Monthly Archives: December 2021


Christmas through the Centuries


Every year Christmas seems to be getting bigger and bigger with decorations in the shops from September and the introduction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from North America. However, a Georgian Christmas was an equally, if not more elaborate affair, for those who had money, based around saints and feast days. The Georgian Christmas period began on St Nicholas’s Day (6th December) and continued on until Twelfth Night (6th January).  However, in the early years of the Poor House Hallowe’en, and not Christmas, was the main festival. It was not until the Victorian period that the Christmas holiday became [...]

Christmas through the Centuries2021-12-23T13:39:03+00:00

A Festive Tradition: The Benn Christmas Dinner 2021


Today (15th December 2021) Clifton House hosted the Benn Dinner, a Christmas Tradition which started 139 years ago and has continued through two world wars, a Spanish Flu Epidemic and throughout the Troubles. And this year it prevailed again, despite Covid-19. In 1882 George Benn, the generous philanthropist, historian and benefactor of Belfast Charitable Society died, leaving the sum of £1,000 to the Charitable Society to set up the Benn Charity. This sum of money was to be used principally to provide a dinner or other entertainment for the residents of the Old Peoples Home at Christmas. George was also very [...]

A Festive Tradition: The Benn Christmas Dinner 20212021-12-23T13:29:28+00:00

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: Belfast Charitable Society & Slavery


Olaudah Equiano The Belfast Charitable Society And The Slave Trade Today marks International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The notion of slavery tends to bring us back to African slaves brought to America, however slavery continues as 21st Century problem. The Belfast Charitable Society of the 18th Century found themselves caught in the controversy surrounding this abhorrent trade. Much of the conflict regarding the differing views of slavery happened outside of the Poor House, however, when the freed slave Olaudah Equiano visited Belfast in the early 1790s, he was invited to speak at the Poor House and several [...]

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: Belfast Charitable Society & Slavery2021-12-23T12:54:45+00:00
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