History of the City Grand Chapter
Owing mainly to the rapidly increasing population of the Town of Belfast, it became clear to Districts 1 & 2 with encampments in the Town under the jurisdiction of the County of Antrim Grand Black Chapter that a County Chapter was necessary for the Town. So in 1882 consent of the Grand Black Chapter of Ireland was obtained to form a new County Chapter and in 1883 the new Chapter was constituted with the return of the Officers confirmed.
The return lists the Districts and Preceptories thus:-
No 1 Royal Black District Chapter– 9 preceptories – RBP No’s 7, 21, 28, 112, 200, 219, 224, 444 and 456.
No 2 Royal Black District Chapter -13 preceptories- RBP No’s 17, 20, 23, 29, 75, 83, 175, 177, 210, 230, 248, 427 and 448.
These two Districts were encamped at the Orange Hall at 17 College Street but moved to the newly built Orange hall in Clifton Street in 1885.
1885 also saw the formation of another District being No 3 Royal Black District Chapter and based in the Sandy Row Orange Hall.
1888 Her Majesty Queen Victoria conferred graciously by Royal Charter the Rank of a City upon Belfast
1896 saw the emergence of two new Districts, being No 4 Royal Black District Chapter concentrating on the south side of the Lagan and encamping in the Ballymacarrett Orange Hall, when it opened in 1902, also No 5 Royal Black District Chapter District joining with the other two Districts in the Belfast Orange Hall, Clifton Street.
1905 No 6 Royal Black District Chapter was formed and encamped in West Belfast Orange Hall, Shankill Road.
1920 saw the last District of the Chapter formed No 7 Royal Black District Chapter making its encampment in Ballynafeigh Orange Hall, Ormeau Road.