Robert James McMordie

Robert James McMordie, QC (31 January 1849 – 25 March 1914) was an Irish barrister, politician, and Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Son of the Rev. J A McMordie, he was born in Cumran, County Down, and educated at the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast and Queen's College, Belfast. He received an M.A. from Queen's University. In 1874 he took silk, practising until 1899. In 1885 he married Julia Gray, daughter of Sir William Gray of West Hartlepool, in 1885.

He was a Unionist member of the Belfast Corporation from 1907 until his death, serving as the City's Lord Mayor during the turbulent years from 1910 until his death in 1914. He was President of the Irish Industrial Development Association, Belfast. His statue stands in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

In 1912 he helped to establish the Young Citizen Volunteers of Ireland, an entity which, until its merger into the Ulster Volunteers, spanned much of the province of Ulster from isolated loyalist outposts on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal to East Belfast, a Unionist heartland. The inauguration was in Belfast on 10 September 1912.

"Each member was to pay 2s. 6d. on joining the YCVs and a further 6d. each month: he was to attend weekly drills, there to learn modified military and police drill, single stick, rifle and baton exercises, signalling, knot-tying and other such exercises. If possible he was also to gain some knowledge of life saving and ambulance work..." [1]

Lord Mayor McMordie died at Cabin Hill, Knock, Belfast, aged 65.


In times of difficulty men had to carry their guns while they followed the plough… the nation or the people that had lost the fighting instinct was sure to be swamped by others who possessed that instinct. [1]


External links

  • Ulster-Scots & Irish Unionist Resource - YCV - Young Citizen Volunteers at
Political offices
Preceded by
Gustav Wilhelm Wolff
Member of Parliament for Belfast East
December 19101914
Succeeded by
Robert Sharman-Crawford
Preceded by
Sir Robert Anderson
Lord Mayor of Belfast
1910 - 14
Succeeded by
Crawford McCullagh
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