From Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862
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° 36' 8.5" N., long. 5° 55' 53.7" W., comprising an area of 1,872 acres, including 576 acres in the suburb of Ballymacarrett, county Down; of this area, 1,542 are within, and 330 without, the municipal boundary. Population in 1841, 75,308 ; inhabited houses, 10,906. In 1851 the population was 100,300, and in 1861, 119,242, inhabiting 18,375 houses.
The town is about 12 miles from the sea, at the mouth of the Lagan, which bounds it on the S.E., and flows immediately into Belfast Lough, which is 12 miles in length, and 5 in breadth at the entrance, gradually narrowing as it approaches the town. The river Lagan, which separates the counties of Antrim and Down, is crossed by 3 bridges and 2 boat ferries; the Queen's bridge, built of granite, on the site of the old long bridge, which had 21 arches, is a splendid structure.
Belfast is built on an alluvial deposit, and lies low, the greater portion being not more than 6 feet above high sea level; yet, on account of its geographical position, it is healthy. The Tidal Harbour Commissioners (1846) describe Belfast as " the first town in Ireland in enterprise and commercial prosperity," and " second only to Dublin as a port." Its places of worship are, of the Established Church, 12; Roman Catholics, 4; Presbyterians, 19; Unitarians, 3 ; Baptists, 1 ; Mormons, 1 ; Independents, 1; Methodists, 8; Quakers, 1. Its educational establishments are, the Royal Academical Institution, founded in 1810, by a voluntary subscription of £26,000 ; it comprises 2 large schools and a school of design,—the Belfast Academy, founded in 1780—the School of Design, endowed with £600 per annum, in addition to local subscriptions—a "Ragged" School, the first established in Ireland—28 National Schools in the town and its vicinity,—and numerous private seminaries. The new Queen's College, a fine building in the Elizabethan style, built from the design of C. Lanyon, Esq., was opened in October, 1849. The public libraries are in the Queen's College, the Royal Academical Institution, and the Linen Hall. There are 9 newspapers, one of which dates from 1737. The other public institutions are, the Charitable Society's Poor-house,—the Lying-in Hospital,—the General Hospital,—the District Lunatic Asylum,— the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Asylum,—the Union Workhouse,—the House of Correction,—the county Court House,—the White and Brown Linen Halls,—the Commercial Buildings,—the Corn Exchange,—the Belfast and Northern Joint Stock Banks,—the Museum,—the Theatre Royal,—the Music Hall,—and within a mile of the town is the Royal Botanic Garden, comprising 17 acres. A new Town Hall, and an extensive range of offices for the Customs, Inland Revenue, and Post Office departments, have lately been erected.
The Borough of Belfast is governed by a Corporation of 10 Aldermen and 30 Councillors; from the former a Mayor is annually chosen. The Borough returns 2 members to the Imperial Parliament; constituency in 1859, 3,303. The Borough rates in 1851 amounted to £1,725, of which, and a balance of £140 from the previous year, £231 was applied to municipal elections; and £1,263 to salaries and pensions of municipal officers. The Assizes are held here; also Quarter Sessions; a Manor Court, or Court Leet; and daily Petty Sessions, at which the Mayor presides. The paving, lighting, and cleansing are vested in a police committee, chosen by the town council under a special Act; annual average expense, £9,000. The supply of pipe water, which is obtained from a spring 2 miles S., and 3 large reservoirs 1 mile N. of the town, is under Commissioners, incorporated in 1840. Belfast is the nucleus of the Irish linen manufacture, and the country spinners and manufacturers meet those of the town on Fridays in the Commercial Buildings, which is the public Exchange. This trade is now in a flourishing condition and rapidly increasing. There are in the town and vicinity 33 mills, and in all Ireland 76, numbering 506,000 spindles. Those in the town are all worked by steam power, and employ 32,000 hands. There are 5 cotton spinning factories in or near the town, containing 90,000 spindles. The other chief branches of industry are linen and cotton weaving, iron founding on an extensive scale, and bleaching. There are also print works, flour mills, chemical works, oil mills, alabaster and barilla mills, saw mills, breweries, distilleries, several tan yards, a patent felt manufactory, flax-steeping works, &c, 5 large ship yards, with 2 patent slips, and yards for manufacturing ropes and sail-cloth. Fairs are held on the first Wednesday of each month; Markets on Fridays, besides daily markets for domestic purposes. The inland trade is carried on by the Lagan navigation, which connects the town with Lough Neagh, the Ulster Canal, which connects Lough Neagh with Enniskillen, and by the Ulster, Ballymena, and County Down Railways, which connect the town with the Counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, and Derry; a railroad from the Cave Hill, 3 miles from Belfast, conveys limestone to the quays. The termini of the Ulster, Ballymena, and County Down railways are handsome structures. The Ulster Railway communicates with Dublin at Portadown station, where it joins the Dublin and Belfast Junction Line.
The harbour was originally only a creek of the port of Carrickfergus ; but on the purchase of the privilege by the Crown, in 1637, the Custom House for the district was established here. Prior to 1839, large vessels had to lie in the pool or basin of Garmoyle, 4 miles from the town, but in 1840, a new channel was formed, having 9 feet water at low tides. Vessels drawing 16 feet water can now come up in neap tides, and those drawing 18 feet, in spring tides. The improvements of the port, which, with all matters connected with traffic by sea, are under the management of the Harbour Commissioners, established by statute in 1831, and elected by the ratepayers, are of very great extent, having cost about £450,000, raised in local loans on the security of the harbour dues. The quays extend in a continuous line from the Queen's Bridge on both sides of the river to the commencement of the New Cut. There are 2 docks—Prince's and the Clarendon—which are reserved for foreign shipping. In the process of deepening the channel, three islands have been formed; the largest, named Queen's Island, has been planted and laid out in public walks, and a building of iron and glass erected within it for holding bazaars, &c. The commerce of Belfast is very great; its imports, in 1835, amounted to £3,695,438 ; its exports to £4,341,794. In a document on harbours, published by the Admiralty, the imports in 1850 are estimated at £6,938,238, and the exports at £4,633,062.
Members of Parliament for the Borough.
Sir Hugh MacCalmont Cairns, Q.C. (1852), 5, New-square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C.; 79, Eaton-place, S.W.; and Carlton Club, London, S.W.
Samuel Gibson Getty, esq. (1860), 8, Eccleston-square, London, S.W.
Mayor, Charles Lanyon, esq.
Dock Ward, George Coates, James Carlisle.
St. Ann's Ward, William Mullan, William Ewart, jun.
Smithfield Ward, John Lytle, John Preston.
St. George's Ward, Sir Edward Coey, Thomas Sinclair.
Cromac Ward, Charles Lanyon, William Dunville.
Heron, Wm. Corn.
Malcolm, William H.
Johnston, Wm. J.
Ferguson, James B.
St. Ann's Ward.
M'Geagh, Robert Thomas.
St. George's Ward.
Murney, Henry, M.D.
M'Gee, John Getty.
Murphy, Isaac James.
Coates, William, J.P.
M'Clure, Thomas, J.P.
Murphy, Joseph John.
Auditors, John Coleman, John R. Musgrave.
Borough Assessors, George Phillips, Sam. Cunningham.
Ward Assessors—Dock Ward.
Bradford, James. Nicholl, Richard.
St. Ann's Ward.
Gilbert, Wm. John.
St. George's Ward.
Brown, Thomas H.
Town Clerk, James Guthrie, esq.
Solicitor to the Corporation, Samuel Bruce, esq.
Clerk of the Markets, James Spratt.
HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS, CORPORATION-SQUARE,
Meet every Tuesday, at 12 o'clock.
Secretary and Collector of Rates, William Thompson.
Cashier, W. E. Young.
Clerks, O'Connell Shaw, Henry Hill, Henry Fleming.
Clerk of Rales on Goods, Henry M'Cord.
Auditor, William Hartley.
Harbour Master, James White.
Deputies, George Montgomery, Alexander O'Neill, Hugh Rankin, David Patton.
Overseer of Delivery of Ballast, Samuel Shaw.
Superintendent of Pilotage, Capt. White.
Pilot Masters, Henry M'Clean, Samuel Irwin, John M'Cutcheon.
Solicitor, James Torrens.
Consulting Engineers, Walker and Burges.
Engineer, George Smith.
Assistant Engineer, Richard Allen.
Foreman, J. Thompson.
Master of Dredging, James M'Williams.
