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1880 Belfast / Ulster Street Directory

1805 - 1806 - 1807 - 1808 - 1819 - 1843 - 1852 - 1861 - 1868 - 1877 - 1880 - 1901 - 1907 - 1908 - 1910 - 1918 - 1943   street directories
1913 Tel. directory     1824 Pigots (Belfast)  &  (Bangor)    1894 Waterford Directory     1898 Newry Directory

 

Advertisements at Front of Book

Indexes etc part 1
Indexes etc part 2

Historical Description Part 1
on this page
Historical Sketch
Site, Extent Valuation
Municipal Government
Water Supply
Religious Denominations
Port and Harbour
Trade and Manufacturers
Shipping Trade
Shipbuilding
Public Buildings
Public Institutions

Historical Description Part 2

Streets - Alphabetically

( A ) ( B ) ( C ) ( D ) ( E ) ( F ) ( G ) ( H ) ( I ) ( J) ( K ) ( L ) ( M ) ( N ) ( O ) ( P ) ( Q ) ( R ) ( S ) ( T ) ( U ) ( V ) ( W ) ( Y ) ( Z )

email enquiries to  meems@marylennon.co.uk

Historical Description and Statistics

of

BELFAST BOROUGH

Belfast, a maritime town and Parliamentary borough, the capital of Ulster, the chief manufacturing and commercial town of Ireland, and since 1850, the county town of Antrim, chiefly in Antrim County, 101 miles North of Dublin, lat. 54 deg. 36 min. 8.5 sec. N., long. 5 deg. 55 min. 53.7 sec. W., comprises an area in the present boundary of 6,805 acres, including 4,322 acres O roods and 32 perches in the Co. Antrim, and 1,668 acres 3 roods and 22 perches in the County Down or suburb of Ballymacarrett. There is an additional area of 813 acres 3 roods and 34 perches of tideway inclusive in the borough boundary in the latter district. It is now proposed, however, to extend the entire borough, so as to embrace a further area of 3,766 acres. In 1851 the population was 100,301; in 1861, 120,777, inhabiting 18,375 houses; and in 1871 the population had increased to 174,412, occupying 27,691 inhabited houses; at the beginning of 1876 the number of inhabited houses was 32,670, and the estimated population about 206,000. At the beginning of 1880 the population was estimated at about 230,000.
No town in Ireland (if indeed any in the United Kingdom) has so rapidly developed itself, from insignificance to vast importance, as has Belfast. In the year 1757 it contained only 1,779 habitations, mostly straw thatched, and a population of 8,549 inhabitants, and the increase in the population may be traced through the various years up to the present as follows:-
Year
Persons
1782
13105
1791
18320
1816
30720
1821
37117
1831
48224
1834
60813
1841
75308
1851
100301
1861
120777
1871
174412
1876
206000
1880
230000
In the year 1841, the total number of habitations in Belfast was 11,885; in 1851 there were 15,000; in 1861 there were 18,375; in 1871 there were 27,691; 1876 the number was 32,670; and in 1879 nearly 37,000.
The town of Belfast is situated at the mouth of the Lagan, a river which has its source in Sliebh Croob Mountain, in the centre of County Down. This river separates the Counties of Antrim and Down, and is navigable, except at low tide for barges and lighters of large capacity from Donegall Quay to the first locks at Annadale. It is under the conservancy of the Lagan Navigation Company, between Belfast and Lough Neagh. The River Lagan, within the borough, is spanned by four bridges, the first of which - Queen's Bridge - is situated at the foot of Ann Street, in close proximity to the site of the ancient "Long Bridge" - a long, narrow bridge of twenty-one arches. The new bridge was erected in 1844, at a cost of 27,000, It consists of five arched spans, each of which if fifty-eight feet wide, and about 9 1/2 feet above high water. It is built of granite, and forms the leading connection between Belfast and Ballymacarrett, the latter place being the seat of several important manufactories, also of the termini of the County Down and Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railways. The traffic over this bridge is very considerable. The second bridge is that constructed by the Belfast Central Railway Company. It spans the river convenient to St. John's Church. The superstructure of this bridge, which is on the line connecting the Great Northern Railway with that of the County Down Company, is composed of wrought iron, constructed on the lattice girder principle, the substructure being of large cast-iron screw piles, placed at such distances apart as to allow ample space for the river navigation. The third bridge, which is of stone, is called the Albert Bridge. It forms the approach to the Lagan Village, a place inhabited to a large extent by employees in the Lagan Foundry. It also leads to the Ballynafeigh and Castlereagh roads, and Sydenham and Mount Pottinger, the latter of which places is being rapidly developed into a pleasant and populous suburb of Belfast. The fourth bridge, which is called "Ormeau Bridge" (or by some the "Ballynafeigh" or "Marquis's Bridge"), convenient to the main entrance of the Ormeau Park - a beautiful pleasure ground a few years since placed at the disposal of the public by the Belfast Town Council. Besides these bridges, there are three ferries, all of which are under the control of the Harbour Commissioners. The first of these -  a steam ferryboat, capable of accommodating sixty passengers - is placed on the station opposite the Custom House and Post Office, and plies to the County Down side of the river, opposite the County Down and Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway termini. So greatly, however, has the traffic here increased, owing to the facilities of transit, that a new and larger steam ferry, capable of accommodating 82 passengers, has been placed on the station. A hand ferry, plies between the station at Prince's Dock entrance and the Queen's Island, and is largely availed of by the shipyard artisans and labourers, and as well, by visitors to the Queen's Island pleasure grounds. Another hand ferry is situated on the Prince's Quay, between which place and the Abercorn Basin (upper corner of Queen's Quay) it plies.
Belfast Lough, the natural advantages of which have contributed largely to the claim of the town to be considered a seaport of importance, is about twelve miles in length; its breadth, which at the entrance is upwards of five miles, decreases gradually towards its extremity. The shores on both sides are extremely picturesque. Vessels are protected from gales blowing from almost every direction by the shelter of its hills; and, the water being deep enough to float vessels of the largest tonnage, and the anchorage excellent, it is largely used as a harbour of refuge. The course up to the town is marked by three lighthouses, a stone beacon, and several floating marks. The channel is somewhat devious, and was formerly much more so, until the making of a new cut, by means of which the navigation was directed in a straight course between the Twin Islands.

Historical Sketch

Belfast cannot claim to be looked upon as possessing in itself much historical interest. Unlike many of the smaller towns in the North of Ireland, its name is associated with no past event of great political significance. It is essentially a modern town, and its history is simply one of industrial progress, extending back no further than to the present century. During this short space of time, however, the town has advanced from a position of comparative insignificance to be justly considered the Commercial Metropolis of Ireland. According to Joyce, the learned and erudite writer on the subject of Irish names of places, the name of Belfast is derived from Beol, a ford, and fearsad, a sandbank. Though from its having been mentioned in histories of the country dating so far back as the middle of the twelfth century, it may be assumed that the nucleus of the  town was already being formed, even at this early period; there is still no evidence to lead one to suppose that it consisted of more than a few small houses. The first castle of Belfast was probably built by Sir John de Courcey shortly subsequent to 1178. This is most likely one of the strongholds taken by Edward Bruce, brother of the celebrated Robert Bruce, in 1316, when he landed, intent on his ambitious designs for the subjugation of the country. Little is known of the place until  1604, when there is an account of the grant of the town, manor and castle of Belfast, with much of the adjacent territory forfeited by the O'Neills of Clandeboye, to Sir Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland (afterwards Baron Chichester of Belfast), who erected a new castle, probably on the foundation of the old one. This was the last castle of Belfast, and it was destroyed accidentally by fire in 1708, when the three Ladies' Chichester, perished in the conflagration. At the date of the grant just mentioned, a number of English and Scotch settlers were introduced, and being for the most part industrious people, the town began its course of prosperity. In 1613, it had become of sufficient importance to warrant the grant of a charter from James I., constituting Belfast a municipality, consisting of a Sovereign, twelve Burgesses and a commonalty, and authorizing the town to be represented in Parliament by two members. The first stimulus to the trade of the port was given to it by Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, Lord Deputy, who, in 1637, purchased from the Corporation of Carrickfergus the right of importing certain commodities at one-third of the duties payable at other places. In 1688 a new municipal charter was granted by James II., by which the number of Burgesses was raised to thirty-five. In 1690, William III, visited the town, after which the grant called the Regium Donum was made to the Presbyterian clergy of Ulster. The formation of volunteer corps in 1715, 1745, 1760 (the date of Thurot's landing at Kilroot, near Carrickfergus),and 1778, for the better defense of the country, is the next event of historical importance before the Union. Subsequently the local government was considerably modified, Police Commissioners, and what were called "Life Commissioners," being appointed in conjunction with the previous Corporation. The Police Commissioners were invested with the power of levying taxes for public expenses, and the Life Commissioners with power for regulating the paving, watching, lighting and cleansing of the town. This mode of government continued until the passing of the Municipal Act in 1841, in conformity with which the Corporation now consists of a Mayor, Alderman and Town Councillors, to the number of forty altogether. During the interval embraced by the time in which these civic changes occurred, there were formed at different periods the Board of Harbour Commissioners, a Board of Water Commissioners, a Chamber of Commerce, and various other public bodies and institutions, such as were rendered necessary by the rapidly increasing requirements of the Borough.

Site, Extent, Valuation etc.

Belfast is situated on the barony of Upper Antrim, and includes on its Parliamentary representation the suburb of Ballymacarrett, in County Down, from which it is separated by the river Lagan. The borough comprises an area of 6,805 acres - 4,690 acres being in County Antrim and 2,581 acres in Down. There is, as already indicated, the almost certain prospect of an extension of this area around the present boundary by some 3,766 acres. The total valuation exclusive of exemptions, on 1st January, 1861, amounted to 270,930; and on 1st January, 1876, to 489,824. The total Government valuation on the 1st January, 1879, was 534,866; and on the 1st January, 1880, 549,560, showing an increase in valuation within the past 19 years of 278,630. The Docks on the Antrim side have a valuation of 18,990, and on the Down side of 5273 - total, 24,263. During the period indicated there were 22,042 new buildings erected within the borough.
For facility of reference, we give in a tabular form the number and valuation of new buildings in each of the years from 1862 till 1880, distinguishing those on the Antrim and County Down sides of the river; and in a second table we give the total valuation of the borough as it stood at the beginning of each year from 1861 till 1880 inclusive :-

Number and Value of New Buildings                                                                                                         Valuation of Belfast


Year

Antrim Side

Down Side

Total Incr in Value

Total No. of new bldgs

Year 1st January

Antrim Side

Down Side

Total *

New Bldgs

Incr in Value

New Bldgs

Incr in Value




1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879




770
1055
1243
1236
934
1313
1467
1490
906
1209
869
660
656
819
931
972
1205
1121




7317
9270
12341
17259
20831
19059
21682
17960
8922
14553
8725
10968
10986
12536
12428
14735
14974
12926

 


70
205
160
306
226
228
135
170
105
52
178
163
213
160
170
186
248
203




301
1094
1326
1640
2517
2355
125
2270
1378
120
1161
1487
1630
1204
1434
1375
2220
1768




7618
10364
13667
18899
23348
21414
21807
20236
10300
14673
9886
12455
12616
13740
13862
16110
17194
14694




840
1260
1403
1542
1160
1541
1602
1660
1011
1261
1047
823
869
979
1101
1158
1453
1324


1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880


253674
261118
268435
277705
290046
307305
328136
347195
368877
386837
395759
410312
419037
430005
440991
453527
465955
479738
494275
506785


17256
17689
17990
19084
20410
22050
24567
26922
27047
29317
30695
30815
31976
33463
35093
36297
37731
38861
41057
42775


270930
278807
286425
296789
310456
329355
352703
374117
395924
416154
426454
441127
451013
463468
476084
489824
503686
518599
535332
549560

* This total does not include the property in the occupation of the crown upon which the Government contributes all local rates, nor the Harbour Commissioners property upon which the General Purposes Rate only is levied. The former is valued at 5,700 and the latter at 24,375.

During the year 1875 the most important work executed was the drainage of the chief part of the County Down side of the borough. The cost of the system of drainage there was about 22,000 and the length about 19,524 feet. In 1873 the sewerage of the Windsor district was commenced and completed in 1877. The entire cost was about 10,000. This work, completes the fourth drainage district, the whole sum expended being about 50,000. Number of streets sewered and paved at cost of owners under the direction of the Borough Surveyor during 1875, 79; during 1876, 35; number of houses and buildings of which plans were approved, in 1875, 1,269l and in 1876, 1,342; number of private streets sewered, paved and completed during 1879, 58; number of buildings of which plans were approved in the same year, 1,670; number of buildings erected during the year, 1,324.

Municipal Government etc.

The Borough of Belfast returns two members to the Imperial Parliament. It is governed by a Corporation elected by the ratepayers of the five wards - St. Ann's Dock, Smithfield, St. George's and Cromac - each ward returning two Aldermen and six Councillors. A Mayor is annually elected.

Water Supply

The water supply of Belfast is under the control of the Corporation of the Belfast Water Commissioners, who were incorporated in the year 1840 by Act of Parliament. There are fifteen elective Commissioners - three to each Ward; one Commissioner in each Ward retires annually. Prior to 1840, the supply of water to Belfast was in the hands of the Belfast Charitable Society, who hold certain lands and springs in Malone; but all their rights passed to the Water Commissioners by the Act of 1840. Immediately on their incorporation, the Water Commissioners constructed certain works near the Antrim road for the collection of the waters of Carr's Glen for town use. Owing, however, to the growth of the town, the water of Carr's Glen became inadequate; and under the powers of the Belfast Water Act 1865, extensive works in the district of Woodburn, near Carrickfergus, were constructed by the Commissioners. Further extensive works were constructed under the authority of the Belfast Water Act, 1874, and an important addition made to the water supply. During the past Session of Parliament (1879), the Water Commissioners obtained an Act of a very extensive character. Under the powers of this Act, the Commissioners are now proceeding with the construction of several large storage reservoirs in the Copeland district near Carrickfergus. They are also proceeding with several works of a  secondary character, so as to render more perfect the existing system. The rapid extension of the town and suburbs has also received attention, and new mains of large diameter are being laid throughout the Borough. Improved appliances are also being introduced for the extinction of fires, and everything is being done to render the supply and distribution of water in Belfast as efficient as possible. The following is a list of the reservoirs already made or in progress, with their capacities:-

Storage in Million Gallons

High Service Reservoir, Old Park, Antrim Road, Belfast
Carr's Glen        "                 "                "                   "
Town Basin       "                 "               "                   "
Dorisland Settling Reservoir, Carrickfergus
Lower South Woodburn                      "
Middle     "               "                             "
Upper        "               "                            "
North Woodburn         "                          "
Lough Mourne                "                        "
Copeland             "                         "

40
10
130
80
120
350
365
100
350
150

The water is conveyed to Belfast through a conduit of brickwork some nine miles in length. On the completion of the works now in progress, the average supply to Belfast will be about 8 1/2 million gallons per day. The water supplied to Belfast is of good quality, being obtained principally from mountain pasture, and is of about 8 degrees of hardness. A considerable quantity of water is sold by the Commissioners for trade purposes, and a great boon has thus been conferred on the manufacturers in the Borough. The Commissioners have power to levy a domestic rate of 1s. 8d. in the pound, Poor-Law Valuation; but the present rate is only 8d., a fact which speaks highly for the capacity and skill of the gentlemen who now hold office as Water Commissioners.

