CORK, a sea-port, city, and a county of itself, the head of a poor-law union, and the scat of a diocese, locally in the county of Cork, of which it is the capital, and in the province of MUNSTER, 51 miles (S. W. by W.) from Waterford, and 126 (S. W. by S.) from Dublin; containing 80,720 inhabitants. This place, which in extent and importance is the second city in Ireland, and is distinguished for its fine harbour, derived its ancient names Corcach and Corcach-Bascoin, signifying in the Irish language, “a marshy place,” from its situation on the navigable river Lee. The earliest authentic account of its origin occurs in Colgan’s Life of St. Nessan, to whose preceptor, St. Barr or Finbarr, is attributed to the foundation of a cathedral church, to which, as the abode of that saint, such numbers of disciples resorted from all parts, that the desert in which it stood soon became the site of a considerable city. St. Nessan, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, died in 551: if this is correct, he could not have been a disciple of St. Finbarr, unless the latter flourished at a period much earlier than that stated by Sir James Ware, namely, about the year 630. The original city was built on a limestone rock, on the margin of the south branch of the river, and appears to have grown up around the cathedral, and westward as far as the monastery called Gill Abbey. But what from a very early period has been more especially regarded as the city, was erected on the island formed by the Lee; and its origin is ascribed to the Danes, who, after repeatedly plundering the old city and its religious establishments for more than 300 years, settled here in 1020: they did not, however, long retain possession, being eighteen years afterwards defeated with great slaughter, and the whole of their property destroyed by fire. In 1080 the city is said to have been destroyed by lightning; and eight years subsequently, the Danes of Dublin, Waterford, and Wicklow, united their forces to recover it; but were defeated by a large body of the natives of Oneachach, now forming the district of West Carbery. According to other accounts, Dermot, the son of Foirdhealchach O’Brien, in the same year, laid waste and plundered the town, carrying away the relics of St. Finbarr.
At the time of the English invasion, the city and the adjacent country were in the undisturbed possession of the Danes, who held them under Dermot Mac Carthy or Mac Carty, Prince of Cork, or Desmond, of which extensive territory this place was the capital. On the landing of HENRY II., In 1173, that chieftain was the first to acknowledge his sovereignty: attending his court on the day after his arrival, he resigned to the English monarch the city of Cork, and did him homage and paid tribute for the rest of the principality. The king immediately appointed an English governor, with a garrison; but this garrison being soon after obliged, from the mall number of the royal forces, to withdraw, Mac Carty resumed possession; and the inhabitants, in 1174, fitted out 30 barques, and, proceeding to Dungarvan, fell with all their force upon Strongbow’s army under Raymond le Gros, who had been plundering the neighbouring country, and had just shipped his booty for Wexford: the Cork men were, however, repulsed, and Gilbert their commander was slain. In 1177. Henry granted the whole surrounding territory to Milo de Cogan and Robert Fitz-Stephen, with the exception of the city and adjacent cant red occupied by the Ostmen which he kept in bis own hands. In 1185, the city was besieged by the Irish forces under Mac Carty, Fitz-Stephen, being closely shut up within the walls, sent for assistance to Raymond le Gros, then at Wexford, and that nobleman coming promptly by sea with a reinforcement of 20 knights and 100 archers, the garrison made a sally and routed the Irish at the first onset. In the following year Dermot Mac Carty, while holding a conference with some other Irish chiefs near the city, was slain by a party of English under Theobald Fitz-Walter, the founder of the noble house of Ormonde; but, shortly after, the success which crowned the military efforts of the native Irish left this the only considerable place of strength in Munster in the possession of the English. The city was now surrounded by the troops of Desmond, and a force detached to its relief was totally defeated; but from the secret jealousies that prevailed in the Irish camp, Daniel Mac Carty, one of the principal chieftains, abandoned the siege, and the garrison was thus saved from destruction. The English, however, being without succour or provisions, cut off from all intercourse with their countrymen, and perpetually harassed by their enemies, were in a short time obliged to capitulate to the Prince of Desmond, but in a few years, they recovered possession of the city, and strengthened it by the erection of an additional fort, which kept the men of Desmond in subjection. Shandon Castle is said to have been built by Philip de Barry, nephew of Fitz-Stephen; and in 1199, Despenser, the first civic magistrate upon record, was made provost of Cork.
From this period a great chasm occurs in the history of the place, which does not appear to have experienced any important changes, or to have been distinguished by any remarkable event, till the death here, in 1381, of the lord-deputy, Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March and Ulster, when John Colton, Dean of St Patrick’s, Dublin, was immediately appointed to that office. In 1492, Perkin Warneck, in his assumed character of Richard duke of York, arrived here from Lisburn, and was kindly received by the citizens: after a short stay, he embarked for France, whence he returned to this city in 1495, departing soon after for Scotland; he once more visited this place, and having enlisted a small force, set sail for Cornwall. On the disastrous termination of Warbeck’s expedition, the mayor of Cork was hanged for countenancing that impostor, and in 1498, on account of the disloyalty of the citizens, the Earl of Kildare placed a strong garrison here, and compelled the principal inhabitants to swear allegiance to Henry VII., and give bonds and pledges for their future obedience. In 1541, the mayor was one of four commissioners appointed in lien of the Irish brehons or judges to hear and determine all controversies among the natives of this province. In 1568, the lady of Sir Warham St. Leger, lord-president of Munster, was, during the absence of her husband, besieged by the insurgents in the city, but was relieved by the lord-deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, with 400 men from England; and in 1575 the lord-deputy again came hither with his fonts, and remained six weeks. During this period Queen Elizabeth presented Maurice Roche, mayor of Cork, for his able services against the insurgents, with a silver collar of the order of St. Simplicius, which is still preserved by his descendant, Mr. Kearney, at Garretts-town.
At the commencement of the great Desmond insurrection, the city became the head-quarters of the English forces, and Sir John Perrot arrived with six ships of war for the protection of the port against the threatened assault of the Spaniards. In 1598, Sir Thomas Norm, vice-president of Munster, was obliged to shot himself up here, for security against the insurgents sent from Ulster by O’Neill; and in 1601, the lord deputy assembled at this place the army destined to expel the Spaniards from Kinsale, for which purpose be was soon after reinforced with 2000 men from England. At this period the city is described by Camden as “of oval figure, surrounded by walls, environed and intersected by the river, which is passable only by bridges, and consisting of one straight street continued by a bridge; it is, however, a little trading town of great resort, but so beset by rebellious neighbours as to require as constant watch as if continually besieged. “On the death of Queen Elizabeth, in 1603, the mayor and corporation refused at first to proclaim the accession of James. The citizens took arms, and set guards upon the gates to prevent any soldiers from entering the town; disarmed the Protestants, refused to admit Sir Charles Wilmore who came with his army to quell the disturbance; and determined to acknowledge no authority but that of the mayor. They then proceeded to organize a plan of defence, and, among other outrages, fired upon Shandon Castle, the residence of Lady Carew, and upon the bishop’s palace, in which were assembled the commissioners to whom the government of the province had been entrusted. The commissioners sent to Hawlbow-line Fort, in the harbour, for a supply of artillery; but the citizens manned some boats to take that fort, and, if possible, intercept the supply; and though the attempt was frustrated, several men were killed on both sides, and the insurgents eventually succeeded, after some difficulty, in demolishing the Queen’s Fort, on the south side of the city. On the 11th of May the lord-lieutenant marched with all his forces into Cork, and after condemning some of the leaders to punishment, and leaving a strong garrison, proceeded to Limerick, where similar disturbances had taken place. On the occasion the Queen’s Fort was rebuilt as a citadel, to keep the citizens in subjection, and further to guard against a recurrence of these outrages, the city liberties were, in 1608, constituted a distinct and independent county. In 1613, James I., in a letter to Sir Arthur Chichester, proposed that Cork should be divided into two counties; but the scheme was opposed by the Earl of Cork, who had lent the lord-president Villiers £500 towards repairing the forts of Cork and Waterford. In 1636 the Algerines, who had infested this coast five years previously, reappeared, and, aided by the French, spread terror among the inhabitants. The Earl of Strafford, in a letter dated Sept. 15th of that year, states that “the Turks still annoy this coast; they came of late into Cork harbour, took a boat with eight fishermen, and gave chase to two others that saved themselves among the rocks, the townsmen looking on without the power or means to assist them.”
In March, 1642, the city was blockaded by the insurgents under General Barry and Lord Muskerry; but part of the garrison, making a sally, pursued a detachment of them to their camp at Rochfortstown, where, without the loss of a single man, the soldiers killed 200 of the enemy, put their whole army to flight, and took all their baggage and carriages. In l644, two conspiracies to betray the city to the insurgents, at the head of one of which was the mayor, were discovered and suppressed. On the approach of Cromwell, in 1649, the inhabitants embraced the cause of the parliament. In 1688 a large party of Irish horse and foot, under Lieutenant-General Mac Carty, entered the city at midnight, disarmed the Protestant inhabitants, plundered the houses of the wealthiest, and committed similar excesses in all the neighbouring villages. James II. arrived here shortly after; and in the autumn of 1689 the Protestant inhabitants were seized and imprisoned by Lord Clare, the governor, and many of them sent to the neighbouring castles of Blarney and Macroom. In September, 1690, the city was besieged by the army of William III., under the command of the Earl of Marlborough and the Duke of Wirtemberg. On this occasion, notwithstanding an agreement with the inhabitants to the contrary, the suburbs were burnt by the governor Mac Elligott: the fortress called the Catt, and Shandon Castle, were taken without resistance; and from both these, as well as from a battery near the Red Abbey, and from the steeple of the cathedral church, the South Fort and the city were assailed. A breach being made by the cannon at Red Abbey, the troops advanced to the assault; on which, the garrison, after a siege of five days, surrendered themselves prisoners of war to the number of 4500, of whom many afterwards made their escape, and 160 were blown up in the Breda man-of-war, then lying in the harbour. In marching to the assault, the Duke of Grafton, who had entered as a volunteer in William’s army, was killed. The royal troops took possession of the city on the 29th of September; and the magistrates, resuming their offices, proclaimed King William and Queen Mary. The annals of the city during the period subsequent to the Revolution, record little deserving of special notice. In 1746, the militia of Cork consisted of 3000 foot and 200 horse, together with a well-appointed company of 100 gentlemen, commanded by Colonel H. Cavendish. In 1787 the city was honoured by the presence of the late king, then Prince William Henry, commander of the ship Pegasus which lay at Cove. Two years after, a flood, occasioned by a heavy fall of rain immediately following a storm of snow which had continued for several days, laid the whole of the streets under water, to the height of five feet, and in some places of seven; several houses wire washed away, many injured, and immense damage inflicted on property. The first mail- coach arrived in Cork from Dublin in 1789.
About the commencement of the 17th century the city consisted of only one principal street, now called North and South Main-street, and it appears to have undergone little extension or improvement till the reign of William III., when the corporation began to form new streets and erect public buildings. In 1701 it had but two entrances, the north, leading from Dublin, and the south, from Kinsale; and not more than two bridges, the North and the South, built of wood, and which, by an act of the 1st of George I., cap. 19, the corporation were empowered to rebuild of stone. From the records of the corporation and a plan of the city, it appears that, about the middle of the last century, a navigable branch of the river ran down the centre of the South Mall, and that the ground on which the houses forming the south side of that street now stand was an island, beyond which was a small tract called Goose Island, now occupied by Charlotte-quay. For many years subsequently, another branch ran along Patrick-street, up which vessels sailed at every tide. A map published in 1766 shows that the fields then reached down to the north branch of the river; and the neighbourhood of Ballynamocht, to the east of the Dublin road, was under cultivation. The rapid advancement of Cork may be attributed to the great capabilities of its almost matchless haven, which renders it the emporium of commerce for this part of the country; and the numerous improvements that have taken place are fully commensurate with its increased importance. It was till lately generally regarded us consisting of the city, the suburbs, and the liberties, all which constituted the county of the city; but the liberties now form part of the county of Cork, under the act 3rd and 4th Victoria, cap. 108. One mile west of the cathedral the river Lee divides into two branches, insulating a tract about two English miles in length and half a mile in breadth, on which the ancient city was built; and, uniting again at the eastern extremity of this tract, the stream expands into a noble estuary a mile broad, forming the commencement of the harbour. But that which is now considered as the city includes a district stretching to a considerable distance north and south of these two branches, in which numerous elegant streets have been recently formed; and its limits are progressively extending. The smaller channels that ran along the streets presented at low water a mass of mud, but being some years since arched over by the corporation, the most spacious streets have been formed above them. Across the two main branches of the river, within the city, are nine stone bridges communicating with the district which, in 1813, was defined for the purpose of local taxation, under the provisions of an act of the 53rd of George III., and which is marked out by stones set up in various directions, separating it from the ancient liberties. This district, including the insulated portion, comprises an area of 2379 statute acres.
The general APPEARANCE of the city, particularly since its recent extensive improvements, is picturesque and cheerful, the principal streets are spacious and well paved. Most of the houses are large and well built, chiefly of clay-slate fronted with roofing slate, which gives them a clean though sombre appearance; others are built of the beautiful grey limestone of the neighbourhood, and some are faced with cement; those in the new streets are principally of red brick. The streets are now made and repaired under the direction of Commissioners of Wide Streets, originally constituted a body corporate by an act of the 5th of George III., cap. 24, with extensive powers conferred by that and subsequent acts; and nearly £6000 are annually expended in paving, cleansing, and improving the streets of the city. The privilege of licensing vehicles of every description applying for hire is vested in these commissioners, who have framed a code of by-laws and a table of rates for regulating them. The city is lighted with gas by the General United Gas Company of London, who in 1825 contracted with the Commissioners of Wide Streets to supply the town and suburbs with coal-gas for a certain number of years, at £3130. 13. per annum: the works are situated on the south branch of the river, and afford an excellent supply. The inhabitants are provided with water from the river Lee, raised by two large water-wheels into a capacious reservoir, and thence distributed by metal pipes through all the lower parts of the city: it was originally conveyed into each house on payment of £2. 2. per annum, but application was lately made to parliament for an act to empower the company to regulate the rate according to the value of the houses, as provided by English and Scottish acts. The works, situated on the north side of Wellington-bridge, one mile above the town, were originally constructed by the corporation; but the undertaking was some years since divided into 100 shares, of which 25 were retained by that body, and the remainder purchased by private individuals. Until the general establishment of the constabulary system, this city had no regularly constituted police; but a force consisting of one officer and 80 men was then introduced, for whose accommodation the guard-houses in Tucky-street and Shandon were fitted up.
