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We are delighted to announce that our President’s Talk series returns each Thursday evening in November 2022. This year the talks will features an array of speakers from historical and legal fields who will explore the shared history and contested narratives tied to the Society and the developing Belfast of that time.

The first talk of the series will be delivered by Raymond Gillespie on “The origins of the Belfast Charitable Society and the problem of poverty in Georgian Belfast.”

The Belfast Charitable Society was formed in 1752, but why did it take until this time to address the problem of poverty in Belfast? The answer to this question sheds light not only the history of the Charitable Society but also on Belfast in the middle of the eighteenth century.  The answers lie in understanding the attitudes to poverty in the growing town and secondly the social strategies that could be deployed to relive the condition of the poor. It is an interwoven story of landlord ambition, emerging middle class desire for recognition and clerical conservatism that lays out the world of late eighteenth century Belfast and its less desirable residents.

Raymond Gillespie was Professor of History in the Department of History, Maynooth University. He has written extensively on the social, religious, cultural and economic history of seventeenth-century Ireland.

A native of Belfast, he has made a number of contributions to the early history of the city, most notably Early Belfast: The Origins and Growth of an Ulster Town to 1750 (Belfast, 2007).

Update: If you have registered to attend this evenings event, you will have received the zoom link by email this morning. Please contact Jason at archive@cliftonbelfast.org.uk if you have not received the confirmation email. 

Thank you and we look forward to welcoming you, virtually, to Clifton House.


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