Religious Denominations

Religious Census in 1834, 1861 and 1871,
Which includes the inhabitants of Belfast and Ballymacarrett within the then boundary.

Places of Worship in 1879

Denominations

1834

1861

1871

Episcopalians
Presbyterians
Roman Catholics
Methodists
Independents
Baptists
Society of friends
*Other Persuasions
Jews

16,383
23,576
19,712
-
-
-
-
1,137
-

29,639
42,229
41,237
4,929
323
227
202
747
11

46,423
60,249
55,575
6,775
904
435
165
3,865
21

Church of Ireland
Gen. Assembly Presbyterian
Reformed Presbyterian
United Presbyterian
Original Secession
Wesleyan
Primitive Wesleyan
Primitive
Independent
Evangelical Union
Baptist
Unitarian
Society of Friends
Roman Catholic
Catholic Apos. or Irvingite
Jewish Synagogue
Moravian
Seventh-day Baptists
Total

19
34
2
1
1
17
3
4
3
2
2
4
1
8
1
1
1
1
99

The following is an analysis of the column headed "Other Persuasions" in the foregoing table :- Unitarians 1,498; Protestants 673; Reformed Presbyterians, 632 ;  Evangelical Union, 303 ; Christian Brethren, 207; Convenanters, 135; Non-Subscribing Presbyterians, 88; Plymouth Brethren, 44; Catholic Apostolic Church, 43; United Presbyterians, 31; Mormons, 24; Lutherans, 20; no profession, 17; Moravians, 15; Evangelical Church, 11; Congregationalists, 10; Christians, 9; Freethinkers, 8; Christian Israelites, 7; Presbyterian Congregationalists, 7; Christadephians, 5; Independent Presbyterians, 5; Morrissonians, 5; Non-Sectarian, 5; Brethren, 4; Nonconformists, 4; Seceders, 4; Calvinists, 3; New Connexion Methodists, 3; New Testament Disciples, 2; Presbyterian Free Church, 2; Separatists, 2; Anabaptists, 1; Confucian, 1; Deist, 1; Ecclectic, 1; Free Church, 1; Free Church of Scotland, 1; French Catholic, 1; Greek Church, 1; High Church of Scotland, 1; Materialist, 1; Protestant (Non-Sectarian) 1; Prussian Protestant, 1; Reformed Church, 1; Swiss Protestant, 1; unspecified, 25.

The Port and Harbour

The Harbour of Belfast, which was originally an insignificant creek of the River Lagan, has, owing to successive improvements and extensions, now become one of the finest in the United Kingdom. |Previous to the year 1637 Belfast Harbour may be said to have existed merely in a name, and to have been under no regular system of government, it being at that time in possession of the Chichester Family. The trade was then as insignificant as the harbour itself, the port being, in point of fact, of secondary importance to Carrickfergus, which was then the only stronghold in the bay. Prior to the date referred to the Carrickfergus Corporation enjoyed the privilege of reserving to their use one-third of all the Customs duties payable on goods imported into that place, together with other trading monopolies. These immunities were purchased for Belfast by the Earl of Strafford in 1637, and from that date the commerce of this port became a matter of considerable importance. By an Act of Parliament - 3rd George II., passed 1729, the Municipal Corporation were constituted the conservators of the Harbour. This Act was, however, repealed, and another substituted in 1785 - Act 25th George III., cap. 64 - which appointed a separate Corporation, giving to them the sole management of the affairs of the port, and with the appointment of this commission the substantial improvements of the harbour may be said to have commenced.
The new Corporation proceeded first to remove several artificial fords which formed bars across the Lagan, and deepened by dredging the bed of the river. A graving platform was erected for repairing vessels in the year 1791, and two graving docks were constructed in the years 1800 and 1826. In the year 1841 the first cut of a new straight channel, made through the slob lands at Queen's Island, was opened. In 1842 the old quays, wharves and docks on both sides of the river were purchased, and in 1844 the construction of new quays was commenced on the County Down side of the harbour for a length of 2,500 feet. This work, which was of timber, was called Queen's Quay. About the same time the construction of the new quays on the County Antrim side of the river was proceeded with. These quays were also formed of timber. In 1846 the second straight cutting of the channel was commenced, and was completed in 1849. This, which was called the Victoria Channel, lies between the Twin Islands. In the year 1847 a patent slip was constructed on the south end of the Queen's Island capable of taking on vessels of 1,000 tons burthen. In the years 1849-50 the Clarendon Dock was formed, and, at the same time, the old tidal docks situated at the foot of Warring street and Great George's street were filled up. In 1848 a stone beacon (which has lately been removed and replaced by a timber structure) was erected on the west bank at Garmoyle, and in 1851 three lighthouses were constructed in the channel, between Garmoyle and Belfast. A large lighthouse was also placed on the Holywood bank. This structure, which rests upon Mitchell's screw piles, contains a bright light, recently fitted with a revolving eclipsing apparatus, which indicates, on the Morse alphabetic principle, the letter U. This lighthouse is also used as a station in connection with the pilotage establishment, the latter consisting of three masters, and fourteen branch pilots, two mates, and ten boys, the Harbour Master being the super-intendent. The foregoing works, including the reclamation of a large area of slob lands from the sea, of County Antrim side of the river, may be said to have been the only works of importance carried out at this works between the years 1785 and 1864. In the latter year the Commissioners commenced the construction of new floating and tidal docks in County Antrim and a large graving dock and tidal basin in County Down. These works, unlike the preceding ones, were constructed of stone, and the time occupied in their construction was about seven years. In connection with this dock and quay works, tramways have been formed, and a large 50-ton secured. During 1877 the Spencer Dock entrance reconstruction was completed. In 1878 and 1879 the old Queen's Quay was entirely removed and renewed, the breastwork being set back so as to give additional waterway in the river. The work is an admirable specimen of engineering skill and completeness, and has proved of immense advantage to the great and increasing traffic on the side of the Harbour. At present the reconstruction of Donegall Quay is being carried out in a similar manner. A very fine sub-way has been formed by the Central Railway Company for the passage of their trains and waggons under the Queen's Bridge, which has been tunnelled accordingly, there being now no risk of their traffic interfering with the general traffic of convenience over the bridge.

Trade, Manufacturers etc., of Belfast

Only one hundred years since Arthur Young visited Belfast in the course of his journey through Ireland, and he tells us that there were then 15,000 inhabitants in the town, which was "very well built of bricks, the streets being broad and straight, and having a lively and busy appearance." He further states, "a vessel of 200 tons, half loaded, may come to the quay, there being 9 1/2 to 10 feet of water. The number of ships belonging to Belfast are about 50 sail, from 20 to 300 tons." In 1815 a meeting of the principal merchants assembled at the White Linen Hall, after the market at the Brown Linen Hall in Donegall Street, at which complaint was made "that the Linens shipped on bounty from Belfast were required to be examined at the Custom House, which was a place very inconvenient to shippers." The same indulgence which was then given to the export merchants of Dublin was requested for Belfast, and the Secretary of the Linen Board advised that a communication should be made to the Commissioners of Customs requesting to know if they would have any objection to allow the White Linen Hall at Belfast to be in future the place for examination of cloth shipped on bounty." The exports from Ireland that year were 43,383,732 yards of plain linen, and 11,934 cwt. of linen yarn. It is quite evident from these and other records that the principal exports from this port consisted of flax fabrics, and the rapid increase in the size and population of this town, numbering at this time 230,000 inhabitants - an increase almost without parallel in the history of the United Kingdom - is mainly due and owing to the rise and progress of the Linen Trade of Ulster, of which we propose to give a short resume.
This important industry is the only remaining textile manufacture carried on to any extent in Ireland, and, in consequence, has been styled our staple trade. It is rue, there are factories for weaving silk, woollen, cotton and mixed goods, but the only manufacture of importance is that of Linen. An extensive silk weaving trade, founded by the French Huguenots, existed at one period in Dublin; but, owing to strikes and other causes, the trade gradually decayed, and it is now carried on in a comparatively limited way by a few firms in the metropolis, who are principally engaged in the poplin manufacture. The woollen industry was at one period in a most flourishing condition, and gave employment to very large numbers, chiefly in the southern parts of the country; but, through jealousy on the part of the English manufacturers, the Government of the day induced the Irish Parliament to place heavy duties on the exportation of woollen cloth, and the result was that a splendid and flourishing industry was completely prostrated. What led to this was a compact entered into between the two countries, that the Irish should give up the woollen manufacture if England would relinquish linen weaving. The compact was not faithfully observed by the sister country, but many opportunities were afforded to the Irish to prosecute their flax industry, which was nursed and subsidised for a length of time by grants of money from the Imperial Exchequer.
The Linen Trade by many writers has been looked upon as quite a modern industry in this country, statements being made that the earliest records only go back to the  thirteenth century. The manufacture of linen - certainly the most ancient textile fabric of which we have any authentic record - seems to have flourished at a very remote period in Ulster, and in the year A. D. 1254 Walter de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, had large parcels of linen woven for his household at Newtownards, County Down; and in 1542 linen and woollen yarns are enumerated in an Act of Parliament as amongst the principal branches of trade in Ireland. By whom it was first introduced is now known, but, probably the cultivation of flax was first encouraged in this country by the Norman settlers who occupied Ireland in the 12th century. Indeed, it is stated that, prior to their coming "the Irish had no settled industry, and no settled habitations, and scarcely a conception of prosperity." Under such conditions manufacturers could not possibly be established, The texture of the linen fabric of even the 16th century must have been of the coarsest kind, and in width it was only 12 inches. The Lord Deputy, Earl of Strafford, introduced several improvements, and imported flax-seed from Holland, which produced a superior fibre. The exports of linen goods at this period amounted to about 10,000 annually, whilst those of woollen goods are said to have reached 110,000. During the reign of Charles II. premiums were awarded by Grand Juries to successful growers of flax, and to weavers for the finest webs of cloth. Manufacturers had certain privileges granted to them - such as exemption from military and jury service. It was not, however, until after the revolution of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the advent of the Huguenot refugees into Ulster, that the linen trade assumed any features of importance. Crommelin, in his essay, published in 1706, says -"The people are entirely ignorant of the mysteries relating to the manufacture," and then proceeds to detail the rude methods of manipulating the flax, and spinning and weaving it into cloth. These Protestant refugees first introduced, the spinning-wheel into Ireland, which continued in common use amongst the tillers and occupiers of the soil for nearly 150 years, and whose pleasant hum enlivened many a cottage as well as added much comfort to the household. It has now almost disappeared from the country, and may be seen occasionally in museums and exhibitions in towns, where it is regarded as a curiosity and as an evidence of the primitive ideas of our forefathers in the matter of spinning.
The history of the trade possesses much interest. From 1711 to 1827 the Linen Trade received bounties from Parliament, in various shapes and forms, amounting at one period to about 20,000 per annum; and during the past century, and the earlier part of the present, the home and foreign trade in linen goods was carried on through Dublin under the control of a Central Linen Board. The Linen Board was appointed in 1711, in the reign of Queen Anne, for the encouragement of the flax and hempen manufacturers of Ireland, and was only dissolved in 1828. The White Linen Hall in Dublin (now occupied as a Military Barracks) was then the centre of the trade, and the Board met every Tuesday in their house near the Hall. An Annual vote of Parliament of 20,000 was granted to the Board for propagating and improving the manufacture of linen, but much of this grant was wasted in the payment of bounties to exporters. In one case a sum of 200 was voted to a man in Belfast to fit up new looms. The disbursements of the trustees seem to have greatly exceeded the vote of the House of Commons, and at one time amounted to 33,000.
The exports of linen from Ireland in 1690 were estimated at 300,000 yards; in 1720, 240,000 yards, the value of the latter being 100,000. Accurate returns of the exports of linen and linen yarn were kept by the Linen Board between 1728 and 1821, which are as follows :-
AN ACCOUNT OF LINEN CLOTH PLAIN, AND LINEN YARN, EXPORTED FROM IRELAND, BETWEEN 1728 AND 1821

Years ending at Ladyday

LINEN PLAIN

LINEN YARN

Years ending at Ladyday

LINEN PLAIN

LINEN YARN

Years ending at Ladyday

LINEN PLAIN

LINEN YARN

Exported

Exported

Exported

Exported

Exported

Exported


1728
1729
1730
1731
1732
1733
1734
1735
1736
1737
1738
1739
1740
1741
1742
1743
1744
1745
1746
1747
1748
1749
1750
1751
1752
1753
1754
1755
1756
1757
1758
1759

Yards
  4,692,764
  3,927,918
  4,136,203
  3,775,830
  3,792,551
  4,777,076
  5,451,758
  6,821,439
 6,508,151
  6,138,785
  5,175,744
  5,962,316
  6,627,771
  7,207,641
  7,074,168
  6,058,041
  6,124,892
  7,171,963
  6,836,667
 9,633,884
  8,692,671
  9,504,339
11,200,460
12,891,318
10,656,003
10,411,787
12,090,903
13,379,733
11,944,328
15,508,709
14,982,557
14,093,431

   c.        q.   lbs.
11,450    0     6
11,855    3     1
10,088    1     9
13,746    0     6
15,343    2   16
13,357    2   21
18,122    0   22
15,900    3   20
14,743    3   13
14,695    2   11
15,945    3     3
18,200    1     6
18,542    3     8
21,656    3   14
16,330    2   22
14,169    1   10
18,011    0     1
22,066    1   25
27,741    3   20
28,910    2   20
19,418    0     6
21,694    0   20
23,373    0     5
23,743    0   20
23,407    0     5
23,238    0     5
22,594    2     0
27,948    3     7
26,997    0   15
31,078    3   15
31,995    0   15
27,571    0     0


1760
1761
1762
1763
1764
1765
1766
1767
1768
1769
1770
1771
1772
1773
1774
1775
1776
1777
1778
1779
1780
1781
1782
1783
1784
1785
1786
1787
1788
1789
1790
1791

Yards
13,365,456
12,048,881
15,559,676
16,013,105
15,201,081
14,355,205
17,892,102
20,148,170
18,490,019
17,790,705
20,660,754
25,376,808
20,599,178
18,450,700
16,916,674
20,205,087
20,502,587
19,714,638
21,945,729
18,836,042
18,746,902
14,947,265
24,970,303
16,039,705
24,961,898
26,677,647
28,168,666
30,728,728
35,487,691
29,344,633
37,322,125
39,718,706

   c.        q.   lbs.
31,042    1   15
39,699    2   25
35,950    1   25
34,468    0     7
31,715    1   25
26,127    0     0
35,018    1     0
30,274    3     0
32,590    1   25
37,037    0   20
33,417    0   15
34,166    0   10
32,441    2   25
28,078    3   25
29,194    1   10
30,598    3     5
36,152    2     5
29,698    1   10
28,108    3   10
35,673    0   15
42,369    3   25
37,202    2     0
28,187    3     0
35,812    3   23
33,013    2   15
28,842    1     5
31,062    0   20
31,049    2     0
27,275    0   11
28,742    2     0
31,572    3   20
26,999    2   15


1792
1793
1794
1795
1796
1797
1798
1799
1800
1801
1802
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821


45,581,667
43,312,057
43,257,764
42,780,840
46,705,329
36,559,746
33,497,171
38,466,289
35,676,908
25,041,516
37,767,077
35,491,131
37,432,365
42,988,621
43,534,971
39,049,727
40,901,442
43,904,382
37,061,859
36,846,971
31,392,845
35,787,671
38,994,381
42,964,064
43,383,732
45,617,854
55,770,636
50,805,586
37,464,279
43,507,928

   c.        q.   lbs
17,190    2   14
16,644    2     3
19,056    1   20
22,730    3   10
20,601    0     5
12,865    1     0
20,330    2   15
16,850    3     5
12,201    1     0
11,135    1     0
23,492    1     0
   9,315    0     0
   7,847    0     0
   8,967    0     0
   7,075    0     0
   8,705    2     0
12,443    0     0
25,392    0     0
13,701    0     0
   6,049    0     0
   9,282    0     0
21,043    1     0
19,123    0     0
11,362    0     0
11,934    0     0
13,852    0     0
14,008    3     0
10,626    3     0
   5,553    1   14
   9,256    3     7

* From Returns published by Linen Trade Board in 1821

Imports of Flaxseed into Ireland from Year 1864 to 1879 inclusive.

