Vicars of Belfast Cathedral 1632 to 1904


At the start of the 1600s there was no church in Belfast - save the Shankill church. The area of what is now central/downtown Belfast was served by the Shankill Parish church. The old ecclesiastical building in the vicinity of what is now St George's church is thought to have been a chapel of ease or "altarage" used for the rest and refreshment of travellers waiting for low tide to sail from Belfast. In mediaeval times it was known as the Chapel of the Ford (from its location in what is now High Street). When Belfast was given its first charter in 1613 the old building became known as the Corporation Church and members of the town council were required to attend worship there.

In 1603 Belfast's fortunes changed when Sir Arthur Chicester obtained a substantial grant of land and decided to establish a strong point - doubtlessly aware of the site's strategic importance, using the old castle. In addition to the Castle he decided to have a retinue of supporting settlements on three parallel streets Ann St. High St and Broad St (now Waring St).

Click on the links below for each person. *Indicates there is no further information about this person.

Morley, Rev Robert. 1622 -1632.*

Chichester, Rev Simon. 1632-1642

Downes, Rev. Louis. 1642 - 1654.*

Digby, Rev Essex. 1654-1666.*

Jones, Rev Roger. 1666 - 1668.*

Gilbert, Rev Claudius. 1668-1690.

Echlin, Rev James. 1690 - 1706.*

Tisdall, Rev William.1706-1736.

Stewart, Rev Richard. 1736-1747.*

Saurin, Rev James. 1747-1772.

Bristow, Reverend William. 1772 - 1808

May, Rev Edward. 1809 - 1819

Macartney, Rev Arthur Chichester. 1820-1843

Walker, Rev Thomas. 1843 - 1847

Miller, Rev Thomas Fitzwilliam. 1848-1872

Hannay, Rev Robert. 1872 - 1894

O’Hara, Rev Henry Stewart. 1894 - 1899.

D'Arcy, Rev Charles Frederick 1900 - 1903.