LOCAL MARINE BOARD, NEW CUSTOM HOUSE.
Ex-officio Members, Mayor of Belfast and the Resident Magistrate.
Nominees of the Board of Trade, James Steen, esq., John S. Ferguson, esq., John Clarke, esq., Wm. Valentine, esq.
Members elected by the Ship Owners, James Hamilton, esq., Robert Corry, esq., Edmond Coey, esq., James Bradford, esq., Robert Boyd, esq.
Examiner in Navigation and Seamanship, and Shipping Master, Captain A. Macgregor Skinner, R.N.
Deputy Shipping Master, Robert Bakewell, esq.
Messenger, George Long.
Medical Inspector, D. J. M'Pirrie, Howard-street.
Surveyors of Steam Vessels, Ballycastle to Carlingford, Alex. M'Laing, Shipwright; Victor Coates, Engineer.
CUSTOM HOUSE, DONEGAL-QUAY.
Collector, John Shelly, esq.
1st Clerk, H. J. M'Cracken.
Clerks, David Currie, James Moore, David Miller, Andrew Jennings, William Dawson, D. Hamilton, James Campbell, George Hazard.
Surveyor, William Watt.
Examining Officers, Edward Browne, Wm. J. Trip, Adam Hill, Henry Briggs, Robert Campbell, Robert Welsh, William Trelford, Jos. Swinburne, B. N. M'Dowell, Wm. Donaldson.
Assistant Examining Officer, John Cooper.
Principal Coast Officer at Larne, Daniel Sheriff.
Receiver of Wreck for Belfast District, John Shelly, esq.
Emigration Officer, Capt. G. S. Dyer, R.N.
INLAND REVENUE, CUSTOM HOUSE, EXCISE BRANCH.
Collector, James Hill, esq.
First Clerk, Thomas Rhodes.
Second Clerk, David Jones.
Third Clerk, * * *
Supervisors—1st District, John Farquharson ; 2nd District, Hugh James Hopps ; Comber, Robert Braithwaite; Ballsclare, William Jacques.
INCOME TAX BRANCH.
Receiver, James Hill, esq.
Inspector, Francis Tarleton, esq.
Crown Surveyor, Samuel Salvage, esq.
Distributer of Stamps, T. R. Stannus, esq.
POST OFFICE, ROSEMARY-STREET.
Postmaster, O'Donnell Grimshaw, esq.
Belfast Banking Company; Ulster Banking Company ; Northern Banking Company; Branches of the Bank of Ireland and Provincial Bank.
SAVINGS' BANK, KING-STREET.
Instituted Jan., 1816.—Open every Tuesday and Friday, from 9 till 11 o'clock, for receiving notices; from 1 till 3, to make repayments of sums previously noticed; from 6 till 7 o'clock, for receiving deposits only.—Treasurer, Jas. Bristow,esq.; Secretary, J. Borthwick, esq.; Resident Manager, Thomas M. Tripp; Clerk, James Neill; Auditor of Accounts, William Hartley.
MILITARY STAFF, &C
Commanding Officer of Engineers, Lieut.-Colonel C. M'Causland.
Staff Officers of Pensioners, Colonel William McPherson, unat. and Lieut.-Colonel William Child, unat.
Barrack-master, F. F. W. Smith, esq., late Capt. 40th Ft.
NORTHERN RECRUITING DISTRICT AND STAFF.
Inspecting Field Officer, Colonel J. R. Brunker, C.B., Belfast.
District Paymaster, Lieut. James Robinson.
Staff Surgeon Major, D. M'Donald.
Adjutant, Lieut. George Griffin.
Superintending Officer, Major R. Dawson, h.p. Roy. Staff Corps, Omagh.
LOCAL LAW COURTS.
Quarter Sessions—held in the Court House, Belfast, four times a-year, for the registry of votes, the recovery of debts, and prosecution of minor offences. Book-debts, to the amount of £40, are recoverable by process in this court.
Consistorial Court and, Registry of Down and Connor, held in the Consistorial Office, Ulster Chambers, Waring-street, every alternate Monday, at 12 o'clock.—Vicar-General, Chas. Geo. Knox, esq., LL.D. ; Surrogate, Rev. Thos. Knox, a.m. ; Registrar, Henry T. Higginson, esq., a.m.,j.p. ; Deputy Registrar, J. M. Higginson, esq., N.P. ; Proctors, John Pennington, H. B. Magee, John Warnock, George Stephenson, W. Dillon, Henry Seeds, and John Birney, esqrs.; Apparitor, Ard. M'Afee.
