Liverpool, a borough and the principal seaport of England, in Lancashire, on the right bank of the river Mersey, 4 m. above its mouth in the Irish sea, 201 m. by railway N. W. of London and 31 m. W. by S. of Manchester; pop. in 1851, 375,955; in 1861, 443,-938; in 1871, 493,346. Liverpool resembles in its bustle and animation more an American than an English town. It has wonderfully improved within the last 60 years, and now contains several wide and handsome streets. Many of the principal avenues diverge from the open space partly occupied by St. John's church and the railway station; as Dale street, running S. W. to the town hall and exchange buildings, and continued under the name of Water street to St. George's docks; White-chapel and Paradise street, leading to the custom house; Lime street, Renshaw street, Berry street, and Great George street, running almost S. in the direction of Toxteth park and the London road, following an eastward course toward the zoological gardens. The best known squares are St. George's, Queen's, Abercrom-bie, Clayton, and Cleveland. The town is abundantly supplied with water and gas. St. John's market covers 1 3/4 acre, being 550 ft. long and 135 wide, and is supported by 116 pillars. There are other market places in different parts of the town.
Among the principal public buildings are the custom house, in the Ionic style, with a lofty dome, and the town hall, with statues of Canning and Roscoe by Chantrey. The exchange buildings form three sides of a square, of which the town hall constitutes the fourth. The quadrangular area, with a monument in honor of Nelson, is used as an exchange. On the E. side of this ex-change area is a news room, and above it are the underwriters' and cotton sales rooms. The W. and N. sides are occupied by the American and Liverpool chambers of commerce and by merchants' counting houses. Most of the business of Liverpool is transacted in this vicinity. There is a distinct market for the corn trade in Brunswick street. - The most celebrated public building in Liverpool is St. George's hall, opened in 1851; it is a commanding edifice in the Corinthian style, with columns 45 ft. high, and having two large rooms for the holding of assizes, and the great hall 161 ft. long and 75 in width and height, used for public meetings, concerts, etc. In 1872 there were 100 places of worship belonging to the established church, and 139 to other denominations.
A Catholic bishopric was founded at Liverpool by Pope Pius IX. in 1850. The principal educational institution is the elegant Church of England college, fronting Shaw street, with ample provision for many branches of instruction, a sculpture gallery, a music hall, a laboratory, and a lecture hall holding over 2,000 persons. It is in the Tudor style from a design of Mr. Elmes, the architect of St. George's hall. The foundation stone was laid in 1840. It comprises three distinct day schools, and evening schools for adults. There are many other schools, several of which are attached to the mechanics' institution and to the royal institution. There are also schools for the deaf and dumb and the blind, and numerous charitable schools. The royal institution has a museum of natural history and collections of fine arts, mineralogy, etc. There are associations for the promotion of the various branches of science, literature, and art, and a flourishing philharmonic society. The foundation stone of a free library and museum, to which Mr. William Brown contributed £30,000, was laid in 1857; and Mr. Joseph Mayer presented to it his extensive collection of Egyptian and other antiquities and articles of vertu, the money value of which is estimated at nearly £40,000. The new museum has also been enriched by the donations and bequests of the 13th earl of Derby, and by collections from different museums of the town.
Liverpool abounds with institutions for the relief of the distressed sick and for the reform of criminals, and with well attended public baths, wash houses, and drinking fountains. There are several theatres and music halls in the town, a botanic garden at Edgehill, and a zoological garden in West Derby road, whose attractions were increased by the munificence of the 13th earl of Derby. The hotels of Liverpool present extraordinary scenes of excitement on the arrival and departure of American steamers. The necropolis on Low hill near the zoological gardens, and the St. James cemetery, with the remains and statue of Mr. Huskisson, are the principal burial places. St. James's walk, near the cemetery, and the Princes' parade on the river bank, are well kept promenades. The environs are dotted with many elegant residences of the opulent merchants and the nobility. Liverpool is the most densely peopled city in England, containing in 18G8 9G persons to an acre, while London had only 40, Birmingham 44, and Manchester 81. Until recently it was also one of the unhealthiest cities; but great sanitary improvements have been made, and the mortality, which in 18G6 was 4.2 per cent., declined in 18G8 to 3.3 per cent.
The aggregate length of the sewers, which 20 years ago was 30 m., had reached 240 m. in 1868. The parliamentary borough of Liverpool is governed by 16 aldermen and 48 councillors, one of whom is mayor. The church livings are in the archdeaconry of Liverpool and diocese of Chester. The corporation is distinguished for its wealth and liberality. More than 30 consuls of foreign nations reside in Liverpool. - There are sugar refineries and other manufactures in Liverpool, and that of soap is most extensively carried on. Ship building is also very active, including sailing vessels, steamers, and war ships. In 1867 the splendid docks of Liverpool, including those of Birkenhead, covered 404 acres of water along the Mersey, and extended 5 m. on the Liverpool side of the river and 2 m. on the Birkenhead side. The lineal quay space on the Liverpool side is over 16 m., and on the Birkenhead side over 10 m. The amount of capital invested in the docks is £10,000,000, of which £7,000,000 is in Liverpool proper. The sea wall along the Liverpool side, by which shipping in the docks is protected against the elements, is upward of 5 m. in length, 11 ft. in average thickness, and 40 ft. in average height from the foundations.
