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Posted by Brian Magaoidh [bmagaoidh (at) yahoo.com] to the Belfast mailing list.

Hi all.

I came across the following from an old book dealing with Belfast, which some of you might find interesting:

In Old Belfast: Memories of a Great-Great-Grandfather (1740-1760) by L.R.Crescent.

[Belfast, Printed by W.& G. Baird, Limited, Royal Avenue, 1924.]

Re: 1756 Hunger Riots in Belfast:

A committee found that the chief authors, promoters, and ringleaders were Alexander Kennedy, John Brown, George Kerr, Collins Burns, Alexander M'Mullan, Edward Mitchell, Patrick Burns, James Quey, John Alexander, David Miller, James Hannah, Patrick Loan (in custody) William Muggerland, John Scott, James Dornan, James M'Dowell (in custody), Leathos M'Mullan, John Taylor. The rest against whom examinations are lodged and whom they are desirous to be admitted to bail are:- Patrick Thomson, John Gribbin, Richard Moore, younger, John M'Ilroy. James Fish, John M'Mullan, Paul Alexander, Daniel M'Neil, Joseph Hollinger, John M'Crory, Patrick McGladdery, William Warnock, William Venables (in custody), Samuel Dinnen, John M'Mechan, George Bryan, Daniel M'Fee, and George Taylor.'' (page 74).

Re: Organizing Charity:

On the 16th December, 1756, a general meeting was held in the market-house to consider a scheme for the relief and poor inhabitants of the town of Belfast.

The first twenty overseers were:- The Rev. Mr Saurin, Drennan, Kennedy, Laird, M'Cay; Messrs. Stewart Banks. Samuel M'Tier. James Gerry, Samuel Smith, Gilbert Orr, William Wallace, junior; Valentine Jones, John Hyde, Dr. Haliday, James Hamilton, Hugh Donaldson, John Clark, and George Ferguson. Samuel M'Tier was elected treasurer, and Henry Joy, clerk.(p.76-77)

The names of the first gentlemen chosen as overseers and assistants are worth preserving for their descendants, 150 years later. Gentlemen proposed for overseers and assistants (p.82).

District Overseers:
1. Wil. Burgess, John Carson.
2. J. Patterson, J. Henderson
3. J. Lewis, Brice Smith
4. Ja. Crawford, Ja. M'Waters
5. Ja. Patrick., Captain Stewart,
6.Mr. Laird, John Hay
7. John Brown, J.M'Kelvey
8. Mr Kennedy, Dr Ferguson
9. David Lyons, Geo. Black
10. James Ross, Wm. Byrtt.

Monthly Assistants:
1. Rev. Saurin
2. Jas. Adair
3. Thos. Gregg
4. J. Hamilton
5. G Macartney
6. S. Haven
7. G Ferguson
8. John Hyde
9. Dr Haliday
10. W. Wallace, jun.

Assistants for asking Subscriptions: (p.82)
1. Sam Smith
2. Mr Drennan
3. Mr Merrifield
4. J.Calwell
5. R. Armstrong
6 W. Mussenden
7. Ben. Legg
8. Gilbert Orr
9. John Potts
10. Val. Jones

The names of the committee which drew up this plan were: Stephen Haven, Thomas Greg, Val Jones, James Hamilton, James Saurin, George Macartney, James Adair, and Stewart Banks, the Sovereign.(p.83)

Note: According to the above book, the overseers were to go through their respective wards taking an exact account of the families therein of all stations, separating into three columns those who were able to give charity, those who were only able to support themselves, and such as were real and suitable objects of charity.

I suppose there is no chance that this survey has survived anywhere?

Brian

 

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