1666 - the Antelope sets off for Barbados with various cargo, returning the next year with sugar cane. This was the first cargo ship to travel from Liverpool to America. Within ten years, twelve ships were plying between the port and Barbados and also to Virginia, carrying tobacco back to Britain from the latter destination
Other trade was increasing, and more and more trade was also being despatched at Liverpool and transported South by road, rather than be taken directly to London.
1668 After the restoration, (Lord) Caryl Molyneux, who had led the violent and murderous Royalist assault on Liverpool on 13/14 June 1644, constructed Lord Molyneux's Street (now Lord Street), leading from the Castle to the Pool (which occupied present-day Paradise Street/Whitechapel). He built a bridge across the Pool, but it was demolished by the City Council for some reason.
1677 By now there were 18 streets. Additions included James Street, Hackin's Hey (after a John Hackin), and Fenwick Street.
1697 By now there were 28 streets.
1698/9 Until this date, Liverpool had been a part of the parish of Walton. St Nicholas's and St Peter's became twin centers of the new parish of Liverpool.
Population was about 7.000 - the most inhabited
street was Dale Street.
First recording of a slaving ship sailing from Liverpool. Until 1698, this had been
a monopoly of London (and the Royal African Company), but this role was largely taken over by Bristol in the early
eighteenth century. Only towards the end of the century did Liverpool become the dominant
1704 St Peter's Church consecrated, in present-day Church Street (it was demolished in 1922).
1708 By now there were 36 streets.
1710s Pool filled in, and the Old Dock built at its former mouth. This was carried out on the recommendation of Thomas Steers, a well-known engineer. The Old Dock was about 200 meters by 100 meters and had gates to neutralize the tide. This was apparently a major advance at the time, following on from a similar but smaller dock at Rotherhithe, London. It took five years to build. A street laid out on a part of the filled-in Pool was called Paradise Street by Steers because he once lived in Paradise Street in Rotherhithe.
1715 With the march southwards of James 3., the Old Pretender,
Liverpool constructed some hasty ad-hoc fortifications - a trench, a small amount of
artillery, and flooded some areas of the town. These would probably have been inadequate
if James had been able to attack, but he never reached that far. The castle was in a
very bad state, and was no longer capable of being used for any military purpose. In 1726,
its last remains were demolished, in order to make way for a church - St. George.
The first Charity School had been opened in 1708, and in 1726, it transferred to Blue Coat School, in School Lane.
The reamins of the castle were demolished. It had been partly demolished already during the reign of Charles II.
1734 Work commences on a second dock - Salthouse Dock, taking 19 years to complete.
1740 The Strand laid out (although originally known as New Street), along the original waterline. As you can guess from the name, it was laid out on what had been a strip of sand.
1745 Some fortifications were put in place against a possible attack by Bonnie Prince Charlie, but they proved to be unnecessary. The Catholic chapel was burned down by arson. It was also around 1745 that Clayton Square was laid out by Sarah Clayton - her brother-in-law was Thomas Cases after whom the adjacent Cases Street is named.
1753 The Everton Toffee Shop was opened by Molly Bushell.
1754 Present Town Hall opened. On 18. January 1795, it was severely damaged by fire (attempts to put the fire out were thwarted because water pipes had frozen).Enough of the structure remained to allow rebuilding, with some modifications, e.g. a two-storey portico and a dome, with Minerva atop it. Rebuilding was completed in 1820.
Wealthier inhabitants tended to move towards the hills surrounding the town.
1761 The first thru-service by coach from London came into
service. The journey took four days. Entry into Liverpool was along the Prescot Road, which
had become a turnpike and been improved in comparison with its former status as a 'packhorse
route', in which form it would have been totally unusable by stagecoaches.
1770 Work started on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, although many years were
to pass before it was fully completed. The Liverpool section came into use in 1774 (to Wigan). Even
on completion, no direct connection was made with Liverpool Docks - this was due apparently
to some dispute between Liverpudlian and Yorkshire interests. Eventually connections were
made with Stanley and Collingwood Docks.
The wealthier citizens set up home in areas like Rodney Street, which was built in
1770/80. The working-class settled
in Vauxhall to the North and Harrington to the South.
1771 George's Dock opened (where the Liver Building now stands).
The American War of Independence causes a reduction in trade. The resulting poverty caused sailors to rebel and hold the town for several days. Allegedly, several lives were lost in the ensuing struggle by the army to gain control of the town.
Peter Baker, a privateer during the Seven Years War, captures the French ship Carnatic, with £135,000 of booty. With his riches he purchases the manor of Garston.
