In 1817 local merchants raised money by public subscription to construct a building to house the Exchange and Commercial Library. In 1807, Gibraltar merchants had founded a library in Bedlam Court, as they were denied membership of the Garrison Library, it being available only to members of the British garrison in the city (the Garrison Library functioned not only as a library, but as a club, owned and run by and for military officers; civilians were excluded, regardless of their prominence). Ten years later, in 1817, they erected a new building on the east side of the square. It housed not only a library, but also an auction room, and became the meeting place of local merchants. It became the Legislative Council and was inaugurated as such by the Duke of Edinburgh on 23 November 1950. Under the 1969 Constitution, the House of Assembly was established, superseding the Legislative Council. The first session of the House of Assembly, was opened in August 1969 by the then Governor Admiral Varyl Begg. The building was renamed Parliament House in 2007.