Of the BRIDGES over the Lee, several are modern and elegant structures. Patrick’s bridge, the last over the northern branch, and to which vessels sail up, was erected in 1789 from a design by Mr. M. Shannahan, by a company of shareholders, and was a pay bridge, with a portcullis, which was removed by the Commissioners of Wide Streets in 1823. It consists of three elliptic arches surmounted by an open balustrade, is built entirely of hewn limestone, and connects the noble line of quays extending on both sides of the river through the principal part of the city. North bridge, over the same branch, was built of stone early in the last century, at the expense of the corporation, on the site of an ancient wooden bridge which, with another of the same kind at the southern extremity of the main street, had formed for ages the only accessible communication between the town and country. It was thoroughly repaired and widened by the corporation in 1831, when two foot-paths of cast-iron were formed; and it now opens a ready communication between the North Main-street, the butter markets, and the populous districts of Shandon. Wellington bridge, at the western extremity of the city, near the termination of the Mardyke, and close to the division of the main channel of the Lee, is a noble structure of hewn limestone, erected by Messrs. Pain, from a design by Richard Griffith, Esq. It consists of a centre arch of 50 feet, and two side arches each of 45 feet span, with solid parapets, the piers of the arches sunk in caissons; and opens a fine communication with the new western road, near George the Fourth’s bridge, which here crosses the south branch of the river. This latter bridge is a plain structure of one arch, built in 1820, entirely of hewn limestone. Midway between it and the Lee mills is a handsome bridge of one arch of 50 feet span, which by a raised causeway leads from the new western road to the county gaol and house of correction. Clarke’s bridge, built by the corporation in 1726, is an ancient structure of red day-slate, communicating between Great George’s-street and the cathedral. South bridge, built also by the corporation, a few years previously, on the site of the ancient wooden bridge, is a neat structure of three segmental arches of hewn limestone, and has been widened at their expense by the addition of two foot-paths. Parliament bridge, a handsome edifice of one lofty arch, with open parapets, and built of hewn limestone, connects the South Mall with Sullivan’s-quay, to which vessels of considerable burthen sail up. Anglesey bridge, erected in 1830 by Sir Thomas Deane, from a design by Mr. Griffith, is a very handsome structure of hewn limestone, with parapets of cast-iron. It consists of two elliptic arches 44 feet in span, with a rise of eleven feet, having between them a water-way of 32 feet crossed by two parallel drawbridges of cast-iron, which are raised to admit vessels above the bridge, and are designed to prevent the confusion resulting from the numerous cars and other vehicles that pass over it, by compelling each to keep its proper side. This bridge, which is the last on the southern branch of the river, was built at an expense of more than £9000, defrayed by the commissioners of the new corn-market: it is the thoroughfare to Black-rock, Douglas, and Passage, and opens an approach from Warren’s-place and the eastern end of the South Mall, on the north, to the new corn-market on the south side of the river.
The SCENERY around the city is exceedingly beautiful, particularly on the east, where two lines of road, called Upper and Lower Glanmire roads, have been formed along the north bank of the river, one on the elevated ground and the other close to the strand; and a variety of new streets, terraces, crescents, and detached villas, have been erected on the sides and summits of the gentle acclivities, commanding magnificent views of the river Lee, the city, Blackrock, and the fertile district bounded by the hills of Carrigaline. The scenery on the south side of the river, from Anglesey-bridge to Black-rock and Passage, is pleasingly undulating and diversified; elegant houses, with lawns, gardens, and plantations sloping to the water’s edge, and embracing delightful views over the noble expanse of water to the verdant hills of Rathcoony, have been built throughout the entire space. The beauty of the scenery, the mildness and salubrity of the climate, the abundance and purity of the water, the fertility of the soil, and the excellence of the markets, have induced many wealthy families from distant parts to settle here, who have erected villas and cottages in fanciful situations near the city, and in every variety of architectural style. The entrance from Dublin, by Patrick’s-bridge, is remarkably striking and picturesque: the road winds through the vale of Glanmire, and enters that of the Lee opposite the castle of Blackrock, where it joins the road from Waterford, Youghal, Midleton, and Cove, thence continuing westward beneath the plantations of Lota Beg and the lofty and fertile hills of Kathcoony, studded with villas commanding prospects of the noble estuary. The approach from Limerick is by a new line of road carried through a fine undulating country; at a short distance from Blackpool, it crosses a pleasant valley by a viaduct supported by six lofty arches. The entrance from the west and south is by the new western road parallel with the Mardyke, and midway between the two main branches of the Lee; it crosses George the Fourth’s bridge, and is one of the best improvements in or around the city. The approach from Cove, by way of Passage, is through the village of Douglas, passing numerous handsome cottages, and entering the city by Anglesey-bridge.
The principal promenade is the Mardyke, a fine raised walk a mile long, extending through the meadows mid-way between two branches of the river, and shaded by a double row of lofty flourishing elms, from which are extensive and varied views. The Botanic Garden, for some time a favourite place of resort, was sold in 1836, and subsequently converted by its proprietor, the Very Rev. Theobald Mathew, Provincial of the Capuchins or Reformed Franciscans, into a Cemetery laid out in the style of the Père la Chaise, at Paris. The graves are distributed over the greater part, amid the shrubs, plants, and flowers brought hither at a very great expense by the original proprietors; the ground is intersected by broad gravel-walks, and there are several handsome monuments. Among these, one of the most remarkable is that erected over a vault belonging to Messrs. Murphy and O’Connor; it consists of a sarcophagus of Portland stone resting on a base of limestone, and on the sarcophagus is the figure of a mourning angel as large as life, of white Italian marble, wrought in Rome by Mr. John Hugan, a native of Cork. At the bottom of the Grand Parade close to the south branch of the river, is a handsome equestrian statue of George II. On a commanding eminence to the north-east of the city are the Barracks for infantry and cavalry, erected in 1806 by Abraham Hargrave, Esq., and conveniently adapted to the accommodation of 156 officers and 1994 men, with stabling for 232 horses; the grounds for parade and exercise are spacious, and there is an hospital capable of receiving 140 patients. In the south suburb is also a military hospital, for about 130 invalids, affording the advantage of change of air for convalescents, but kept up by government principally as a point d’appui to the surrounding hills; it was by a ball from a battery on this spot that the Duke of Grafton was killed during the siege in 1690. In the South Mall is an elegant house for the County Club, built in 1826 by Messrs. Pain, at an expense of about £4000. The front consists of a rustic basement, from which rise three engaged columns of the composite order supporting an entablature and cornice: on the ground floor are a public dining-room 40 feet long by 20 wide, a private dining-room of smaller dimensions, and several apartments for the secretary and steward, and on the first floor are reading, billiard, and card rooms, above which are bed-chambers. The club consists of about 300 members, each of whom pays £5 on admission and a subscription of £5 per annum, naval and military officers are admitted on payment of the annual subscription only. There are two other club-houses, namely, Daly’s, in the Grand Parade, and the Tucky-street club-house, at the corner of that street and the Grand Parade. The theatre, a well-arranged edifice erected in 1759 by S. Barry and H. Woodward, both celebrated actors in their day, was burned down a few years ago, and has not been rebuilt; it used to be opened annually for a few months. Balls, concerts, races, and regattas occasionally take place.
The County and City Horticultural Society, established under the patronage of the Duchess of Kent, published its first report in January, 1835, by which it appears that, during the three first exhibitions, 233 prizes were awarded to successful candidates for the best specimens of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbaceous plants. The society is liberally supported by subscription, and promises to be eminently conducive to the horticultural improvement of the district. An Agricultural society was formed in 1836. The Library Society, in the South Mall, was founded in 1790, and the library contains a valuable collection of more than 10,000 volumes in the various departments of science, art, and general literature; it is managed by a committee who meet every alternate week for the selection of books, the admission of members by ballot, and the transaction of ordinary business. The Cork Royal Institution, was founded in 1803, by subscription among private gentlemen of the city and county, for diffusing the knowledge and facilitating the introduction of all improvements in the arts and manufactures, and for teaching by lectures the application of science to the common purposes of life. The obvious usefulness of such an institution recommended it to the favourable consideration of government, and in 1807 the proprietors obtained a royal charter of incorporation, and a parliamentary grant of £2000 per annum. For several years, lectures were annually given on natural philosophy, natural history, chemistry, mineralogy, botany, and other branches of science; but in 1830 the grant was withdrawn, and the lectures have been since discontinued. On withholding the grant, government presented to the proprietary the old custom-house, a fine spacious building in Nelson-place, subject to a rent of £65 per annum, to which the crown was previously liable. There are at present, belonging to the institution, museums of natural history and mineralogy, a scientific and medical library containing more than 12,000 volumes, some philosophical and chemical apparatus, and a splendid series of casts from the antique. Several efforts have been made to convert this institution into a collegiate establishment, which the situation of Cork in a populous district remote from the metropolis and surrounded by numerous large towns, and the opportunities of practical study afforded by its medical and surgical charitable institutions and the existence of a school of physic and surgery, render peculiarly desirable, and would compensate for the loss which the inhabitants sustained by the withdrawal of the parliamentary grant. The Cork Scientific and Literary Society was founded or revived in 1834, after the dissolution of a former society about ten years previously; and consists of about 90 members, and 15 subscribers who pay 10s. per annum. The former is required to produce in rotation an essay at each meeting of the society, to be read on that evening and discussed at the next meeting, in which discussions the subscribers are permitted to take part: the meetings are held in the lecture-room of the Cork Royal Institution. The meetings of the Cuvierian Society, formed in 1835, are held in the same place. The object of this society is the promotion of a friendly intercourse among those who wish to cultivate science, literature, and the fine arts, so as, by personal communication and occasional courses of lectures, to diffuse more generally the advantages of intellectual and scientific pursuits. The Society of Arts was established about the year 1815, for the advancement of painting and sculpture, and was at first liberally encouraged. George IV., when Prince Regent, presented to the society, in 1830, a very valuable collection of casts from the antique. the students, who were numerous, were instructed in drawing; and a course of lectures on anatomy as connected with the art of design was regularly delivered. But the funds becoming in a few years insufficient to defray the expenses, the casts presented by the king were transferred to the Royal Institution. The Mechanics’ Institute was founded in 1824, and has a library of 1500 volumes, a reading-room, and two schools, one for instruction in the arts and sciences, and one for design; there are 210 members, and lectures on scientific subjects are occasionally delivered. The Cork Art Union was established in 1841. The School of Physic and Surgery was founded by Dr. Woodroffe in 1811, and continues to flourish; lectures on anatomy, physiology, the theory and practice of surgery and midwifery, Materia-medica, practice of physic, and clinical surgery, are delivered during the winter half-year. This school is connected with the South Infirmary and the hospital of the House of Industry, and, being duly recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the Apothecaries’ Hall, Dublin, and the Army and Navy Medical Boards, has been of great benefit to medical students of the south of Ireland. Certificates of attendance at Dr. Cesar’s lectures on anatomy and Materia-medica, delivered at his lecture-room. South Mall, are also recognised by the College of Surgeons, London, at Apothecaries’ Hall, by the Army and Navy Boards, the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and many continental universities.
The Trade of Cork, previously to the late war with France, consisted chiefly in the exportation of butter and beef for the supply of the British navy, to the West Indies, and to the ports of France, Spain, and the Mediterranean, and of hides and tallow principally to England. At this time, the surrounding districts were nearly all under pasturage, and scarcely produced sufficient corn for the supply of their inhabitants; the lands were grazed by vast herds of cattle, and the quantity of beef cured for exportation was perhaps ten times as great as at present. But from the impetus since given to agriculture, a considerable portion of the land has been brought under tillage, and an extensive trade in corn and flour consequently established. Cork was one of the first places in which the interests of trade and commerce were taken under the protection of the merchants themselves, who established a committee consisting of fourteen merchants who exported butter, seven butter-merchants who collected it from the various farms, and three tanners, elected annually by their respective trades. This body, under the simple designation of the “Committee of Merchants,” is in all respects similar to the Chamber of Commerce in other parts; it has existed as the accredited organ of the trading community, and been recognised as such in several local acts, since the year 1729, and communicates with the public authorities on subjects connected with the trade of Ireland.
The Butter Trade, which is considered as the most important in the province of Munster, and is carried on in this city to a greater extent than in any other part of the United Kingdom, is conducted by two distinct classes of merchants. The one class called the butter merchants, purchase the butter from the dairy-farmers, or receive it at the current price for a certain per certain taking their chance of a rise or fall in the market; and the other, called the export merchants, ship it either on order or on their own account. This trade was formerly regulated by local acts emanating from the Committee of Merchants, under whose superintendence the Cork butter obtained a preference in all foreign markets, and though by representations to parliament from other parts of Ireland all restrictions have been removed, the old regulations are still retained by a compact among the merchants, and the butter is brought to the same weigh-house, where, after its quality has been ascertained by sworn inspectors annually appointed, it is weighed and the firkins are each branded with the quality and weight and with the private mark of the inspector. The weigh-house is capable of receiving 4000 firkins for examination at one time; and the quantity which lately passed through it annually, on an average of four years, was 263,765 firkins: in the last of these years, it exceeded 279.000 firkins, and the trade is gradually increasing. The business of the weigh-house is conducted under the superintendence of a general weigh-master and a sub-committee of export and butter merchants, who appoint inspectors, scales-men, and other officers. At present there are engaged in this branch of trade between 60 and 70 merchants: the butter is made principally in the counties of Cork, Kerry, and Limerick, particularly Kerry, the best in quality, in proportion to the quantify, comes from the counties of Cork and Limerick, especially the latter and the northern part of the former, where the dairy-farmers are wealthier, their farms more extensive, and the quality of the soil better than in Kerry or the southern part of Cork. Butter made in Kerry is considered more suitable for warm climates than that of the same quality made in Limerick, from the inferior fertility of the soil and the numerous springs of soft water with which the former county abounds. The carriers employed in conveying the butter from the remote dairy districts, take back grocery and other articles of domestic consumption; and this important branch of trade also furnishes constant employment to a numerous body of coopers, not only in the manufacture of firkins, but in what is called trimming or preparing the article for exportation, that which is intended for warm climates requiring the cooperage to be so tight as to exclude the air and confine the pickle. The Corn Trade of Cork may now be classed among the more important branches of its commerce: the quantity exported annually, on an average of four recent years, was 72,654 barrels of wheat, 126,519 barrels of oats, and 1749 barrels of barley; and very large quantities of barley and oats are consumed in the distilleries and breweries of the city. A new corn-market was built in 1833, by trustees appointed under an art of the 3rd of George IV., cap. 79; it is a quadrangular enclosure, 460 feet in length and 330 in breadth, situated beyond the south branch of the river, near Anglesey-bridge. The area, which is enclosed with a high stone wall, is divided into twelve covered walks for the purchasers, and thirteen carriage-ways for unloading the corn, which is protected from rain by the projecting roofs of the walks; at right angles with these, and extending the whole breadth of the area, is a covered space for weighing; and there are appropriate offices for the collector and the clerks. The expense of its erection, with that of the bridge leading to it, amounted to £17,460, of which the government advanced £4615 towards building the bridge, and the commissioners of parliamentary loans lent £10,000; two individual proprietors of ground in its vicinity, besides giving the site rent-free, contributed £2500 towards the building, which, with the erection of the bridge, is calculated to augment the value of their property. The quantity of agricultural produce brought to the market is rapidly increasing: in a late year, 83,938 barrels of wheat, 91,743 barrels of barley, 120,597 barrels of oats, and 23,483 carcasses of pork, were weighed here.
