This list of licensed pawnbrokers operating in Belfast in 1836 was compiled by the government as part of a survey into registering and regulating pawnbrokers. The pawnbroker was a central figure in many societies, providing ready access to cash for people within the community. Goods placed with the pawnbroker could be redeemed at any time for the original pledge plus a (usually) small amount of interest.
Evidence suggests that the pawnbroker played an important role within the community and that, far from being reviled as a moneylender, provided a well-used, much-needed and welcome service.
From British Parliamentary Papers: Official Returns. Compiled by William Hull.