1893 text

Sir William Rider’s house was known as Kirby Castle, and was supposed to have been built in 1570 by John Thorpe for John Kirby. It was associated in rhyme with other follies of the time in bricks and mortar, as recorded by Stow

Kirkebyes Castell, and Fisher’s Follie, Spinila’s pleasure, and Megse’s glorie.

The place was known in Strype’s time as the “Blind Beggar’s House,” but he knew nothing of the ballad, “The Beggar’s Daughter of Bednall Green,” for he remarks, “perhaps Kirby beggared himself by it.” Sr. William Rider died at this house in 1669.

2 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

(Spoiler for 26th Jne) Kirby Castle (Bethnal Green)…Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green

Even Kirby’s Castle, a lunatic asylum, was dubbed the Blind Beggar’s House in 1727.

TerryF   Link to this

The Blind Beggar of Bednall Green

A version of the ballad Pepys says referred to the man who built the house (Diary, 26 June, 1663).

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  • 1663