Year

Riga
Barrels
3 1/2 Bushels

Dutch
Hhds.
7 Bushels

American Hhds.
7 Bushels

English
Sacks
4 Bushels

Bushels

Sufficient to sow acres

Average sown

Price

Extra picked Riga per brl.

Dutch per Hhd

English per qr.

1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879

86,503
58,205
59,943
98,470
45,580
95,996
61,877
82,094
41,105
42.222
34,439
23,855
49,532
32,377
28,092
48,404

29,541
34,837
36,136
16,591
19,414
23,111
15,600
17,983
  8,125
15,577
13,668
17,844
17,164
18,000
12,252
14,828

503
  50
  50
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

11,573
16,817
18,496
  5,792
  7,608
  8,975
  3,800
  7,569
  6,682
  4,966
  1,832
    472
   1,097
  1,283
  2,142
  2,200

559,360
515,194
537,086
483,950
325,860
533,663
340,969
443,486
227,470
276,680
223,540
210,288
297,898
244,451
192,654
286,010

279,680
257,597
268,543
241,975
162,930
266,831
170,484
221,743
113,735
138,340
111,770
105,144
148,949
122,225
  96,327
143,005

301,693
251,534
263,507
253,257
206,446
229,178
194,893
156,883
122,003
129,432
106,886
101,248
132,878
123,362
111,808
128,004

59/4
53/10
67/4
42/2
61/7
41/8
41/-
40/-
42/-
41/6
36/6
38/0
40/0
39/-
45/-
40/-

87/-
74/4
120/10
101/10
102/1
88/9
84/6
82/6
95/-
100/-
77/9
77/6
95/0
79/-
95/-
115/-

84/-
71/-
83/4
74/-
90/9
78/3
72/-
76/-
80/-
88/-
76/-
-
80/-
82/-
85/-
84/-

Exports of Linen Yarns and Linen Manufacturers from the United Kingdom from 1831 to 1879


Years

1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1949
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855

Linen Yarn

Linen Manufactures

Years

1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879

Linen Yarn

Linen Manufactures

Quality

Declared Value

Quality

Declared Value

Quantity

Declared Value

Quantity

Declared Value

Lbs.
-
     110,188
     935,682
  1,533,325
  2,611,215
  4,574,504
  8,373,100
14,923,329
16,314,615
17,733,575
25,220,290
29,490,987
23,358,352
25,970,569
23,288,725
19,484,203
12,688,915
11,722,182
17,264,033
18,220,688
18,841,326
23,928,592
22,893,586
17,696,867
18,177,484


-
       8,705
     72,006
   136,312
   216,635
   318,772
   479,307
   746,163
   818,485
   822,876
   972,466
1,025,987
   898,829
1,050,676
1,060,566
   875,405
   649,893
   493,449
   732,065
   881,312
   951,426
1,140,565
1,154,977
   944,502
   932,981

Yds.
  69,283,892
  49,531,057
  63,232,509
  67,834,305
  77,977,089
  82,088,760
  58,426,333
  77,195,894
  85,256,542
  89,373,431
  90,321,761
  69,232,682
  84,172,585
  91,283,754
  88,401,670
  84,799,369
  89,329,310
  89,002,431
111,259,183
122,342,516
129,106,753
133,192,627
134,165,291
111,648,657
118,039,721


2,461,704
1,774,727
2,167,024
2,443,346
2,992,143
3,326,325
2,127,445
2,820,272
3,414,967
3,306,088
3,347,555
2,346,749
2,803,223
3,024,800
3,036,370
2,830,808
2,958,851
2,802,789
2,493,829
3,947,682
4,107,396
4,231,786
4,758,432
4,119,043
4,118,013

Lbs.
25,118,349
28,847,811
32,047,492
27,290,387
31,210,612
27,981,042
32,584,676
38,553,643
40,510,967
36,777,334
33,666,338
34,103,859
32,857,117
34,565,542
37,122,747
36,397,781
31,218,749
28,730,138
27,164,268
27,814,636
22,278,259
19,216,001
18,473,800
17,415,500


1,365,980
1,647,958
1,746,340
1,674,602
1,801,272
1,622,216
1,854,866
2,535,728
3,010,109
2,505,497
2,380,032
2,453,684
2,309,111
2,328,778
2,233,826
2,220,103
2,141,649
1,975,738
1,721,205
1,854,804
1,449,513
1,291,729
1,213,025
1,075,054

Yds.
146,410,188
133,687,197
122,561,748
138,120,498
143,996,773
116,322,469
156,871,020
180,395,967
209.859,714
247,012,329
254,943,531
211,972,840
209.380,250
214,925,554
226,470,696
220.966,101
245,019,404
208,123,476
194,682,464
204,444,130
-
-
-
160,446,130


4,887,780
4,516,880
4,124,356
4,590,698
4,774,669
3,840,909
5,131,104
6,448,126
8,158,545
9,155,358
9,576,163
7,473,106
7,094,319
6,798,373
7,378,284
7,521,561
8,247,664
7,295,121
7,123,596
7,270,644
5,620,636
5,834,443
5,534,776
5,474,199

The Imports of Linen Yarn into the United Kingdom within the past five years were as follows :-

Years

Quantity

Declared Value

Years

Quantity

Declared Value

1874
1875
1876

1,887,290
3,486,846
3,414,205

121,800
202,245
185,747

1877
1878

5,308,395
5,969,434

285,942
397,787

The civil war in America led to an enormous expansion of production, as flax fabrics were largely used in the place of cotton goods. The figures given below will illustrate the rapid progress made at this time. This abnormal expansion was unfortunately followed by a serious reaction, from the effects of which the trade, down to the present date, is still suffering. The great falling off on demand proved disastrous to many, and it has taken ten years to bring back the trade to something like its normal condition. We repeat the figures given in former editions of our work, carrying the data down to the present time, with some additional information. The Linen Trade Committee publishes a weekly Circular, which is the recognised official organ of the trade; and the transactions of the Flax Supply Association also give much valuable information to all interested in the details of the trade. The subjoined tables are made up from the "Linen Trade Circular," and also from the reports of the Flax Supply Association :-

Spinning Mills

Power Loom Factories

Mills

Spindles Employed

Spindles Unemployed

Total Spindles

Proposed Extension

Factories

Looms Employed

Looms Unemployed

Total Looms

Proposed Extension

1864........74
1866........86
1868........90
Spindles
1876........70
1878........64
1879........63

642,000
760.000
842,000
adapted
899,124
848,630
798,006

9,000
11,000
60,000
for twisting
21,553
69,552
38,160

651,000
771,000
902,000
thread
820,677
918,102
836,160

  51,000
104,000
  15,000
  19,000
-
-
-

1861........35
1864........42
1866........44
1868........66
1876
1878
1879

4,600
7,900
10,500
11,100
-
-
-

300
300
300
4,100
-
-
-

   4,900
   8,200
10,800
15,200
20,152
20,958
21,353

-
1,700
6,500
1,000
-
-
-

"Of the 21,353 looms in Ireland in 1879, 10,259 were attached to spinning mills, and 11,094 were in weaving factories alone. The following will indicate the number of spindles in Ireland in the several years mentioned, and include all, whether in operation or standing - 1850, 396,338 spindles; 1861, 592,981 spindles; 1871, 866,482 spindles; 1874, 880,559 spindles; 1876, 920,677 spindles; 1879, 836,160 spindles. The power-looms in Ireland show a very marked progress in the undermentioned years:- 1859, 3,633 looms; 1864, 8,187 looms; 1871, 14,509 looms; 1874, 19,331 looms; 1876, 20,152 looms; 1879, 20,958 looms." Extract from Report of Flax Supply Association. The following table shows the relative prices of Irish Flax, and also of cotton, from 1860 to 1879, with the minimum rate of discount at the Bank of England, and the circulation of the three Belfast Banks :-

Flax per stone

Rate of average Discount

Flax per stone

Rate of average Discount


Dec.  3,  1860..........
Aug.  1.  1864..........
May.  1,  1865..........
Dec.  4,  1865..........
Dec.  3,  1866..........
Dec.  2,  1867..........
Dec.  5,  1868..........
Dec.  4,  1869..........
Dec.  5,  1870..........

s.     d.     s.     d.
6     0  to 11     6
7     0  to 10     6
4     6  to   9     6
6     0  to 16     0
7     0  to 15     0
6     3  to 12     6
7     0  to 15     0
4     0  to 13     0
4     3  to 10     9

per cent
5
7
4
6
4 1/2
2
3
3
2 1/2


Dec.   4,   1871..........
Dec.   2,   1872..........
Dec.   1,   1873..........
Dec.   7,   1874..........
Dec.   6,   1875..........
Oct.   2,   1876..........
Dec.   1,   1877..........
Dec.   7,   1878..........
Dec.   6,   1879..........

s.     d.     s.     d.
7     0  to 13     6
5     0  to 13     0
5     9  to 11     3
5     0  to   9     6
8     0  to 12     3
5     0  to   9     6
5     3  to   9     9
5     0  to   8     6
6     0  to 12     6

per cent
3
6
6
6
3
2
3
3 3/4
2 1/2

The price of flax is that of mill-scutched, and we give the highest and lowest prices, as reported in the "Linen Trade Circular." The following table is made up from same source, and shows the minimum quotations of line and tow weft yarns from 1860 to 1879 :-

Ordinary Line Wefts

Tow Wefts

40's

50's

60's

80's

100's

120's

140's

160's

180's

200's

25's

30's

35's

40's


Dec. 3, 1860
Aug. 1, 1864
May. 1, 1865
Dec. 4, 1865
Dec. 3, 1866
Dec. 2, 1867
Dec. 7, 1868
   -         1869
Dec. 5, 1870
Dec. 4, 1871
Dec. 2, 1872
Dec. 1, 1873
Dec. 7, 1874
Dec. 6, 1875
Oct.  2, 1876
Dec. 5, 1877
Dec. 7, 1878
Dec. 5, 1879

s.   d.
5      9
9      3
   5   1 1/2
   7   4 1/2
6      6
6      0
   6   4 1/2
   5   7 1/2
5      0
6      3
   6   1 1/2
6      3
   5 10 1/2
6      6
   6   1 1/2
5      9
   5   4 1/2
   5   4 1/2

s.   d.
5      0
8      6
4      9
   6 10 1/2
   6   1 1/2
5      0
5      9
5      0
   4   4 1/2
5      6
   5   4 1/2
   5   4 1/2
   5   1 1/2
5      9
5      6
   4 10 1/2
   4   7 1/2
5      0

s.   d.
   4   7 1/2
7      6
   4   7 1/2
   6   4 1/2
6      0
4      6
5      3
4      6
4      0
5      3
5      3
   5   1 1/2
   4   4 1/2
5      3
5      0
4      6
4      3
4      9

s.   d.
4      3
   6   7 1/2
   4   7 1/2
   6   1 1/2
6      0
4      3
   4 10 1/2
4      0
3      6
   4 10 1/2
5      0
   4   7 1/2
4      0
4      6
4      0
3      9
3      9
   4 10 1/2

s.   d.
4      3
   5   7 1/2
   4   7 1/2
6      6
6      3
4      3
5      0
4      0
3      6
4      9
   4 10 1/2
4      6
   3 10 1/2
   4   4 1/2
   3 10 1/2
3      6
3      3
   4 10 1/2

s.   d.
   4   4 1/2
5      3
   4   7 1/2
   7   1 1/2
7      0
4      9
5      6
4      0
3      9
5      0
5      0
4      6
4      0
4      6
4      0
   3   7 1/2
   3   4 1/2
   5   1 1/2

s.   d.
   4   7 1/2
   5   1 1/2
   4   7 1/2
7      3
7      6
6      0
6      6
4      3
   4   1 1/2
5      3
   5   4 1/2
5      0
   4   4 1/2
5      0
4      6
4      0
3      9
   5   7 1/2

s.   d.
5      0
   5   1 1/2
   4   7 1/2
7      3
8      0
6      9
7      6
5      0
4      9
6      3
6      0
5      6
   4 10 1/2
5      9
5      0
4      6
4      3
6      3

s.   d.
5      3
5      3
5      0
7      6
8      6
7      9
8      9
6      6
5      6
7      3
7      3
6      9
   5   7 1/2
-
-
-
-
-

s.   d.
6      0
6      0
5      9
8      3
9      6
9      0
10     9
8      0
6      9
9      0
8      6
8      6
7      0
-
-
-
-
-

s.   d.
6      3
10   4 1/2
5      9
8      0
6      9
   5   4 1/2
  6 10 1/2
6      0
5      9
7      3
6      9
6      9
7      0
6      9
   6   1 1/2
  5 10 1/2
   5   4 1/2
  5 10 1/2

s.   d.
5      9
  9 10 1/2
5      6
7      9
6      6
5      3
   6   7 1/2
5      6
5      3
6      9
6      3
6      3
6      9
6      3
5      9
5      6
   4   7 1/2
   5   7 1/2

s.   d.
5      6
9      6
   5   4 1/2
7      6
   6   4 1/2
5      0
6      3
5      3
   5   1 1/2
   6   4 1/2
6      0
6      0
   6   4 1/2
6      0
5      6
5      3
  4 10 1/2
   5   4 1/2

s.   d.
5      3
9      3
5      3
7      4
   6   3 1/2
5      0
  5 10 1/2
5      0
4      9
6      3
5      9
5      9
6      1
5      9
5      3
5      0
   4   4 1/2
5      3

