Page images

damage was done by a storm, and in the river twelve persons perished belonging to the Peggy, of Greenock, five feet of Sefton church spire were carried away, and on this occasion the tide rose six feet higher than the calculation given in the tide table. In the year 1822 there was one of the most violent hurricanes that has occurred in this part of the country within the memory of the oldest person living; six people, in different parts of the town, lost their lives by the falling of roofs and chimneys, and several were drowned in the river. The following year was also attended by a storm, hardly less violent than the last-mentioned one. A young lady lost her life by the falling in of the roof and chimney.

Dr. Dobson says,—that "the maritime situation of Liverpool contributes to the mildness of the air; for, as the sea is of a mild temperature between the heat of summer and the cold of winter, the access of the tides must have a considerable effect in rendering each of these more moderate than in inland situations." The same author ascertained the mean temperature of the whole of the year 1772 to be 54, being 78° in July, and 28° in February, giving a range of variations for the entire year amounting to 50 degrees. He says, "The medium of the daily variations of each month was regularly increasing until May, and from thence until the end of December uniformly diminishing," the average

of daily variations being four degrees and three quarters. The Doctor's observations led him to draw the following inference, viz. "That the dryness of the soil, the purity of the waters, the mildness of the air, the antiseptic effluvia of pitch and tar, the acid exhalations from the sea, the frequent brisk gales of wind, and the daily visitation of the tides, render Liverpool one of the healthiest places in the kingdom, in proportion to the number of its inhabitants."

From meteorological observations it appears, that here the most prevalent winds are from the north-west, and if we make an average of the number of days the wind blows from the several points of the compass during any given year, we shall find that it prevails in a considerably greater proportion from those quarters which afford a sea breeze,— -a circumstance of great importance as respects the salubrity of the atmosphere. On the whole it may be fairly inferred, that few places in the same parallel of latitude possesses greater advantages with regard to the health of the inhabitants.

Liverpool is in 53° 22′ 30′′ of north latitude, and in 2° 57′ of west longitude. It is situate in the hundred of West Derby, in the county of Lancaster, and stands on the eastern bank of the river Mersey. It is bounded on the north by the township of Kirkdale, on the east by Everton, Low-hill, and Edge-hill, and on the south by

Toxteth Park. In situation it is considerably lower than much of the adjoining country, so that in very heavy falls of rain the lower parts of the town are frequently flooded,-a circumstance that has hitherto caused much detriment to some of the inhabitants; but this inconvenience is expected to be entirely obviated in a short time, as an act of parliament has been obtained, and which came into force in July, 1830, empowering a body of commissioners to levy a rate of fourpence in the pound on the parish assessment, to continue ten years, for the purpose of making sewers on a scale sufficiently large to carry off whatever superincumbent water may descend into the town. The plan has been made by Mr. Foster, and it is expected that it will answer all the ends desired, and consequently conduce very greatly to the cleanliness of the place, and to the health of its inhabitants.

The extent of the borough, from east to west, is estimated at 2300 yards, and from north to south at 4420 yards, making a circumference of 10,400 yards, and altogether forming an area of 2202 acres. The corporation are proprietors of 1000 acres, and the rest is the property of individuals. Once a year it is the custom for a certain part of the corporate body to ride what are vulgarly called the liberties of the borough, the limits of which are determined by certain marks, designated mere stones.

Like most corporation towns, Liverpool has its Court of Quarter Sessions, kept in presence of the mayor or bailiffs, and the times of its being holden are the same as were fixed for the court of general quarter sessions of the peace by the statute 2, Henry V. c. 4, viz. the first week after Michaelmas-day; the first week after the Epiphany; the first week after the close of Easter; and in the week after the Translation of St. Thomas-aBecket. There is besides this a Court of Passage, holden every Thursday before the mayor or bailiffs. This court is said to have existed so early as the year 1229. Likewise for the further administering of justice, as well as the transacting of public business, either the mayor or some of the magistrates attend daily at the Borough Sessions House, in Chapel-street. Until the year 1832, when the reform bill was passed, the right of choosing two representatives to sit in parliament, and of electing the mayor, was vested in the free burgesses, the greater part of whom are labouring mechanics. The mayor and the two bailiffs are the returning officers, and are annually chosen on St. Luke's-day. The two representatives to sit in parliament are now elected by the inhabitants, who occupy premises rated at £10 and upwards, and by the free burgesses; the latter alone have the privilege of choosing the mayor. So early as the reign of Edward I. this borough enjoyed the right of

sending representatives to parliament, and in the year 1584 we find it mentioned that the members of parliament, while in London, were allowed two shillings a day.

According to an act of George II. the common council, once a month, appoint seventeen commissioners, who constitute a Court of Requests, for the more ready recovering of small debts not exceeding forty shillings. At present it is held every Wednesday, in Derby-square.

The following statement shewing the number of vessels, and the amount of tonnage and dock dues, at eight different periods, may afford a comprehensive and comparative view of the increase and present magnitude of the shipping and commerce of this port, as well as of the extensive estate vested in the dock trustees:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In the last named year, being from the 25th

« PreviousContinue »