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acting little matters of commerce with the few traders of that time. It appears to have been erected to the southward of the present Exchange; the attic apartments are seen to contain seven windows on the west front, and as the building is said to have been triangular, the other two sides doubtless contained the same number; over this was a square lantern, or turret, which had one window on each side, perhaps used as a look-out for the arrival of vessels: on the top of the lantern was a vane. The attic apartments were undoubtedly made for the purpose of corporation meetings, and various other town business, to which similar buildings are now applied in various parts of England."
There is another plan of the town extant, which was drawn by Mr. John Eyes in the year 1765. In this it appears that the town then extended from the river eastward as far as Cheapside and Preston-street; to the north it reached as far as the Ladies'-walk at the top of Oldhallstreet, where the present coal-yards are; and to the south it stretched as far as Upper Frederickstreet.
In 1790, being twenty-five years later, we meet with another plan of the town, which shews its extension to the north to be as far as Great Howard-street, to the south to Parliament-street, and to the east as far as Richmond.
Enfield, in page twenty-six, states, "that in the
year 1753 there were 3700 houses, and 20,000 inhabitants; and in 1760, that there were 4200 houses, and about 25,000 inhabitants." So that in seven years, if Enfield's statement be correct, there was an increase of five hundred houses, and five thousand inhabitants;-a manifest proof of the then growing importance of the town, which was destined, ere long, to assume the imposing attitude of being the second seaport in the United Kingdom.
It was not until nearly the end of the eighteenth century that Liverpool began to take a distinguished lead in the commerce of the empire. Her first emerging from comparative insignificance into commercial distinction, seems to have been in a great measure owing to the assiduity of adventure on the part of some of her inhabitants, and to her local advantages in respect to Manchester, whose manufacturers were now first beginning to manifest that ingenuity and industry for which they stand almost unrivalled. During some time the merchants of Liverpool, in trading to the West India islands, laboured under great disadvantages, from being obliged to dispose of their adventures in the Colonies by means of supercargoes, who were frequently constrained to sell their goods at a low advance upon the invoice, in order that they might be able to make their returns in the vessel. This circumstance often threw a great impediment in the way of
disposing of their merchandise, which at that time consisted chiefly of checks, handkerchiefs, and osnaburghs, that the merchants had purchased from Scotland; while their rivals, the merchants of London and Bristol, had established factors in the West Indies, affording them decided advantages over their Liverpool competitors; but which were now shortly to cease: for whether from accident or design is uncertain, but about this period it became the fashion in this county for both sexes to wear checks, manufactured in the looms of Manchester; the men wore check shirts, and the wives of the most distinguished tradesmen made their visits in check aprons; so that in a short time the encouragement given to this branch of manufacture became so great, that the Manchester checks, &c., were found to be so superior as to entirely supplant the Scotch, German, and French fabricks in the Colonial markets; and from this time we perceive Liverpool and Manchester making rapid advances in the acquirement of wealth.
Now also the merchants of this town began to embark extensively in the African slave trade,— that most nefarious, though profitable traffic in human thews and sinews; at the thought of which the heart sickens, and the just indignation of every good man is excited. The merest outline of the portraiture of the practices of this inhuman, bloody, and iniquitous trade, must
bring forth tears even from the most flinty hearted, and ought to suffuse the cheek of the most insatiably avaricious dealer with a blush of the deepest crimson. But thanks to the truly virtuous and benevolent exertions of Wilberforce, and other benefactors of the human race, whose persevering and pacific triumphs over demoniac brutality and cupidity, have earned for them laurels that shall never fade, and a name that shall never perish, and whose memories shall be cherished by the good of all nations and of all ages, when the fame and remembrance of the warrior, who has raised himself into notoriety by his achievements in arms, shall sleep in oblivion.
"Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
Some idea of the extent to which this iniquitous traffic was carried, may be formed from the number of slaves imported, in Liverpool vessels alone from the year 1783 to the year 1793 in
clusive, which amounted in the eleven years to 303,737 souls, being valued at £15,186,850 sterling, and of this amount it is supposed that £12,294,116 were remitted to this port;—an enormous sum in those days, and which no doubt served as a basis for the future greatness of Liverpool, that has since become the mart of a respectable and honourable system of merchandise. Her imports and exports are now vast, compared with what they were at the abovementioned period; and should the East India monopoly be annihilated, there can be no doubt but her commerce must become more and more extended.
In the year 1720, an act was granted to empower certain individuals residing in Manchester and Liverpool to make the rivers Irwell and Mersey navigable, and subsequently a canal was made from above Warrington to Runcorn.
This improvement rendered the communication between these two towns mnch more facile and advantageous: for the flats, which before this time were frequently eleven days in completing their journey, were now enabled, when the tide served, to effect the same in one day.
In the same year, an act was likewise obtained for making the river Weaver navigable between Frodsham bridge and Winsford bridge, being a
*This important question is likely to be brought immediately under the consideration of the present parliament.