The advance of tillage before noticed naturally diminished the curing of beef, but it greatly increased that of pork. The Provision Trade, though lessened, may yet he regarded as the next in importance to that of corn: the government contracts for the navy are still for the greater part executed by the merchants of Cork, though a large portion of the beef is frequently supplied from Dublin; and the provisions for the East India and other trading ships are also chiefly supplied by them. The curing of hams and bacon, formerly confined to Belfast and Waterford, has within the last few years been extensively carried on both here and at Limerick, the breed of bogs being now quite as good in the southern as in the northern and midland counties. The supply of plantation stores for the West India proprietors, however, which was once very extensive, has much decreased; and the shipments of provisions to the West Indies as merchandise have dwindled into insignificance, and will now scarcely remunerate the adventurer. The provision trade of the port has also sustained considerable diminution from throwing open to foreigners the supply of Newfoundland, to which colony upwards of 30,000 barrels of pork used to be annually exported direct, chiefly from Cork and Waterford, besides flour, oatmeal, butter, bacon, candles, leather, boots and shoes, and other commodities, returns being made in fish and oil. This branch of commerce has been almost entirely usurped by the ports of Hamburgh, Copenhagen, and the United States, to which the English schooners, previously freighted with the above cargoes either here or at Waterford, now go. The quantity of provisions sent from this port, on an average of three years, lately taken, was, 16,469 tierces, 19,216 barrels and 5604 half-barrels of beef and pork, and 23,492 bales of bacon, annually. The introduction of steam navigation has much increased the exportation of flour to London, Bristol, and Liverpool, the quantity of flour exported on an average being 79,119 sacks a year. The trade in livestock (chiefly black-cattle, sheep, and pigs), in poultry and eggs, and the produce of the river fisheries, has also been greatly promoted by the same means, and is now very extensive. On an average, 1200 pigs and half a million of eggs are sent off weekly; and not only is the salmon of the Black water, the Bride, the Lee, and the Bandon, sent to England by steamers, but that of the rivers is the most remote parts of Kerry is sent hither, cured in kits, for exportation. The salmon-fishery of the Lee has long been celebrated both for the quantity and quality of the fish, which are in season during the whole year, and are distinguished for the superior excellence of their flavour; bat the indiscriminate method of taking them with weirs, traps, and nets, has nearly destroyed the fishery.
The trade with the Mediterranean consists principally in the importation of bark, valonia, shumac, brimstone, sweet oil, liquorice, raisins, currants and other fruit, marble, and various small articles. The importation of wine is steady and considerable, but not so extensive as formerly, in consequence of the increased consumption of home-distilled spirits: the quantity imported on an average of three years, according to a recent computation, was, 398 pipes, 74 butts, 701 hogsheads, 517 quarter-casks, and 246 cases, annually. From 5000 to 6000 tons of salt are imported every year from St. Ubes, exclusively of a large quantity brought from Liverpool. The trade with St. Petersburgh, Riga, Archangel, and occasionally with Odessa, is chiefly in tallow, hemp, flax, linseed, iron, hides, bristles, and isinglass; but is not very extensive; and as a considerable portion of the tallow, and a part of the hemp, come indirectly through London and Liverpool, the returns of these articles and others imported in a similar manner are necessarily im-perfect: the estimated importations of tallow average about 1580 hogsheads, and of hemp 400 tons, annually. The Baltic trade in timber was gradually declining until the practice of bringing it in through Halifax at the colonial duty of 10s. per load was resorted to. Large quantities of timber are brought from Canada, the trade with which is flourishing: the staves and potashes formerly brought from New York and Baltimore now come mostly from Quebec, though several cargoes of staves have been recently imported from the United States vid St. John’s (New Brunswick) and Nova Scotia. Flax seed, once imported to a considerable extent direct from New York, is now brought from the Baltic and Odessa, and is derived indirectly from England. The quantity of tobacco that paid duty at the custom-house, on a recent average of three years, was 647,000 lb. annually. The decline of the outward West India trade, and the facility of procuring supplies from the English ports by steamers, have considerably diminished the direct importation of sugar and other articles of Wat India produce: the quantity of raw sugar annually imported, on an average, is 3109 hhds., 468 tierces, 596 barrels, and 5654 bags, and of refined sugar, 546 hhds. and 486 tierces. The quantity of Herrings now imported, almost exclusively for home consumption, is, on an average of three years, 17,904 barrels annually. Vast quantities were formerly imported from Scotland and Gotten burgh, and after being repacked here, were shipped off to the West Indies, being found to keep good in that climate better than those from any other port; but the Scots, sending for men from Cork, soon learned the peculiar mode of packing them, and the trade from this port was discontinued. Fish is imported from Newfoundland, Labrador, and Gaspe, in considerable quantities, amounting to 500 tons annually. Many of the merchants, however, are of opinion, that the deep-sea line fishery on the Nymph Bank, and the fishery in the bay of Galway, if properly conducted, would not only furnish a sufficient supply for home consumption, but even a surplus for exportation.
The direct foreign trade of the port having been very much diminished since the introduction of steam navigation, the wholesale dealer in almost every article has been greatly injured. The retailer can now, without holding stock, ensure a weekly supply by steam from Liverpool or Bristol, and, both as regards foreign produce and articles of British growth or manufacture, has thus become an importer, even when he can purchase equally as cheap from the Cork merchant, he prefers announcing his importations in the daily newspapers, by which his own trade is benefited in proportion as that of the wholesale dealer is injured. This division of the Channel trade has caused a depression in the value of large warehouses, used as stores for merchandise. But notwithstanding the introduction of steam navigation, the tonnage of sailing-vessels belonging to the port has, within the last 35 years, greatly increased; and a manifest improvement has taken place in the principle of their construction. Formerly, the vessels built here were considered so inferior that underwriters were reluctant to insure them, and even the Cork merchants preferred shipping valuable cargoes in others, now, London traders of the highest class, which are insured at Lloyd’s for a less premium than other vessels, are built in the river Lee. By far the greater portion of the tonnage of the Cork sailing vessels is employed in the Canadian-timber and Welsh-coal trades, the latter of which was formerly for the most part carried on VESSELS in Welsh vessels. The coal-trade is very considerable: a local duty of one shilling per ton late currency was till lately levied for the support of the Foundling Hospital on all coal brought into the port, amounting to about 120,000 tons annually.
The number of registered belonging to the port, in 1836, was 302, of the aggregate burthen of 21,514 tons, and employing 1684 men: this enumeration includes vessels trading from Kinsale and Youghal, which are now registered as belonging to Cork. In 1844, the number of sailing-vessels under 50 tons was 158, of 3790 tons’ burthen in the aggregate; and of sailing-vessels of 50 tons and upwards, 208, of 32.551 tonnage: the number of steamers was 13, of 2538 tonnage. There are two ship-building yards, each having a patent-slip in which vessels of 500 tons can be hauled up and repaired: vessels of every size to 400 tons have been built in these yards. At Passage are two ship-building yards, one of them having a very fine dry dock s these establishments employ about 200 hands. During the year ending Jan. 5th, 1836, 164 British ships of the aggregate burthen of 29,124 tons, and 27 foreign ships of 2912 tons aggregate burthen, employed in the foreign trade, entered inwards; and 69 British and 20 foreign ships, of the aggregate burthen of 10,098 tons, cleared outwards. In the trade with Great Britain, 2246 vessels of all kinds, of 226,318 tons aggregate burthen, entered inwards, and 1384, of 166,516 tons aggregate, cleared outwards: and in the intercourse with Irish ports, 406 vessels, of 18,564 tons aggregate burthen entered inwards, and 596, of 20,384 tons aggregate, cleared outwards. The number of duties paid at the custom-house for the year was £216,446. 1., and of excise for the same period £252,452. 14. Daring the year 1844, 91 vessels of 21,129 tons aggregate burthen, entered inwards, and the same number of vessels of 21,033 tons aggregate burthen, cleared outwards, in the British-Colonial trade: 74 British and Irish vessels, of 9315 tonnage, and 17 foreign vessels, of 1807 tonnage, entered inwards; and 17 British and Irish vessels, of 4190 tonnage, and 13 foreign vessels, of 1055 tonnage, cleared outwards, in the foreign trade. In the coasting trade, during the same year, 2390 sailing vessels of 167.258 aggregate tonnage, and 238 steamers of 84,761 aggregate tonnage, entered inwards; while 1652 sailing-vessels of 96,702 tons, and 280 steamers of 94,641 tons, cleared outwards. The gross produce of the customs’ duties, in 1838, was £235,465; in 1843, £275,981 and in 1844, £302,208: the excise duties of the district, which is extensive, amounted m 1838 to £244,224, and in 1843, to £203,336. The total estimated value of the Exports in a recent year amounted to £2,909,846, of which £372,854 were in corn, meal, and flour £316,832 in cattle, sheep, and pigs; £2460 in horses; £2,050,846 in provisions, such as pork, bacon, &c.; £51,806 in linens and woollens; £45,880 in whisky and porter; £14,882 in flax, hides, and feathers; and £54,286 in other articles. The total estimated value of the Imports in the same year was £2,751,684, whereof £115,051 were coal, &c.; £155,165 iron, metal, hardware, &c.; £900,889 woollens, cottons, silks, he; £271,000 haberdashery; £159,157 hides, tallow, &c; £209,035 tea, coffee, and sugar; £15,693 tobacco; £17,022 wine, &c.; and the remainder in various unenumerated articles. The superior facilities afforded by steam navigation have given an extraordinary impulse to the trade of the port: the agricultural produce of all the western parts of the country south of Limerick is brought hither for exportation, in return for which, “groceries, linen, and cotton-goods, and other commodities, are received. The completion of the Great Western railway from Bristol to London has tended to a still further extension of this profitable system of interchange, by expediting the conveyance of livestock, provisions, and other Irish produce, to London.
In 1821, two steam-boats were employed by a Scottish company to trade between Cork and Bristol, but from drawing too much water, they did not remain on this station more than six months; after which, the boats of the Bristol Company traded for some time. In 1825 the St. George’s Company introduced a line of packets between Cork and Liverpool, and afterwards between Cork and Bristol, which have been ever since continued, and engross much of the carrying-trade of the port. The capital of this company amounts to £300,000, subscribed in shares, one-third of which are held by Cork proprietors. It now employs seven vessels, of about 500 tons’ burthen and 250-horse power each; two of these plies to Bristol, one to Liverpool, three to London, and one to Dublin and Glasgow: all carry passengers, goods, and cattle. The company’s office, built on Penrose’s-quay in 1832, is a neat building with an entrance porch of the Doric order surmounted by a pediment on four Ionic columns, above which is a sculpture of St. George and the Dragon. There is also a steamer every fortnight to Dublin and Glasgow, belonging to another company; and four smaller steam-boats ply daily between Cork and Cove.
The noble HARBOUR OF CORK, which gave rise to the motto of the city, “Statio bene fida carinis,” is admirably adapted to all the purposes of the most extended commerce. From its convenient situation, the perfect security with which numerous fleets could winter in a land-locked basin, and its excellent anchorage at all times, it became in time of war the rendez-vous of large fleets and convoys, and the port from which the British navy was supplied with all kinds of provisions cured and prepared in a superior manner. The number of small craft on the coast; and of fishing hookers, pilot boats, and lighters, in the river | the dense population of its shores, inured to hardships and privations; and other considerations, tended to render Cork in the estimation of British statesmen one of the most important places in the empire: and the vast expenditure of public money for supplies during the war; the detention at Cove, sometimes for months together, of large fleets of war, and powerful expeditions, with vast numbers of merchant vessels; the sums laid out on public works in the harbour, on the barracks at Cork, Ballincollig, and Fermoy, the powder-mills at Ballincollig, and various other works, for many years gave an extraordinary impulse to its commercial prosperity. What is considered more peculiarly the harbour is situated nine miles below the city, opposite the town of Cove, where ships of any burthen may ride in safety; the best anchorage for large ships is off Cove Fort, now dismantled and occupied as a naval hospital, where there are from 5 to 8 fathoms of water. Vessels of great draught can pass up the river as far as Passage, within five miles and a half of the city, where they discharge and load by means of lighters; and vessels drawing only 14 or 15 feet of water can proceed to the town quays. On the cast side of the entrance from the sea to the harbour is Roche’s Tower lighthouse., having ten lamps, which exhibit a steady deep-red light towards the sea, and a bright light towards the harbour. The only naval depot and victualling-yard in Ireland, during the war, were at Cove; and for several years after, this was the port station of an admiral having a large fleet under his command. but the admiral’s flag and the navy were eventually withdrawn, and for a long period the king’s flag was seldom seen on the Irish coast, except on the Lord-Lieutenant’s yacht: within the last years, however, an admiral has again been stationed here. On Haw bowline Island are spacious and admirably designed naval storehouses, a tank, and other requisites; on Spike Island are powerful batteries commanding the entrance of the harbour, and on Rocky Island is a depot for gunpowder. In March, 1846, a memorial was presented to government for the completion of the naval establishment at Haw bowline, by the construction of suitable dry-docks.
The Ballast office, situated on Lapp’s island, was established by act of the 1st of George IV., cap. 52, which also provided for the regulation of pilots and the improvement of the port and harbour, by a Board of Harbour Commissioners consisting till lately of the mayor, two sheriffs, the parliamentary representatives of the city, five members of the common council, and 25 merchants. Among the various improvements made by this board is the line of quays extending on both sides of the river from the North bridge on the north channel, round the eastern extremity of the island, to Parliament-bridge on the south, a distance of one statute mile and a half. From the end of Penrose’s-quay a new line extending eastward is just completed, and the marsh lying between it and the lower Glanmire road has been drained: the main central portion of the city is now encompassed with a noble line of quays, 18 feet high and nearly four statute miles in extent, built and coped with limestone principally from the quarries on the Little Island and Rostellan. From 1827 to 1834 not less than £34,389 was expended on new quays from the proceeds of the harbour dues. The commissioners have also made an important improvement by deepening the bed of the river, which formerly admitted only vessels of 120 tons, but is now navigable to the quays for vessels of 250 tons; shoals and dangerous banks have been removed by a steam-dredging machine, and buoys laid down to mark the limits of the channel. Excellent regulations are now in force for the conduct of the pilots; lights have been placed on the castle of Blackrock, and various other measures calculated to promote the prosperity of the port have been carried into effect. The average receipts of the commissioners, arising from duties on imports and exports, tonnage duty, and the sale of ballast, for six years to 1835 inclusive, amounted to £7549. 16., and the expenditure to £7769. 12.: the income in 1844 was £9028. A navigation wall, commencing nearly opposite to the customhouse, and extending about an Irish mile along the south shore of the river, was begun in 1763, to prevent the channel from being choked with the mud which is washed up at every tide; and it has been in contemplation to reclaim the extensive “slab” on the south of it, and render it available to the increase and improvement of the city.