Violent fluctuations marked the course of the linen trade during the years of political excitement at the close of the 18th and commencement of the 19th century. Spinning flax by machinery was first tried in County Down about the year 1805, but it is said to have been attempted a year or two earlier in the County Armagh. The process then in use was that known as dry spinning, and trials were made in several places, but without success, Although spinning in Scotland is still carried on by the same methods, yet it has never obtained much favour in Ireland, and at this time only a very few concerns produce the spun yarns, and those of the very coarse numbers. The system of wet spinning having been adopted in England and Scotland in 1825, yarns from both these countries were sent over to Ireland, and it was soon found that hand-spun yarns, spun chiefly by women in the country, could not compete with the yarns so produced. It was not until 1828 that Mr. James Murland erected at his own cost a wet spinning-mill, which was driven by steam-power. The example was soon followed by the Messrs. Mulholland, who set up 1,000 spindles in Francis Street, Belfast, and, finding it likely to succeed, erected 8,000 spindles in York Street, where their cotton mill had been burned down in 1828, and in 1830 wet spun yarns were first produced in the mills at York Street. After the lapse of nearly 50 years this concern, now owned by a limited liability company, has upwards of 30,000 spindles at work, and is still one of the largest and most successful concerns in Ulster. The demand for these yarns soon became very great, and a consequent improvement took place in the manufacturing of linen goods in this country. During the succeeding years there was a great increase in the number of spindles. The years of the potato famine were, indeed, years of trouble and trial to all engaged in manufactures in Ireland. Everything like enterprise was suspended. The population was terror stricken, and in large numbers fled from their homes to foreign lands, as from a pest house. The panic of 1847 followed in the track of the famine, and it was not until 1850 that the manufacturing industry of the country again exhibited any vitality. The Great Exhibition of 1851 brought the beautiful fabrics of Belfast and Ulster prominently into public view, and greatly stimulated production. In the Illustrated Catalogue reference is made to the high class designs in Damask exhibited by Mr. Andrews of Belfast. The intervening years between 1852 and 1857 were times of prosperity throughout the linen trade. At this time public attention was turned to the power looms as a means of giving steadiness and greater regularity to the weaving departments. Several attempts had been made in different places to weave linen by power, none of which proved successful until 1855, but in 1859 there were only 3,633 looms at work in Ireland, since which time they have steadily increased, and are now upwards of 20,000. In 1864 the York Street Flax Spinning and Weaving concerns were "floated" into a Limited Liability Company; and soon afterwards Messrs. Johnston & Carlisle, J. & J. Herdman & Co. (Smithfield), Messrs. Murphy, Charters, Gunning & Campbell's, and others were similarly transferred, and are still continued as Joint Stock concerns, but it cannot be said that, as a whole, the principle of limited liability has been successfully established here. 
The manufacture of Cotton at one time flourished in Belfast and in some parts of the County Down. Thirteen Cotton spinning mills were erected in this town between the years of 1790 and 1816, giving employment to 3,000 hands. About 500 hand looms were employed in weaving Cotton goods, the production of which was taken principally for home consumption. Forty six firms were employed in this manufacture in Belfast in 1828, and several of the large Dublin firms had branch offices here. There is now in 1877 only one Cotton mill in Belfast spinning yarns, and no power loom weaving factory engaged in producing Cotton goods. At the close of 1875 the Messrs. Whitworth Brothers' large mill on the Antrim Road, which had only been at work a few weeks, formerly the property of Messrs. Lepper, was destroyed by fire and has not since been rebuilt, so that the only mill now remaining is that at Springfield. It is much to be regretted that this effort of so enterprising a firm should have been so soon extinguished in the flames, and that so important a manufacture as that of cotton should have been altogether replaced by flax. A few linen looms are still employed in County Down on Cotton and Union goods, but the energy and enterprise of Lancashire and Yorkshire have taken full possession of what must be acknowledged as the largest manufacture in the world. This supremacy is now being disputed by the Americans, with what success the future alone will tell. Ginghams and other coloured goods are still manufactured in Belfast and Carrickfergus, but not with much success.
The story of the woollen trade of Ireland has often been told, and contains much of jealousy and of grievous wrong and injustice on the part of the manufacturers and Parliaments of England done to this country. In a very remote period it was the principal manufacture, and woollen yarns were largely exported to England and the Continent. A few concerns have successfully established the manufacture of Tweed in the south of Ireland, and two or three efforts have been made in Belfast and neighbourhood to establish woollen mills, but hitherto without producing satisfactory results. The effort on the part of the Messrs. Richardson and others at Hillsborough, where for a time goods were produced which became almost proverbial for superior quality, has not had any better termination than the attempts in Ballymaccarrett, which have become abortive; and only a short time since the machinery at Hillsborough was sold. Fancy flannels for shirtings are now being produced in one or two concerns, but at present woollen manufactures have not either "a local habitation or a name" in either Belfast or the North of Ireland. The trade of Belfast is greatly indebted to the local banking institutions for the facilities which have been afforded to manufacturers and merchants in the conduct of their business. The following items regarding the Banking Companies of the town will be read with interest :- The Belfast Banking Company was established in 1827 ; incorporated 1865. Capital - in 10,000 shares of 100 each - 1,000,000. 25 per share paid up. Reserved fund 125,000. Profit and Loss, 82,432. The Northern Banking Co., formed in 1825, in a private bank, and was the first joint stock bank in Ireland. The capital was originally 500,000, in 5,000 shares of 100 each, and in 1866 the capital was increased by 500,000. in 5,000 new shares of 100 each, making the nominal capital 1,000,000. On the original shares 30 per share is paid up, making 150,000 ; and on the new shares, 30 per share is paid up, which amount to 150,000, making the paid up capital 300,000. This reserve fund stands at 125,000. The fixed circulation is 243,440. The Ulster Banking Company commenced business in July, 1836. Capital, 2,000,000 ; subscribed 1,2000,000 ; paid up 300,000. In 1876, 50,000 new shares were issued. The paid up capital is now 300,000, and the reserve fund 300,000. The fixed issue is 311,079. The Provincial Bank of Ireland was established in 1825. Capital 2,000,000 ; paid up capital, 540,000 ; fixed issue, 927,667. The National Bank was established in 1835. Capital subscribed, 2,500,000 ; paid up, 1,500,00.
The preparation of Linen and Union goods, for both the home and foreign market, necessitated the establishment of bleaching, printing and dye works, as well as beetling mills for finishing both brown and white goods, and some of the largest and most important of these are situate in the immediate neighbourhood of Belfast. The process of bleaching requiring a perfectly pure air, impregnated with ozone, those works are principally situate in the country at a distance from any large town  but Messrs. William Ewart & Sons' large bleaching green, and the Glenalina Bleaching Company's works, are just outside the borough boundary on elevated positions. Block and copper roller printing are carried on at Clonard, Oldpark, and Whitewell, each of these concerns giving employment to a large number of individuals, many of whom possess great mechanical skill and receive high wages.
Typography, or Letterpress Printing is one of the oldest industries in Belfast. Some copies of what are known as "Blow's Bible," printed here in 1705, are still extant, and several works on education and kindred subjects were issued from the press of James Blow. A General and Commercial Directory for Belfast was published in 1819 by Thomas Bradshaw. The Belfast News Letter was first established in 1737, and has been now in existence about 140 years, having been converted from a bi-weekly into a tri-weekly, and afterwards in 1855 into a daily newspaper, by Mr. Jas. Alex. Henderson, J.P., its present proprietor. It is now the leading Conservative organ in Ulster. The Belfast Weekly News is published weekly in connection with the News Letter, and has an immense circulation in Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, Canada and the other Colonies. In addition to the Belfast News Letter and Weekly News there are twelve weekly, tri-weekly, and daily journals published and issued in Belfast, some of them circulating very widely. They are as follow :- The Northern Whig, a daily paper established by the late Mr. F. D. Finlay, in 1824. This paper, with the Weekly Northern Whig, which was established in 1858, is Liberal in politics, and is at present in the hands of a Limited Liability Company. The Belfast Morning News, the first penny paper published in Belfast, a daily paper of neutral politics, established in 1855 by Messrs. R. & D. Read, who are also the proprietors of the Ulster Weekly News which is issued weekly, and advocates the same political views. The Ulster Examiner, a Roman Catholic paper, was established in 1868 as a tri-weekly, and in 1870 it was converted into a daily. In the beginning of 1877, it passed into the hands of Mr. C. J. Dempsey, the present proprietor, when it was reconverted into a tri-weekly. The Weekly Examiner and Ulster Observer, is a weekly in connection with the Examiner. The Belfast Evening Telegraph (Conservative), is an evening halfpenny paper, published daily, and the Belfast Weekly Telegraph is issued in connection with it. The former was established in 1870, and the latter in 1873, by Messrs. William & George Baird, the present proprietors. The Ulster Echo (Liberal), is a daily evening halfpenny paper, and the Witness a Presbyterian weekly paper. Both were established in 1874, and are in the hands of a Limited Liability Company. The Belfast Mercantile Journal is neutral in politics, and is published weekly by Mr. Robert Vance. It was established in 1807. The Ulster General Advertiser was established in 1842. It is distributed gratis every Saturday by Mr. Thomas Morrison, the proprietor. There is also one Belfast Advertiser, published by Messrs. McIlveen & Son, and circulated free each week. The establishment of "The Royal Ulster Works," by Messrs. Marcus Ward & Company, at Bankmore, on the Lisburn Road, where nearly 1,000 "hands" are employed, has greatly enlarged the purpose for which printing was formerly used. The productions of those works have now attained to a world wide celebrity and stand unrivalled for beauty of design, exquisite colouring and utility. Here are produced those beautiful cards which are distributed so very liberally at Christmas and New Year, carrying with them pleasure and joy to young and old, and creating in many a mind a love for the beautiful as well as a taste for the fine arts. Books are illustrated with all the richness and felicity which the designer can create and the printer imitate.
Large engineering works are carried on in Belfast by several firms, as well as by the various railway companies, and not only flax spinning machinery in all its branches, but steam engines, boilers, mechanics' tools, and mechanical appliances generally are produced for local use and for export. For a long series of years nails were only made by hand, and machine made nails were imported. The application of machinery to the production of these most useful articles has been commenced by Mr. Wm. Gregg, who has built a nail manufactory on the banks of the Lagan, adjoining the Queen's Bridge, which has been supplied with all the newest and best machinery, and thus a new branch of iron manufacture has been commenced.
On the south-east side of Belfast are inexhaustible springs of water, which have been found specially adapted to the manufacture of aerated waters, which are not only consumed here but exported across the Channel and to America, one firm having sent out 3,384,000 bottles in one year, or 2,937 tons weight. The erection of the Royal Irish Distillery by Messrs. Dunville & Co., during the past few years, has brought back the manufacture of whisky to this town. Formerly there were large works in which spirits were produced in Divis Street, but these have been silent for more than a generation, and are now occupied as stores. There are also two breweries in the town.
In Ballymacarrett there are felt and artificial manure works, also rope walks, and the manufacture of glass is still carried on, although the recently erected bottle works are not now in operation. The curing of provisions being particularly a manufacturing process, and partly coming within the range of a purely mercantile transaction, has long been a principal industry of this town, and the fame of Belfast cured hams and bacon ensures for them extensive consumption at home and abroad. Ice cream has been introduced by Messrs. J. & T. Sinclair. The manufacture of starch is largely carried on, Irish wheat, owing to the quantity of gluten which it possesses is being specially suitable for this purpose. Crawford's amylaceous food, manufactured by Alex. Crawford & Son, is a speciality intended to supercede corn flour, and seems growing in favour with the house keepers. There are also flour and corn mills, and a very extensive trade is carried on in foreign grain, the imports last year being 81,000 tons.
The timber trade of the port is very large, and there are several saw mills, bobbin factories, and steam joinery establishments. Messrs. Geo. M'Tear & Co., (McTear, McTeir, McTier) who are extensive felt manufacturers, have recently added to their joinery concern the manufacture of household furniture.
There are also several flax scutching mills, lime works, saw mills, tan yards, hat manufacturers, boot and shoe factories, rope works, salt works, brick kilns etc.
The North-East Agricultural Association, which has an annual show in Belfast for the exhibition of cattle, implements and agricultural produce, has its lead quarters here, as has also the Chemico Agricultural Society, under the management of Professor Hodges.
Four lines of railway terminate in Belfast, the principal of which is the Great Northern, the main line running to Dublin and embracing the Ulster, the Dublin and Belfast Junction, and the Dublin and Drogheda Companies, and amalgamated with these are the Irish North-Western, the Portadown, Dungannon, and Omagh, and the Lisburn and Banbridge Companies. The Northern Counties Railway extends to Londonderry, and has various branches to Larne, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Portrush, and Limavady: the County Down Railway leading to Downpatrick, Donaghadee, Ballynahinch and Newcastle, and the Belfast, Holywood, and Bangor Railway, a short line, but which is a great outlet for seaside residents during the summer.
Tram Cars run between Ormeau Park and Castle Place; and further extensions are now in process of construction.

