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.
This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.
The Blind Beggar of Bednall Green -- ballads and images
Called Kirby Castle, the property of Sir William Ryder, Knight, who died there in 1669.—Lysons's Environs. The house in which Sir William Ryder resided, was built by John Thorpe, in 1570, for "John Kirby," of whom nothing is known, except that it was called after him. Pepys was evidently misinformed in supposing that it ever could have been inhabited by the blind beggar.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.