Mary Ann McCracken: Faithful Until Death

2020-07-26T08:41:39+00:00

On this day in 1866 the people of Belfast learnt of the death of Mary Ann McCracken. She had lived through some of the most turbulent years of Irish history including the 1798 rebellion, the Great Famine and the Industrial Revolution. Passing away aged 96, Mary Ann lived into a period where photography was becoming popular. We have one photograph of her but this image of an older lady masks the strong willed and determined character that she possessed throughout her life. Mary Ann never married, or had any children of her own. However, after the execution of her brother Henry [...]

Mary Ann McCracken: Faithful Until Death2020-07-26T08:41:39+00:00

On This Day 1869: Belfast Charitable Society to erect street signs on their land

2020-07-24T16:28:38+00:00

Ever wondered about the origin of some of the old tiled Belfast street signs? Well, at a meeting of the Belfast Corporation in July 1869, known today as Belfast City Council, it was resolved that the Belfast Charitable Society should affix signs to the streets on their land including Clifton Street, Regent Street & Duncairn Street. Over time as our lands continued to develop, we added Glenravel Street into the mix; named after the home of the Benn Brothers in the Glens of Antrim. George and Edward Benn were responsible for adding two additional wings onto the Poor House and built two hospitals on [...]

On This Day 1869: Belfast Charitable Society to erect street signs on their land2020-07-24T16:28:38+00:00

The execution of Henry Joy McCracken through the eyes of his sister, Mary Ann

2020-07-17T12:26:49+00:00

On this day 1798 Henry Joy McCracken was executed for his role as commander of the County Antrim forces of the United Irishmen. After the United Irish defeat in Antrim in June of 1798, Henry Joy fled to the Belfast Hills, whilst Mary Ann arranged his escape to America. However, he was seized on the way to the ship and tried by court martial. During his trial Harry, as he was affectionately known by his family, was given the option to save his life and go into exile if he informed on the other leaders. He refused and was subsequently hanged [...]

The execution of Henry Joy McCracken through the eyes of his sister, Mary Ann2020-07-17T12:26:49+00:00

Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) at 250: Activist, Abolitionist & Reformer

2020-07-08T09:07:24+00:00

Today (8th July 2020) marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Ann McCracken, the noted activist, abolitionist and social reformer. Mary Ann was born to Captain John and Anne McCracken (née Joy). Her maternal grandfather was Francis Joy, founder of the Belfast Newsletter. Like her siblings Mary Ann was educated at David Manson's co-educational school, where children regardless of gender studied the same curriculum. When she was little more than a child herself, she was making clothes for the children of the Poor House, today known as Clifton House. Mary Ann excelled at arithmetic in school, and when she [...]

Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) at 250: Activist, Abolitionist & Reformer2020-07-08T09:07:24+00:00
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