The Custom-house completed in 1818, and in which also the business of the excise is transacted, is a plain edifice situated at the eastern extremity of Lapp’s Island. The central front is ornamented with a pediment in the tympanum of which are the royal arms, and connected with it are very extensive and appropriate buildings; the long-room is spacious, and well adapted to the purpose. The Commercial Buildings, on the South Mall, were erected in 1813, from a design by Sir Thomas Deane by a proprietary of 129 £100 share-holders incorporated by charter in the 48th of George III., for the accommodation of merchants, for which purpose they are much better adapted than the old Exchange. They are fronted with cement, and ornamented with Ionic columns between the windows; the coffee-room, on the first floor, in which the merchants meet, is 60 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 20 feet high, with a coved ceiling chastely embellished, and is well supplied with the English and Irish newspapers and periodicals. Communicating with the Commercial Buildings, and belonging to the same proprietary, is the Imperial Clarence Hotel: attached is a ball-room, 70 feet long and 36 feet wide, elegantly fitted up, with a refreshment-room adjoining, 50 feet long and 36 feet wide; there are twelve drawing-rooms for private families, and a commercial room for travellers, with every other accommodation requisite in a first-rate hotel. All the principal mails start from it. The Chamber of Commerce, a neat building in Patrick-street, was erected by a body of seceders from the proprietary of the Commercial Buildings, who, within the last lew years, in consequence of a dispute, associated under the above designation, but not, as the name implies, with any reference to the commercial interests of the port, which are under the superintendence of the committee of merchants already noticed. The large room is supplied with newspapers and periodicals, and, like that of the Commercial Buildings, is open to naval and military officers and to all strangers; the lower and other parts of the building are appropriated to the purposes of a commercial hotel. The Post-office is a small but convenient building near the centre of the city.
The first mail-coach that entered the city was established between Dublin and Cork, on the 8th of July, 1789. There are now day and night mails from Dublin, and one from Waterford every morning, each of the three English letters, but letters from London come through Dublin, unless ordered via Waterford; there are also mail-coaches from Limerick, Bantry, Tralee, and other places, which arrive in the evening before the departure of the Dublin night mail. These arrangements, however, will shortly undergo considerable change in consequence of the formation of several Railways. At the close of the year 1843, a railway was proposed from Dublin to Cashel, 98 British miles in length, with a branch from Monastreven to Carlow 24 miles long; and though the preliminary measures necessary to bring the scheme before parliament were not commenced until February 1844, being several months later than the period required by the standing orders of the house of commons, yet the great national importance of the undertaking was considered a sufficient reason for deviating from the established rule, and consequently a bill was introduced, which passed rapidly through both houses, and received the royal assent on the 6th August. At the first general meeting of the company, held on the 4th October, it was resolved to take immediate steps for extending the line to Cork and Limerick; and in the year 1845, so remarkable for railway projects, an act was passed, authorising the construction of a line from Cashel to Cork, 77 miles long, with a branch to Limerick of miles. As, however, the branch to Limerick is nearly identical in plan with part of the Waterford and Limerick line, which was before parliament at the same time, one railway will be made for the use of both companies; if the Waterford company complete their line, the powers granted to the Dublin and Cork company for making a branch are not to be carried into effect. The capital of the original line to Cashel and Carlow is £1,300,000, with power to borrow £433,300; and of the extension to Cork and Limerick, £1,200,000, with power to borrow £400,000: the distance by railway from Dublin to Cork, will be 175 British miles. In the year 1845; also, an act was passed for the construction of a railway to Bandon, distant 20 British miles from Cork; and another is in progress leading to Passage, south-east of the city.
The MANUFACTURES of the town, though in some branches rather extensive, are generally of little importance compared with its commerce. Formerly, Black-pool, a large and populous portion of the suburbs, was principally inhabited by persons engaged in the manufacture of coarse woollens, linens, cottons, thread camlets, stuffs, woollen-yarn, and hats, and in wool-combing, dyeing, and other similar occupations. But in 1812, the protecting duty of 10 per cent, on British manufactures, which fostered those of Ireland, being removed, vast numbers were thrown out of employment, who, having in vain remonstrated and petitioned for a more gradual alteration of the system, were ultimately compelled to seek employment in England. The principal branch of manufacture now carried on is the Tanning of Leather, which article was formerly imported from London and Bristol but has since the assimilation of the duties become a great source of export: they are 46 tan-yards in various parts of the suburbs, of which 25 are very extensive; and in a recent year there were 615 tanners and curriers in constant employment. The average number of hides tanned annually is about 110,000; the greater portion were till lately purchased in Liverpool and London, but in 1835, a new branch of commerce was opened by the importation of hides direct from Montevideo and Gibraltar, The number of native hides annually weighed at the crane, on an average of three years ending April 30th, 1835, was 32,068, and of calf-skins, 73,416; and the quantity of leather exported on an average of five years ending with 1835, was, 5624 bales and 214 crates. The quantity of bark imported from foreign countries and from England and Wales, for the use of the tanneries, from 1830 to 1835 inclusive, amounted on an average to 6948 tons annually; and of valonia from Smyrna, to more than 2000 tons annually. The encouragement afforded to tillage and the increased production of corn, to supply the demand during the late continental war, gave rise to the establishment of Corn-mills, Breweries, and Distilleries on a large scale, of which the first-named are numerous in the vicinity. The chief breweries are those of Messrs. Beamish and Crawford, and Messrs. Lane; the former is exclusively confined to the manufacture of porter: these breweries employ a great number of hands, and conduce much to the improvement of agriculture. There are seven distilleries in the city and its vicinity: those in the former produce annually 1,400,000 gallons of whisky, and in the latter, 600,000; the whole consumes 268,000 barrels of corn, and employ about 1000 men. The quantity of whisky shipped at the port in a late year was 1279 puncheons.
There are seven Iron-foundries, affording employment to upwards of 300 workmen; and five manufactories in which spades, shovels, &c, are made: also, two manufactories of steel, and an extensive establishment for coppersmiths’ work chiefly for the distilleries and breweries. The quantity of iron imported annually is upwards of 6000 tons, and in the various departments of the iron trade within the city and liberties, including smithies, nearly 1000 men are employed. Paper-mills are numerous, and the produce in great demand; the number of persons employed exceeds 400. In the city are two large Glass-houses for the manufacture of flint-glass for the home and foreign markets, with extensive premises for cutting, engraving, &c, attached to each, affording employment to 246 persons. The manufacture of woollen-cloth was introduced prior to 1732, and flourished for many years: the principal manufacturers were Messrs. Lane, who for more than twenty years after the Union furnished the entire clothing for the Irish army; their mills, situated at Riverstown, are now applied to other purposes. At Glanmire are extensive nulls for the manufacture of fine cloth; and at Blarney, mills for spinning yarn for the supply of a stuff and camlet manufactory in Cork. There are still a few wool-combing and dyeing establishments; besides mills at Douglas and Glanmire, where linens and cottons are bleached and finished. and several rope-walks established for the manufacture of patent cordage. Many of the poor are employed in weaving coarse cotton-checks, which are sold at a low price by Messrs. Todd and Co., who have a large establishment on the plan of those in London and Dublin, furnished with goods of every kind. Cutlery of superior quality is extensively manufactured, and bears a higher price than that brought from England. The trade in gloves is very flourishing, and employs a great number Off people; those made here are always sold as Limerick gloves. Acids, mineral waters, and vinegar of superior quality are also extensively made. The manufacture of canvas was formerly extensive, but is now declining, the article being imported cheaper from Liverpool, Glasgow, Greenock, and East Cocker. The soap manufacture has been much diminished by the increase of tillage and the decrease in the slaughtering of cattle; and the manufacture of candles, with which this place once almost exclusively supplied the West India market, in which it still enjoys a preference, has been affected by the same cause.
The Bank of Ireland and the Provincial Bank, about the year 1825, opened branches here, which have afforded liberal accommodation to trade; and a branch of the National Bank was established in 1835. The savings’ bank is a large and handsome edifice; the deposits, at the close of 1845, exceeded £420,000: it was established in 1817 from which period to the end of 1836, the total number of depositors was 34,000. The principal market days are Wednesday and Saturday, but all the markets are open daily. Fairs, under the charter, are held on Trinity-Monday and Oct. 1st, in open area called Fair-field, half a mile to the north-west of the town. The city market, for meat, fish, poultry, fresh butter, vegetables, and fruit, was opened in 1788: it is conveniently situated near the centre of the city, with spacious entrances from Patrick-street, Prince’s-street, and the Grand Parade, and comprises several detached buildings suitably arranged; it is divided into separate departments, and is abundantly supplied daily with every kind of provisions. The cattle-market is held near the Shandon markets: the number of horned-cattle annually sold here for the provision merchants formerly exceeded 50,000, but the average of three recent years was less than 6000; the number of pigs sold alive in the market to the provision merchants is on an average 90,000 annually, exclusively of the carcases sold in the new corn market.
The corporation is very ancient, and exists probably by prescription. A charter was granted by John, Earl of Morton, while viceroy of Ireland, in the reign of his father Henry II.; in the preamble of which, it is stated “I have granted and given, and by this my charter confirm, to the citizens or Cork all the fields held of my city of Cork and the ground on which the city is, now for my benefit to increase the strength of the citizens. This is to them and their heirs to hold off me and my heirs, and to remain in frank burgage, by such custom and rent as the burgesses of Bristol, in England, pay yearly for their burgages; and to secure my city of Cork I grant this to the same my citizens of Cork all the laws, franchises, and customs of freight which are in Bristol on whatsoever sails. And firmly commanding that the aforesaid my citizens of Cork and their heirs and their successors have the aforesaid city of Cork of me and my successors as is aforesaid, and have all the laws and franchises and frank customs of Bristol; and as those were wont to be used and written in my court and in my hundreds of Cork, and in all business. And I forbid that any wrong or hindrance be given to the aforesaid laws and franchises, which gift from us are given and granted,” &c. A copy of this charter is preserved amongst the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, but the original is lost. The earliest charter extant is one of the 26th of Henry III., which granted the city and its appurtenances in fee-farm at an annual rent of 80 marks, with presage of wine, custom, and cocket within the jurisdiction of the port, and certain personal privileges to the citizens, among which was an exemption from toll and all other customs throughout the king’s dominions: under this charter the chief officer of the corporation was called “provost.” Edward I. granted two charters, in the 10th and 31st of his reign, the latter of which authorised the bailiffs and men of Cork to have murage, as in other towns in Ireland, for six years. A charter of the 11th of Edward II. is the first in which the office of mayor is named: the same monarch, in the following year, confirmed the charter of the 19th of Edward I., and gave to the mayor elect the privilege of being sworn before his predecessor in office, instead of going to Dublin to take the oaths before the barons of the exchequer. Charters were also granted in the 4th and 5th of Edward III., 5th of Richard II., and 2nd of Edward IV.: the last, after reciting that the mayor and commonalty had eleven parish churches within the city, with suburbs extending one mile in every direction, which had been for 50 years preceding subject to the depredations of Irish enemies and English rebels, on which account the corporation were unable to pay the fee-farm rent, remitted all arrears, and granted them the cocket of the city for the construction of the walls, to be held until they should be able to travel peaceably one mile beyond them. In the 15th of Edward IV. all former charters were confirmed, and the mayor and citizens were allowed to enjoy their franchises both within the city and suburbs and through the entire port, “as far as the shore, point, or strand called Rewrawne, on the western part of the said port, and as far bs to the shore, point, or strand of the sea, called Benowdran, on the eastern part of the Bame port, and so far as the castle of Carrigroban, on the western side of the said city, and in all towns, pills, creeks, burgs, and strands in and to which the sea ebbs and flows in length and breadth within the aforesaid two points, called Rewrawne and Benowdran.” The charter then releases during pleasure all arrears of the rent of 80 marks, and decrees that the corporation, in lieu thereof, shall in future render at the exchequer 20lb. of wax.
Henry Vll. granted a charter of inspeximns; and Henry VIII., in the 1st year of his reign, gave a confirmatory charter, and in the 28th another, which also conferred upon the mayor the privilege of having a sword carried before him, the sword-bearer to wear “a remarkable cap” (which ceremony is still observed); and bestowed on him the custody of the castle. Edward VI., in the 3rd of his reign, granted a charter of confirmation. In the 18th of Elizabeth, the mayor, recorder, and bailiffs, and the four senior aldermen who had served the office of mayor, were constituted keepers of the peace within the city both by land and by water; and they, or three of them, of whom the mayor and recorder were to be two, were appointed justices of oyer and trainer and general gaol delivery, with power to inquire into all felonies, trespasses, &c, within the city and liberties. This charter also contained a gift to the corporation of all fines and amercements. A charter of the 6th of James I., after granting that Cork should be a free city, and changing the style of the corporation to that of “Mayor, Sheriffs, and Commonalty,” with power to make by-laws for the regulation of the municipality, constituted the city, and a surrounding district to be marked out by commissioners, a distinct county, over which the powers of the justices of the peace for the city were extended; and released the corporation from their annual payment of 20lb. of wax. The charter likewise gave permission to hold two fairs with all tolls, &c, and created a corporation of the staple with privileges equal to those of London or Dublin. In the 7th of Charles I., a confirmatory charter was granted, which after declaring that justices of the county of Cork should have no jurisdiction within the city, farther directs that each mayor, on retiring from office, shall be an alderman, and that all the aldermen shall be members of the common council, provided the number do not exceed 24. It also empowers the corporation to elect a town-clerk, clerk of the crown, and public notary; and likewise, six aldermen of the ward, who should have power to determine all causes not exceeding 40s, arising within their respective wards. By a charter bestowed in the 9th of George II., all the aldermen, immediately on retiring from the office of mayor, were made justices of the peace within the county of the city: the same monarch, in the 21st of his reign, granted another charter, which was the last given to the corporation, authorising them to hold two fairs annually at a place called the Lough, within the liberties, and to take the usual tolls. Under the authority of these charters, a series of by-laws was passed in 1721, for electing officers, and otherwise regulating the affairs of the corporation, the different classes in which were, till recently, the mayor, sheriffs, aldermen, burgesses, and commonalty or freemen.
Previously to the act 3rd and 4th Victoria, cap. 108, for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations, the mayor was chosen on the first Monday in July, nominally by a majority of the freemen, according to a form expressed in one of the by-laws, from among the resident burgesses or persons who bad served the office of sheriff, of whom five, whose names had been drawn from a hat containing the names of all entitled to be elected, were pot in nomination. But this right of the freemen to choose the mayor was rendered almost nugatory by an association called the “Friendly Club,” consisting of about 500 of the freemen, of whom more than 300 were resident; by one of whose rules, the members were bound to vote for one of the two senior burgesses of the five whose names were drawn. The sheriffs were elected on the same day as the mayor, by and from the freemen; but the interposition of the Friendly Club operated in like manner as in the election of mayor. The aldermen where such members of the corporation as had served the office of mayor, and were unlimited in number; six of them, elected by the freemen at large in a court of d’oyer hundred held for the purpose on a vacancy occurring, were called “Aldermen of the Ward.” The burgesses were those who had served the office of sheriff, and were also unlimited in number; the common council was composed of the mayor, recorder, two sheriffs, and aldermen, not exceeding in all 24, and if they did not amount to that number, the deficiency was made up by election from among the burgesses. All by-laws, and orders for the payment of money letting and disposing of the corporate properly, and the admission of freemen, originated in the common council, and were afterwards confirmed in the court of d’oyer hundred. Besides the recorder, the assistant officers of the corporation were, a common speaker (who represented the commonalty, and attended the meetings of the council, where he was permitted to sit and hear the deliberations, but had no vote), a town-clerk, a chamber-lain, clerks of the crown, peace, and council, a water and deputy water bailiff, sword-bearer, two sergeants-at-mace, assay-master, weighmasters, two coroners, and other inferior officers”; the principal of these were elected by the freemen at large, in a court of d’oyer hundred. The appointment of the mayor, sheriffs, recorder, and town-clerk was subject to the approbation of the Lord-Lieutenant and Privy Council. The freedom was inherited by the first-born sons of freemen, and obtained by apprenticeship of seven years to a freeman, and by grace especial of the common council, subject, in the last case, to the approval of the court of d’oyer hundred, except as regarded persons of distinction who might happen to be in the city, and to whom the council thought fit to present the freedom. Conformably with the recent act, the city is now divided into eight wards, and the corporation consists of 16 aldermen and 48 councillors: the mayor is elected out of the aldermen and councillors every 1st of December, and enters upon office on the 1st of January following. and the aldermen and councillors are chosen from among the burgesses. The qualification of the mayor, aldermen, and councillors, is the possession of £1000 above debt, or of a house worth £25 per annum; the qualification of a burgess to entitle him to vote for aldermen, &c, is, to be the owner or tenant of a house, or premises, or land, of the yearly value of £10 above all rates and taxes, and residence for six months prior to election. The sheriff, as in all other counties of cities, is independent of the corporation, and appointed every year by the Lord-Lieutenant; there are also a recorder, treasurer, town-clerk, clerk of the peace, coroner, and other officers.
