The Mall Trustees recently presented the Library with their Minute books and other documents. The material goes back to 1859 when Trustees were first appointed by Archbishop John George Beresford. The Library readily accepted these additions to its collection, as they sit well within its collecting policy. It is also most fitting that the Library will now hold the Trustees’ documents, as the creation of the Mall from the former ‘Commons’ was made possible by Archbishop Richard Robinson, the Library’s founder. Indeed, in the Library’s Act of Parliament of 1773, mention is made of ‘enabling the Archbishop of Armagh to appropriate parts of a piece of waste ground contiguous to said City for certain uses for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof’.
Robinson’s successor, Archbishop William Newcome, leased the area to the sovereign and burgesses of the City to make the area a public park and walkway for local people. Guardianship of the Mall is held by the Mall Trustees, supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Members of the Trustees are keen to ensure that the Mall continues to be a shared public place for all and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
On handing over the documents, Malcolm Dawson, Chairperson of the Mall Trustees said, “I am delighted that the current Trustees arranged to have these papers lodged in the Robinson Library. They record an important piece of the social history of Armagh and will be easily accessible in the Library.”
Image credit: Ian Maginess