As time passed the number of cases of cholera in the town of Belfast decreased, and the Poor House committee took steps to ease the tight restrictions that had been put in place a few months earlier.

The Belfast Charitable Society initially allowed the residents of the Poor House out on Sundays in May 1832 so they could attend their respective places of worship. By the end of May the women of the Poor House who produced yarn were permitted to leave on Saturdays to sell their wares in town. However, this early relaxation did not last long and by 16th June 1832 our minute book records that the Poor House must shut again ‘on account of the prevalence of Cholera in the Town’.

The Convalescent House was once again brought into us to protect the residents of the Poor House. One young boy, Andrew McIljohn, was admitted to the Convalescent House “until the Physician may think it safe” to re-join the residents in the main house. This second period of restrictions was not as tough though as a ‘leave of absence’ was permitted for anyone who wished to visit family or try and seek employment. In July 1832, Sarah Todd asked to be allowed out for six weeks to visit family in the country which was granted. However, she was not allowed to return until the prevalence of cholera reduced in the town. August 1832 saw the Poor House purchasing snuff and tobacco for residents as they could not procure it for themselves.

By October 1832, in preparation for the admission of new adults to the Poor House, the building was cleaned with chloride and whitewashed. Once again restrictions were lifted incrementally, with Sunday worship in the town being permitted from December 1832, and the yarn sellers were allowed to return to selling the ‘produce of their industry’ in January 1833. It was not until May 1833 that the Poor House itself lifted all restrictions on residents.

The Cholera Pandemic of 1832 Series

Part 1: Preparations begin

Part 2: Belfast’s first case

Part 3: Convalescence & Diet