The city first sent members to the Irish parliament in 1374, but representatives who appear to have served in London had been chosen previously. The right of election was vested, till 1832, in the freemen of the city, and in the 40s. freeholders and £50 leaseholders of the county of the city, of whom the freemen latterly amounted in number to 2331, and the freeholders to 1545, making a total of 3876. But by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 88 (under which the city, from its distinguished importance, retains its privilege of returning two representatives to the Imperial parliament, and the limits of the franchise, comprising the ancient county of the city, remain unaltered), the non-resident freemen, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege of voting at elections was extended to the £10 householders, and the £20 and £10 leaseholders for the respective terms of 14 and 20 years. The number of voters registered in 1843. was 4924, of whom 191 were £50, 96 £20, 17 £10. and 145 40£., freeholders; 3510 £10 householders; 40 £20 leaseholders; 842 freemen; and 12 rent-chargers. The mayor, recorder, and all the aldermen, under the old regime, were justices of the peace for the county of the city; and the mayor was also a judge of assize, justice of the peace for the county at large, a judge of the courts of record and conscience, and president of the council and of the court of d’oyer hundred. There is now a special commission of justices of peace for the borough. The constabulary police force consists of one sub-inspector, two head-constables, 17 constables, and 84 sub-constables, with four horses; the expense of whose maintenance amounted, in 1842, to £5017. The courts of the corporation, at the time when the Municipal act was passed, were, the mayor and sheriffs’ court, the courts of city- sessions and conscience, and the police-office or magistrates’ court. The mayor and sheriffs’ court, held weekly, had jurisdiction in all personal and mixed actions, except replevin and ejectment, in pleas to any amount; and was a court of record, in which the pleadings were similar to those of the superior courts. Suits might be commenced either by serviceable writ, bailable writ, or attachment against goods, in which last mode the debt sought to be recovered was obliged to be at least 40s. Irish. The mayor and sheriffs originally presided as judges; but by the 11th and 12th of George III, cap. 18, the recorder, or his deputy, being a barrister of three years’ standing, had been made judge, and authorised to sit alone; in his absence the mayor and one of the sheriffs were necessary to constitute a court. The city-sessions court was held quarterly before the justices, but by the act last noticed the recorder was empowered to hold the court alone, and in general was the only judge presiding; a grand jury was returned by the sheriff to serve for the entire quarter, and the court Bat weekly by adjournment. These two courts are still held, and by the recorder, but under other arrangements than those just particularised. The court of conscience was constituted by act of the 3rd of George IV., cap. 85, for the recovery of debts not exceeding 40s. arising within the county of the city: the act appointed the mayor, and aldermen of the ward, judges; not less than three of them to be sufficient to hold the court. The police-office, or magistrates’ court, adjoins the court of conscience, and was constituted by the same act. The revenue of the corporation, prior to the passing of the Municipal act, was about £6237 per annum, arising from various sources: the income in 1844 was £7968, of which £1710 were expended in salaries and pensions, £1560 in public works, £2467 for the markets and fairs, &c.
The city is within the Monster circuit: the assizes for the county at large are held here, and, at the same time, those for the county of the city. It is also one of the places at which, in September, the assistant barrister holds his courts for the East Riding. The present town-house, or Guildhall, is situated on the south side of the old Exchange, and contains on the first floor a council-chamber, in which the mayor and council assemble to transact business. The Exchange, situated at the angle of Castle-street and the North Main-street, a small regular structure of hewn stone, erected by Twiss Jones in 1709, at the expense of the corporation, has been recently taken down, being in a ruinous state. The old county court-house, anciently called “the King’s Castle,” being too small and inconvenient, a County and City Court-house was erected in 1835 by Messrs. Pain: it is a large edifice in the Grecian style of architecture, with a boldly projecting portico of eight columns supporting an entablature and cornice surmounted by a pediment, on the apex of which is a group of figures representing Justice between Law and Mercy. The interior contains two semi-circular courts, and the various offices in the back part of the building are so arranged as to afford the public and the officer’s facility of access without collision; the judges and barristers can go from one court to the other by private passages. The entire building, which was erected at an expense of about £20,000, reflects credit on the taste and judgment of the architects. The late Mansion-house, beautifully situated on the bank of the river, near the entrance to the Mardyke-walk, and now appropriated to the purposes of a Roman Catholic seminary, is a handsome edifice, built in 1767 by the celebrated Ducart, at an expense of £3793. The entrance-hall and stair-case are spacious: on the first landing-place used to be a well-sculptured bust of George IV., and in a niche in the first lobby was a full-length marble effigy of the first Right Hon. William Pitt, in his robes of office, and holding a scroll in his right hand, placed there in 1766. The apartments which were the dining and drawing rooms are large, and were fitted up in a costly manner: in the former was a full-length figure of William III. in armour, with a scroll in the right hand and the head encircled by a wreath of laurel, standing on a pedestal bearing an inscription recording its erection by the corporation and citizens in 1759. In the entrance-hall were the ancient “nail” or “nail head” of the city, and the ancient standard brass-yard, also a curious representation of the city arms cut in stone, which had been found on taking down the old custom-house. The City Gaol is a castellated building, situated on an eminence near Sunday’s-Well. It was at first divided into two equal compartments, one for males and the other for females; but the original arrangement has been altered, and the prison is now divided into 32 wards, 8 being for male and 1 for female debtors, and 9 for male and 8 for female culprits; the remaining 6 are hospital wards. There are 54 cells, affording accommodation for 162 male culprits, and 48 for females, accommodating 96. Each ward has a day-room and airing-yard, and in one of these is a treadmill used to raise water for the supply of the prison. Separate places of worship are fitted up for Protestants and Roman Catholics. The City Bridewell is for the temporary confinement of prisoners under examination before final committal, and of disorderly persons taken up in the night until brought before the magistrates, eight cells with fire-places in each were recently added to it for solitary confinement.
The Gaol and House of Correction for the County are situated at a short distance from the town, on the south side of the new western road. The originally from the south; but the new approach to the city, between the north and south branches of the river, afforded the architects an opportunity of forming an entrance on the north side, for which purpose a bridge of one arch was built over the south channel, communicating with a causeway raised about six feet across the adjacent meadows. Along the north side of the prison is an esplanade, 40 feet broad, in the centre of which, and directly opposite to the bridge in an entrance portico of four Doric columns surmounted by a pediment; the design is taken from the Temple of Bacchus, at Athens. The Gaol has been enlarged at different periods, and is now very commodious. It is under the direction of a governor and deputy-governor; and is divided into 8 wards, 2 for male debtors, 5 for male offenders, and 1 for females of every description, which last is subdivided into three sections appropriated respectively to debtors, to untried, and convicts. The male wards contain 95 cells, capable of accommodating 425 inmates; that of the females has accommodations for 66: each ward has a day-room and a spacious airing-yard; there are four solitary cells. The gaol, and the surrounding extensive enclosed ground, are kept in the highest order; the prisoners, who on their admission are clothed in a distinguishing prison dress, are fully occupied either on the tread-wheel or in white-washing and cleansing the floors, yards, and passages. The House of Correction, built by Messrs. Pain on the north side of the gaol, is a well-arranged edifice, consisting of a centre and two detached wings towards the gaol, and of three other ranges of building, radiating from the centre northward. The centre contains the governor’s apartments on the ground floor, a chapel both for Protestants and Roman Catholics on the second, and an infirmary on the third. The radiating buildings contain 78 cells, with washing-rooms in each range; on the ground floor are day and work rooms, having airing-yards attached to them. The prison is under the management of a governor: the classification and regulations, both of the gaol and house of correction, are highly conducive to the reformation of the prisoners. Those in the latter establishment are employed in manufacturing their own clothing and other necessary articles of consumption: attached to it is a tread-mill, used for supplying both prisons with water. A sum of £1600 was presented by the grand jury, at the autumn assizes, about ten years since, for an hospital for the use of the prisoners, to be erected on the adjoining ground: it extends 100 feet in front, the centre being two stories high, with wings; the interior of the hospital is divided into six wards, three for each sex.
The Female Penitentiary, or Convict Depot, occupies the site of the old fort erected in the southern suburb, in the reign of Elizabeth. It is capable of containing 250 inmates, who are brought hither from all parts of Ireland, and remain until the arrival of vessels to convey them to their final place of destination. During their stay here they are employed in needle-work, washing, and knitting, so as to supply not only themselves but all the convicts sent out of Ireland with clothing: the number of suits thus made annually is about 1000. Schools have been established in all the prisons of Cork.
The foundation of the See of Cork is generally ascribed to St. Barr or Finbarr, in the early part of the 7th century: his relics, which were enclosed in a silver shrine, were carried away from the cathedral, in 1089, by Dermot, the son of Turlough O’Brian, when he pillaged Cork. St. Finbarr is said to have been succeeded by St, Nessan. In 1292, Bishop Robert Mac Donagh was twice fined £130 for presuming to hold pleas in the ecclesiastical courts for matters belonging to the crown; and these two fines were paid, with the exception of £84. 14. 2., which was remitted. In 1324, Philip of Slane, bishop of Cork, was sent in embassy to the pope by Edward II., and discharged his commission with such address that he was made one of the privy councils of Ireland. On his return, an assembly of bishops, noblemen, and others was held, at which it was resolved that all disturbers of the public peace should be excommunicated; that the small and poor bishoprics not exceeding £0, £40, or £60 per annum, and which were governed by the mere Irish, should be united with the more eminent bishoprics; and that the Irish abbots and priors should receive Englishmen into lay brotherhoods, as in England. In 1430, the sees of Cork and Cloyne being both vacant, Pope Martin V. united them, and appointed Jordan, chancellor of Limerick, bishop of the united diocese. The last Roman Catholic bishop before the Reformation was John Fitz-Edmund, of the noble family of the Geraldines, who was appointed bishop by the pope in 1499. After his death, his powerful relatives seized the revenues of Cloyne and part of those of Cork. In 1536, Dominic Tirrey, who was reckoned favourable to the Reformation, was appointed bishop by mandate of Henry VIII.; he held the sec 20 years, during which period the pope appointed two ecclesiastics to the united see, neither of whom took possession. Matthew Sheyn, who was appointed bishop by Elizabeth in 1572, was a determined enemy to the veneration paid to images, and. in October, 1578, burnt that of St. Dominic, at the High- cross of Cork, to the great grief of the people. William Lyon was consecrated bishop of Ross in 1582; and on the 17th of May, 1586, Elizabeth annexed the sees of Cork and Cloyne to Ross, in favour of this prelate, who, in a return to a regal visitation held about the year 1613, states “that the bishopric of Cloyne had granted by his predecessor, in fee-farm, at five marks’ rent; that Cork and Ross, when he came into possession, were worth only £70 per annum, but that he had improved them to £200 per annum; that he had built a mansion-house at Ross, at an expense of at least £300, which, in little more than three years after, was burnt down by the rebel O’Donovan; that he found no episcopal house at Cork, but that he had built one, which cost him at least £1000; and that he never had been in possession of the house belonging to the bishopric of Cloyne, which was withheld from him by Sir John Fitz-Edmund Fitz-Gerald in his lifetime, and since his death by his heir.”
After Bishop Lyon’s decease, the see was successively Occupied by John and Richard Boyle, relatives of the earls of Cork: the latter, who was afterwards archbishop of Tuam, died at Cork in 1644, and was buried in the cathedral, in a vault he had prepared during his prelacy. While he occupied this see, he is stated to have repaired more ruinous churches, and consecrated more new ones, than any other bishop in that age. This prelate was succeeded by Dr. Chappel, provost of Trinity College, Dublin, whose successor was Michael Boyle, son of Dr. Chappel’s predecessor. Bishop Boyle was succeeded by Dr. Synge, who, by will dated May 23rd, 1677, left several legacies to the poor of St. Finbarr’s (Cork), Youghal, Cloyne, and Innishowen. From the death of this prelate, the see of Cloyne was held separately from the united see of Cork and Ross until 1835. Dr. Hetenhall, who was the first Bishop of Cork and Ross, “suffered great cruelties and oppressions from the year 1688 to the settlement under King William;” and at his own expense repaired the episcopal palace at Cork. Dr. Brown, Provost of Trinity College, was promoted to this bishopric in 1709, and held it till his death, in 1735. By his encouragement several churches were rebuilt or repaired, and glebe-houses erected; and a handsome public library, with a large room for a charity-school, was built near the cathedral. He expended more than £2000 on a country-house, built in a demesne of 118 acres belonging to the see, at Ballinaspick or Bishopstown, near Cork; which he occupied as a summer residence, and left to his successors free from any charge. By will he left £300 contingently, of which one-third of the interest was to be paid to the librarian of the library recently erected near the cathedral (to which he also bequeathed some of his books) one-third for the purchase of books for its use, and the remainder for the widows and children of clergymen; he also left £20 to the poor of St Finbarr’s parish, and £100 for clothing and apprenticing children. On the death of Dr. Brinkley, Bishop of Cloyne, in 1835, that bishopric was added to Cork and Ross by the Church Temporalities act of the 3rd of William IV., and the united see is called the Bishopric of Cork, Ross, and Cloyne. By the act for amending the Church Temporalities act, £1500 per annum, commencing Sept. 14th, 1835, were granted out of the funds at the disposal of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to compensate Dr. Kyle, the bishop, for the loss he had sustained in exchanging the temporalities of Cork and Ross for those of Cloyne.