1784 The oil-stone dealer John Mann dies, after whom Mann Island is named. It was apparently previously called Mersey Island, and was created between the docks. When George's Dock was filled in (the present site of the Liver Building and its two companions) it ceased to be an 'island'.
1788 King's Dock opened, south of Salthouse Dock.
1793 Goree Piazzas built, reconstructed after a fire in 1802, but finally
destroyed by the Luftwaffe.
Registered tonnage of shipping was third behind London and Newcastle.
On the other hand, during the Industrial Revolution, Liverpool appears to have
resorted to being primarily a port,
without actually making or manufacturing a great deal itself.
Fire in the Goree
1801 Population 77,653
1802 Liverpool Botanical gardens opened. The Lyceum Club was opened in Bold Street (work started in 1800) as the first public subscription library in the country.
1805 Last duel fought in Liverpool
1806 William Roscoe was elected as MP, and voted for the abolition of slavery, a cause in which he had been active for about 30 years. Nevertheless, Liverpool was a major center of opposition to the abolition of slavery (among the reasons touted by opponents of abolition was that it would cause unemployment - a standard reason still used to this very day against many progressive moves ). Indeed a group of unemployed seaman were lead to belief that Roscoe was responsible for their state, and attacked a procession in Castle Street which included Roscoe and was being staged to celebrate the ending of the slave trade.
Roscoe failed to be re-elected in 1807. It should be stressed that slavery itself continued, only the transport of slaves from Africa was prohibited.
1809 William Gladsone born in Rodney Street (his father, John Gladstone became the owner of about 1500 slaves).
1810 During a church service, the tower of St. Nicholas
collapsed. A procession of children was just entering the church and 24 were killed. Three
adults were also killed.
1815 In July, the Elizabeth, a steam-driven paddle steamer operates on the Mersey, mostly as a ferry. Others followed, not just as ferries but also as tugs. Some steam ships began to be built in the Liverpool area. In 1819, a steamer was plying between Liverpool and Belfast.
1817 The seawater baths were demolished, in order to make way for the Prince's Dock.
1824 Jesse Hartley appointed engineer to the docks.
1825 Anti-emigration laws were repealed. Between now and 1860 about two-thirds of the total number of people who emigrated to America and Canada traveled via Liverpool - amounting to about three and a half million to America and 350,000 to Canada (i.e. two-thirds of the entire emigration to these countries, not just British people - which such a mix of emigrants from all over Europe, con-merchants abounded, ready to fleece them. There was even a network which allowed American con-merchants to receive prior information from their 'colleagues' in Liverpool).
1827 Old Dock was filled in. The spece was used for a new Custom House..
1829 Saturday October 10 - the Rainhill Locomotive Trials for the new Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It is worth making a specific note here that the winning Rocket locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson. All these years later, some sources (including a notice at Rainhill itself until fairly recently) attributed the construction to George Stephenson. In fact, this was a misinterpretation that was even perpetuated on a recent Bank of England banknote.
1830 Liverpool and Manchester railway opened. The original proposals of 1825 had been rejected by the Council. but an amended bill the following year was accepted.
- Jesse Hartley's first dock, the Brunswick Dock, is opened (although the Clarence Dock had been opened earlier, in 1830).
- During a cholera outbreak, the laundress Kitty Wilkinson of Dension Street became convinced of the importance of cleanliness in combating the disease. Obviously at this stage in history she could not have known of the definite reason for the disease but she seems to have been aware of the circumstantial evidence. And boiling clothes would have killed the bacteria. This is assumed to have led to the opening of the first public baths and washhouse in Upper Frederick Street in Liverpool in 1842.
1833 Major fire among the warehouses of Lancelot's Hey
1835 City boundaries extended to include Kirkdale, Everton, Toxteth Park and parts of West Derby.
1836 Lime Street Station opened - on this site at one time stood several lime kilns, given the street its name (although the name was originally Lime Kiln Lane).
First Grand National Race.
Aintree racecourse was opened by William Lynn in 1829.
A four mile race had been staged in 1836, which was won by Captain Becher riding 'Duke. The 1839 race was a larger scale affair with an estimated crowd of 50.000. It was christened the Grand National by a journalist, the name becoming official in 1847
For the first race, Captain Becher was riding Conrad, who threw him twice at water jumps. The race was won by Lottery.
In 1848, the horse Valentine fell at one of the water jumps.
July Prince William crosses the Atlantic. Originally its was intended to compete with Brunel's Great Western for the first steam crossing, but it was not ready in time.. However, when it was ready, it managed to cross the Atlantic in 19 days outward and 15 days back again.
