This thesis is an account of the life of the Established Church of
Ireland in Belfast during the first seventy years of the 19th century.
It may seem an uneven account, with more attention being paid to the
final forty years of the period than to the first thirty. This
inbalance is due to their being less material dealing with the early
period available, perhaps because Belfast, and consequently the Church
in the city, did not begin to expand until the late 1820's.
Chapter I - "Belfast 1800-1870" - describes the development of
Belfast during the period, so that the Church might be seen in its poli¬
tical, social and economic context. It traces the city's growth from
being a small town in the early 1800's to a large industrial city by
1870, indicating some of the problems attendanton such a transformation.
The growth of hostility between the Catholic and Protestant communities
Chapters II, III, IV and V deal with different aspects of the
Church's response to the changing situation of Belfast. In "The Church
Becalmed" (II), the Church in Belfast is considered against the background
of the Established Church in Ireland at the turn of the 19th century.
The conclusion is offered that until the mid l820's, the Church in Belfast
very much shared the characteristics of the Established Church in the
rest of the country - of calmness, staidness and slight superiority.
"The Church Concerned" (III) relates the Church's growing awareness
of the growth of Belfast and her response to it in terms of Church
extension. The involvement of the Church with the rising population
of the city is considered in Chapter IV, while "The Church Militant"
(V) examines the emergence of a narrow and aggressive evangelical protestantism in the life of the Church.
(1) that the Church of Ireland in Belfast after 1830 was
remarkably energetic and stridently confident in her
outreach to the growing city, although not very
(2) that the Church became increasingly anti-Catholic as the
3) that after 1850 the laity began to play an important role
in the mission and organisation of the Church.