Beech Hurst was built in 1798 by Samuel Rolles with the small fortune Rolles had inherited from his uncle, Samuel White. White made his fortune as one of the seven family firms that are said to have controlled the Poole-Newfoundland trade.
In life Samuel White was famously mean. He used to cut a piece from the side of bacon in his kitchen and lock it away. If it fitted back in place when he came home, he knew no one had been stealing!
From the mid 1500s Poole's merchants carried salted Newfoundland cod through storms, fog, and pirates to the Mediterranean and West Indies. They brought back exotic cargoes of wine, figs, almonds, raisins, currants and olive oil.