Private Bankers/Moneylenders. Denis McCarthy (1816-1896), Donnacha Talún, Bantry, probably Letterlickey, Durrus. Phil Woulfe (1829-1881). William ‘Billy the Banker’ Perrott, (1809-1881), Courtmacsherry.

In Ireland the term moneylender is loaded. In looking at Denis McCarthy and Phil Woulfe of Bantry it is worth remembering that even relatively prosperous people were outside the mainstream banking system. Both lent to Landlords by way of equitable mortgage i.e. deposit of title deeds. There was no need for formal registration and in the event of default they went into possession. This probably explains how Woulfe ends up as a Landlord on the former estate of Richard O’Donovan of Fort Lodge Durrus.

 William ‘Billy the Banker’ Perrott, (1809-1881), Courtmacsherry.

He was more low key; the family background might be likened to Henry Ford’s people, small to middling Protestant farmers. There is a fascinating account of him collected by local children in the School Folklore Project in the 1930s. He would have been small scale in comparison to the other both of whom let very significant assets in their probate.

In the early 17th century equitable mortgage were frequently resorted in West Cork to by Richard Boyle, Great Earl of Cork and Sir Walter Coppinger.

It is thought that the O’Mahonys lost a great part of Mizen to Boyle in this way.

Boyle’s chicanery is often mentioned as a cause of the Great Rebellion of 1641.

Similarly the McCarthys tracts of lands at Caheragh and Durrus went to Coppinger on default. Maybe when the Land Commission records are finally made available it will explain as Land Registration in Ireland only commenced in 1708:

In the 18th century the Splaine family were major financiers in West Cork. Bandon attorney:

1786-1802 Philip Splaine Attorney Deed of 1798 also has Peter Splaine as witness. HIs apprentice 1793 Mayburry Duckett 1786 William Westropp Apprenticed to Philip Splaine 1802 James Vaughan writing clerk, probably of extended family.