The diocese of Cork is one of the sixteen which constitute the ecclesiastical province of Dublin; it is entirely within the county of Cork, extending about 74 miles in length and 16 in breadth, and contains an estimated superficies of 356,300 acres. The chapter consists of a dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacon, and the twelve prebendaries of Kilbrogan, Kilbritain, Killas-pigmallane, Cahirlag, Liscleary, Killanully, Inniskenny, Kilnaglory, Holy Trinity, St. Michael, Desert more, and Dromdaleague. The see lands of Cork comprise 3306 acres, about one-half of which is profitable land; and their gross annual revenue, on an average of three years ending Dec. 31st, 1831, was £2630. 1.: the whole is now vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, under the Church Temporalities act, and the amount received by them in 1844 from the estates of Cork and Ross was £6040. To the dean belong, as the corps of the deanery, the rectory and vicarage of Templebready, and the rectories of Cullen and Temple-martin, the tithe rent-charge of which is £685. 14. per annum; he has a residence, or deanery-house, and the right of nomination to the perpetual cure of Templebready, of the annual value of £52. 17. 8., and to the curacy of St. Finbarr’s. of the annual value of £75. To the precentor belong the rectories of Carrigrohane, Curricuppane, a third of Corbally, and a fourth of Kinneigh, the tithe rent-charge of which is £643. 15. per annum, to the chancellor belongs the consolidated rectory of St. Nicholas; to the treasurer belong the rectory entire of Ballinadee, and the tithe rent-charge of the townlands of Kilgoban, Rathdowlan, and Mackloneigh, amounting altogether to £488. 13.; to the archdeacon belong the rectories of St. Peter in the city of Cork, Nohoval, Kilmonogue, Dunbollogue, and Dunisky, the tithe rent-charge of which is £642. 3. 9., exclusively of £200 minister’s money for St. Peter’s. The endowments of the prebends will be found in the accounts of the parishes after which they are named. The cathedral is also the parish church of St. Finbarr’s, and is described in the account of that parish in a subsequent part of this article. The annual income of the economy estate, on an average of three years, is £549. 9. 4., principally arising from the tithe rent-charge of two-thirds of part of the parish of St. Finbarr, and of the whole of the remaining part. The expenditure consists partly of repairs of the cathedral, and payments to its officers, &c, and partly in the repair and support of St Michael’s chapel at Black-rock, owing to which, in 1831, the economy estate was in debt £1400. This is the only fund under the control of the dean and chapter in their corporate capacity, and the only benefices in their patronage are the perpetual cure of Marmullane and the chapelry of St. Michael. The estate of the vicars-choral, amounting to £1245 annually, is now vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The palace is the only portion of the property of the see, except the mensal and demesne lands, that is not vested in the commissioners. The consistorial court of the dioceses of Cork and Ross is held in the chapter-house at Cork: its officers are a vicar-general, registrar, and proctors; the registrar is keeper of the records of the see, which consist of original wills, oaths, declarations, canons, and records of the proceedings of the bishops, the oldest of which commences in 1521. The total number of parishes in the diocese is 84, of which 9 are unions; they are comprised in 65 benefices, 6 of which are in the patronage of the Crown, 2 in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop, 4 1 in the gift of the Bishop, 5 in the gift of incumbents, and the remaining 11 in the patronage of laymen. There are 58 churches and 26 school-buildings; besides which are other houses licensed by the bishop, where divine worship is regularly performed. The glebe-houses are 25 in number.
In the Roman Catholic divisions Cork forms a separate bishopric, comprising 35 parochial districts, containing 81 chapels: of these, 71 are parochial, 3 annexed to presentation convents, and one to each of the Dominican, Capuchin, Augustinian, Carmelite, and Franciscan friaries; one to an Ursuline convent; and one to the Magdalen Asylum, Cork. The total number of the Roman Catholic clergy, including the bishop, is 74, of which 35 are parish priests and 39 coadjutors or curates. The parochial benefice of the bishop, who resides in Cork, is the union of Shandon, called the North Parish.
The late COUNTY OR THE CITY comprised a populous rural district of great beauty and fertility, watered by several small rivulets, and intersected by the river Lee and its noble estuary; it was bounded on the north by the barony of Fermoy, on the east by that of Barrymore, on the south by Kerricurriby, and on the west by Muskerry. Within its limits were comprehended the parishes of St. Finbarr, Christ-Church, or the Holy Trinity, St. Peter, St. Mary Shandon, St. Anne Shandon, St. Paul, and St. Nicholas, all, except part of St. Finbarr’s, in the city and suburbs. and those of Curricuppane, Carrigrobanemore, Kilcully, and Rathcoony, together with parts of the parishes of Killannlly or Killingly, Carrigaline, Dunbullogue or Carrignavar, Bollinaboy, Inniskenny, Kilnaglory, Whitechurch, and Templemichael, beyond the city and suburbs. It contained an area of 44,463 statute acres, of which 2396 were occupied by the city and suburbs. The grand jury presentments for 1835 were as follow: new roads, bridges, fee, £611. 19. 7.; repairs of roads, bridges, &c, £2641. 14.; public buildings, charities, officers’ salaries, and miscellaneous expenses, £14.592. 1. 1.; police establishment, £1148. 14.3.; repayment of advances by government. £1254. 19. 6.; Wide-Street Commissioners for lighting, paving, &c, £8800; making a total of £29,049. 8. 5. The present county of the city, or borough, comprises, under the act 3 and 4 Victoria, c. 108, the parishes of Christ-Church, St. Paul, St. Peter, and parts of St. Anne Shandon, St. Finbarr, St. Mary Shandon, and St. Nicholas; the whole including an area of 2263 statute acres, exclusively of 420 acres consisting of tideway. The grand jury presentments for 1844 were £31,791.
The parish of ST. FINBARR is a rectory, appropriate to the dean and chapter and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of Ireland. The tithe rent-charge is £742. 10. per annum, of which £517. 10. constitute the greater portion of the economy fund of the cathedral under the management of the dean and chapter, and £225 were payable to the vicars-choral, and are now vested in the commissioners. A residentiary preacher with a stipend of £100, of which £50 are from the economy, and £50 from the respective members of the chapter for discharging their turns of preaching; a reader, with a stipend of £75 paid by the vicars-choral out of their estates; and a curate, who also acts as librarian, with a fixed stipend of £21 from the economy fund, are appointed for the ordinary performance of the ecclesiastical duties. The Cathedral of the see of Cork, dedicated to the saint whose name it bears, was rebuilt between the years 1725 and 1735; and for defraying the expense, a duty of It. per ton was imposed by act on all coal and culm imported into Cork for five years, from May 1st, 1736: it was newly roofed in 1817, at an expense of £617, from the economy fund. The new structure is of the Doric order, except the tower, supposed to be part of the ancient building erected by Gilla-Aeda O’Mugin in the 12th century. and is surmounted by a lofty octangular spire of hewn stone, under which is the principal entrance. On the south is the chapter hall, where the consistorial court is held; on the north, the vestry room. The choir is lighted by a fine Venetian window; the bishop’s throne, of black Irish oak, and the prebendal stalls, are handsomely finished, and well arranged: a beautiful monument of white marble, erected to the memory of Chief Baron Tracton, whose body if interred in the cathedral, has been recently transferred from St. Nicholas’ church to a conspicuous position in it. Near the cathedral is the Bishop’s Palace, built between 1772 and 1789, during the prelacy of Dr. Mann, a large and well-constructed edifice, on the southern bank of the river Lee, surrounded by pleasure-ground and gardens, and containing some fine paintings, among which is a portrait of Dr. Lyon. Concerning Lyon’s preferment to the see, a traditionary story, but wholly unsupported by documentary evidence, relates, that having received a promise from Queen Elizabeth to be promoted to the first vacancy in her gift, in consequence of his gallant conduct as captain of a ship in several actions with the Spaniards, he applied for the bishopric of Cork on the death of the bishop; and that, notwithstanding the objections made in consequence of his former profession, by urging his reliance on the royal promise be was appointed to the see. On the south side of the cathedral is Dean’s Court, a good modern house, the residence of the dean. A chapel of ease to this parish has been erected, for the description of which, see the article on Blackrock. The living of the parish of Christ-Church is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop. The rectory, now suspended by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, constituted the corps of the prebend of the same name in the cathedral church, and was in the gift of the Crown, the income is derived from lands at Blackrock, averaging in rent and renewal fines, £396. 18. per annum. The endowment of the vicarage, arising solely from houses assessed to minister’s money, amounts to about £650 per annum; it has neither glebe nor glebe-house. The old church was taken down in 1716, and rebuilt in 1720 by a tax of 1s. per ton on coal imported for 15 years: the steeple, having afterwards sunk on one side so as to swerve 3 feet from the perpendicular, though without any fissures, thus presenting a very singular appearance, was lowered to the level of the roof, and ultimately wholly removed, and the church rebuilt by the Messrs. Pain. The new structure is 97 feet by 57: its panelled ceiling rests on ranges of Ionic pillars of Scagliola marble continued across the eastern end; along the northern and southern walls are galleries supported by Doric pilasters. Several of the lower columns, with parts of the floor, having been destroyed by the dry-rot, Richard Beamish, Esq., civil engineer, in 1831, replaced the whole lower range of columns with pillars of cast-iron without the smallest derangement of the upper columns, thus effectually securing the stability of the entire edifice. A few grave-stones, some of the 16th century, and bearing emblematic devices, were discovered during the progress of the alterations. The living of St. Peter’s is a rectory, united from time immemorial with the entire rectories of Nohoval, Kilmonogue, Dunbullogue, and Dunisky, together constituting the union and corps of the archdeaconry, in the patronage of the Bishop. The archdeacon’s net income is about £700, arising from minister’s money assessed on St. Peter’s parish, from the tithes of the four rural parishes, and from reserved rents of houses; he pays a perpetual and four stipendiary curates. The church, one of the most ancient in the city, formerly had as a steeple a tower detached from it considerably to the west, which once defended the city wall. its site is now occupied by an alms-house. A handsome tower and spire have recently been designed and erected by the archdeacon, 150 feet high. The altar is ornamented with fluted Corinthian pilasters; and on its south side was a monument to the memory of Sir Matthew Deane and his lady, of the date of 1710, now removed to the further end of the church.
The living of St. Mary’s Shandon is a rectory and vicarage, with the rectory of St. Catharine, near Shandon, which has merged into it, united from time immemorial, and in the alternate patronage of the Duke of Leinster and the Rev. Robert Longfield. There is neither glebe nor glebe-house. The tithe rent-charge is £18. 15., and the minister’s money £100, in addition to which the rector receives a rental of £95. 10. from 7 houses in Shandon-street: this income is charged with a stipend of £75 per annum to a licensed curate. The church of the ancient parish of Shandon, which comprised the present parishes of St. Mary, St. Anne, and part of St. Paul, occupied the site of St. Anne’s church, and, from its proximity to Shandon Castle, was several times damaged by contending factions, and ultimately destroyed by the Irish about 1690: the present church, a neat edifice, was built in 1696, on a new site; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners lately granted £198. 19. for its repairs. St. Anne’s Shandon is a rectory, in the alternate patronage of the Duke of Leinster and the Rev. Robert Longfield. It has neither glebe nor glebe-house: the tithe rent-charge is £180, and the minister’s money about £370 per annum. The church, a large and handsome edifice, with a tower of several stories 120 feet high, was built by subscription in 1772, on the site of the old church of Shandon, and, being erected on an eminence, is prominently conspicuous from most parts of the city: the Ecclesiastical Commissioners lately granted £259. 9. for its repair. A chapel of case to this parish, styled St. Luke’s chapel, was erected in 1836, near the Brickfields, in the later English style of architecture, from a design by Messrs. Pain, with a western tower surmounted by a light and elegant spire, and two lofty pinnacles at the east end; capacious schoolrooms have been formed below the level of the floor at the same end, where the ground declines rapidly. The late Board of First Fruits granted £1000, and an equal sum was raised by subscription, for the erection of this building. The living of St. Paul’s is a rectory, in the alternate patronage of the Duke of Leinster and the Rev. Robert Longfield. The parish was formed, in 1726, out of the districts of the East Marsh in the parish of St. Mary Shandon, and Dunscombe’s Marsh in that of Christ-Church: the income, amounting to about £200 per annum, is derived solely from assessments of minister’s money; there is neither glebe nor glebe-house. The church is a neat edifice in the Grecian style, built by subscription at the time of the formation of the parish, and on ground granted by the corporation. The living of St. Nicholas is a rectory, united by act of council in 1752 with those of St. Bridget, St. John of Jerusalem, St. Stephen, St. Mary de Narde, St. Dominic, and St. Magdalene, which together constitute the corps of the chancellorship, in the patronage of the Bishop. The income of the union, before the passing of the Rent-charge act, was £293. 18., arising from bouses assessed to minister’s money, the tithes of St. Magdalene amounting to £21, the tithes of St. Nicholas, and houses producing £5. 18. per annum. The church, formerly a chapel of ease to St. Finbarr’s, was built in 1723 by contributions from Bishop Brown and others, and is a small neat edifice, in the southern part of the city. A free church, near the South Infirmary, has just been completed. The church of St. Brandon, which was situate on the north side of the river, on the road to Youghal, has been entirely destroyed; but the cemetery is still in use.
The principal SCHOOLS in connexion with the Established Church arc the following. St. Stephen’s Blue-Coat Hospital was founded pursuant to a grant of lands and tenements in the North and South liberties by the Honourable William Worth, by deed dated Sept. 2nd, 1699, now producing a rental of £443, which, with the interest of £500 saved by the trustees, is expended in the maintenance, clothing, and education of 22 boys, the sons of reduced Protestant citizens, and in aid of the support of four students at Trinity College, Dublin. The premises are situated on an eminence in the parish of St. Nicholas, and comprise a good schoolroom, dining-hall, apartments for the governor, and suitable offices, with an enclosed playground in front. The Green-Coat Hospital, in the churchyard of St. Anne’s Shandon, was founded about 1715, chiefly through the exertions of some military gentlemen and others to the number of 25, who by an act passed in 1717 were incorporated trustees, for the instruction of 20 children of each sex in the rudiments of useful knowledge and the principles of the Protestant religion, and for apprenticing them at a proper age, with a preference to the children of military men who had served their country. No regular system appears to have been introduced prior to 1751, but subsequently 40 children were clothed and educated till 1812, the number has since been increased by aid of a parliamentary grant. The income amounts to £176. 14. per annum, of which £164. 2. arise from donations and bequests, and the remainder from annual subscriptions: the chief benefactors were, Daniel Thresher, who devised the lands of Rickenhead, in the county of Dublin, formerly let for £26 per annum on lease, which expired in 1844, when the lease was renewed at a rent of £106. 6. per annum; and Francis Edwards, of London, who devised eleven ploughlands in the parish of Ballyvourney, let permanently for £11 per annum. A librarian and treasurer, chosen from among the trustees, act gratuitously. The building consists of a centre and two wings, the former containing two schoolrooms and also apartments for the master, in the west wing are a library and board-room, with apartments for the mistress, and the other wing contains lodging-rooms for about 38 poor parishioners.
