The White Linen Hall had been built in 1728 by the Linen Board with the assistance of the Dublin government to accommodate those linen merchants and factors who dealt in the finished linens. Administered by the Board, it was `a plain brick building, consisting of six large courts, surrounded by stores, which communicate below by piazzas and above by galleries, and a yarn hall. The Linen Hall contains five hundred and fifty-seven rooms, an elegant coffee-room, and a board room for the trustees ...' Because Dublin finance and commerce was essential to the subsequent development of the industry, the Linen Hall had been frequented by Northerners to such an extent that three neighbouring streets were named after Ulster towns: Lisburn, Lurgan and Coleraine.
In 1782, the year before this view was drawn, a violent argument broke out between the Northerners and the Linen Board over the regulation of the trade. The result was that the Northerners resolved to build a white linen hall in Ulster. Since they could not agree on a site, white linen halls were erected in both Belfast and Newry, resembling that in Dublin. This turn of events, however, was not unexpected since the percentage of finished linen shipped direct to England from both Belfast and Newry had been increasing steadily since at least 1750. The Dublin hall continued to operate as the headquarters of the Linen Board until its dissolution in 1828.