The Shipping Trade of the Port

Belfast is now a maritime port of great importance. Its contiguity to England and Scotland, and the fine fleets of steamers which ply daily between it and the several ports across the Channel, render the intercourse comparatively easy,  and in Summer weather pleasant and agreeable. The passengers, outwards and inwards, probably number several hundreds every day, the stream being constant and never ceasing. The importance of removing the natural obstructions in the approach to the quays, and providing a good and safe Channel passage for the largest vessels, was early discerned, and almost half a century since large sums of money were wisely expended by the Harbour Commissioners in widening and deeping the Channel. Persons are yet living who remember the first steamship which traded regularly between this port and Liverpool. At the present time there are three fleets of steamships, the vessels of which enter and leave every weekday for Fleetwood, Barrow, and Liverpool, - two of these, the first named, are paddle steamers - and embrace some of the finest channel going steamers afloat, several of them being larger than the first steamships which crossed the Atlantic to New York. The vessels of the Belfast Steamship Co., (the third fleet of those above named), are driven by the screw propeller, and are under 300 tons burthen each, and carry goods and passengers to and from Liverpool. The Royal Mail boats, plying to and from Greenock and Glasgow to Belfast, have long been noted for their regularity, as well as the superiority of their accommodation and appointments. In addition to these, there are weekly and tri-weekly sailings, to both England and Scotland, and several ocean going steamers, trading with the Continental ports.
In the year 1837, the earliest date of which we have any record of the tonnage register at this port, there were 295 vessels, with an aggregate tonnage of 31,475 tons ; in 1847, there were 464 vessels with 68,659 tons ; in 1857, 467 vessels, 73,632 tons ; in 1867, 533 vessels, with 65,610 tons ; in 1877, 409 vessels, with 61, 879 tons; and in 1879, 399 vessels took 73,172 tons register. The coal trade of Belfast, which has a close and intimate connection with the shipping trade, is one on which the manufacturing prosperity of the town and district largely depends, as without a constant and regular supply of this article of prime necessity, steam engines and the machinery driven by them would be almost valueless. Coal forms the largest article of the imports, and is principally conveyed here in sailing vessels.
The import last year (1879) was greater than in any previous year, being 730,642 tons. Of the imports of other articles in the same year, the most important have been Indian corn, 87,539 tons ; flour, 21,965 tons, and 72,155 barrels ; wheat, 73,551 tons ; bran, 12,255 tons ; brandy, 38 pipes, 249 hhds., 510 barrels, and 9,108 cases ; whisky, 4,064 pipes, 7,807 hhds., 8,235 quarter casks, and 1,125 kegs ; wine, 4 vats, 535 pipes, 1,590 hhds., 1,052 quarter casks, and 4,625 cases ; porter, 19,150 hhds., 7,672 barrels, and 43,253 half barrels ; ale and beer, 829,737 gallons ; tea, 48,611 chests, 11,816 half chests, and 3,229 caddies ; sugar, 21,737 tons ; flax, 18,991 tons ; cotton goods, 25,338 packages ; woollens, 24,263 bales ; linen, 10,181 packages ; oil, 3,412 piper, 7,188 barrels, and 2,459 cases. The exports are as varied as the imports, and embrace almost everything ; of these, there were - aerated waters, 46,150 packages ; ale and beer, 22 butts, 74 hhds., 356 barrels, and 622 half barrels ; apples, 408 hhds., and 345 barrels ; bacon, 1,186 hhds., 4,374 boxes, 1,198 tierces, 11,707 bales, and 642 barrels ; butter, 5,818 tons ; cattle, 75,759 ; eggs, 32,216 boxes ; fresh fish, 5,703 packages ; dried fish, 46 tons ; fowl, 17,931 packages ; hides and skins, 1,288 tons ; iron ore, 88,071 tons ; linen, 117,390 packages ; machinery, 1,631 tons, 582 cases ; artificial manure, 5,260 tons ; muslin, 4,889 packages ; pigs, 10,954 crates, and 39,815 dead ; salt rock, 6,350 tons ; grass seed, 91,296 bags ; sheep, 19,033 ; soap, 1,521 packages ; stationery, 3.100 packages ; tea, 809 chests, 507 half chests, and 366 caddies ;  linen thread, 8,340 packages ; waste - casks, 3,998 kegs, 67,836 cases, and 1,423 jars ; linen yarn, 1,428 tons, and 15,063 bales.
The following is a comparison of the tonnage entering the port since 1851 :-

Vessels

Tons

Vessels

Tons

Vessels

Tons

1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860

5,016
5,221
5,711
5,435
5,246
5,394
5,652
5,395
5,378
6,658

650,938
684,156
768,505
790,096
744,364
772,127
796,698
766,574
785.338
885,413

1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1967
1968
1869
1870

6,663
7,058
6,680
6,929
6,947
7,442
7,817
7,156
8,225
8,303

  920,801
  985,650
  993,303
1,020,037
1,111,581
1,366,788
1,372,326
1,201,306
1,203,776
1,225,566

1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880

9,323
8,230
7,538
7,012
7,475
7,150
7,677
7,793
7,854

1,350,810
1,309,251
1,268,845
1,305,016
1,434,754
1,497,585
1,566,752
1,605,897
1,658,026

The amount of postage, stamp duties, and inland revenue collected in Belfast is considerably greater than in ant other city in Ireland, exclusive of Dublin. The inland trade by water is carried on by the Lagan Navigation, which connects the town with Lough Neagh, and by the Ulster canal, which connects Lough Neagh with Upper and Lower Erne.

Shipbuilding

This is a branch of industry for which Belfast (thanks to the indomitable perseverance and enterprise of Messrs. Harland & Wolff, the eminent firm of engineers and iron shipbuilders), is now famed in the history of our country ; and deservedly so, for no finer fleet of vessels than that recently built and despatched from this port has ever been launched from a slip way. History furnishes us with very meagre material as to the origin of the shipbuilding trade at this port. The first account on record of the building of ships in Belfast occurs in the year 1636, when we find that a vessel of 150 tons register was built by the Presbyterian clergymen of this town. In the year 1682 the largest vessel belonging to the port of Belfast was the "Antelope," a Virginian trader, of 200 tons register. In 1700 the "Loyal Charles." of 250 tons burthen, the property of some merchants of this town, was launched ; but up to the year 1791, there was no regular place for laying down a vessel, and all those belonging to the port were built and repaired either in England or Scotland. The cross channel trade of Belfast, which is now the most important of all its branches, did not, in the year 1811, employ more than two of three regular traders in the London, and in all not more than twenty vessels in and Great Britain trade. As a shipbuilding port, Belfast has long been in advance of any other port in Ireland, and latterly it has mainly directed its attention to the construction of iron ships, which branch of the trade was introduced into Belfast in the year 1854 by Messrs, Robert Hickson & co. For a period of about thirty years previous to this date, the wooden shipbuilding trade was prosecuted, and during that time upwards of fifty vessels, of various sizes and tonnage, were built and launched, amongst which might be mentioned two steamers-the "Aurora" for the Glasgow trade, and the "Victoria" for the Liverpool trade. The ship "HIndoo," 440 tons burthen, was also built here in the year 1833 for a local firm, who intended it for the Calcutta trade. This was the largest vessel ever built in Ireland up to that year. The wooden shipbuilding trade of Belfast is now almost entirely confined to the repairing of vessels, which is chiefly carried on by Messrs. Alex. MacLaine & Son. In the year 1858 the iron shipbuilding works of Messrs. Hickson & Co., became transferred to the Messrs. Harland & Wolff, the present proprietors, through the energy and enterprise of whom this branch of industry has rapidly developed itself, and to such an extent that, instead of giving employment to one hundred hands, as was the case in 1858, fifteen hundred and sometimes two thousand hands have been called into requisition on these works. Among the numerous vessels which have been constructed by this firm were eighteen of the Mediterranean steamers for Messrs. John Bibby, Sons & Co., of Liverpool ; a fleet of East Indiamen, including twelve for Messrs. James P. Corry & Co., of Belfast ; five for Messrs. T. & J. Brocklebank & Co., of Liverpool ; and the splendid fleet of "White Star Line" steamers, among which are some of the handsomest and fleetest vessels afloat. Two of these - the "Britannic" and "Germanic" - are vessels of enormous dimensions, being, in fact, the largest afloat except the "Great Eastern." The length of these vessels is 470 feet, by 45.3 feet beam, and the tonnage 5,010 register. These vessels are fully rigged with four iron masts for sailing, as well as their steam power. The engines are on the compound principle, of 5,000 indicated horse power. The Messrs. Harland & Wolff, having made a speciality of constructing steamers of the class just referred to, are justly entitled to the world wide reputation which they have secured, as being the pioneers in the building of Ocean Steamers of such great length and extraordinary speed. The "Britannic" and "Germanic" have made many passages across the Atlantic faster than any other vessels afloat. Some idea of the magnitude of the Queen's Island shipbuilding works may be had from the fact that within twelve months as much as 14,000 tons register of iron shipping have been launched from the stocks at that place. Last year the actual turn out was eight vessels, with a tonnage of 12,110. The principal of these were the "British Crown," a screw ship of 3,486 tons ; the "Lord Dufferin," a sailing ship of 1,778 tons ; the "Shahzoda," of 1,665 tons. On the 1st day of January this year (1880), there was launched a very fine sailing ship, of 1,700 tons, for Messrs. Imrie & Co's "White Star Line." A site for a new iron shipbuilding yard has been granted to Messrs. F. Workman & Co., at the north end of the Twin Islands, and the ground and sub marine excavations in continuation of the launch ways are in course of formation.

Public Buildings

Although none of the public buildings in Belfast can lay claim to any great antiquity, yet the town possesses a large number of splendid buildings, which are of a very high order, and which enable it to compete successfully in this respect with any town in Ireland.

The Town Hall

The Municipal Buildings, which are situated in Victoria Street, form a very fine block, which greatly enhances the appearance of this part of the town. They occupy a triangular piece of ground bounded on the front by Victoria Street, and on the other two sides by Townhall Street and Chichester Street. They were erected by Mr. James Henry, builder, from designs by Mr. A. T. Jackson, architect ; the entire cost, including fittings, amounting to 33,000. They are most commodious and handsome, and for the purposes for which they are intended would compare favourably with similar buildings in any part of the United Kingdom. The frontage line in Victoria Street is 184 feet, and in the centre is the principal entrance which leads into a spacious hall. There are two side entrances, one from Chichester Street, and one from Townhall Street, both of which also lead into the main hall.
Here, on a marble pedestal, is placed the beautiful bronze statue provided by the inhabitants, in memory of the deeply lamented Earl of Belfast. This statue was first erected in Wellington Place, opposite the Royal Academical Institution, and was unveiled, on 1st November, 1855, by the late Earl of Carlisle, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. After a few years it was found that the bronze was beginning to suffer from exposure to the air, and it was, therefore, decided to place it inside the Corporation Buildings. When first erected, the pedestal on which the statue stood bore the following inscription :-

"Frederick Richard, Earl of Belfast,
Born November 25th, 1827 ;
 Died, February 11th, 1853.
 He was permitted, in a career thus brief and in a private station, to exhibit rare accomplishments and virtues.
In sorrowful commemoration of their bright promise and early close all classes of his fellow citizens have raised this statue."

As it now stands in the Corporation Hall, the only inscription on the pedestal is :-

"Earl of Belfast,
OB. 1853."

The statue was the work of Mr. Patrick MacDowell.
The portion of the block on the ground floor comprises the Council Committee Rooms, in which the business meetings are held, a retiring room and waiting room attached ; three offices for the Town Clerk, three offices for the Town Solicitor, and four offices for the Town Surveyor. There are two offices for accountant, one for borough cashier, and one for rate collectors.
A stone staircase leads to the Council Chamber, which is a very large and handsome room, of good proportions, and admirably designed for the Corporation meetings. The chairs and stalls for the Mayor, Aldermen, Councillors, and offices are of polished oak, upholstered in green morocco. The appointments were all manufactured in London, by the firm of Messrs. Brew & Claris, Finsbury Place, London. A handsome brass railing separates the portion of the chamber assigned to the Council that appropriated to the general public. In the Council Chamber are hung full length portraits of former Mayors of Belfast. At the top of the room is that
of Mr. Philip Johnston, J.P., who filled the chair of chief magistrate in 1871. Mr. Johnston is represented in morning costume, wearing the Mayor's cloak, with the ancient chain of office. The portrait is encased in a gilt frame, and rests immediately behind and above the civic chair. It bears the following inscription :-

Philip Johnston, Esq., J.P., Dalriada,
Mayor of Belfast, 1871,
Thirty years a member of the Town Council of Belfast,
and the first Mayor who presided in this Hall.
Presented to the Corporation by his friends.
Belfast, October, 1874."

The portrait is the work of Mr. R. Hooke, Manchester, and was unveiled December, 22nd, 1874. The full length portrait which occupies a place on the north end of the Council Chamber is that of Mr. Jas. Alex. Henderson, J.P., Norwood Tower, who filled the chair of Chief Magistrate for the two consecutive years, 1873-74. Mr. Henderson is represented in the court dress of black silk velvet, over which is the Mayor's cloak and the Mayor's new chain. He is standing close to a table, on which rests the report of the meeting of the British Association for the advancement of Science for 1874, and a copy of the Corporation Gas Bill. At a further part of the table lie the two maces of the Corporation. The new chain, which was designed and manufactured by Mr. William Gibson, jeweller and goldsmith, Donegall Place, is very massive, and bears shields with the arms and crest of each Mayor, with the name and year of office engraved on the back. The large badge bears the arms of the Borough, and on the back is the following inscription :-

"This chain and badge were purchased by the Corporation of Belfast, in the year 1874, during the Mayoralty of Jas. Alex. Henderson, Esq., J.P. The shields were presented by the Mayors and Ex-Mayors or their representatives."

The portrait is in a gilt oak frame. The artist is Sir T. A. Jones, Dublin, President of the Royal Hibernian Academy. The inscription on the lower part of the frame is as follows :-

"Jas. Alex. Henderson, J.P.,
Mayor of Belfast, 1873-74.
Presented by numerous friends,
in appreciation of his impartial and honourable discharge
of the duties of Chief Magistrate
for two consecutive years."

This portrait was unveiled in the presence of a large assemblage, both of members of the Corporation and the public of the town, on July 10th, 1876.
Next to Mr. Henderson's is placed a three quarter length portrait of Dr. S. Browne, R.N., J.P. It is a most pleasing and admirable likeness, and bears the following inscription :-

"Dr. S. Browne, R.N., J.P.,
Presented by some of his Pupils of the Belfast Royal Hospital.
Of which Institution he was Surgeon for 25 years,
Mayor A.D. 1870."
Painted by R. Hooke.

At a meeting of the Corporation, on the 1st February, 1877, an influential deputation waited on the Council to request permission to have a portrait of Sir Robert Boag placed in the Council Hall. The permission was readily granted and subsequently a life size painting of Sir Robert - a splendid work of art from the atelier of Mr. (now Sir T. A.) Jones, President of the Royal Hibernian Academy - was suspended to the immediate left of the main entrance. It is an admirable likeness, portraying Sir Robert with remarkable fidelity and accuracy in form and features. The figure is represented in court dress, the left hand bearing a glove and resting on his side, while the right carries his hat. The posing is natural and graceful, and pervaded by the ease and freedom in the lining which characterise all Sir T. A. Jones' works. The portrait is enclosed in a massive gilt frame, at the base of which appears the following inscription :-

"Alderman Sir Robert Boag, Knt.,
Mayor, 1876.
Presented to the Municipality by his fellow citizens."
Painted by T. A. Jones, P.R.H.A.

A full length portrait of Sir John Savage, to be painted by Mr. Hooks, has been ordered,
Next the Council Chamber is the robing and cloak room, and opposite id the Mayor's private room. There are also on the same floor two offices for the sanitary department, and two for the clerk of the markets. Besides, there are two waiting rooms, a gas testing room, with store rooms and caretaker's apartments. All the offices are appropriately fitted up. Immediately in the rear of the front range of the building is the portion of the block, comprising two Police Courts and the Recorder's Court. In connection with these are petit and grand jury rooms, magistrates', solicitors', and clerks' rooms, heating apparatus, with other necessary accommodation. The Police Office is situated here, and opens into Chichester Street. In connection with this latter, there is a sub inspectors' room, a store room, and rooms for head constables on duty. There are twenty one cells for prisoners, with guard rooms and medical officers' rooms. Here prisoners arrested by the police are detained, pending their being brought before the magistrates and tried. The car and lamp inspectors' offices are also in this part of the same section of the building. In the angle formed by the junction of Townhall Street and Chichester Street are situated the Fire Brigade premises, which are very tastefully got up, and are provided with all modern improvements. This section includes the superintendent's house, with apartments for drivers and the permanent firemen. The accommodation for the fire engines is extensive, and in connection there are a work shop, drying room, and boiler room. The fire engines and all of the horses are always kept in readiness for going out. The brigade comprises a staff of about forty three men, including the superintendent and deputy superintendent, six men always on the premises, and thirty five ordinary men who attend when called on. The whole block is of brick and red sandstone, and is a substantial and commodious structure.

