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Sir Samuel Kelly: Coal merchant, gun-runner and Methodist benefactor

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Date(s) - 17/06/2021
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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Samuel Kelly (1879–1937) For all John Kelly’s commercial success, he raised his seven children in a modest terraced house. Samuel inherited both his father’s modesty and commercial acumen. He became a director in many companies, but his considerable wealth was derived principally from the importation of coal, critical to Ulster industry. In contrast to many contemporary businessmen, he adopted a fairer disposition towards his workforce. A staunch Unionist, his company was to play an unusual role in supporting the resistance to Home Rule. Also inherited from his parents was his committed Methodist ethic, and the liberal financial support from himself and his wife were to prove the foundation and salvation of post-War and post-Partition Methodism.


Keith Haines was a former Head of History and Archivist at Campbell College. His main interest is in researching the lives and careers of local characters who are little known, even unknown, but who have achieved something worthwhile. He has written a number of published and unpublished biographical works.



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