Hermann Melville arrived in Liverpool, as a crew member of a ship from New York. Allegedly, Hermann Melville bears great responsibility for popularizing, in his book Redburn, the story that Liverpool had been named in honor of an extinct bird called the Liver Bird. This story was contained in a guidebook to Liverpool owned by his father.
1840s Despite Brunel's success, the contract for the transatlantic mail was given to Cunard and their Britannia, one of their first ships. This ship took Charles Dickens to America in 1842. Brunel's further ships and Great Eastern were both based in Liverpool.
1841 In 1838, two businessmen from Lima had sent samples of guano to Liverpool merchant William Myers, who had farming interest and opportunity to test its efficacy. The result was that Myers himself decided to put up the money for shipment of this new fertilizer (not new to the South American Indians obviously). In early 1841, 2000 tonnes of guano set sail from Callao for Liverpool.
1842 The workhouse on Brownlow Hill (opened in 1772 on the site
now occupied by the Catholic Cathedral) was rebuilt to hold 1.800 people (although
it eventually held many more than this).
It was actually the largest in the country.
Joseph Paxton was commissioned to lay out Prince's Park. This was part of a 35 hectare
piece of land just
outside the city, bought by Yates, a local man, who used the rest of the land for
residential property. Princes Park was
a prestigious park in its day, and its concepts copied elsewhere. In 1851, Joseph
Paxton built the Crystal Palace in
The park was purchased by the city council in 1918.
1844 Construction started on Birkenhead Docks. Major infestation of potatoes by disease (not just in Ireland, incidentally, but In Europe as well)
Albert Dock opened.
Designed by Jesse Hartley, it was of a new design - surrounded by warehouses.
Previously docks had been of the 'open' type, with warehouses situated a distance
from the docks. Today, the Albert
Dock buildings are the largest Grade 1 listed buildings in Britain.
Holt Line founded
William Lassel of West Derby discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, which had
itself only been
discovered 17 days earlier. Originally, it was a mystery why Lassel didn't put more energy into
trying to find Neptune himself, he did
actually receive 'news' from John Adams of the prediction of its existence and where it was likely to
be found. Recent documents have been unearthed currently suggesting that Adams' predictions were bogus, and were part of a well-orchestrated attempt by Cambridge University to share credit for a discovery actually made by a French mathematician, Urban LeVerrier.
Dr WH Duncan becomes first Public Medical Officer in country.
1847 Immigration from Ireland, due to the Potato Famine (during which 25%
of the population of Ireland die), reaches its peak
in this year, with a oft-quoted figure of 300.000 Irish emigrants in this year.
By no means all of these remained in Liverpool. Official census figures show a population
of 223.000 in 1841 rising to 376.000 by 1851, most of the increase being Irish.
Contemporary reports tend to imply that the reaction at the time was fairly similar to present-day attitudes to immigration and
to asylum-seekers, maybe. As for Ireland, the loss of a quarter of a country's population would
a greater reaction than what seems to have been the
prevailing one at the time.
Kirkdale Beach is 'developed' as Wellington, Huskisson (1852) and Sandon Docks (1849).
1848 The Ocean Monarch carrying 338 emigrants caught fire in the Mersey and sank off Llandudno, with the loss of 178 lives.
Philharmonic Hall opened on the site of the first house built in Hope Street, by William Hope.
1850 Railway station opened on Tithebarn Street, serving areas to the North of Liverpool. This station was replaced by Exchange Station in 1888. By 1855, Southport had devloped as the first seaside resort in Lancashire.
Charles MacIver founded a shipping line. Joined by Samuel Cunard, a Canadian, and George Burns to form the Cunard Line.
1853 Nathanial Hawthorne arrives as American consul.
1854 St. George's Hall opened, as a joint concert hall/assize court.
1857 The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board created, taking over control of the Liverpool docks from the City Council, as well as the docks in Birkenhead.
1859 Canada Dock opened
1860s Reduced cotton imports during the American Civil War lead to the opening of a trade in cotton with Egypt.
1860 William Brown Library opened, financed by the eponymous ship-owner. It's original purpose was apparently to display the natural history collection bequeathed to the city by the Earl of Derby. The library later absorbed the Picton Reading Room which was opened in 1879, and was modelled on the Reading Room of the British Library. James Picton was a historian who wrote a well-known history of Liverpool.