Harbour Commissioners; office etc.

The Offices of the Harbour Commissioners are contained in an elegant edifice, finished in the spring of 1854, from a design of the late George Smith, Esq., C.E., at that time Engineer to the Commissioners. The building is in the Italian style of architecture, entirely constructed of rubbed freestone, with a chaste clock tower. It stands on a well selected site, the principal front facing Corporation Square. In the public hall, at the north end, is hung a magnificent full length portrait of Anne Marchioness of Donegall, presented to the Harbour Commissioners by the Marquis in the year 1856. The Marchioness is represented in a standing attitude. At the south end is hung the portrait of Sir James Hamilton, the late Chairman of the Harbour Commissioners. This portrait is by Mr. Jones, P.R.H.A. Sir James is represented in the official dress of the Harbour Commissioners, holding a scroll with a tracing of the Hamilton Dock ; on a table near lie several official papers. In the Board room is a very large picture painted by the late Mr. Robinson, father of the celebrated Rev. Thomas Romney Robinson, D.D., of the Observatory, Armagh. It is a representation of the review - on August 27, 1804, by the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Hardwicke - of the Belfast Volunteers and Yeomanry. The picture contains forty four figures, including many of the leading citizens of the day. It is an interesting and historical record of old Belfast. It was presented to the Commissioners by Dr. Robinson, of Armagh. Among the prints which are on the walls of the Board room is one of Mr. Waddel Cunningham, bearing the following inscription :- "Waddel Cunningham, the first inhabitant of Belfast named in the Act of 1785, constituting a Harbour Corporation, and one of the most enterprising and extensive merchants of his own day." The room contains an oil painting of the late Mr. Alexander Mitchell, C.E., the inventor of the screw pile ; an engraved portrait of Mr. J. Walker, C.E.: and a marble bust of the late Mr. John Clarke, J.P., former Chairman of the Board. There is also a beautiful engraved portrait of the Queen, and a drawing of the present Harbour Office.

Custom House, Post Office etc.

The Custom House, one of the largest public buildings in Belfast, is founded on the site of the old Lime Kiln and Custom House Docks, and covers an extensive area of ground, between Queen's Square and Albert Square. In this building the following Governmental sections are provided with office accommodation - Her Majesty's Customs, General Post Office, Government Postal Telegraph, Inland Revenue, Stamp Office, Income Tax, and Local Marine Board. This structure, which was completed in the year 1857, is designed in the Italian style of architecture, after Palladio, and is executed in massive cut stone work. The designs for the structure were prepared by Messrs. Lanyon & Lynn, under whose superintendence they were carried out by Messrs. D. & J. Fulton, builders and contractors, Belfast. The buildings form three sides of a quadrangle, and is raised seven feet in height above the street level by a stone plateau, which is approached by flights of stone stairs. It is in length 200 feet, by 116 feet in width, and 50 feet in height. The main front, which faces Donegall Quay, is the portion allotted to the Customs department. The principal room in that section of the building, and which is called the "long room," is seventy feet in length, by thirty feet in width, and is in height twenty five feet. The south wing of the building faces Queen's Square, and in it the duties of the Post Office and Government Telegraph departments are carried out. The entrance to this portion of the building, which formerly opened from Queen's Square, has been recently changed to the end facing Albert Square ; and various other modifications have been made to suit the requirements of the telegraphic department, which is located immediately above the Post Office. In the north wing, facing Custom House Square are the Inland Revenue, Stamp Office, Income Tax Office, and offices of Local Marine Board. The courtyard in the interior of the quadrangle is approached by stone stairs, and affords access to the principal offices. It is enclosed by handsome balustrading and parapets, and is 112 feet wide. The vaults of the entire basement of the building are in the occupation of the Customs department for bonded storage. The principal entrance to this structure is on the East, or river side, of the quadrangle, and consists of a projecting bay, comprising three arches, supported by massive columns and surmounted by a Grecian pediment. The arch spandrils are filled in with four sculptured figures, from the designs of the late Samuel Lynn, Esq., of London, and were executed by the Messrs. Fitzpatrick, of Great Victoria Street, Belfast. These sculptures represent Manufacture, Peace, Commerce, and Industry, and the tympanum of the pediment contains as emblematic design of Britannia, supported on either side by Neptune and Mercury. The entrance to the main building from the courtyard is decorated in an almost similar manner, the pediment in this case containing two shields, charged with the Royal arms and with the arms of Belfast respectively. On the esplanade facing Donegall Quay are mounted two 46 pounder Russian guns, bearing inscriptions in Russian characters. These guns were captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean war, and presented to Belfast as trophies of victory.

Banks

The Banks merit a prominent place, Several of them are of high architectural merit and greatly enhance the appearance of the streets in which they are situated. The Belfast Bank occupies a position opposite the Commercial Buildings at the junction of Donegall Street, North Street, Rosemary Street, Bridge Street and Waring Street. It is a tasteful and commodious structure ; but we understand that it is in contemplation to remove the present building, and replace it by a larger one more in keeping with the position the Belfast Bank occupies in the Northern Athens. The Ulster Bank in Waring Street, is a highly ornate structure, and is reached by a spacious flight of steps. The situation prevents its massive proportions being displayed to advantage as it is not seen until one is close upon it, owing to its forming the centre of a group of very fine business premises. It was erected at a cost of 16,000 and has a frontage of elegant design. The Northern Bank in Victoria Street, is another tasteful building, and occupies a commanding position, being situated in close proximity to High Street, Corporation Street and Waring Street. The Provincial Bank in Hercules Place, is a beautiful specimen of architecture, though from its situation it is not seen, unless very near, to advantage. The Branch Bank of Ireland, in Donegall Place, is a massive structure, the front being granite, and the offices are roomy and extensive. The National Bank in High Street, is a less pretentious building.

Commercial Buildings

The Commercial Buildings, which comprise a commodious News Room, which is used by the merchants of the town as a place of meeting for "Change," are situated in Waring Street, opposite to the Belfast Bank, and command a view of Donegall Street, the principal northern outlet of the town. These buildings were erected in 1820, at a cost of 20,000, but since that they have undergone several improvements. In one of the large rooms of these buildings the Chamber of Commerce holds its meetings.

The White Linen Hall

This important mercantile centre, which owes its name to the design for which it was built - the encouragement of the linen trade - was erected in 1785, at an expense of 10,000. It is situate in one of the best positions in town - the centre of Donegall Square - and is now occupied by a number of private firms. The site was granted in perpetuity by the Marquis of Donegall. The grounds surrounding the buildings are tastefully laid out, and, as there is free access to the public, they are largely used as a place of resort by the residents in the neighbourhood. The foliage of the trees and shrubs impart quite a rural air to this district of the town, which may be almost termed the centre of the linen industry. The Brown Linen Hall, which was erected in 1773, on the south side of Donegall Street, has long been disused.

County Court House

This structure, which is erected in the Corinthian style of architecture, is situated on the opposite side of the road to the County Jail. It commands a view of the entire town. It is entered by a flight of steps which lead to an elegant portico. It comprises two commodious courts, the Crown and Record, with accommodation for the Grand Jury, the county officers, and barristers and solicitors engaged in cases. The Antrim and Carrickfergus Assizes, the Quarter Sessions for the Belfast district, the Belfast Road Sessions, and the Ligoneil Petty Sessions are held din its precincts. The Court House (as well as the County Jail) was erected after designs by Sir Charles Lanyon, C.E. It was opened in the Summer of 1850, when the Assizes were transferred to Belfast from Carrickfergus.

Her Majesty's Prison

Her Majesty's Prison occupies a commodious position on the northern side of the town. It is separated from the County Court House by the Crumlin Road, and, as there is an underground passage leading from the Prison to the Court House, prisoners are removed from one to the other without being exposed to the gaze of the public. The Prison comprises cells for 400 prisoners, besides a department intended for debtors, The building is exceedingly massive, and the site is one of the most healthy in Belfast. The discipline is exceedingly strict in County Antrim Jail, the separate system being closely followed.

Barracks

In 1737, Military Barracks, were erected in Barrack Street, but those buildings are now used for other purposes, and the head quarters of the military have been removed to North Queen Street, where Barracks, among the finest and most commodious in Ireland, have been erected. The grounds are spacious, and the situation being elevated, their sanitary conditions could not be surpassed. A splendid gymnasium and other buildings have been added to the original barrack accommodation.

Belfast Masonic Hall

This is a handsome and commodious structure, situated in Arthur Square, at the point of intersection of Ann Street and William Street South, erected in 1869. It is designed in the Gothic style of architecture. The walls are composed of brickwork, the external facework being executed in white fire clay brickwork, and the dressings of doors and windows, including string courses, label moulds, mullions, heads, etc., are of sandstone. The building is divided into four flats, or stories, the lowest of which, or ground floor, is set apart for shops or other business premises. On the upper floor are situated the rooms in which the ritual of Freemasonry is practiced ; these rooms are two in number - the principal lodge room and the emergency lodge room - the latter being also used for the purposes of the Royal Arch and High Knight Templar Orders. The principal lodge room, which was entirely fitted and furnished from the designs of Mr. William Redfern Kelly, C.E., is handsome, and elegantly adapted to the purposes for which it is required. A raised platform is ranged around the room, on which are provided fixed cushioned seats ; the walls are sheeted with a dado of polished pitch pine for a depth of nearly six feet above the floor. On the east, elevated on a platform approached by three steps, is placed the dais, above which, executed in stucco and standing out in bold relief, is an enriched arch, on the face of which, in raised gilt letters, is the sentence, "Sit Lux Et Lux Fuit," and upon a horizontal scroll underneath is the motto, "Kodesh Ladonal." In front of the dais are two large columns surmounted with globes, and in the centre of the floor is an altar, on which are placed the three ancient orders of classic architecture, together with other mystic paraphernalia ; the walls are hung around with bannerets, each containing numerous emblems and devices of the Masonic fraternity, and in the south and west seats and benches are provided for the wardens of the lodge. In this room nearly twenty lodges regularly hold their meetings. Besides the rooms before referred to, there is also a large room which is generally used for the purposes of refreshment, or for any extraordinarily large meetings of the craft. This structure was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, who is at present Deputy Grand Master of the Masonic fraternity in the province of Antrim. There is also a second Masonic Hall and Club for the convenience of the brethren in Arthur Street.

Belfast Castle

The seat of the Marquis of Donegall, is erected on the South Eastern slope of the Cave Hill, almost immediately below MacArt's Fort. It is about three miles from the centre of the town which it overlooks, and it commands an extensive panorama, extending from the Northern shore of the Belfast Lough over the extreme length of the County Down, including the Carlingford range of mountains. It is built of stone from the demense, faced with Cookstown stone of a warm colour, with dressings of a white hue from the Scotch quarries. The architecture being in the Scottish baronial style, the Castle is quite in character with the rugged scenery of the Cave Hill, which forms its appropriate background. The entrance porch, on the Western side, is on a level with the rooms of the principal floor, which are all en suite, and consist of hall, salon, drawing room, morning room, dining room, and grand staircase, which is in the centre of the house, and lit from above. The Marquis's own room is off the hall, with a private staircase, dressing room, etc., attached. Below the principal floor are two basements, which contain the housekeeper's apartments, servants' hall, men servants' bed rooms, muniment (monument) room, laundry, and extensive cellarage. On the two floors above the principal floor are about thirty bed rooms, dressing rooms, etc. The Castle is supplied with water from springs on a high level, which give sufficient pressure to work the luggage and dinner hoists. The architects were Messrs. Lanyon. A short distance from the Castle, within the grounds of the Deer Park, has been erected a Memorial Chapel, having extensive vaults underneath for the deceased members of the Donegall family. The chapel is situated in a picturesque position, occupying the brow of a rocky eminence. In the Memorial Chapel, which is a neat, handsome structure there is a white marble monument in memory of the Earl of Belfast. The chapel was consecrated some years ago by the Lord Bishop of Down and Connor.

Belfast News Letter Offices

This structure which is situated in Donegall Street, within two minutes walk of the Exchange, is a handsome and substantial stone building, executed after the Gothic style of architecture. The front block of this building facing Donegall Street, is divided into three floors, or stories ; the ground floor, between the two side passages, is entirely devoted to the service of a public office, which is very elaborately and handsomely fitted and furnished, the flooring is laid in rich encaustic tiles, and the walls, ceiling cornices, and other ornamental enrichments, are tastefully painted in oil colours, the major portion of the work being composed of exquisite imitations of a variety of marbles. The internal decorations generally are designed so as to be in strict consonance with the architectural style of the exterior of the building. On the first and second floors offices are provided for the proprietor, editors, etc. These offices may be approached by a staircase leading from the public office. The exterior of the building, fronting Donegall Street, presents a handsome and imposing appearance, being admirably designed and skillfully executed ; it is entirely composed of sand stone, with polished granite columns. The main entrance to the public office is in the centre of the building, by folding doors, the upper panels of which are composed of richly embossed plate glass. Two entrances are also provided, one at each side of the building - that at the left side leading to the printing establishment, sub editor's and reporters' room, etc., and that on the right to offices in upper floors of front block of building. Immediately above the main entrance a balcony is erected on moulded and carved corbels of sandstone, and enclosed by a handsome railing of wrought iron. Above this balcony is placed in such a position as to be discernable from any point of view in Donegall Street, a handsome illuminated clock, with two transparent dials, on one of which is inscribed Belfast News Letter, and on the other Belfast Weekly News. This clock is both by night and day a great boon to the public. Besides other exterior decoration, in front of the building, a number of sculptured medallions are fixed, in which are carved busts of several celebrated men. The buildings were erected in 1874 by Mr. J. A. Henderson, J.P., the proprietor from designs by Mr. W. Hastings, C.E.

Working Men's Institute and Temperance Hall

This institute was founded in 1873 with a view to supply the artisan population of the town with a place where they could meet their friends, read the papers and periodicals, and hear lectures at a moderate charge. The building was erected from designs by Mr. A. T. Jackson at a cost of nearly 9,000. Among the principal contributors were the late John Charters, Esq., and Miss Charters. It is a plain brick structure, and is situated in Queen Street and Castle Street. It contains a news room, supplied with the local and the leading Irish, English and Scotch newspapers, as well as periodicals and reviews ; an amusement room, with billiard and bagatelle tables, chess, draughts, etc. ; and a library, containing nearly 3,000 volumes of carefully selected works, which is being constantly increased. The Institute was inaugurated by Lord Dufferin, and for some weeks after its opening there was held a local exhibition and bazaar, where specimens of the mechanical genius of our artisans were exhibited. To clear off a debt of 3,800 which remained due on the building, an exhibition and ladies' bazaar was held last year in the Ulster Hall. The project was carried out under the auspices of a large local committee, with J. A. Henderson, Esq., J.P., as president, and the bazaar was conducted by several ladies interested in the Institute, including Mrs. Finlay McCance, Mrs. W. Girdwood, and Mrs. Henderson. The exhibition was opened in May, 1876, by his Grace the Duke of Abercorn, late Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was continued for three months. It proved highly successful. In connection with the Institute are classes for instruction in various branches, all of which are well attended, while the Institute seems to be increasing in popular favour each day. In addition to the reading rooms and library there is a large lecture and concert hall in connection with the building. It is capable of accommodating 1,000 persons, and is frequently used for public meetings.

