Monthly Archives: August 2022


Belfast Charitable Society 270th Birthday!


At the George, 28th August 1752 The evening of Friday 28th August 1752 was cool in Belfast. After closing up their businesses and homes, a group of nineteen merchants, burgesses [councillors] and the local vicar, made their way to the George Inn at the corner of North Street and John Street (now Royal Avenue). It was there in the George Inn that these gentlemen formed the Belfast Charitable Society, to address poverty and help the poor. The names of the founders were recorded in the first minute book of the new society, which is now held in the Clifton House archives: [...]

Belfast Charitable Society 270th Birthday!2023-04-13T10:43:26+00:00

International Dog Day 2020: The Hyndman family headstone


Earlier this month we celebrated International Cat Day and we thought it was only fair that we also mark International Dog Day! Today, 26 August 2022, marks International Dog Day, and is the perfect opportunity to share a small bit of the history of Clifton Street Cemetery. This beautiful sculpture of a dog (pictured) once graced the top of the Hyndman headstone in Clifton Street Cemetery. Sadly the sculpture and the memorial tablets on the headstone were destroyed during the Troubles. The first person to be buried in the Hyndman grave was a man called Robert. He lived at Portview, Ballymacarrett [...]

International Dog Day 2020: The Hyndman family headstone2022-08-15T09:15:46+00:00

We’re Hiring


New Job Opportunities at Clifton House The team at Clifton House get excited about our rich history and love telling the stories of our past. However today they are just as excited about the future as they announce not one, not two, but THREE new job roles to join their team! The recruitment is now live, and the search is on to find motivated and experienced individuals for the following positions : - Foundation & Grants Manager; - Heritage Development Co-ordinator; - Administration Assistant. The closing date for all applications is 4pm on 7th September 2022. Full details and application packs [...]

We’re Hiring2022-08-24T11:25:07+00:00

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2022


Today marks International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. But what is the significance of the date? Well, on the evening of 22nd into the 23rd August 1791 witnessed the beginning of an uprising in Santo Domingo, which played a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Both before and after the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, individuals in Belfast, including members of the Charitable Society, 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, [...]

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 20222022-08-15T09:24:46+00:00

On This Day 1818: An Unusual Visitor to the Belfast Poor House


On Saturday 22 August 1818 the Belfast Poor House had a rather unusual visitor. Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia dismounted his carriage at the stone steps in front of the building and was given a tour of the institution by members of Belfast Charitable Society. The Grand Duke must have been impressed by what he saw as he was shown through the corridors of the Poor House, as he made a substantial donation of £54 to support its work- the equivalent of over £5,000 today. His name was subsequently added to one of our donation boards which originally hung in [...]

On This Day 1818: An Unusual Visitor to the Belfast Poor House2022-08-15T08:38:10+00:00

#OnThisDay 1944: The first wedding between Belfast Charitable Society Residents


During the Second World War, residents of Clifton House- then known as the Belfast Charitable Institution- were evacuated from Belfast to Garron Tower on the North Coast due to the threat of air raids on the city.  It was during the stay there that the Belfast Charitable Society had the first recorded marriage between two residents in its long history. A bachelor called John Bloomer, aged 83, married Frances Ash, aged 65, at Largy Road Parish Church, a short distance from Garron Tower. The ceremony was attended by residents and staff. The couple were granted permission by the Board to honeymoon [...]

#OnThisDay 1944: The first wedding between Belfast Charitable Society Residents2022-08-15T08:34:41+00:00

Who Do You Think You Are? Tracing the McCabe family


We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Mirta Ramer on a tour of Clifton House and Clifton Street Cemetery. Mirta has been researching her family tree, through the McCabe line and discovered her relations were buried in Clifton Street Cemetery. The McCabe family were originally from Lurgan and Mirta has traced her family back to her 6x great grandparents Patrick McCabe married Mary Maziere. The most famous member of the family is arguably Thomas McCabe (Mirta’s 5x great granduncle). Thomas McCabe was a goldsmith and cotton manufacturer who had a business in North Street. Together with Robert Joy and Captain McCracken [...]

Who Do You Think You Are? Tracing the McCabe family2022-08-11T19:14:42+00:00

Peace Day Celebrations (1919) & the Belfast Charitable Institution


The Belfast Charitable Society’s archive is a unique record of the work of a key Belfast institution. However, you only have to pick out one of the volumes of our Minute Books to discover that they give a glimpse in to the wider history of Belfast city itself. On 11 August 1919 the Orderly of the old people’s home, then known as the Belfast Charitable Institution, reported that the residents thoroughly enjoyed the Peace Day Celebrations held earlier in the week. This parade marked the end of the Great War, and gave those in Belfast the opportunity to cheer on the [...]

Peace Day Celebrations (1919) & the Belfast Charitable Institution2022-08-11T19:04:17+00:00

International Cat Day: Matron Janet MacVicar


Janet MacVicar was appointed Matron at Clifton House in 1947. At the time of her appointment she was nursing in Ayrshire. Our feline loving followers will be happy to read that Janet was an animal lover and was granted permission to bring her cats with her to her new employment. Based on our research we believe these were the first pets ever in Clifton House! As an interesting side note, in the late 1940s Matron MacVicar was interviewed along with some female residents about life in Clifton House. Janet reflected that the older ladies always got dressed up in their best [...]

International Cat Day: Matron Janet MacVicar2022-08-11T19:10:47+00:00
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