Her Majesty's Court of Probate, District Registry for Antrim and Down—John M. Higginson, esq., District Registrar.
Petty Sessions—held in the Old Court House or House of Correction, every day at 10½ o'clock, a.m.—Resident Magistrate, William Samuel Tracy, esq.: Inspector, Mr. Seawright; Clerk of Sessions, James Searight.
Braddell, George W., 3, Castle-lane.
Cramsie, J. C, Waring-street.
Davis, William, The Castle.
Higginson, J. M., Court of Probate Offices, and Brooklyn, Holywood.
Hill, Adam, 11, Fisherwick-place.
M'Cracken, J. W., 25, Corporation-street.
Price, Thomas, North Queen-street.
Simms, William, Linen Hall.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, WARING-STREET.
President, John Hind.
Vice-Presidents, Thomas Sinclair and William Ewart, jun.
M'Clure, Thomas. *
Hunter, John, jun.
Herdman, John. *
Clarke, Edward H.
Lepper, R. S.
Bristow, James. *
Weinberg, J. Isaac.
* Ex-Officio Members of Council, being Presidents 1858-9-60.
Treasurer, Sir Edward Coey.
Secretary, Samuel Vance, esq.
Agent for Lloyds, Robert Boyd, esq.
Superintendent of Quarantine, Dr. Moore.
CONSULS AND VICE-CONSULS FOR FOREIGN POWERS.
Belgium, Gustavus Heyn, 3, Adelaide-place.
Denmark and Sweden, Paul L. Munster, Chevalier of the Order of the Dannebrog, Corporation-street.
Hanover, J. C. Pinkerton, Tomb-street.
United States, John Young.
Austria, H. Andrews, Tomb-street (Cons.-Agent).
Brazils, T. G. Bingham.
Denmark, A. Munster.
France, E. Beache, Queen-street.
Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, and the Hanseatic Towns, Gustavus Heyn, Corn Exchange.
Mexico, Roderick Kamcke, Linen Hall.
Portugal, John Hunter.
Russia, Prussia, Holland, Turkey, Greece, Mecklenburgh Schwerin, Oldenburgh, Spain, Gustavus Heyn, Corn Exchange.
Sweden, E. Munster.
Commercial News Room, in the Commercial Buildings; Linen Hall News Room, in the White Linen Hall; The People's News Rooms, Donegal-street; Catholic Institute, Hercules-place.
NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHED IN BELFAST.
Belfast Daily Northern Whig—Daily, price 1d. ; F. D. Finlay and Son, proprietors and printers, Calender-st.
Weekly Northern Whig—Saturday, price 2d.; F. D. Finlay and Son, proprietors and printers, Calender-street.
Banner of Ulster—Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, price 1d. ; M'Cormick and Dunlop, proprietors and printers, Donegall-street.
Morning News—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, price 1d.; R. and D. Read, proprietors and printers, Crown Entry.
Mercantile Journal and Statistical Register—Tuesday.
Belfast News-Letter—Daily, price 1d. ; James A. Henderson, proprietor and printer, Donegall-street.
Belfast Weekly News—Saturday, price 2d. ; James A. Henderson, proprietor and printer, Bridge-street.
Weekly Press—Saturday, price 1d.; M'Cormick and Dunlop, proprietors and printers, Donegall-street.
Ulster General Advertiser—Saturday, gratis; John Wallace, proprietor and printer, Donegall-street.
Charlotte Milligan Fox, sister of the poet Alice Milligan, was a founding member of the Irish Folk Song Society and an indefatigable field collector of Irish traditional music. Her singularly important work on Irish haprers is here presented for the twenty-first century reader. This edition of Annals offers a much greater number of illustrations than were included in the original 1911 publication, a full biographical introduction, an extensive bibliography of the writings of Milligan Fox and an appendix discussing the variant texts of Arthur O’Neills Memoirs.
Join our mailing list to receive updates on new content on Library, our latest ebooks, and more.
You won't be inundated with emails! — we'll just keep you posted periodically — about once a monthish — on what's happening with the library.