St. Mary's Hall, Bank Street

This building, which was erected in 1875-75, has a frontage of 110 feet. The style is Italian, and the walls are built of brick with stone facings. The ground floor story contains two spacious main entrance halls, with staircases and cloak rooms, and two school rooms, male and female, capable of accommodating 600 children. The schools are under the National Board, and are fully occupied. The first story contains a minor hall 63 feet by 26, a reading room, a double billiard room, with committee rooms, lavatories, etc. The great hall is on the second story, and measures 110 feet by 48. The ceiling is 36 feet high, and is arched and panelled with stucco enrichments. A rich entablature surrounds the wall a little below the springing of ceiling arch, supported by fluted pilasters with capitals of the Corinthian order. The hall is approached by two separate stairways, one of which by a further ascent leads to a balcony on the east end of horse shoe plan. On the west end is a spacious platform. The great hall when fully occupied is capable of accommodating 4,000 persons. The building is erected from the premiated (permiated) designs of Mr. Alex. McAlister, of this town, the builder being Mr. James Ross.

Miscellaneous

Some of the manufactories are among the largest in the kingdom, and within the last few years many of the warehouses and business establishments erected by our leading merchants, are on quite a palatial scale, and are models of modern architecture that could scarcely be surpassed in any town in the Empire.
Mills - Among the mills and business establishments in town may be mentioned the following :- York Street Flax Spinning Company ; Brookfield Mills, Crumlin Road ; Edenderry Spinning Co., Crumlin Road ; Messrs. Ewart & Sons, Crumlin Road ; Messrs. Mitchell Bros., Crumlin Road ; Messrs. Sir John Savage & Co., Crumlin Road ; Milfort Spinning Co., Falls Road ; Milewater Spinning Co., Jennymount ; Messrs. J. & T. M. Greeves, Falls Road ; Belfast Flax and Jute Works Co., Mountpottinger ; Messrs. Moreland Bros., Loop Bridge Mill ; Wolfhill Spinning Co., Ligoneil ; Messrs. W. Ewart & Sons (late Messrs. Waring & Duncan), Ligoneil ; Representatives of the late John Emerson, Ligoneil ; Ligoneil Spinning Company ; Ulster Spinning Company, Falls Road and Tea Lane ; Messrs. Philip Johnston & Sons Limited, Jennymount ; Blackstaff Spinning Company, Boyne Bridge ; Smithfield Spinning Company, Smithfield ; Falls Road Flax Spinning Company, etc.
Manufactories etc - Royal Irish Distillery, Grosvenor Street ; Smithfield Brewing Company, Smithfield ; Cromac Buildings, Victoria Square, where the extensive mineral water manufactory of Messrs. Cantrell & Cochrane is situated ; the Belfast Bottle Works, Ballymacarrett ; Messrs. Francis Ritchie's Felt and Manure Works, Ballymacarrett ; Messrs. George M'Tear (McTear, McTeir, McTier) & Co.'s Felt and Steam Joinery Works, Corporation Street ; Messrs. Anderson's Felt Works, Ballymacarrett ; Messrs, Richardson Bros. & Co.'s Manure Works, Ballymacarrett ; Messrs. James McCracken & Company, Line Hall Street ; Mr. John Roger's Felt and Grease Works, Middlepath Street etc.
Factories - Broadway Factory (Messrs. J. & J. Shillington & Co.) ; Brookfield Linen Co.; Messrs. Johnston Brothers, Highfield ; Mr. John Elliott, Falls Road ; the Clonard Print Works, Falls Road ; Old Park Print Works, Old Park ; Glengormley Print Works ; Messrs. Wm. Strain & Sons, Great Victoria Street ; Messrs. Darbishire Brothers' Finishing Mills, Falls Road ; Messrs. W. Easdale & Co.'s Finishing and Bleach Works, Falls Road ; Messrs. W. Ewart & Sons' Bleaching Works, Ligoneil ; Glenalina Bleaching Co.'s Works ; Messrs. D. Currell & Co., Dublin Road, etc.
Engineering Works - Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Queen's Island ; Messrs. Victor & David Coates, Lagan Village ; Messrs. Workman Bros., Twin Islands ; Messrs. John Rowan & Sons Limited, York Street ; Messrs. Combe, Barbour & Combe, Falls Road ; Mr. George Horner, Clonard ; the Soho Works, Townsend Street ; Messrs. Stephen Cotton & Company, Brookfield ; Hyde Park Machine Works (Nesbitt Bros.), Townsend Street ; Messrs. James Reynolds & Co., Grosvenor Street ; Messrs. MacIlwaine & Lewis, Abercorn Basin, etc.
Warehouses and Public Buildings - Messrs. Richardson, Sons & Owden Limited, Donegall Square North ; Messrs. Preston, Smyth & Co/. Donegall Square South ; Messrs. Wm. Ewart & Sons, Bedford Street ; Messrs. Dicksons, Ferguson & Company, Howard Street ; Messrs. P. Ewing & Sons, Donegall Square South ; Messrs. Jaffe Brothers, Donegall Square South ; Messrs. Henry Matier & Company, May Street ; Messrs. William Malcolmson & Company, Donegall Square West ; Messrs. J. & R. Young & Co., Wellington Place and Queen Street ; Brookfield Linen Co., Donegall Street ; Messrs. Finlay Brothers, Corporation Street ; Messrs. William Kirk & Partners, Donegall Square West ; Messrs. John S. Brown & Son, Bedford Street ; Messrs. William Liddell & Co., Bedford Street ; Messrs. Workman & Co., Bedford Street ; Mr. John Elliott, Bedford Street ; Messrs. Malcolm & Pentland, Bedford Street ; Messrs. James Glass & Co., Bedford Street ; The Ulster Spinning Company, Bedford Street ; Messrs. Hamilt (Hamilton) Megaw & Thomson. Corporation Street ; Dunville & Co. Limited, Calender Street ; Messrs. John Preston & Co., Calender Street ; Messrs. J. Robb & Co. Lombard Street and Castle Place ; Scottish Widows' Fund, Lombard Street ; Scottish Amicable Insurance Company, Victoria Street ; North British and Mercantile Life and Fire Insurance Company, High Street ; The Corn Exchange Buildings (offices of the Northern Whig), Victoria Street ; Messrs. J. & T. Sinclair Limited, Tomb Street ; Sir Edward Coey & Co. Limited, Tomb Street ; Royal Ulster Works (Messrs. Marcus Ward & Co.), Bankmore, Dublin Road ; Messrs. Moore & Weinberg, Linen Hall Street ; Messrs. Archer & Sons, Wellington Place ; Messrs. John Lyttle & Sons, Victoria Street ; Mr. Samuel McCausland, Victoria Street ; Mr. James Glenn, Corporation Street ; Messrs. Watson ; Armstrong & Co., Donegall Square.  White Linen Hall - Messrs. S. G. Fenton & Co.; Messrs. Fenton, Connor & Co.; Messrs. Foster, Connor & Co.; Castleisland Weaving Co.; Messrs. Kamcke & Co.; Messrs. Richard Bell & Co.
Belfast possesses some of the finest retail concerns to be found in any town in the United Kingdom. Amongst these we may mention Messrs. Forster Green & Co., High Street ; Messrs. James Lindsay & Co. Limited, Ulster Arcade, Donegall Place ; Sir John Arnott & Co. Limited, Bridge Street ; Messrs. MacKenzie & MacMullan, High Street ; Messrs. Anderson & McAuley, Donegall Place ; Bank Buildings (Messrs. Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co. Limited), Castle Place ; Messrs. John Marshall & Co., Castle Place ; Messrs. Grattan & Company, Corn Market ; Messrs. Wheeler & Whitaker, High Street ; Messrs. John G. McGee & Company, High Street ; The Belfast Carpet Warehouse Company (Messrs. N. A. Campbell & Co. Limited), Donegall Place ; Messrs. R. Patterson & Co., High Street ; Messrs. Wilson, Carswell & Company, Donegall Place ; Messrs. E. & W. Pim & Co., High Street ; Messrs. Malcolmson Brothers, Castle Place ; Messrs. B. & E. McHugh & Co., Bridge Street and Rosemary Street ; Messrs. J. Robb & Co., Castle Place ; Messrs. J. & J. Haslett & Co., North Street ; Messrs. Alexander Orr, Reid & Co., North Street.

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS etc.
The Belfast Royal Hospital

In September, 1792, a Dispensary was established in Belfast, and in 1797 the plan of a Fever Hospital was laid before the public by the same person who had furnished the first idea of a Dispensary. In the original Hospital in Berry Street 73 patients were treated in about six months. Of the first 60 patients admitted (all of whom were attended by Dr. Stephenson) not one died, but when the number amounted to 73 three deaths occurred, giving a proportion of one death to 26 1/2. The Fever Hospital was closed about the end of 1797, partly from lack of patients, and no hospital for infectious diseases existed until 1797 when a Fever Hospital was reopened in West Street in charge of two physicians (increased in June 1819 to three), two consulting physicians, two surgeons, and an apothecary. It appears from old documents that between the 1st of December, 1799 and the 14th October, 1800, 149 patients had been admitted, of whom 12 died, and from the last date, until 18th August, 1801, 249 were admitted, of whom 18 died. A calculation was made at that time upon the patients admitted between 1799 and 1802, from which it appears that 249 females were admitted for 150 males, and yet the mortality in the latter was greater than that in the former in the proportion of eight to seven - that is, while the females exceeded the males in the ratio of five to three, the deaths of the males was greater than that of the females in the ratio of eight to seven. From 1808 the Grand Juries of the County Antrim presented for the Dispensary sums equal to the voluntary subscriptions paid by individuals, and from 1817 they were enabled under an Act of Parliament to grant any sums under 500 per annum towards fever hospitals. On the 18th August, 1817, the Hospital was removed to the present site in Frederick Street, when four physicians and four surgeons were appointed to attend regularly, and a sum of 400 was granted towards the expenses by the Antrim Grand Jury. It may not be uninteresting to mention that 17 was the total number of patients removed from the old to the new hospital ; but the typhus fever which afterwards became so general increased the number of patients, in the short space of thirteen weeks, to 141. The cost of the original structure in Frederick Street was about 6,000, which was raised by the subscriptions and donations, including the following - a donation from the Sovereign and Burgesses out of the poor's money, 400 ; three benefit plays by amateurs (mostly respectable tradesmen), 321 ; bequests, 206 ; three charity sermons, 482 ; surplus of a poor's loan fund, 113 ; donations from poor's fund, 97 ; a gift by the proprietors of the White Linen Hall, 300 ; Sunday collections, 400 ; building subscriptions from 1813 to August 1, 1817, 2,000. The premises have of late years been considerably improved and augmented, two extensive wings having been added by liberal donations from the late John Charters, Esq., and Sinclair K. Mulholland, Esq. Attached to the Hospital, is a staff of surgical and medical practitioners, and students from the Queen's College receive instruction in its wards by clinical lectures. Up till the year 1875 the Institution bore the name of the General Hospital, but a Royal charter of incorporation having at that time been ordained, principally through the exertions of Adam J. Macrory, Esq., the then hon. secretary, the name was changed to the Belfast Royal Hospital. The institution, in addition to providing accommodation for indoor patients, has attached to it an extern department where many thousands of cases are treated every year. It is supported entirely by voluntary contributions, and it may now be said to rank foremost among the charities, not only of Belfast, but of the North of Ireland. In connection with the Belfast Royal Hospital is the Convalescent Home, situated on the Throne Lands on the Antrim Road, and an hospital for children labouring under chronic diseases, built by the late Samuel Martin, Esq., Shrigley, County Down, on ground purchased by him, and given with the building to the committee of the Belfast Royal Hospital.

The Belfast Charitable Society

The charitable institutions of Belfast are numerous and well supported. The buildings of the Incorporated Belfast Charitable Society occupy a commanding site immediately adjoining the Royal Barracks in North Queen Street. As this institution is the oldest charity in Belfast a brief sketch of its history may not be uninteresting. In the middle of the last century Belfast began to attain a position of commercial importance, which naturally attracted numbers of the labouring classes, as well as vagrants, from all parts of the North ; and these became so numerous as to demand the attention of the leading inhabitants of the town and adjoining country, a meeting of whom was consequently held in the "George" on the 20th August, 1751, to consider the question of building a poorhouse, hospital and church, the necessity for which is shown by the following resultation passed at a subsequent meeting :- Resolved - "that, whereas a poorhouse and hospital are greatly wanted in Belfast for the support of vast numbers of real objects of charity in this parish, for the employment of idle beggars who crowd to it from all parts of the North, and for the reception of infirm and diseased poor ; and, whereas the Church of Belfast is old and ruinous, and not large enough to accommodate the parishoners, and to rebuild and enlarge the same would be an expense grievous and insupportable by the ordinary method of public cesses ; now, in order to raise a sum of money to carry out those good works into execution, the following scheme has been approved of by the principal inhabitants of said town and gentlemen of fortune in the neighbourhood, who are friends to promote so laudable an undertaking." The scheme was a  lottery, by which they were to raise a sum of money, the tickets to be sold in the principal cities and towns of the empire ; but as the scheme did not receive much encouragement in London, and the tickets were cried down, the committee sent over Messrs. Gregg and Getty, with the power of an attorney to promote the execution of the project. Notwithstanding the scheme was still decried, and legal proceedings had to be taken to compel the purchasers to pay for their tickets. At last, a sum of money having been obtained, a memorial was presented to Lord Donegall, asking him to grant a piece of ground for the erection of buildings. His Lordship acceded to the request, and advertisements were issued inviting plans for the building of a poorhouse and hospital, the cost to be 3,000, and the stone, sand, lime and water to be furnished gratis by the inhabitants of the town and district. The plans of Mr. Cooley, of Dublin, for a poorhouse to accommodate 36 inmates, and an hospital to contain 24 beds were approved of, and on the 7th of August, 1771, the foundation stone was laid, five guineas being enclosed in it. In addition to the hospital and poorhouse the buildings contained assembly rooms for the use of the townspeople and profit of the charity. About the 17th September, 1774, the hospital was opened for the admission of the sick. In this hospital were made the first trials of inoculation and vaccination in the North of Ireland, as it appears from the minutes that on the 4th May, 1782, the thanks of the committee were given to Dr. Drennan for his introduction of the plan of inoculation ; and on the 29th of March, 1800, a resolution was passed permitting Dr. Halliday, jun., to try the experiment of vaccination on a few children in the house, provided the consent of their parents was obtained. An extern department was afterwards established, and wards were also allotted for the treatment of lunatics, and we find from an entry in the committee book that one of the lunatics was to be handcuffed and chained by the leg. It also appears that there was a lock hospital, as well as a reformatory in connection with the building. For many years this society continued the only charity in town, but gradually other institutions became established, which relieved its expenditure. The erection of a Dispensary in 1792, and of an Hospital for Infectious Diseases, in West Street, in 1799, enabled the Belfast Charitable Society to close its extern department, and on the 18th August, 1817, the hospital was removed to the present buildings in Frederick Street. Since the coming into operation of the Irish Poor Law Act the charity has been, in its practical operation, limited to the class of decayed citizens, as also reduced tradesmen, artisans, and servants. Within the last few years, through the munificence of the late John Charters, Esq., and Edward B. Benn, Esq., the buildings have been added to and improved by the erection of new wings. The institution is supported by voluntary subscriptions, as well as by the rental of certain grounds and houses which have been erected on the land contained in the original grant. The business is conducted by a committee annually elected from among the subscribers, and there are excellent schools attached for boys and girls, orphans, and children of reduced parents.

