Alfred Chester Beatty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875 – 19 January 1968)[1] was an Irish-American mining magnate and millionaire, often called the "King of Copper". U.S.-born, he was naturalised British in 1933, and made an honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957. A collector of Oriental art and books, he bequeathed the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri to the British Museum[2] and the Chester Beatty Library to Dublin, Ireland.

In 1875, Alfred Chester Beatty was born in New York City; he graduated from Columbia University as a mining engineer. He made his fortune mining in Cripple Creek, Colorado, and other mining concerns the world over. He was often called the "King of Copper".

A collector from an early age, he had, by the 1940s, built up a remarkable and impressive collection of Oriental art and books. He also owned 19 ancient Egyptian papyri that he gave to the British Museum, including the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri and the Chester Beatty Medical Papyrus.[2] He moved his collections to Dublin, Ireland, in 1950. The Chester Beatty Library, which houses the collection, was moved to Dublin Castle from Shrewsbury road in 2000.[3]

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, Beatty later lived mostly in Dublin and was made honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957, and on his death in 1968, he was accorded a state funeral by the Irish government – one of the few private citizens in Irish history to receive such an honour. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.


  1. ^ Seanad 1985: "Chester Beatty died at the Princess Grace Clinic, Monte Carlo, on 19 January 1968, [...]" (some sources give this as 20 January).
  2. ^ a b Marry 2004.
  3. ^ Exhibition of rare treasures going on display at Chester Beatty Library, Thursday 10 July 2014.


External links[edit]

  • – Chester Beatty Library website