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The Conference House
Billopp, after years of distinguished service in the Royal Navy, came to America
in 1674, leading a small landlubbing infantry company. The following year, he
settled on the best part of Staten Island where he was granted a patent for 932
acres of land. Capt. Billopp would ultimately be granted 1600 acres of land.
It'd difficult to ascertain exactly when his manor was built, but one surviving map shows that, before 1680, a building existed on the site of the Conference House.
The stormy captain constructed the great stone manor house overlooking the water. The house consists of four rooms with an attic and a basement. The Manor of Bentley as he called it.
One hundred years later, and during the Revolutionary War, Billopp's great-grandson, also named Christopher, was still living at the house and loyal to the crown. It was at this time that an important meeting was held at the residence. On Sept. 11, 1776, Lord Richard Howe and three representives of the Continental Congress, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge met to discuss the possibility of reconciliation between America and Great Britain. The peace conference failed, and when the British lost the war, the Billopp descendants moved to Canada.
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