Ulster Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind

This Institution is situated on the north side of the new road to Lisburn, and about an Irish mile from the Commercial Buildings. The ground rented by the Society contains five statute acres, and is held by lease for ever, from Edward Harris Clark, Esq., at a rent of 60 per annum. At the entrance gate is a neat Porter's Lodge, and in front of the building is a double terrace with a large sloping road. The new institution, the foundation stone of which was laid by Lord Donegall on 31st August, 1843, and was opened 24th September, 1845, by the late Lord Massereene and Ferrard, is built from plans of Sir Charles Lanyon, in the Tudor style, of brick, having the doors and windows decorated with stone dressings. It has a frontage of 222 feet, and the wings at each end extends 164 feet to the rere. The main building is two stories high, and is surmounted by a handsome octagonal dome. The central division of the building contains the private apartments of the principal, a museum, an office, and assistant's sitting room. It separates the male department, at the eastern side, from the female, at the western side. By this arrangement the two sexes, so far as relates to their accommodation, amusements and pursuits out of school, are preserved separate and independent, except at meals. On the eastern side of the main building on the ground floor, are a play room, work rooms, lavatory, etc., for the boys ; on the western side of the main building are the dining hall, girls' workroom, bathroom, kitchen, sculleries, laundry, stores, boiler house etc. The whole of the second story, save the centre block of the building, is occupied by large and spacious dormitories for the pupils, capable of containing 150 beds, clothes stores, infirmaries, assistant's bedrooms etc. The school room, which was built in 1845, was found too small for the increasing number of pupils, and a new school room was built which was opened by the fourth Marquis of Downshire, on the 29th December, 1863. This new schoolroom which is at the rere of the centre building, and between the boys'' and girls' play ground, is 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and with the ceiling 25 feet high. It is lighted by eighteen large windows, and heated by four fires. About an acre and a half of ground at the rere of the premises is occupied as a vegetable garden for the use of the establishment. The honorary secretaries are Wm. Shaw, Esq., and Sir Charles Lanyon, the Rev. John Kinghan being the principal.

Nurses' Home and Training School

Almost immediately opposite to the Belfast Royal Hospital, and on the spot once occupied by the Thatched Tavern, a place of amusement of the tea garden, description, well known about thirty years ago, stands a red brick edifice - the Belfast Nurses' Home and Training School. This institution which was established in 1971, is in connexion with the Belfast Royal Hospital, and the building at present occupied was erected from designs by Mr. John Lanyon, C.E., at the cost of close upon 5,000. Previous to April, 1876, other premises were made use of, but since that date the new and commodious house in Frederick Street has proved to be a most satisfactory home in all respects. The advantages accruing to the community from the establishment of such an institution are not to be over estimated. None are more sensible of this than medical gentlemen who have had the benefit of trained nurses, who often enable the doctor to adopt treatment which, without that intelligence and education necessary to put his instructions into effect, would fail to succeed in its expected results. From all parts of the country, the nurses engaged in private houses have received capital testimonials for efficiency ; and as for sobriety, that is a sine qua non. Miss Otway and Mr. Macrory took an active part in the establishing of this institution, which has been described by a person who has a large experience in such matters, to be the most complete of the sort in the three kingdoms, not even excepting the Nightingale institution in London. The "Home" had supplied five nurses for district poor nursing in Belfast ; and the matrons in the Londonderry and Downpatrick Hospitals emanated from the institution. There are forty available nurses, and of these, sixteen are employed in the Royal Belfast Hospital assisting the medical staff in the treatment of diseases of all sorts. Miss Nalcott is the lady superintendent, and the internal economy of the house is carried out by the matron, Miss Hopkirk. Each nurse has a separate and well ventilated room ; and there is a board room, dining room, and lecture room, in the last mentioned of which, the nurses and probationers receive instructions on the subjects connected with their office. His Grace the Duke of Abercorn is patron ; and the lady patronesses are the Marchionesses of Donegall and Londonderry. The General Committee and Board of Management include the names of the most benevolent and popular ladies and gentlemen in the North of Ireland.

Belfast Ophthalmic Hospital, Great Victoria Street

This handsome structure, which stands in Great Victoria Street, was generously presented to the inhabitants of the town by Lady Johnson, who built and equipped it at an expense of 3,200, in addition to which she generously provided an Endowment Fund of 2,000. The rooms are spacious and well lighted, and the building forms a very handsome feature in the locality. The material is white brick, with stone settings. In the entrance hall is a marble tablet, bearing the following inscription :- "This building was erected and endowed, in memory of her father, the late Thomas Hughes, Esq., of Belfast, ob. January, 2, A.D. 1848, by his only surviving child, Lady Johnson, and placed under trustees as an Ophthalmic Hospital, A.D. 1867. Trustees - Sir William Gillilan Johnson and Thomas Hughes." An immense number of cases have been treated at this Hospital.

Ulster Hospital for Children

This benevolent Institution, which originated its career of usefulness in 1872, in No. 12 Chichester Street, was founded, as the name implies, for affording medical treatment to children. The charity however so developed and found such generous support on the part of the public that its promoters were encouraged some three years ago to remove the Institution to much more extensive premises in Fisherwick Place. Here it is now pursuing its noble mission under the auspices of very influential committees of ladies and gentlemen, who take a warm and personal interest in its success. The lady superintendent, Miss Park, gives her services gratuitously, and by her kindness to the patients and strict supervision of the establishment, has greatly aided the Hospital in fulfilling its benevolent designs. The Institution is wholly dependant on voluntary contributions. As indicative of the work accomplished by the Institution, it may be mentioned that during the twelve months ending 31st July, 1879, no fewer than 10,704 young patients received medical treatment, many of the cases being of a very serious and peculiar nature.

The Belfast Hospital for Sick Children

This Institution was founded with similar objects in view to the one just noticed. It likewise is supported by voluntary contributions, and obtained such generous recognition of the good it was accomplishing that the committee were enabled to erect early last year a larger building in which to carry on their good work. The present situation is in Queen Street, and the Hospital is in all respects admirably adopted to the purposes for which it was designed. During the past year (1879) the large number of 13,153 cases were attended to by the medical staff.

Ulster Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Clifton Street

This Institution was founded in Jan., 1871. New and commodious premises at Clifton Street were subsequently erected by the late Edward Benn, Esq., of Glenravel, and opened for the reception of patients in May, 1874.  During the five years ending on 31st December, 1875, 13,234 patients received relief. The Hospital is open daily, except on Sunday. For the first five days in the week the hours of admission are from 9 till 11 o'clock, and on Saturday from 12 till 1 o'clock. Any poor person will receive advice gratis at the extern department from the Acting Surgeon without letter of recommendation or other formality. The intern department is fitted up for the reception of 24 patients. Poor persons may be admitted to the intern department by the House Committee, or by the Acting Surgeon in cases of urgency or distress free of charge. Any poor person, no matter whence he may come, will be admitted on payment of 7s. per week, should the case be deemed suitable by the Acting Surgeon. In accordance with the expressed wish of the late Mr. Benn, that the intern department of the Hospital should be made available for all classes of the community, private wards have been set apart for private patients, under the care of the Acting Surgeon. Copies of the Rules and Bye-Laws may be had on application to the Secretary.

The Belfast Hospital for Skin Diseases, Glenravel Street

This Institution was founded by Dr. H. S. Purdon as a Dispensary, in Academy Street, in 1865. From the success that attended the opening of the charity, a bazaar was held in 1867 towards building a suitable house, the ground for which was obtained in Regent Street, and a small hospital erected thereon. However, it was in a very short time too small for the increasing number of patients, not only from Belfast, but also surrounding country places, and when these facts were brought under the notice of the late Edward Benn, Esq., he built the present large and commodious hospital in Glenravel Street, which, with its complete suite of baths, will supply the necessary hospital accommodation for many years. The Institution is managed by a committee elected from amongst the subscribers are the annual meeting in July each year.

The Samaritan Hospital

The Samaritan Hospital is situate in the West end of Belfast, in the centre of an open space. It has a Western aspect, and from its windows there is a wide and splendid view of the range of hills which stretch from the Cave Hill westward. The hospital is exclusively devoted to the treatment of diseases peculiar to women. The charity was founded by Mr. David Cunningham, and was organised under the medical control of Dr. W. R. McMordie. It is the only hospital of the kind in the North of Ireland. The present building was erected by the late Mr. Edward Benn, a well known philanthropist, at a cost of nearly 4,000. The wards are roomy and well lighted. The cheerful aspect of every part of the interior, the order and scrupulous cleanliness of the rooms, impress the visitor. In the large consulting room on the ground floor there is a portrait of Mr. Edward Benn, and a life size painting by Sir T. A. Jones, President of the R. H. A., of Mr. David Cunningham. The charity, which was opened on 29th June, 1875, has met an important want, and is already recognised as one of the most useful as well as one of the most successful of our local institutions. It is open for the treatment of all classes without distinction of creed.

Miscellaneous

A Lying-in Hospital was opened in 1794, and supported by subscriptions from ladies in the town and country. About 1830 it was removed from its original site in Donegall Street to its present position in Clifton Street, where it continues in successful operation. A Dispensary, in Chapel Lane, was opened in 1827, for the treatment of diseases of the eye, and it soon became thronged with patients. It was closed after continuing several years, soon to be replaced by the more extensive institutions in Great Victoria Street, and Glenravel Street. Another Institution which has grown to colossal proportions, is the Hospital for Infections and Contagious Diseases, adjoining the Union Workhouse, which is under the management of the Local Government Board. During the late outbreak of small pox it was largely taken advantage of - not only by the poorer class, but by very many in the higher ranks of society. A District Lunatic Asylum, for patients from the Counties of Down and Antrim, was opened for the reception of patients in 1829. It is located in a healthful and elevated position on the Falls Road, about a mile and a quarter west of the centre of town. Its original cost was 30,000 ; but additional wings and buildings have been added, and the premises afford accommodation for about 400 patients. The institution is now confined to the reception of patients from Belfast and County Antrim - a separate asylum for County Down having been opened near Downpatrick, in the year 1869. At the opening of the institution there were about 100 patients under treatment; but its inmates now amount to about 400. The buildings are situated in the centre of about thirty acres of land, a large portion of which is used for farming operations ; and such of the patients as are capable of being so occupied, are kept in constant employment.
The principal remaining philanthropic charitable and poor relief institutions of the town are - The Ladies' Clothing Society, 129, Durham Street ; The Ladies' Industrial School for Girls, Frederick Street ; Provident Home for Friendless Females of good character, 76, Pakenham Place ; Pensioners; Benevolent Society, Pension Office, Belfast Barracks ; Royal Medical Benevolent Fund Society of Ireland, Dr. Wilberforce Arnold, Crescent House, secretary, Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society, 1,2, and 3 Ulster Chambers, Waring Street ; Society for Providing Nurses for the Sick Poor, Mrs. Johnston, Dunedin, and Miss Herdman, 6 College Square North, secretaries. Society for the Relief of the Destitute Sick, Mrs. Simm, 129 Durham Street ; Ulster Magdalene Asylum, Donegall Pass ; Ulster Female Penitentiary, 14 Brunswick Street ; The Destitute Sick Society ; The Ladies' Connaught Relief Society ; The Seaman's Friend Society ; Belfast Ragged School, Barrack Street ; Belfast Sailors' Home, Corporation Street ; Belfast Sailors' Institute, Queen's Quay ; Belfast Sailors' Institute and Workmen's Reading Rooms, 18 Dock Street ; Malone Protestant Reformatory, Lisburn Road ; Ulster Training Ship, Gibraltar, for Homeless and Destitute Boys ; Roman Catholic Ladies' Clothing Society ; St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Orphanage, Crumlin Road ; The Association for the Employment of the Industrious Blind, 6 Howard Street ; Mrs. Wilson's Bequest for Widows, and Lady Johnson's Bounty for Aged Females, Clarence Place. There are also the Belfast Female Mission, established in 1859 ; The Belfast Midnight Missionary Association, besides district Dispensaries. There are also several friendly societies, partaking partly of a benevolent character, and relief is afforded to members when in depressed circumstances of during sickness.
Fill details as to the character and modus operandi of the above will be found in the section headed "Benevolent Institutions."

Poor Relief

The following table shows the state of the several departments of the Union Workhouse for the undermentioned years :-

Date

House

Hospital

Infirmary

School Buildings

Total

Date

House

Hospital

Infirmary

School Building

Total

Dec. 31, 1857
Dec. 31, 1858
Dec. 31, 1859
Dec. 31, 1860
Dec. 31, 1861
Dec. 31, 1862
Dec. 31, 1863
Dec. 31, 1864
Dec. 31, 1865
Dec. 31, 1866
Dec. 31, 1967
Dec. 31, 1868

717
467
433
398
489
593
546
439
469
595
686
980

286
246
277
253
355
337
378
326
409
223
402
297

359
345
369
370
361
425
212
424
443
406
397
415

232
226
215
221
232
240
278
239
246
380
541
636

1594
1284
1294
1242
1435
1597
1614
1426
1569
1606
2026
2328

Dec. 31, 1869
Dec. 31, 1870
Dec. 31, 1871
Dec. 31, 1872
Dec. 31, 1873
Dec. 31, 1874
Dec. 31, 1875
Dec. 31, 1876
Dec. 31, 1877
Dec. 31, 1878
Dec. 31, 1879

1173
1372
1138
1187
1383
1485
1432
  889
  962
1121
1169

454
343
288
308
253
251
219
235
321
268
267

456
448
601
542
553
617
543
566
663
773
853

653
431
325
346
354
292
257
306
271
343
385

2736
2594
2252
2353
2543
2645
2451
1995
2217
2573
2674

Historical Description Part 2

Streets - Alphabetically

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