The Floods of 1853

In November 1853, parts of Cork city were damaged by a severe flood. The flood destroyed the first Saint Patrick's Bridge. In this illustration we see the effects of the flood near the Courthouse in present-day Washington Street, when the street was called Great George's Street.

King Edward VII's visit

On the 1 August 1903 the royal yacht the Victoria and Albert, with King Edward VII of England and his wife Queen Alexandra on board, dropped anchor in Queenstown (now Cobh). The royal couple had come to visit the Cork Greater International Exhibition which was held in present-day Fitzgerald's Park. Edward and Alexandra were conveyed to Cork on a tender and were met by the Lord Mayor Edward Fitzgerald, the Lady Mayoress, the Sheriff of Cork, Abraham Sutton, and other assembled dignitaries.

After a brief visit to the Cork Park Racecourse where Edward presented colours to the Royal Irish Regiment and the Royal Munster Fusiliers, Edward and Alexandra were taken in the royal carriage through Cork City to the Grand Concert Hall on the grounds of the exhibition. The photograph on the right shows crowds watching the procession of Edward VII and Alexandra on the north side of the South Mall near its junction with Prince's Street. The troop of cavalry leading the procession was drawn from the Royal Horse Guards regiment. The British Film Institute has a collection of film called the Mitchell & Kenyon Collection which contains several reels of film showing scenes from the Cork Exhibition .

The Cork Examiner reported:

'The city was thronged with people not only from all parts of Munster, but thousands of strangers such as are usually found in the wake of Royalty were to be met with in the streets'.

Following the welcoming ceremony in the Grand Concert Hall, and lunch in the Mansion House (now Cork Public Museum), Edward and Alexandra were escorted through the exhibition. They returned to Queenstown by a special train. Some days after the royal visit it was announced that Edward Fitzgerald would be made a baronet of the United Kingdom and Abraham Sutton would be knighted.

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