In the coming weeks Clifton House will be hosting a series of talks that will explore a range of diverse topics that include the role of women in writing history, Christmas in the poor house and the uncomfortable links between Belfast and the slave trade.

Below are the events, and tickets are limited for most:

1. Mary Ann McCracken Event: Women and the Writing Of History Virtual Panel Discussion November 16 @ 1pm – 2pm

The Mary Ann McCracken Foundation hosts a special online ‘Women and the Writing of History’ virtual panel discussion exploring how women have been written into, or as the case may be out, of history. The panel will include contributions from Dr Margaret Ward and our Archive and Heritage Development Officer based on their own research and experiences. The panel will highlight particular aspects of women’s role in Irish history, and the attitude of biographers towards their subjects whilst exploring some key female figures including Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington (1877-1946). 

2. Leaders and Shapers of the Victorian City by Dr Éamon Phoenix and Professor Laurence Kirkpatrick, November 19 @ 7pm – 8pm

The third virtual talk as part of the Reconciliation Fund supported Autumn Series ‘Belfast: Georgian Town to Divided City c1770-1920’ will be delivered by Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick (QUB) and Dr Éamon Phoenix on 19th November at 7pm entitled Leaders and Shapers of the Victorian City.  The talks will be via Zoom live from Clifton House and lasts approximately 45 minutes followed by a Q&A session and cost £6 per device. 

3. Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866): Her Life and Times Online Talk, November 20 @ 1pm – 2pm

This year marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of the philanthropist, abolitionist and activist, Mary Ann McCracken. This talk explores her life and times and touches on some of the activities of this remarkable woman with a special focus on her work in the Poor House. This virtual live talk will be facilitated by our knowledgeable staff and volunteers using Zoom. Numbers for these hour-long sessions will be limited to allow for Q&A sessions at the end. 

4. Belfast’s Industrial Rise: 1780-1914 by Jim McDermott, November 26 @ 7m – 8pm

The fourth virtual talk as part of the Reconciliation Fund supported Autumn Series ‘Belfast: Georgian Town to Divided City c1770-1920’ will be delivered by Jim McDermott on 26th November at 7pm entitled Leaders and Shapers of the Victorian City.  

5. Paper & Politics: The Joy Family Online Talk, November 27 @ 1pm – 2pm

The Joy family have been described as one of the most influential Presbyterian families in the history of Belfast. Join the Clifton House Archive & Heritage Development Officer in exploring the Joy family from the 1700s through to the 1940s. Composed of paper manufacturers, printers, philanthropists, politicians and artists, this talk will illuminate some of the key personalities of the Joys throughout the centuries and their place in history across these islands. 

6. Crises, Challenges & Citizenship: the changing role of Women In the New State by Dr Myrtle Hill, December 3 @ 7pm – 8pm

The final virtual talk in our Reconciliation Fund supported Autumn Series ‘Belfast: Georgian Town to Divided City c1770-1920’ will be delivered by Dr Myrtle Hill on 3rd December at 7pm entitled Crises, Challenges & Citizenship: the changing role of Women In the New State.  The talks will be via Zoom live from Clifton House and lasts approximately 45 minutes followed by a Q&A session and cost £6 per device. Zoom codes are unique for each talk and will be sent out on the morning of the event.

7. Belfast and the Slave Trade Online Talk, December 4 @ 1pm – 2pm

This talk will examine Belfast and its ties to slavery, from those who owned Plantations and enslaved people, to the West Indian merchants who benefited from what Henry Joy termed “the infamous traffic in the flesh and bone of man”. It will also cover the abolitionist movement and those who dedicated their lives to the abolition of slavery. 

8. Christmas in the Poor House Online Talk, December 11 @ 1pm – 2pm

This talk will look at the Christmas traditions in the Poor House and how they developed through the years. Using original research from the archives we will tell the story of those responsible for bringing some festive cheer into the house in the 1800s, bringing it right up to the present with the annual Benn Christmas Dinner which has been celebrated in Clifton House since 1882.
This talk will be repeated the following week, December 18 at the same time.For more details, and to book tickets go to cliftonbelfast.com/whats-on/list