1862 Castle Line founded.
Liverpool was important for the Confederate Navy. In 1861 Commander James Dunwoody Bulloch arrived and started co-operating with the local company of Fraser & Trenholm to buy and sell Confederate cotton (the company's offices are still there in Rumford Place, behind the Thistle Hotel). They operated a regular shipping service between Charleston and Liverpool and transported not just cotton but cargo of direct use to the war.
He also arranged for ships to be built for the Navy of which the Alabama is the best known, built by Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead (the Florida was another)
One Confederate ship, the Shenandoah, technically fired the last shots of the war on 28 June 1865 during a raid on American whalers in the Bering Sea (although the war was already over by then).
It was later before they became convinced that the war was over (they were just about to attack San Francisco but met a ship coming from the said city). Since the unofficial home port of the Confederate fleet was Liverpool, Captain Waddell decided to sail there and surrender. This allows some references to state that the last act of the Civil War was Captain Waddell walking up the steps of Liverpool Town Hall with a letter to present to the Lord Mayor surrendering his vessel to the British government.
After its surrender the CSS Shenandoah was berthed in the partially constructed Herculaneum Dock before being handed over to the American government.
Bulloch stayed on in Liverpool, at 76 Canning Street, until his death in 1901.
1868 Bootle became a borough.
1869 The first Adelphi Hotel is opened by the Midland Railway. It was replaced by a new hotel built in 1912.The hotel stands on the site of the former Liverpool Ranelagh Tea Rooms, after which the adjacent street is named.
North Western Hotel opened, at the front of Lime Street Station. It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect also of Liverpool University buildings and Manchester Town Hall. It is now used as a hall of residence by Liverpool Polytechnic.
Stanley Park opened, It was laid out by Edward Kemp, a disciple of Joseph Paxton
1872 Sefton Park opened. The two steams called the Brook (the smaller and larger) meet at the boating lake, one flowing through the Fairy Glen on one side of the lake (from here the joint stream flowed through the Otter's Pool to the Mersey, and can still be viewed in the Otterspool area)
A notorious gang murder became national news.
One evening in 1874, twenty-six-year-old Richard Morgan was walking home from a Bank Holiday trip to New Ferry with his wife and brother when he was set upon and brutally kicked to death by a gang of youths.
They were passing a pub at the end of Tithebarn Street, when Morgan was asked for ale money by McCrave, a member of the notorious High Rip Gang, who terrorised North Liverpool. Morgan made the mistake of suggesting that McCrave should work for this and was promptly knocked to the ground. Joined by other gang members Campbell and Mullen, the victim was kicked to the other side of the street before police could intervene.
McCrave was arrested that evening after being pursued by Morgan's brother. The others were also in custody within days, Mullen having tried to escape to sea. The youths, who were all 17, were sentenced to death but Campbell was reprieved on account of his previous good behaviour, after petitions to the Home Secretary were made by their families.
McCrave and Mullen were hanged at Kirkdale on 3rd January 1875. McCrave, the gang ringleader displayed great terror at the end but Mullen remained calm and indifferent throughout. Campbell received life imprisonment.
The Tithebarn Street Outrage, as it became known, brought starkly to public attention the mobs of thugs who plagued Liverpool at a time when the city was one of the world's greatest and most prosperous seaports. Long hidden in the shadows of the fetid slums and alleyways, the gangs of Liverpool now emerged to take centre stage. Over the following years, the exploits of the Hibernians, the Dead Rabbits and the Finnon Haddie would make them household names. But most feared of all were the High Rip Gang, who announced themselves with the infamous Blackstone Street Murder and went on to terrorise the city center streets as they fought a bitter war with their sworn enemies, the Logwood Gang. Emulating them were juvenile mobs with names, such as the Lemon Street Gang and the Housebreakers Gang.
- Liverpool Central Station was opened (it was closed in 1972 when the surface line was taken underground to connect with northern lines which previously terminated at Exchange Station in Tithebarn Street).
1877 Walker Art Gallery opened.
1878 St. Domingo's Methodist Church Football Club formed.
1879 St. Domingo Football Club change their name to Everton.
1884 Everton Football Club move to a new ground at Anfield Road.
1886 A Bootle - Everton cup tie is interrupted by crowd trouble. Everton become a founder member of the Football League - their first home match was a 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley, before a crowd of 9.000. Three years later, Everton win the Championship.
