« PreviousContinue »
spirit of those who erected them: but being principally of brick, they lose much of the grand effect produced by free-stone fronts. In 1774, the number of streets, lanes, alleys, &c. was 230; but this number has been greatly increased, as the scheme of building several new streets, at the south end of the town, has been, since that period, in a degree carried into effect. Besides which, several rows, terraces, places, &c. in the environs, containing many good houses, have been erected.
To ascertain exactly the population of a place, so crowded with inhabitants, is a difficult task; and the difficulty is increased by the uncertain numbers necessarily absent on business. Two modes have been resorted to for ascertaining a point, which involves questions highly important in the view of policy and commerce. The one mode is, forming an average of the number of persons to each house, and multiplying that by the number of houses. But this is liable to considerable errors. Nothing but actual enumeration can effectually answer the purpose, and the difficulty of making it, does not leave this method free from objections.
From lists of the population, as detailed in the histories of the town, the numbers appear to have rapidly increased during certain intervals.
In 1700, the number of houses was 1312, inhabitants 57.14
1753, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • - - - 3700, . . . . . . . . 20,000 1760, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • - - - 4200, . . . . . • - • 25,000 1774, . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . 800", . . . . . . . . 34,407
From the reports of *} the House of to: 11,774, . . . . . . . . 77,653
In OilS • * * * * * * * . .
But from the very incorrect method in which this census was made, owing to the perverseness of families on the one hand, and the indolence of those appointed to make the returns, on the other, even this statement cannot be relied on. In the present instance it is said to be very incorrect.
In the year 1793, the corporation, by failures, and want of mo
VOL. IX, O ney,
ney, were obliged to apply to parliament for relief. The state of
who are elected by the votes of the free burgesses; and of these
about 2,500 possess that privilege. The town was constituted a
covered way led thence to the river, by which the ditch was filled occasionally with water; and by which, at ebb tide, provisions and stores were brought in. The prince having possessed the heights, thought the conquest easy. He encamped on the hill, and, having in vain summoned the place to surrender, he commenced the siege. This, with continual repulses, attended with great slaughter, continued one month: when, from treachery of the commandant, which has been alledged by some—or the works on the north side being deserted by the troops, as mentioned by others—a breach was made, and the Prince's army entered the town on the 20th of June, putting to the sword all they met. The troops from the castle then beat a parley, submitted to become prisoners of war, and the whole town surrendered. It was soon after retaken by the parliament army, and Colonel Birch was appointed governor of the castle. After this the works were dismantled, and the place, in point of defence, totally neglected. During two insurrections in the north, in behalf of the abdicated family of James, the inhabitants, from the defenceless state of the town, were under just apprehensions for its safety. For, had not the rebels been arrested in their progress by the battle of Preston Pans, in the one case, and diverted in their course, on the other, before they had seized the important post of Warrington, they would immediately have reduced Manchester, and the taking of Liverpool would then have proved a very easy task. There they would have met with men, ships, stores, &c. been enabled to have formed an easy communication with the rebels in Ireland, and opened an inlet for fresh auxiliaries from France. Their designs were providentially frustrated; but this can never form an apology for leaving so important a place so totally unprotected, by sea and land, as it has long been, during the threats of invasion, and the apprehensions of revolt. For though a fort is erected on the banks of the river at the N.W. end of the town, yet this is too trifling and weak to afford scarcely any protection to the place. Such are the chief historical and topographical features and peculiarities of the second sea-port town in Great Britain; but to O 2 detail,
detail, and particularly describe all the subjects and objects, directly and collaterally connected with it, would fill the pages of a large volume *. Those who wish for more copious information, are referred to the works which have been consulted for the foregoing sketch, and which will be particularized at the end of this county. Liverpool is situated in 55° 22′ north lat. and 2° 30' long. at the distance of 204 miles N. W. from London. The whole town, with its proper suburbs, includes, acccording to a survey taken by Charles Eyre, in 1785, an area of 4,000 yards from north to south, and 2,500 yards from east to west. The latter side is bounded by the river Mersey, and on the opposite side are the borders of the townships of West-Derby and Everton; whilst Toxteth-Park skirts its southern side, and the northern side joins the township of Kirkdale. The whole of this area is not, however, covered with buildings, though the practice of erecting new houses, and forming new streets, continues to prevail to an amazing extent: and, if persevered in, will in a short period occupy the whole space, by a connected and spacious town. Among the eminent natives of Liverpool, the names of DEARE, a sculptor, and STUBBs, the painter, will be long remembered with respect and admiration, by every true lover of the fine arts, who has had the pleasure of examining some of their best works. George Stubbs was born here in 1724, and died in London, July 10th, 1806. In early life he acquired some distinction for his knowledge in anatomy, and more particularly for that of the horse. In 1766, he published a learned scientific work, entitled “The Anatomy of the Horse,” including a particular description of the bones, cartilages, muscles, facias, liganents, nerves, arteries, veins, and glands; in eighteen tables, all done from nature. This work obtained him considerable reputation; and the many excel
* The shape of the town, situation and positions of the docks; and number of streets, squares, &c. are all laid down in the ground-plan of the town, published in No. XIV. of the British Atlas: A small engraved view of the town taken from the cpposite side of the Mersey, accompanies this description.
lent paintings of horses, and other quadrupeds, that he continued occasionally to exhibit at Somerset-House, established for him a permanent fame, in this branch of the fine aris. As a painter of animals, he evinced not only a peculiar taste, but a style of excellence that conferred interest, beauty, and grandeur to his pictures. Had he rest satisfied with the fame that he thus merited, and acquired, his faithful biographer would not have had occasion to notice the poor attempts at a new species of painting on wedgewood plates, that he exhibited a short time previous to his death. These plates have been erroneously called enamel, and some critics have injudiciously praised them ; but I cannot reflect on them, or characterize them, in any other view, but as the playful, or weak productions of genius, when strayed from the paths of judgment and taste. South of Liverpool, and nearly adjoining the town, is CHILDw ALL, an extensive parish, which includes the chapelries of Hale, Speke, Garston, Wavertree, Alierton, Great and Little Wolton, with several seats and manors. Among the latter, the most ancient and curious is the old mansion of SPEKE-H ALL, or SPEAK-HALL, built mostly with timber and plaster, and when entire enclosed a square area or court. The house was formerly surrounded with a moat, and corne into the possession of the Norris family, by the marriage of Williain Norris, Esq. with Joan, daughter and heiress of John Molineaux, Esq. of Sefton. The . . Norris family was settled here for many generations: and Sir Edward Norris particularly distinguished himself in the battle of Flodden-field. A mutilated pedigree of this family is painted on canvass, and attached to an ancient carved mastle-piece in one of the rooms here. This mantle-piece is esteemed a curious specimen of old carving, and is traditionally said to have been brought from Edinburgh Castle, after the battle of Flodden, in 1513; but Mr. Hinckliffe, in the XIVth volume of the Archaeologia, p.22, controverts this opinion, and concludes his paper by saying— “SPEKE-HALL certainly offers an interesting scene, as an ancient mansion, where, although the hand of time has already made O 3 considerable