. 1868), born 3 August 1868; educated at Cheam School; emigrated to America and became a US citizen; worked as a druggist; crossed the Atlantic on the Lusitania just a fortnight before the ship was torpedoed in 1915; probably died unmarried but death not traced;(9) Adelaide Maud Wrixon-Becher (1870-1959), born 28 May 1870; tennis player (winner of Irish women's singles, 1911, 1913; competed at Wimbledon, 1901; in later life a fearless rider to hounds with the Duhallow Hunt; inherited Castle Cor from her husband and left it to her nephew, Kenneth Hope Murray, who sold it c.1960; married, 1 June 1899 at Castlemagner, as his second wife, William Norton Barry (1859-1935) of Castle Cor (Co. Cork), but had no issue; died 3 July 1959; will proved in Ireland, 3 May 1960 (estate in Ireland, £10,628), and in England, 7 December 1960 (effects in England, £397);(10) Charles Edward Wrixon-Becher (1871-82), born 27 November 1871; died young as the result of a drowning accident, 5 May 1882, and was buried at Castle Hyde;(11) Alice Elizabeth Wrixon-Becher (1873-1941), born 7 June 1873; married, 28 June 1899, Hon. Horace George Lysaght (1873-1918), only son of George William James Lysaght (1840-1919), 6th Baron Lisle, and had issue three sons and three daughters (of whom two died in infancy); died 8 September 1941 and was buried at Newmarket (Co. Cork);(12) Evelyn Susan Wrixon-Becher (1875-1950), born 29 January 1875; lived at Killetra, Mallow (Co. Cork); died unmarried, 17 August 1950;(13) Georgiana Victoria Wrixon-Becher (1876-1966), born 8 October 1876; married, 23 August 1898, Brig-Gen. Edward Wilfred Spedding CMG OBE (1867-1939), son of John James Spedding of Windebrowe, Keswick (Cumbld), and had issue two sons and one daughter; died aged 89 on 5 January 1966; will proved 13 October 1966 (estate £17,326);(14) Hilda Mary Wrixon-Becher (1878-1958), born 5 December 1878; married, 27 September 1927, her deceased sister's husband, Dr. Percy Hope Murray MB (1869-1957) of Oakhurst, Hambledon (Hants); died without issue, 1 December 1958; will proved 12 February 1958 (estate £37,385).
|Sir Eustace Wrixon-Becher, 4th bt.|
(1) Muriel Mary Wrixon-Becher (1909-70), born 21 February 1909; married, 29 July 1932 at Washington (Sussex), James Reginald Dorrington Salusbury-Trelawny (1908-80), solicitor (who m2, 8 May 1971, Vieno Helenä (1934-2009), daughter of Väinö Junno of Finland), son of Lt-Col. James Edward Salusbury-Trelawny, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 25 April 1970; will proved 11 August 1970 (estate £25,440);(2) Aileen Wrixon-Becher (1910-88), born 2 July 1910; served in Women's Land Army in Second World War; died unmarried at Cecilstown (Co. Cork), 1 February 1988; will proved in London, 16 December 1988 (estate £203,257);(3) Sheila Wrixon-Becher (1913-2000), born 5 February 1913; served in Women's Land Army in Second World War, but later lived in USA; died unmarried in Petworth (Sussex), 17 November 2000; will proved 27 June 2001;(4) Rosemary Wrixon-Becher (1914-2007), born 12 August 1914; married, 16 February 1938 (div. 1948), Cyril Jeremy Taylor Watson (1904-74), younger son of Cyril Francis Watson of Greysouthern, Cockermouth (Cumbld), and had issue three daughters; died aged 92 on 7 January 2007; will proved 28 March 2007;(5) Sir William Fane Wrixon-Becher (1915-2000), 5th bt. (q.v.).
|Sir William Wrixon-Becher, 5th bt.|
(1.1) Susannah Elizabeth Wrixon-Becher (b. 1948), born 27 January 1948; married 1st, 3 October 1970, George Michael Alexander Pitt Whitson (d. 1974), elder son of H. Whitson of Edmonston, Biggar (Lanarks), and had issue one son; married 2nd, 7 June 1975, as his second wife, Timothy William Jackson OBE, son of Col. W.H. Jackson CBE DL and had further issue one son and one daughter (who died in infancy); now living;(1.2) Sir John William Michael Wrixon-Becher (b. 1950), 6th bt., of Byford Court (Herefs), born 29 September 1950; educated at Harrow and University of Neuchâtel; financial adviser; underwriter with Lloyds, 1971-87; director of Wise Speke Financial Services, 1986-93; Consultant, HSBC Financial Services Ltd., 1993-2000; director of Old St. Productions Ltd., 2000-03; partner in Ford Reynolds and Associates, 2000-05 and principal of Becher Ford Reynolds, since 2006; director of Future Electric Ltd. since 2009 and Orkney Wind Farms since 2010; succeeded his father as 6th baronet, 6 January 2000; is unmarried and without issue, meaning there is no known heir to the baronetcy.
Location of archives
Coat of arms
Can you help?
- Can anyone demonstrate how the Creagh estate was acquired by the Becher family?
- Can anyone provide:
- a view of Ballygiblin before the additions and alterations by W.V. Morrison or any internal photographs or drawings of Ballygiblin before it was unroofed and became derelict;
- information about the ownership of Castle Hyde between 1983 and 2001;
- Can anyone provide photographs or portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
- If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.