Mary Ann McCracken Collection

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Register of Plots


Mary Ann McCracken’s grave remained unmarked until 1909 when bones believed to be those of her brother, the executed United Irishman, Henry Joy McCracken, were placed in the McCracken plot at Clifton Street Cemetery. The headstone was erected by Francis Joseph Bigger, a noted antiquarian and solicitor. A transcription of the inscription was inserted into the Register of Plots held by Belfast Charitable Society.

Surrender of Lease


Following the death of her brother Francis McCracken, with who she lived with in Donegall Street, there was still six years left on the lease which she could not afford to buy herself out of. Led by Rev Macartney, who had served on the Poor House Committee, her friends came together and loaned her the £200 required. This document is the official surrender of the lease to the landlord.

Ladies Committee Book


Inspired by the social reforming Quaker, Elizabeth Fry, who visited Belfast in the 1820s, Mary Ann and a number of women formed the Belfast Charitable Society’s Ladies Committee in 1827. The minute books reflect the women’s views and activities in relation to education, welfare, cleanliness and improvements for all aspects of the lives of the women and children resident in the Poor House.

Clifton House


Correspondence, architectural plans and papers relating to the building, refurbishment, health & safety, and contents of Clifton House. Architectural plans comprise the bulk of this category including additions to the Poor House in the 1820s and the development of Belfast Charitable Society land including the Benn Hospitals and sites on Glenravel Street. It also features a map of the Charity’s land by Charles Lanyon.

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