brotzu school

spazio riservato al libero scambio di idee, pensieri e parole

Benjamin Piercy


Benjamin Piercy was instrumental in planning Sardinian railway and also a clever agrarian businessman and entrepreneur who started up a farm, "Tenuta di Padrumannu" and "di Baddesalighes", one of the most prosperous and modern farms in Sardinia, exactly in Bolotana, Macomer, Bortigali, Lei and Silanus lands. He was born on 16th March 1827 in Trefeglwys, in Montgomery county, Wales. His father, Robert Piercy, was an employer and top-executive assigned to road building and expropriation. He was a building surveyor and he also cooperated with Brunel in planning the gallery built under the Thames, in London. Benjamin graduated in civil engineering when he was twenty and later he was into wales railway. In 1855 he got married with Sarah Davies, they travelled widely to France, London, Italy and Sardinia. They had nine children, three boys and six girls: Robert Charles, Arabella, Florence, Lily, Eva, Henry Egerton, Ethel, Benjamin Herbert and Helena. Florence and Benjamin Herbert published their diaries, making us know about Piercy and his travels. In 1862, B.Piercy started to cooperate with Semenza group, an Italian and English company that carried the Sardinian railway out. Semenza group, after having been granted a charter, didn’t make use of it, and gave it to "Compagnia reale delle ferrovie sarde" (royal company of sardinian railways), that was set up on 2nd of June, in London, and approved by "regio decreto" (royal decree) on 11th October in 1863. It had to run and manage the railway. The Board of Directors had to administrate it in London. The directors were Charles Bell and Ippolito Leonino, London merchants, Thomas Barnes, John Pender and Henry Roversdale Grenfell, members of the English Parliament. The Italian members of the Board Directors were marquesses Gustavo di Cavour and Boyl di Villaflor, Sabino Leonino, a merchant from Genoa, and Giuseppe Sanna, member of Parliament from Amela. Construction work started on 20th November in 1864, in Cagliari, Sassari, Portotorres and in Oristano, but soon after they were in dire straits, and in February 1865 Piercy himself visited the building site, as a technician, not as a shareholder. In 1866 he worked in France and in India. Angelo Dettori published a "logudorese" short story in which he wrote that B.Piercy would have kidnapped and married Kilivan, the beautiful daughter of a "marahia". They moved to Sardinia and after the year 1870, she would have helped her husband, looking after the ill workers suffering from tubercolosis. To be continued Summary and Translation by Federica Pantaleo, memeber of "Storie di ieri" team.

Since last year, we, students from classes 4°A, 2°B, 4°B and 4°C attending "liceo scientifico Brotzu" (Quartu S.Elena, Cagliari, Sardinia) have been working on a school project ("Storie di Ieri") dealing with sardinian old stories.
We have been producing one reelers with the help of Massimo Demontis, a video-expert (he is a journalist and a capable expert at producing short films), our teachers of English, Maria Paola Pinna and Patrizia Trudu and Mr. Vincenzo Pisano, a teacher of French in our school.
We have also read an essay about Benjamin Piercy (1827-1888), written by our headmaster, Mr. Luciano Carta (1).


(1) Luciano Carta was born in Bolotana, a small town near Nuoro, in Sardinia, in 1947.
He took a degree in Philosophy and taught Philosophy and History at senior high school specializing in classical studies. Since 2006 he has been headmaster in a senior high school specializing in Science Education, in Quartu S. Elena, a town near Cagliari, in Sardinia.
He was elected mayor and member of a province council in Nuoro.
He was also on the electoral roll (left wing party).
He’s the editorial assistant of "Quaderni Bolotanesi" and he collaborates in writing and producing them assiduously and earnestly.
His works are often concerned with local History and particularly with the History of the Catholic Governement.