THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Mayor’s representative lays foundation stone of the Cooke Centenary Church

From the News Letter, July 10, 1890

Friday, 10th July 2020, 6:00 am
The News Letter reported on this day in 1890 that the foundation stones of the Cooke Centenary Church at Ballynafeigh in Belfast has been laid the previous afternoon amid much celebration of the late preachers life and works
The News Letter reported on this day in 1890 that the foundation stones of the Cooke Centenary Church at Ballynafeigh in Belfast has been laid the previous afternoon amid much celebration of the late preachers life and works

The News Letter reported on this day in 1890 that the foundation stones of the Cooke Centenary Church at Ballynafeigh in Belfast has been laid the previous afternoon amid much celebration of the late preacher’s life and works.

The News Letter reported: “The two foundation stones, or more correctly, the ‘chief corner-stones’ consisted of hewn blocks of white sandstone, about three feet long by two feet wide and two feet deep, and were suspended from cranes above their respective positions, a man being stationed at each windlass in readiness to lower them to their places at a given signal.”

The stone that was laid by Mr Samuel Lawther, JP, on behalf of the mayor of Belfast was situated in the angle of the west gable wall and facing the Ormeau Road.

The other, which was laid by Mr Edmund Macrory, QC, of London, was in the angle of the lower wall and facing on to the Ormeau Road.

The stones, noted the News Letter correspondent, contained small cavities wherein the gentlemen of the congregation deposited glass bottles enclosing records of the history of the Church “down to the present day”, a biography of Dr Cooke, copies of the Belfast News Letter and Northern Whig of the 9th July, 1890, and also coins of the realm for the present year.

A presentation of a silver trowel was made to Mr Lawther on behalf of the mayor.

The trowel carried the following inscription: “Presented by the architect to C C Connor, Esq, Mayor of Belfast on the occasion of [the] laying [of] the foundation stone of the Cooke Centenary Church at Ormeau, Belfast, 9th July, 1890.”