Creator(s): Sick Poor Society (North Parish), Cork city (1822-2000)
Administrative History ↴
Charitable Catholic lay-religious organisation dedicated to assisting those in poverty who were also living with illness. The Society developed into an important organisation in the North/Cathedral Parish and Shandon area of Cork city and in other parts of the city.
Founded by Bartolemew Murphy ('Batt' Murphy), tradesman (b.1789 – d. 4 August 1872) . Initially known as the 'Friendly Brothers', an informal group of volunteers later became the Sick Poor Society in 1822. The first patron was Dr. Murphy, Bishop of Cork, and the Society was always closely associated with the Church through the North/ Cathedral Parish. The average membership from 1822 – 1920 was about 35-40 people.
The Society was self financing, concerned with the spiritual and the temporal guidance of members and of those assisted by the members. The principle activity of the Society was in assisting the sick poor materially, thus providing a vital social function during times when State involvement in social welfare was limited or non-existent. Social welfare was often left up to individuals or local charities/groups, and there were high rates of serious illness in the city in the 19th century and in the earlier part of the 20th century, including outbreaks of Cholera in 1832, smallpox in 1872, and influenza in 1918-19. Added to this were day to day hardships of life such as poor diet and housing, and problems caused by alcohol. In 1936, almost £6,000 was distributed to applicants in Cork city and suburbs.
Archival History ↴
The collection was donated to Cork City and County Archives in July 2000 by Dan Cronin, President, and James McIntosh, Hon. Secretary, Sick Poor Society (North Parish).
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Sick Poor Society (North Parish), Cork city (1822-2000) ↴
The earliest years of the Society are not well documented, apart from a list of members from the 1820s onwards in the first minute book (U600/1), but from the 1860s, the records are quite extensive. Minute books, financial statements, Christmas collection books, personal payments to Sick Poor, members medical scheme book, members weekly collections books, Rules of Society, newsclippings and notes on the history of the Society, certificates of plenary indulgence, accounts and balance sheets, newspaper cuttings, photographs of members, poster and pamphlets. Some of the records also cover St. Patrick’s parish. Of interest to the study of religious and charitable organisations in the 19th and 20th centuries and the social history of Cork. The payments registers, containing extensive lists of names and addresses, may also be of particular interest to genealogical researchers.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
A: Minute Books
B: Financial Statements Books (Receipts and Payments)
C: Christmas Collections Books
D: Personal Payments Books to Sick Poor
E: Members Medical Scheme Record Book
F: Weekly Collections Record Books
G: Rule Books
H: Photographs and Posters
I: Other Material
Conditions of Access & Use
Open by appointment to those holding a current readers ticket. All Personal Payments Books (item nos. 13 to 18 inclusive) are subject to a 100 year closure period.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Subject to rules governing reproduction of records of CCCA
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions