Sir Robert John McConnell, 1st Baronet

For other people named Robert McConnell, see Robert McConnell (disambiguation).

Sir Robert John McConnell, 1st Baronet (6 February 1853 – 22 April 1927) was created baronet in 1900, and served as Lord Mayor of Belfast 1900-1901.


Robert John McConnell was the son of Joseph McConnell (1829–1872) of Clougher, County Antrim, and Elizabeth McConnell (née McBride). He was born on 6 February 1853.[1]

McConnell set up in business as a rent agent in 1874, opening an office in Lombard Street, Belfast. The firm prospered, and with his brother Thomas, he became a prominent property developer, building small terraced houses in poorer sections of the city, and larger, speculative developments in more affluent suburbs.

The area behind Queen's University, popularly known as the Holyland, with its biblically named streets, was so named after McConnell, a devout Christian, returned from a visit to Carmel, Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem and Palestine with his developer friend James Rea in the 1890s.[2]

In 1900 McConnell was elected Lord Mayor of Belfast, and the same year was made baronet by Queen Victoria on the occasion of her visit to Dublin. McConnell served one term, and Sir Daniel Dixon was elected in 1901.[3]

McConnell resided at The Moat, Strandtown, Belfast. He died in 1927.[1]


R J McConnell & Co, estate agents, continued trading under the leadership of his son, Sir Joseph McConnell and later his grandson, Sir R M Terence McConnell. In 1973 the firm amalgamated with Ephraim Brown & Son, another long-standing development company which had been established by rent agent Ephraim Brown in 1854. The firm trades today as Brown McConnell Clark McKee.


Political offices
Preceded by
Otto Jaffe
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Succeeded by
Daniel Dixon
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation McConnell Baronets
(of Belfast)
Succeeded by
Joseph McConnell

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