An illustration which shows a crowd celebrating the election of John Shea as Mayor of Cork. John Shea succeeded Sir William Lyons as Mayor of Cork on 1 January 1850. In 1842, William Lyons became the first Catholic mayor of Cork since 1688 after the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act of 1840 reformed the system of local government.
The crowd is celebrating at the junction of Grand Parade and St. Patrick's Street near the site of present-day Daunt's Square. They are carrying what appears to be an effigy of John Shea in ceremonial dress. Note the burning tar barrels and three men in uniform. Two of them are in profile in the left foreground and one is near the right foreground. The man in uniform on the right seems to be walking with the aid of sticks.
Mayoral elections in Cork in the nineteenth century were often marked by crowds behaving in a rowdy or riotous manner.
The building immediately to the left of number 89 has an interesting history. In 1850 it was a department store owned by William Fitzgibbon. It was known as the Queen's Old Castle in honour of Queen Victoria. Confusingly, it stood on the site of the King's Castle which was one of the two castles guarding the entry to the central waterway of the medieval city. A courthouse later stood on the site. The original Queen's Castle stood near the junction of present-day Castle Street and Cornmarket Street. The coat of arms of Cork depicts a ship between two castles and some think the castles represent the King's and Queen's Castles, although historians feel this is unlikely.
Grand Parade / Sráid an Chapaill Bhuí
Crowds watch Halley's Comet at the junction of the Grand Parade and Tuckey Street. This illustration may be dated to the autumn or winter of 1835 when the comet, which is visible from Earth every 76 years, made one of its close approaches to the planet.
The bookshop at the corner of Tuckey Street and the Grand Parade was owned by the Carver family. The family was well known in the bookselling and bookbinding trades in Cork in the nineteenth century.
Download these images in PDF format from the links below:Grand Parade (309KB)