Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1739-1821)


Life
son of Daniel Cornelis de Beaufort (1700-1788), provost-archdeacon of Tuam, and a French refugee; ed. TCD, MA, 1764; hon. LLD 1789; vicar of Navan, Co. Louth, 1764; rector of Collon, 1790; built or refurbished seventeen houses and churches in Ireland including one in his own parish at Collon;
 
issued his famous map, Memoir of a map of Ireland ... with a complete index to the map (1792), marking all the Protestant and none of the Catholic churches; strongly promoted by the viceroy Marquess of Buckingham, it sold 2,000 copies in eighteen months; joint-fndr. of RIA;
 
he was concerned in the Sunday School movement; his dg. Fanny became fourth wife of Richard Lovell Edgeworth; father of Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, the navy hydrographer; he became father-in-law to Richard Lovell Edgeworth.

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Criticism
C. C. Ellison, The Hopeful Traveller: The Life and Times of Daniel Beaufort LL.D (Kilkenny: Boethius Press, 1987) [see Irish Review Autumn 1988].

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Commentary
R. E. Ward & C. Ward, eds., Letters of Charles O’Conor (1988), in which Beaufort is dismissively called a ‘schoolmaster in Athy’: ‘Little moved by anything I have written against these gentlemen, the latter published his ‘Topography of Ireland’ in the eleventh number [of Collectanea], the most flagrant imposition that I believe ever appeared in our own or in any age. This impelled me to resume the subject of our antiquities and add the topography of Ireland as divided into districts and tribes in the second century [...]; Beaufort, a stranger to your language, distorted such [materials] as he had to a degree which has no parallel except perhaps in the dreams of a sick man in a frenzy’ (Letter to Thomas O’Gorman; 31 May 1783; p.424.)

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John O’Donovan, letter of (15 August, 1936; Navan): ‘Let me have Beauford’s words (11th number of Vallancey’s Collectanea) describing the situation of 1. Ros na Righ, 2. Brugh na Boinne, Cleitach and Gabhra. I have discovered them and I shall lash him with a whip of scorpions, with a pen dipped in poison and gall. I shall have no mercy on a bare-faced liar, a presumptuous historical charlatan, a flagrant imposter. I have met his work here with honest innocent men who shallow every word he has written for historical truth.’ (See M. Flanagan, ed., Letters containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the Country of Roscommon [ … &c.], 2 vols., Bray 1927; cited in Cathy Swift, ‘John O’Donovan and the Framing of early Medieval Ireland in the Nineteenth Century’, in Bullán, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1994, p.97.)

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References
Ulster libraries: University of Ulster Library (Morris Collecton) holds Memoir of a Map of Ireland (London 1792). Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds Daniel Augustus Beaufort, Memoir of [a] Map of Ireland (Dublin 1792).

Cathach Books (1996-97) lists Memoir of a Map of Ireland: illustrating the Topography of that Kingdom, and containing a short Account of its Present State, Civil and Ecclesiastical; with a Complete Index to the Map, with orig. folding map on linen (Dublin: Allen 1792) [975]; Beaufort’s Ireland [3rd ed.] (Dublin 1813), and Memoir of A Map of Ireland: The Topography of that Kingdom [1st ed.] (Dublin 1792).

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