My great great aunt Rose’s photograph album has a picture of Hugh Beggs (1815 – 1885), her husband’s uncle.

Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs was born 15 June 1815 in County Dublin, Ireland, fifth son of a Linen Hall linen-factor (dealer, chapman) named Francis Beggs (1766 – 1839), of The Grange, Portmarnock, Dublin, and his second wife Clamina Lyons née Montgomery (1786 – 1821).

Hugh’s brothers Francis, George, and his sister Sophia, emigrated to Victoria, Australia, on the Statesman, arriving in March 1850.

Hugh followed his brothers and sister three years later on the Africa, arriving in Melbourne on 16 April 1853.

In that year, Hugh Beggs, in partnership with a man called Precious Willan (1812 – 1900), purchased the Bushy Creek property of John Kidd, near Glenthompson in Western Victoria.

In 1860 Beggs bought out his partner and expanded the property from 8,000 to 14,700 acres. Bushy Creek remained in the Beggs family for 125 years

On 27 April 1853, shortly after his arrival, Hugh, then thirty-eight years old, married Elizabeth Smith (c. 1830 – 1864), twenty three, in St James’s Church, Melbourne.

At St. James's Church, Melbourne, on the 27th inst., by the Rev. George Studdart, Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs, Esq., of Malahide, County Dublin, to Elizabeth Smith, second daughter of Richard Horner Smith, Esq., late of Tullaghcop, County Meath, Ireland.

They had five children:

  • Catherine Beggs (1854 – 1939)
  • Rose Ann (Beggs) Wood (1856-1932)
  • Francis Beggs (1858 – 1919)
  • Jane Frances (Beggs) Dodds (1860 – 1934)
  • Martha Florence Beggs (1864 – 1867)

Elizabeth died at the age of thirty-four on 1 August 1864 at Bushy Creek, two months after the birth of her daughter Martha.

The following year on 23 Mar 1865 at Bushy Creek Hugh married again, at Bushy Creek, to Lavinia Mary Eugenia Heney (c. 1839 – 1925). She was twenty-five; he was forty-nine.

BEGGS—HENEY.—On the 23rd March, at his residence, Bushy Creek station, Wickliffe, by the Rev. David Kaye, Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs, Esq., to Lavinia Mary Eugenia, fourth daughter of the late William Godwin Heney, Esq., of Dublin.

They had six children:

  • Sophia Beggs (1866 – 1866)
  • Lavinia Beggs (1868 – 1869)
  • Sophia Montgomery Grattan (Beggs) Champion de Crespigny (1870 – 1936)
  • Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs (~1872 – 1949)
  • Matilda Cairns Beggs (1876 – 1969)
  • William Goodwin Beggs (1878 – 1957)

Hugh Beggs died on 13 November 1885 at the age of seventy at Bushy Creek and was buried in the cemetery there.

BEGGS.—On the 13th inst., at his residence, Bushy Creek, Glenthompson, Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs, aged 70, fifth son of the late Francis Beggs, The Grange, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Hugh Begg’s daughter Sophia was the second wife of my great great grandfather Philip de Crespigny (the bank manager).

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See also: Bushy Creek, Victoria. (1901). The Pastoralists’ review : a journal and record of all matters affecting the pastoral and agricultural interests throughout Australasia Retrieved January 6, 2023, from