Deane’s Charity Schools were founded under the will, dated in 1726, of Moses Deane, Esq., a Protestant of this city, who devised the rents of certain premises held for a term of years in trust to the corporation, to accumulate until they should yield a sum of £1200 for the parishes of St. Peter, St. Nicholas, St. Mary Shandon, and Christ-Church, respectively. The four sums were to be invested in land in the county of Cork, and the rents applied to the instruction and clothing of 20 boys and 20 girls of each parish. The portion of the bequest assigned to the parish of St. Peter having been paid, the school was re-opened in 1817, and now affords instruction to 30 boys and 35 girls, of whom 20 of each sex are clothed: the endowment produces £55 per annum, and an additional sum of about £50 is raised annually by subscriptions and the proceeds of an annual sermon. This forms the parochial school of St. Peter’s. The
portion assigned to the parish of St. Nicholas was obtained by the Ven. Archdeacon Austin, and was afterwards vested in the hands of the Commissioners for Charitable Bequests by the Rev. Dr. Quarry. In 1822 a grant was procured, and a plain and commodious building containing two schoolrooms was erected in Cove-street, to which, in 1831, the Rev. J. N. Lombard, the late rector, added a schoolroom for infants: the funds amount to £189. 14. per annum. The portion belonging to St. Mary’s Shandon was lost for many years, but by the exertions of Dr. Quarry, the late rector, £800 were recovered, which sura, by a legacy of £100 and accumulated interest, has been augmented to £2000 three and a half per cent, reduced annuities. A commodious building of red brick, ornamented with hewn limestone, and containing apartments for the roaster and three spacious schoolrooms, with a covered playground for the children, was erected in 1833 under the superintendence of Dr. Quarry, at the cost of £743, collected by him for that purpose. An infants’ school affords instruction to 100 children; and a Sunday and an adult school are also held in the building. The boys’ and girls’ schools are supported by a portion of the dividends arising from the funded property, by local subscriptions, and a collection after a charity sermon; and the infants’ school, by a portion of the same dividends and subscriptions. The parish of Christ-Church obtained no portion of Deane’s bequest, the lease of the premises from which it was payable having expired. The Diocesan Schools for the sees of Cork, Ross, and Cloyne, are held respectively in Cork, Rosscarbery, and Mallow. On the eastern side of the cathedral is a free school founded by Archdeacon Pomtroy for the instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic, of ten boys, to be nominated by the bishop: the master’s original salary of £10 having been augmented by the dean and chapter, and by a bequest by the late Mrs. Shearman, to £30, twenty boys are now instructed gratuitously and are also taught the mathematics. Attached to the school is a library, founded by the archdeacon, and much enlarged by a bequest of Bishop Stopford’s: it contains more than 4000 volumes, chiefly valuable editions of the classics and of works on divinity, and is open gratuitously to the clergy of the diocese and the parishioners of St. Finbarr’s.
According to the Roman Catholic Divisions, the city with the suburbs is divided into three unions or parishes, St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s, and St. Finbarr’s. St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s union comprises nearly the whole of the Protestant parishes of St. Mary, St. Anne, and St. Catherine: the duties are performed by the bishop, six curates, and two chaplains. The parochial chapel, which is also the cathedral, is a spacious structure, with a plain exterior: the eastern end, having been destroyed by an accidental fire, was rebuilt, and, with the rest of the interior, decorated by the Messrs. Pain in the later English style of architecture; the altar-piece is extremely rich, and similar to that of the abbey of St. Alban’s, in England. There are chapels of ease at Brickfields and Clogheen. The former, dedicated to St. Patrick, is a handsome edifice in the Grecian style by the Messrs. Pain: the principal front is ornamented by a lofty and elegant portico of eight columns of grey marble, and approached by a flight of steps, extending along the entire front from the centre of the roof rises a cupola, supported by eight Corinthian columns, surmounted by figures representing as many of the Apostles; the whole crowned by a pedestal and cross. This chapel was opened for divine service, October 18th, 1836. St, Peter’s and Paul’s, comprising the Protestant parishes of the same name, with portions of those of Christ-Church, St. Anne, and St. Finbarr, is a mensal of the bishop: the duties are performed by an administrator and two curates. The parochial chapel, a plain edifice, built in 1786, has an elegant altar in the Corinthian style, with a fine painting of the Crucifixion. St. Finbarr’s comprises the Protestant parish of St. Nicholas, most part of St. Finbarr’s, and a small portion of that of Christ-Church: the duties are performed by a parish priest and four curates, one of whom resides near Black rock, and officiates at the chapel of ease there, which is noticed in the article descriptive of that village. The parochial chapel is in Dunbar-street, a spacious building, erected in 1776, in form of a T: under the altar is the figure of a “Dead Christ,” of a single block of white marble, executed at Rome, at an expense of £500, by Hogan, a native of Cork. In the chapel is also a monument to the memory of the Rev. Dr. M’Carthy, coadjutor bishop, who is represented in the act of administering the sacrament to a person labouring under malignant fever, thus expressing in the liveliest manner the cause of his death.
There are four friaries belonging severally to the Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Capuchins; two monasteries for monks, one of the Presentation orders, the other of the Christian Brotherhood; and two convents for nuns of the Presentation order, one in the southern and the other in the northern part of the city. The Augustinians had an institution, called Gill Abbey, founded by St. Finbarr, for Canons Regular of the order, largely endowed by Cormac Mac Carthy, King of Cork, and shortly afterwards completed by Gilla Aeda, bishop of the see, from whom it derived its name; it anciently formed the cathedral establishment. The present state of this and the other decayed monastic buildings in the city, is described in a subsequent part of this article, which treats of its antiquities. The institution at present is situated in Brunswick-street, and consists of a prior and four priests: the chapel, erected in 1780, was much enlarged in 1827; over the altar is a good painting of the Crucifixions. The Franciscan Monastery was founded in 1214, on the north side of the city, by Dertnot Mac Carthy Reagh, and rebuilt in 1240 by Lord Philip Prendergast. The present institution, situated in Grattan-street, consists of a guardian and four priests: the chapel, a neat building, was erected in 1830 by subscription, at an expense of £4500. The Dominican Friary was founded in 1229, by the Barry family on an island on the south side of the city, whence it acquired the name of the Abbey of the Island. The institution is now situated in Dominic-street on the site of Shandon Castle, and consists of a prior and six priests. A new chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has been erected on Pope’s-quay, from a design gratuitously furnished by Kearnes Deane, Esq., who superintended its erection on a principle of similar liberality. It has a portico of six Ionic columns with a triangular pediment surmounted by sculptured figures, besides a stately portico enriched with Corinthian pillars on each side; and is topped by a dome with an octangular tambour. The interior, 112 by 100 feet, is also enriched by ranges of Corinthian pillars; the cost was defrayed by voluntary subscriptions collected in the usual manner, and by a weekly penny collection from the industrious and poorer classes. A Sunday school with about 500 pupils is attached to this body. The Capuchins’ or Reformed Franciscans’ Institution, situated in Blackman’s-lane, consists of a provincial, guardian, and three priests. The old chapel was built by the celebrated Arthur O’Leary, who was a priest of this order. A new chapel was commenced in 1823, on Charlotte’s-quay, by the provincial, the Very Rev. Theobald Mathew, who contributed liberally towards defraying its expense, which had in 1837 amounted to £10,000; the remainder of the funds was derived from subscriptions and weekly collections. The structure, from a design and under the superintendence of Messrs. Pain, is built of light-grey limestone, and presents a splendid specimen of the later English style, with a tower and spire 200 feet high: the front has a portico of three lofty arches resting on octagonal piers, between the centre piers is a rich screen, forming a kind of porch to the doorway. The piers, ten in number, are continued at the angles of the building, those not connected with the tower terminating like those of Henry VII.’s chapel at Westminster, from which spring the exterior flying-buttresses. Similar buttresses are introduced in connexion with the turrets at the angles of the tower, which rise from a base just above the arches before mentioned. The tower consists of two stories, having an open parapet of tracery passing round it, above which rises the spire: the upper story of the tower and the lower portion of the spire are open, and so managed as to combine strength and variety with airy lightness. The contract for the building was £12,000, but the entire cost exceeded £20,000. The Sunday schools, under the care of the Josephian Society (the Very Rev. T. Mathew, patron), are managed by religious and well-educated young men who instruct 500 boys: the day schools are under the superintendence of 50 ladies-governesses, five of whom attend every day, and, assisted by a matron, instruct 500 girls; an infants’ school for 350 children is under the direction of the same ladies, aided by a matron from the London parent institution. Evening schools for the instruction of apprentices and labouring boys are under the care of the same society. The Presentation Monastery, situated in Douglas-street, was established in 1827 in buildings previously occupied by the nuns of the Presentation order: the community consists of a superior and ten brothers, who devote themselves to the instruction of the poor on a system embracing every branch of useful education. Attached to the dwelling is a spacious building divided into four large apartments, capable of accommodating 1000 boys; about 600 receive instruction, and are apprenticed when at a proper age. The funds are derived from subscriptions and the proceeds of an annual sermon. The school owes its origin to the late Very Rev. Dean Collins, priest of the parish, who contributed liberally towards the erection of the building, and also to its support. The Lancasterian school, at the end of Great George’s-street, is conducted by this community, the building is 80 feet by 60, and capable of accommodating 1000 pupils. This school is attended by the same number, and supported in the same manner, as the school previously described. The Christian Brotherhood was instituted in 1811; the present buildings, situated in Peacock-lane, were erected in 1815. The community consists of a superior and eight brothers, who devote themselves to the instruction of the poor in, two schools, one in Peacock-lane, the other on Sullivan’s-quay: the former of these, two stories high, and divided into six apartments, affords accommodation for 800 boys; in the latter about 300 attends. The community’s dwelling-house is at a short distance from the former school, in an elevated and commanding situation.
The Presentation Convent of Cork owes its origin to Miss Honora Nagle, who in 1777 erected a building for that purpose. This being soon found too small for the increasing number of its inmates, the building now occupied by the parochial clergymen, and by the monks of the Presentation order, was erected by the ladies and their friends, under the superintendence of the Very Rev. Dean Collins: the establishment eventually became the parent house of the Presentation Institute in Ireland. After the decease of Miss Nagle, the new order was approved of by Pope Pius VI. and confirmed by Pius VII., under the title of “the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Dean Collins, then the parish priest, purchased, in 1825, the interest of the present buildings (partly erected by Miss Nagle) from the Ursuline nuns, who had removed to Blackrock, and the community of the Presentation Institute removed into them on October 1st, 1827, from the buildings now occupied by the parochial clergy and the monks of the Presentation order. The community consists of a superior, and 17 professed and 2 lay nuns, who devote their whole time to the gratuitous instruction of poor female children; the average attendance of pupils is about 500. The buildings, with the chapel, form a very respectable pile in an elevated situation. The remains of the foundress are interred in the cemetery within the grounds, and those of Dean Collins within the chapel, in which there is a neat marble slab erected to his memory. There is an alms-house for 20 poor old women in connexion with the convent, chiefly supported by the ladies. The North Presentation Convent was founded in Chapel-street in 1799. and removed to the present house in Clarence-street in 1808. The community consists of a superior, 14 professed nuns, and two lay sisters, who devote their time to the same purpose as those already described: the average attendance of children at the school is 600, one-third of whom are clothed annually by a subscription of the citizens. The buildings, with the chapel, form a handsome pile. A branch of the Sisters of Charity, Stanhope-street, Dublin, was established near the cathedral 20 years since; the community consists of six inmates, who go out to relieve the sick poor, and to instruct them in the duties of religion.
Of the PROTESTANT DISSENTERS, the Presbyterians have two places of worship, one in connexion with the Synod of Munster, and the other in connexion with the General Assembly: there are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, and one each for the Baptists, the Society of Friends, the Independents, and the Primitive Methodists. The congregation belonging to the Synod of Munster is a Cromwellian establishment, and one of the oldest dissenting congregations in Cork: the place of worship, a commodious and well-arranged edifice, is in Prince’s-street. A boys’ and girls’ school in connexion with it, the pupils of which are clothed, and apprenticed at a proper age, is supported by subscription and the proceeds of an annual sermon: there is an alms-house, with accommodation for 15 inmates, but having only 9 at present in it; also, a loan fund and a lending library. J. Pedder, Esq., bequeathed to the congregation £600, one-half for the ministers, and the other for the poor; S. M’Carthy, also, bequeathed £300 for the same purpose. Dr. Hincks, Greek professor in the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and author of a Greek and English Lexicon and other works connected with classical literature, was minister of this congregation for many years. The congregation of the General Assembly holds its meetings in a large room in Tuckey-street, formerly the assembly-room belonging to Daly’s Club-house. The Wesleyan Methodists’ places of worship, both neat and commodious edifices, are in Henry- street and Patrick-street: attached to the former are a female day school and an infants’ school; each congregation has a Sunday school. The Baptist place of worship is a plain building in Marlborough-street. The meeting-house belonging to the Society of Friends consists of a large and convenient range of buildings, lately erected in Grattan-street, on the site of the old meeting-house, and comprising an apartment for public worship, with committee-rooms attached to it, and, fronting the street, a commodious dwelling-bouse for the resident care-taker and for reduced aged and infirm members: the expense, amounting to £4200, was defrayed by a subscription. The Independent meeting-house, in Old George’s-street, was built by Messrs. Pain in 1829, at an expense of about £3000: it is an oblong edifice, 80 feet by 40, with two semi-circular appendages; and in front is a small portico of four fanciful columns resembling the Corinthian order; the ceiling is arched and richly panelled. The Primitive Methodists have their place of worship in French Church-street.
Cork is the site of one of the three IRISH COLLEGES, founded by the act 8th and 9th of Victoria, cap. 66, passed on the 31st of July, 1845. By this measure, the Lords of the Treasury are directed to issue a sum of £100,000 out of the consolidated fund, to provide sites and buildings for the colleges to which Her Majesty may have granted letters-patent; and the Commissioners of Public Works are constituted trustees for carrying out the provisions of the act so far as the choice of laud and erection and furnishing of the buildings are concerned. The annual expenses of the colleges will also be mainly defrayed by government, who are empowered to assign £7000 every year to that of Cork, and a similar sum to each of the two other colleges, for the payment of the stipends of the president, vice-president, professors, bursar, and other officers, of each establishment, and for providing such prizes and exhibitions as the Queen may deem it expedient to institute. Reasonable fees, however, may be demanded from the students by their professors, for attendance on their lectures, and by the bursar, for matriculation and other collegiate proceedings, agreeably with the rules and statutes, approved of by Her Majesty. Her Majesty is constituted visitor of the college of Cork, as well as of the other colleges, but may appoint persons under the sign-manual to execute the office, and she is also invested with the right of choosing the president, vice-president, and professors, until the end of the year 1848, and afterwards unless otherwise arranged by parliament. Lecture-rooms are to be set apart for religious instruction, to be given by teachers recognised by the governing body; but students will not be compelled to attend, should their parents or guardians consider it unnecessary; and no religious test will be administered as a qualification for any collegiate office or privilege. Every student must dwell with his parent or guardian, or some near relation, or with a tutor or master of a boarding-house licensed by the president, or in a hall founded and endowed for the reception of students; and in every boarding-house thus licensed, provision must be made for securing to the student the means of due attendance upon such religious instruction and divine worship as may be sanctioned by his parents and by the college authorities. The act likewise lays down some regulations with a view to the extension of the original plan of the college. The seventeenth section empowers any one to give property for the endowment of halls for the reception of students, subject to the inspection of a private trustee or, if the founder please, of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests: the deed or will under which a new foundation is created, must establish rules for its government, or name an authority for the purpose, and must also specify an authority to enforce observance of the rules. But the hall cannot be incorporated with the college, and recognised by the governing body, unless the rules are approved of by Her Majesty, or by the visitor whom she may have appointed. By the 18th section of the act. the Commissioners of Public Works are authorised to make loans for halls, to such persons as may have been incorporated by letters-patent to found them; and under the 19th section, estates or other property may be given or bequeathed to the college for providing additional religious teachers. Sir Robert Kane, Knt., has been appointed first president of Cork College.
