Monthly Archives: August 2018


Funding the Poor House: Celebrities, animals & sermons


When the Belfast Charitable Society opened the new Poor House in 1774 it had room to accommodate seventy people. On the same footprint 40 years later there were four hundred and fifty residents due to demand. As you can imagine this put huge strain on the finances of the charity which relied exclusively on public subscriptions and donations. The Belfast Charitable Society used innovative methods to help raise additional funds for the running of the Poor House. Arguably, celebrity culture is not a modern invention, and the Charitable Society invited celebrities and artists to help raise money, and some well known individuals [...]

Funding the Poor House: Celebrities, animals & sermons2018-08-22T08:47:25+00:00

The Laying of the Poor House Foundation Stone


Today marks the 247th anniversary of the laying of the Poor House foundation stone in 1771, nineteen years after the Belfast Charitable Society was founded in 1752.  On 1st August 1771 Stewart Banks, Sovereign (Mayor) of Belfast, laid the foundation stone of the new Poor House. He lived next door to the Donegal Arms Hotel in Castle Place, a place where the Belfast Charitable Society regularly met prior to the opening of the Poor House. The Belfast Newsletter reported the momentous occasion in the following days paper: “Yesterday; a large Body of the principal Inhabitants of this Town assembled at the [...]

The Laying of the Poor House Foundation Stone2018-08-01T08:47:43+00:00
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