The Tholsel

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Features, Issue 5 (Sept/Oct 2011), Volume 19

The Tholsel was rebuilt in the late eighteenth century. The plaque above the door

The Tholsel was rebuilt in the late eighteenth century. The plaque above the door

The Tholsel building was a community resource and the use of rooms illustrates the political and social climate. While such events as scientific and literary lectures by the YMCA and the letting of the large room to a dancing teacher predominated, there were also more ‘political’ leases. In July 1860 a Tenant Right Reading Room (with painted sign) was set aside. Also in 1860 a motion was put and carried ‘that this Corporation adopt the national petition . . . for the legislative independence of Ireland’. In 1862 the small room was let to the Electric Telegraph Company; relations appear to have deteriorated rapidly, however, as in 1864 the council agreed that the key of the water closet was not to be given to the clerk of the telegraph office and that they should repair the damage done to the roof. In 1864 the commissioners’ attention was drawn to ‘some exhibiting pugilists having the lower room taken for exhibiting their art and the practice to the public for payment on this night’.

The plaque above the door notes that the first stone was laid on the anniversary of the ‘glorious Battle of the Boyne’. (Bill Doran)

The plaque above the door notes that the first stone was laid on the anniversary of the ‘glorious Battle of the Boyne’. (Bill Doran)

The display was not permitted ‘as we consider the encouragement of pugilism disgraceful in any public body’.

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