In addition to the schools already noticed are many in the different parishes of the city and suburbs, supported chiefly by annual grants, local subscriptions, and collections after charity sermons. The principal of these may now be mentioned. In Christ-Church parish are, the male and female parochial schools, of which the boys’ school has an endowment of £15 late currency bequeathed by Mrs. Shearman; an infants’ school; and several Sunday schools. In the parish of St. Anne Shandon are the male and female parochial schools; the parochial infants’ school, the Brickfields’ National schools, aided by grants from the National Board; and several Sunday schools. A school in George’s-street was established in 1822, principally by the exertions of Dr. P. Kehoe, for the instruction of deaf and dumb children, into which, during the first 15 years of its existence, 60 children were admitted: of these, 30 were withdrawn by their parents from time to time; 15 were apprenticed; 4 died; and 11 were remaining in the school. Here is a branch of the Juvenile Auxiliary Society to the National Institution for the deaf and dumb at Claremont, near Dublin. In the parish of St. Finbarr are, the parochial malt school, aided by an annual subscription of £20 from the dean and chapter, and a bequest of £10 per annum late currency from Mrs. Shearman; the parochial female school; a National school for boys at Blackrock; a school supported by subscriptions; and several Sunday schools. In the parish of St. Mary Shandon are, a National school for boys and girls in Blarney-lane, and another at Sunday’s-Well. The latter was erected in 1835, at an expense of £340, of which the National Board of Education contributed £186, and the remainder was defrayed by subscription; it is a neat building of two apartments, each 52 feet by 24, and affords instruction to about 350 of each sex. In the parish of St. Nicholas, the Masonic Female-Orphan Asylum, Cove-street, was founded in 1820, in which the children arc maintained, clothed, educated, and apprenticed to trades or other useful occupations: from its commencement to July 31st, 1836, 60 children were admitted, of whom 40 were apprenticed. The parish also contains a friary school for girls, an infants’ school adjoining the chapel of the Capuchins, and a Sunday school in connexion with the Established Church. In the parish of St. Paul are, a Protestant free school for boys and girls, several of whom are clothed, and, under the same roof, an infants’ school; a free school for girls, endowed with the dividends on £450 three and a half per cent, consol. bank annuities; and two Sunday schools. In the parish of St. Peter are, a school for girls adjoining the chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, under the superintendence of a committee of ladies, and aided by the interest of a bequest from the late Mr. Rochford; St. Patrick’s asylum for orphans, under the superintendence of the Roman Catholic clergy, man, in which 10 boys and 20 girls are boarded, clothed, educated, and at a proper age apprenticed, and which is supported by subscriptions and a collection after a charity sermon, amounting to about £220 per annum, and several Sunday schools. All the schools noticed in this paragraph were in existence ten years ago: others have been more recently founded, but they present no peculiarity of management requiring detailed description.
The Foundling Hospital, in Leitrim-street, was opened in 1747, and continued to exist until the passing of the Poor-law act. It was governed by an incorporated board, consisting of the diocesan, the mayor, recorder, aldermen, sheriffs, common-councilmen, and common-speaker, with 26 of the commonalties, elected by the d’oyer hundred; and was maintained by a local tax on coal and culm, weigh-house fines, carriage licenses, and penalties on car-drivers, amounting to about £5500 annually. The infants, received periodically from the churchwardens, were placed out at nurse till they were six or seven years old, when they became inmates, remaining until of an age to be apprenticed. The average number of the former class was 1000, and of the latter 400. They were educated as Protestants, and bound to Protestant masters. Good conduct during apprenticeship was rewarded by a gratuity of three guineas. The building was a small quadrangle, of which the chapel formed one side; the other three were appropriated to schoolrooms (two for the boys and two for the girls), dormitories, and other necessary apartments. A resident chaplain superintended the details of the institution. The North Infirmary, adjoining the churchyard of St. Anne’s Shandon, was formed in 1744 by the members of a musical society, who appropriated their surplus funds for its support, and by individual subscriptions; and was fully established by an act passed in 1752. It is supported by a grand jury presentment of £550, a grant of £50 from government, and voluntary subscriptions, all which together, with funded property arising from bequests, amounts to about £1000 per annum. In 1829 Mr. Sampayo, a native of the city, but resident in London, contributed £1000 for the enlargement of the hospital accommodation, which sum having been increased by a bequest of £500 from Mr. Rochford and by other subscriptions, amounting in all to £3200, the trustees determined to erect a new building capable of containing 120 beds, on the ground belonging to the old infirmary. The building, erected by Mr. Hill, a resident architect, consists of a plain structure of three stories, forming three sides of a quadrangle, 100 feet in front, with lateral returns of 75 feet each. The ground floor is appropriated to the dispensary department, and to accommodation for officers. the two upper stories are laid out in wards. The expense of erection was £3760. The affairs are conducted by a board of trustees, partly official, and partly elected annually: the number of patients in 1845 was 820, of whom 639 were cured, 79 relieved, 43 died, and 59 remained under treatment at the close of the year; the number of externs prescribed for was 31,704. The income for the same year was £1004. 10. 8., and the expenditure £992. 6. 1. The South Infirmary was established under the 11th and 12th of George III., and is supported by a presentment of £700 from the grand jury, au annual grant of £50 by the government, and subscriptions amounting to about £240 per annum. The building has been lately enlarged so as to contain 100 beds; but owing to a deficiency in the pecuniary means, the average number of occupants is only 54. In 1845, of 580 patients admitted, 425 were cured, 89 were relieved, 27 died, and 39 remained under treatment on Jan. 1st, 1846: in the same year, 19.421 externs obtained advice and medicine. An attempt was some time since made by the trustees to unite these two infirmaries, and constitute them a general hospital both for the county and the county of the city of Cork, and to erect a large building sufficient for the purpose. This arrangement being subsequently limited to the union of the infirmaries only, an act was procured in the 2nd and 3rd of William IV.; but from some difficulty which arose, the design was ultimately abandoned.
The Fever Hospital and House of Recovery, established in 1802, and supported by annual subscriptions and grand jury presentments, is situated in an airy part of the north suburbs: from its opening to the 31st of Oct. 1836, not less than 51,085 patients were admitted. In 1816 a detached building, capable of containing 80 beds, was added to it, into which, during the prevalence of cholera, 775 patients of that class were admitted. The hospital is spacious, well arranged, and thoroughly ventilated, and contains 200 beds: the total expenditure for the year 1835 amounted to £1295. 17. and for subsequent years to rather more. The Lying-in Hospital, on the Mardyke-parade, was established in 1798, and is supported by subscription, under the superintendence of a committee of ladies; it contains 12 beds, and in a recent year, 368 poor women participated in the benefits of the establishment. The Cork Midwifery Dispensary and Institution for Diseases of Women and Children was opened in Brown-street in 1834, and is supported by subscription. The General Dispensary, Humane Society, and Cow-pock Institution, was established in 1787. and is supported by grand jury presentments, donations, and subscriptions: in a late year, not less than 11,198 patients received medical and surgical relief from this establishment, of whom 5066 were relieved in their own dwellings. The Lunatic Asylum for the county and city is situated on the Blackrock road, and was once connected with a house of industry adjoining, and under the direction of the same board of governors; the house is spacious. A considerable piece of ground in front, enclosed with a high wall, is used as a place of recreation for the patients, and is cultivated by them: the number in 1836 was 370, which was 70 more than could then be properly accommodated. the building will now contain above 400 patients. The institution is supported by presentments on the county and the county of the city, apportioned by sharing equally certain fixed expenses, and by contributing to the maintenance of the inmates according to the number sent from each: the annual average expenditure amounts to £4000. The asylum was till lately under the medical superintendence of Dr. Osburne, and is subject to a moral governor. The former had a private establishment at Lindville for the reception of insane patients, beautifully situated on a limestone rock gently sloping to the river, of which it commanded a pleasing view; and attached to it was an enclosed demesne of 14 acres, affording ample means of recreation to the patients under his care. The late House of Industry was an extensive building, giving accommodation to 1200 inmates, who were always under its roof, and of whom two-thirds were women: these were employed in household work, washing, spinning, plain work, weaving, and platting straw, and the males in picking oakum, weaving, quarrying and breaking stones for the roads, and in cleaning the streets. The establishment contained two medical and surgical hospitals, in which were 150 beds; and there were three schools for boys and girls, each under a separate teacher. It was supported by grand jury presentments, the labour of the inmates, collections at charity sermons, and by subscriptions and donations; and was conducted with the greatest regard to the comfort and moral improvement of the inmates. This building is now appropriated to the purposes of the Cork Blind and Deaf-and-Dumb Asylum, established in October, 1841, and supported by subscription, under the patronage of Her Majesty. The Magdalene Asylum, in Peacock-lane, was founded in 1809 by Nicholas Therry, Esq., for the protection and reformation of penitent females, who now contribute to their own maintenance by honest industry. The County and City of Cork Refuge, in Deane-street, instituted in 1825 for destitute females, and more especially for female liberated prisoners, is supported by subscription; there are at present 30 inmates in this institution. The Union Workhouse was opened on the 1st of March, 1840, and will accommodate 2000 paupers: the expenditure in 1844 amounted to £13,859.
There are various ALMS-HOUSES, principally of parochial character. The chiefs are, the corporation alms- houses; those of the parishes of St. Finbarr, St. Nicholas, Christ-Church, and St. Peter and St. Paul; the alms-houses in connexion with the South Presentation convent, founded by Miss Nagle for aged women; and St. John’s Asylum, in Douglas-street, for aged men; the two-last named of Roman Catholic origin. Capt. Bretridge, in 1683, devised the lands of East Drumcummer to the corporation for ever, in trust for the payment of 10s. 6d. weekly to seven old Protestant men that had been soldiers, the surplus to be applied in apprenticing the children of poor soldiers of the Protestant religion in the city and liberties, or, in default of such, the children of other Protestant parents; the present income is £258 per annum. In 1584, Stephen Skiddy bequeathed to the mayor and aldermen £24 per annum to be paid by the Vintners’ Company of London, and to be distributed among ten poor, honest, and aged persons of the city. Alms-houses were built for each of these charities; and in 1718 a new house was erected for both near the Green-Coat Hospital at an expense of £1150, arising from the sale of the former site; piazzas were subsequently added at the expense of some benevolent individuals. The annual income of Skiddy’s charity, arising from the original bequests and the rents of certain premises granted by the corporation in 1702, is now £235. 18., and is expended in the support of 41 aged widows and five aged men, who have apartments in the alms-house. Mr. William Masterson bequeathed £30 per annum to the poor of the parish of St. Mary, of which sum, £16 are distributed in sums of £2 to poor Protestant tradesmen, £10 are given as marriage portions to two Protestant female servants married to Protestant tradesmen, and the remaining £4 to the Green-Coat Hospital. In 1832, W. Lapp, Esq., bequeathed £30,000 for the support of poor old Protestants in the city. There are various societies for the diffusion of religious knowledge: one of these, the Pastoral-Aid Society, was founded in July, 1842. The Charitable Loan Fund originated in the establishment of a society for the relief of poor confined debtors by Henry Shears, in 1774: by a deed dated March 30th, 1785, trustees were empowered by the Musical Society of Dublin to leud money free of interest to industrious tradesmen in sums of from £2 to £5; but subsequently there was a charge of 1s. interest on each loan of £3, under the authority of the act of the 4th of George IV. cap. 32. The funds are now entirely appropriated to the purposes of the Loan Society, and were still very recently lent in sums of £3, the borrower giving security for repayment by weekly instalments of 2s 6d.: the number of families repaying the loan in 1834 was 1150. In 1844, this and another loan fund had an aggregate capital of £23,328. A Mont de Piété was established in the year 1841.
Among the REMAINS OR ANTIQUITY one of the most ancient was Gill Abbey, which, after standing 980 years, fell down in 1738; no vestiges of it can now be traced, but near the site is a cave, anciently called the Cave of St. Finbarr, and several fragments of stone pillars and other sculptured ornaments have been turned up on the spot. An Augustinian monastery, also on the south side of the town, is the only one of which there are any remains: it is stated by various writers to have been founded at different periods, by some in the reign of Edward I., by others in that of Henry V. or VI., and by some even so late as 1472 or 1475; the remains consist of the tower, which is 64 feet high and is called the Red abbey. The Franciscan monastery had a stately church in which many illustrious persons were interred, but it is now entirely demolished, and Herbert’s-square is built on its site. On digging the foundations of the buildings in this square in 1836, a stone curiously sculptured, with the date 1567 marked on it, was discovered; also, a plate of metal 34 inches by 30, on which is represented the Nativity, accompanied by a long description, apparently in Dutch. The site of the Dominican friary, called the Abbey of St. Mary of the Island, is now occupied by a distillery. A nunnery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and from which St. John’s-street took its name, was founded early in the 14th century; the site was discovered a few years since, when several tomb-stones were dug up near the spot. St. Stephen’s priory for lepers was founded in the south suburbs, at a very early period, on the site now occupied by the Blue-Coat Hospital; and a Benedictine priory is said to have been founded by King John on the south side of the city, and made a cell to the English abbey at Bath. Bourke mentions a house of White friars and a preceptory of Knights Templars, of which not the slightest vestiges can be traced. Of the ancient Walls of the city, with their circular towers, there are considerable remains near the North bridge; and in the rear of a foundry, the wall is perfect: of the fortifications in and near Cork, the last, which was called from its founder Skiddy’s Castle, was taken down in 1785. A Mint was established in the city after the English settlement, but the specimens of coinage are extremely scarce. the earliest extant are silver pennies and halfpennies of the reign of Edward I., which bear the king’s head within a triangle, with the inscription EDW: A: ANGL: DUX: HYB.
The WRITERS who have contributed to elevate the literary character of the city, exclusively of professional writers, are, Arthur Murphy, the translator of Tacitus, and author of several successful tragedies and comedies; O’Keefe, the writer of comedies; Edw. Murphy, editor of Lucian; the celebrated Arthur O’Leary, equally distinguished for his wit, learning, and eloquence; his biographer the Rev. Thos. England; Thos. Crafton Croker, author of “Fairy Legends” and other works illustrative of Irish customs and superstitions; James Roche, author of several articles on the history and descent of the principal commoners of the empire; Dr. Wood, a writer on natural history, and on the antiquities of Ireland; John O’Driscol, late judge of Dominica, who published a work in two volumes on the state of Ireland; the Rev. Thos. Townsend, author of the Statistical Survey of the County of Cork; Dr. Maginn, a principal contributor to Frazer’s Magazine; the Rev. Dr. Hinck, already noticed as a former minister of the Presbyterian congregation in connexion with the Synod of Munster; Henry Up-pington, a writer on various scientific subjects; the writer of the articles in Frazer’s Magazine under the fictitious name of Father Prout, who is a native of this city; Richard Milliken, both a poet and a painter, Miss Milliken, writer of several novels. Of eminent painters, Cork is the native place of the celebrated Barry, professor of painting in the Royal Academy of London, a man equally memorable for his genius, his eccentricities, and his spirit of independence; also, of Butt, Grogan, Ford, and M’Alise: Hogan the sculptor is like-wise a native. Cork gives the title of Earl to the senior branch of the noble family of Boyle.
Extract from: Lewis – A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland
Cover photo: Pictorial Scotland and Ireland