Royal Cork Institution

Royal Cork Institution

Royal Cork Institution

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Royal Cork Institution was an Irish cultural institution in the city of Cork from 1803-1885. It consisted of a library of scientific works, a museum with old Irish manuscripts and stones with ogham inscriptions, and lecture and reading rooms. A lack of funds resulted in its closure in 1885.


The Royal Cork Institution (RCI) was founded by Rev. Thomas Dix Hincks, a minister of the Old Presbyterian Church on Princes Street in Cork and was modelled on institutions such as the Royal Dublin Society and the Royal Society of London. It was incorporated in 1807 and renamed the Royal Cork Institution (RCI). It operated from premises on the South Mall opposite the current Imperial hotel and was a British government supported educational centre for 70 years. Its early patrons included businesses and landed people including William Beamish (1760-1828), William Crawford, Cooper Penrose (1736-1815) and James Roche (1770-1853). It offered courses, public lectures on science and scientific principles in agricullture and industry. The RCI had a collection of scientific instruments and library of over 5,000 volumes with a private and a public patents collection - a copy of this is in the Boole Library of University College Cork.


The RCI established the Cork Botanic Gardens in 1806. A shortage of funds in 1828 forced the withdrawal of the RCI, and the property was later to become a cemetery. The RCI was influential in the Government decision to...
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