Monthly Archives: February 2016


Mary Ann McCracken & The Poor House


International Women's Day 2016 We are holding a presentation next Tuesday 8th March at 11.00am with tea, coffee and scones looking at Mary Ann McCracken and her significant role in caring for the children of the Poor House. The presentation will be delivered by Louise Canavan, the Society’s Archivist and will last for around one hour allowing you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the presentation. Places are free but limited so please advise us if you or your group are able to attend and any access requirements you may have. RSVP by 5pm Thursday 3 March 2016 to

Mary Ann McCracken & The Poor House2020-06-16T14:58:51+00:00

International Women’s Day 2016


We are currently organising an event to coincide with International Women's Day on 8th March 2016.  Women were very important to the running of Belfast Poor House, whether it was Mrs Corruthers, who was a Superintendent or Mary Anne McCracken who was a member of the Ladies Committee.  The women who came to the House as residents or to work at the House were vital and made exceptional contributions to the welfare of  all the residents especially the children.  Our event will take a look at some of the women who played their role in the running of Belfast Poor House.

International Women’s Day 20162020-06-16T14:59:04+00:00

Tales From The Archive


I found this letter this morning tucked into one of our Children’s Admission Books.  William John Delaney was admitted to the Poor House on 12th December 1876.  His case was considered on 9th December 1876 despite a motion being raised to suspend all child admissions due to lack of funds.  The motion was defeated and twelve children were admitted which included William’s sister Sarah Jane Delaney. Sarah Jane was aged 12 ⅔ according to the Admission book.  No reason is given in either the Minutes or the Admission Book as to why it was necessary for Sarah Jane and William to [...]

Tales From The Archive2020-06-16T14:59:14+00:00

Medical Care In Belfast


Dr A.G. Malcolm published a book in 1851 called “History of the General Hospital.”  It is amazing to see how the medical care in Belfast grew from such humble roots and with the determination and tenacity of a relatively small number of men and women.  The infirmary at the Poor House was the only medical relief in Belfast until The Dispensary opened in 1792.  The signatories of the Dispensary Notice included Valentine Jones, Waddell Cunningham and Robert Holmes, all of whom were members of the Belfast Charitable Society. The Dispensary had closed around 1795/6.  A meeting was held in 1798 to [...]

Medical Care In Belfast2016-02-11T15:33:07+00:00

World Cancer Day


On #worldcancerday we celebrate the Belfast Charitable Society’s significant donation and support for Northern Ireland Hospice. BCS made a £250,000 donation to NI Hospice’s new Education and Research Centre which is set to open this Spring. The donation will be invested into specific education and projects focussing on dementia and a Holistic Dementia Palliative Care programme over the next three years.

World Cancer Day2016-02-04T15:29:51+00:00

The New Burying Ground & Belfast Charitable Society Archive


On Friday 3rd March 1779 The New Burying Ground was formally announced to the public.  “The Public are now informed that the Burying Ground near the Poor House is now ready, and that Messers. Robert Stevenson, William Clark, and John Caldwell are appointed to agree with such persons who wish to take lots.”[1] It was primarily set up as a means to raise funds for the Charitable Society by providing a steady income.  Initially all plots had to be purchased but by April 1799 the committee agreed to set some of the ground aside “for interring such poor persons as may [...]

The New Burying Ground & Belfast Charitable Society Archive2016-02-03T12:56:03+00:00

The Role of the Orderly


The Orderly was a member of the Belfast Charitable Society and the committee which ran Belfast Poor House.  They were appointed each week as an unpaid Superintendent to check and report back on every element of the house.  They attended the infirmary, the house, the school and kitchen and made the decisions on the everyday running of the Poor House.  They would give permission for people to leave the house and would also be the person who would adjudicate on whether a person was allowed additional allowances for work they had completed.  The Orderly took great pride in his work, and [...]

The Role of the Orderly2016-02-02T14:04:59+00:00
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