Upward of 80 pairs of gates have been erected, some of which reach to the enormous width of 100 ft. (See Dock.) The improvement of the approach to the river was to be completed in 1874; but the landing stage, the most magnificent structure of the kind in the world, was destroyed by fire, July 28, 1874. On Jan. 1, 1858, when the Mersey docks and harbor act came into operation, the tonnage dues, which up to that time had to be paid by all vessels entering the port whether they used the docks or not, were abolished, so that no vessel or steamer, entering the river Mersey and not going into dock, has now any other dues to pay than those appertaining to lights, buoys, or anchorage. - Its contiguity to the ocean and to the British manufacturing districts, as well as the enterprise of its inhabitants, gives to Liverpool a foremost position in the trade of the world. Nearly one half of all the products exported from England are shipped from this port. The exports of British produce and manufactures for the year ending Jan. 1, 1874, were valued at £93,925,-396. The principal articles of export were: cotton manufactures, £34,794,989; cotton yarn, £4,631,045; woollen manufactures, £11,299,-679; linen manufactures, £4,648,362; iron, £11,350,312; hardware and cutlery, £2,626,-994; haberdashery and millinery, £2,282,083. There is also a considerable exportation of foreign and colonial produce.
The imports of such produce in 1873 amounted to £112,-824,613, on which the amount of duties received was £3,176,927. More than half of all the madder, palm oil, bacon, hams, and lard, and nearly half of all the rice and unmanufactured tobacco imported into the United Kingdom in 1873, were entered at Liverpool. This is also the leading port for the receipt of grain, and is the greatest cotton market in the world. Of the 13,639,252 cwts. of raw cotton imported into the United Kingdom in 1873, 12,570,632 cwts. were received at Liverpool. The city has an extensive commerce with the United States, arising from the importation of cotton, flour, grain, and provisions, and the exportation of manufactured goods. During the year ending Sept. 1, 1874, out of 2,840,981 bales of cotton exported from the United States, 1,807,-584 went to Liverpool. The total number of vessels that entered in 1873 was 15,104 of 6,339,376 tons, of which all but 1,231 had cargoes; 7,923 were sailing and 7,083 steam vessels; 4,042 were from foreign countries, including 1,509 from the United States, 1,043 from British possessions, and 9,408 in the coastwise trade. The total number of clearances, including 1,324 for the United States, was 15,006, of which 12,964 had cargoes.
The registered shipping belonging to the port Jan. 1, 1874, comprised 1,866 sailing vessels of 990,867 tons, and 5G3 steamers of 412,464 tons. There were 29 vessels of 31,806 tons built here during the year. The majority of the 8,000,000 emigrants who left Great Britain from 1815 to 1874 sailed from Liverpool. Even of the German emigration a considerable portion has passed through this port. - The first authentic record relative to Liverpool is contained in a charter of Henry II. (1173), in which the privileges of a seaport are conferred upon the town. King John granted it a municipal charter, Aug. 28, 1207. It was constituted a free borough by Henry III. in 1229. But it continued in a state of stagnation for many centuries. In 1644, during the contest between Charles I. and his parliament, the town held out for the latter nearly a month. Finally it was taken by Prince Rupert, and a great number of the inhabitants perished by the sword, and others soon afterward by pestilence and famine. Its population was insignificant in the middle of the 17th century, and was not much above 5,000 in 1699, when the town, which up to that time had been a chapelry attached to the parish of Walton, became an independent parish.
The budding manufactures of Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire, and above all the plantations and the rise of America, gave a powerful impetus to its commercial activity; and the profitable and conspicuous part taken by the merchants and ship owners of Liverpool in the slave trade added considerably to the wealth of the town. At the beginning of the 18th century Liverpool had but a single dock. Between 1830 and 1860 over 25 new docks and basins were opened. In 1854 the corporation purchased the Birkenhead dock and estates for about £1,100,000, and made them available for the constantly increasing demands of trade. The half-tide and graving docks on the Herculaneum estate were completed and opened for use on March 16, 1866. Two new docks were finished in 1867. The railway to Manchester was commenced in 1825; in October, 1829, the directors awarded a prize to Stephenson's locomotive engine; the railway was opened Sept. 15, 1830, and in 1837 also that to Birmingham. The London railway was completed Sept. 17, 1838, and that to Preston Oct. 31. Liverpool is now the focus of a net of railways encircling the whole United Kingdom. A telegraph line to Holyhead was opened April 18, 1860. California and soon afterward Australia gave another stimulus to Liverpool. The Australian trade is steadily increasing, and promises to make this the greatest wool market in the world.
After the abolition of the monopoly of the East India company in 1833, Liverpool began to rival London in the trade with the East. On the whole, however, the town may be said to have advanced in proportion to the progress of the United States, upon the trade with which country its prosperity is chiefly dependent.
St George's Hall, Liverpool.
Free Public Library and Museum, Liverpool.