1889 Liverpool becomes a County Borough, i.e. administratively it became independent of Lancashire and responsible for its own affairs (or, for the benefit of non-British people, as much of its own affairs as the backward, centralized British Constitution would allow)
1892 Everton begin to play at Goodison Park, after a dispute with the owner of Anfield Road, John Houlding.
1893 Liverpool Overhead Railway opened.
1894 First League match between Liverpool and Everton (they had met before in a cup tie, won by Liverpool). Everton win 2-0 before 44.000 spectators.
1895 Boundary extended to include the rest of West Derby, Wavertree, Toxteth and Walton, trebling the size of the city. The 1901 census gave a population of 685.000.
The whole tramway system came under City Council control
John Brodie became City Engineer. He introduced the first reserved tracks for the tramway.
Giles Gilbert Scott wins the competition for a design for the new Anglican Cathedral. The central tower was not completed until 1942. It survived the war despite some still-visible damage, and was not fully completed until about 40 years later.
On 23rd December a train on the Liverpool Overhead Railway caught fire due to an electrical fault in the tunnel within 100 meters of Dingle Station. Six people died seemingly due to complacency and a lack of urgency rather than anything lese.
Dingle station was shut down for more than a year.
1903 An independent Liverpool University was formed. Previously
it was one component of the Victoria University. The Victoria Building on Brownlow Hill, completed in 1892 and designed by Alfred Waterhouse, was its Headquarters.
1906 Liverpool win the League Championship and Everton win the F.A. Cup
The offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board were completed on the site of
George's Dock which had just been filled in.
This is later joined by the Liver Building and the Cunard Building.
September The Lusitania leaves Liverpool on her maiden voyage.
November The Mauretania, sister ship to the Lusitania sets sail for America.
First British branch of Woolworths opens, in Church Street.
Major strikes and on Sunday 13th August a riot broke out, in the wake of a meeting on St' George's Plateau, addressed by
by Tom Mann, Chairman of the Strike Committee
(at the time about 250,000 people in Liverpool were on strike).
On Tuesday 15th August, a convoy of prison vans, escorted by cavalry, containing 90 of those convicted for involvement in the riots was attacked as they made their way down Vauxhall Road to Walton Jail. The cavalry (18th Hussars) opened fire on the demonstrators and shot two people dead.
The Liver Building opened - work had started in 1908.
The Royal Liver Company itself apparently had humble
beginnings, selling things like funeral insurance to the working-class. If anyone
died in the workhouse, they was a
good probability that, without this insurance, they would end up being dissected
for medical research.
1912 The Futurist opened, closing about 100 years later - becoming the city center's oldest purpose-built cinema.
1913 Meccano factory in Binns Road opened. Meccano had its origins
in 1901, when Frank Hornby's employer took an interest in his product and allowed him some space
in his own works. The firm also started making Dinky Toys and Hornby Model Railways.
In 1979, the Liverpool factory closed down, and the firm was taken over by a French company
based in Calais. Frank Hornby also served briefly as M.P. for Everton.
1914 The Adelphi Hotel opens (on March 9th officially).
1915 On 7. May, the Lusitania is sunk as it travels to Liverpool.
The Mersey ferries and Daffodil take part in the Zeebrugge raid on a U-boat base. The ferries both suffered severe damage (but did not sink).
1918 In the election, Sinn Fein win Liverpool Exchange. The constituency of Liverpool Scotland was held by the Irish nationalist T.P. O'Connor until 1929.
August : Liverpool is put under martial law as the police go on strike, and the Riot Act is read for what is the last time in Britain. There was a call for a national strike which never got off the ground but the strike went ahead in Liverpool anyway - in some quarters there is a belief that they were given the wrong information that London had come out (by the Daily Herald) although presumably by 1919 there were other ways of checking the truth. There was large-scale looting, notably around Scotland Road, and some 'comic' touches like pianos being stolen from Rushworths - it took three days to calm the situation down and one looter was shot. About half the city's police force were sacked (954 men) and the Government continued to harass the strikers if they were fortunate enough to find employment elsewhere, by informing (and threatening, if necessary) their new employers. Lloyd George outlawed the police union and made it illegal for the police to go on strike.
A special feature in Liverpool had seemingly been the attitude of the Watch Committee and the conditions they imposed - Liverpool policeman had one day off every fortnight compared with one day a week elsewhere; and potential wives were inspected before a policeman was allowed to be married, for example.
1920 On Boxing Day, a crowd of 23,000 at Goodison Park watched a women's football match between Dick, Kerr's Ladies (Preston) and St. Helens Ladies. In 1921, the FA banned women from using League grounds.
1923 Works starts on the India Buildings, being completed in 1937. It was designed by Herbert J. Rowse for the Blue Funnel Line (Alfred Holt and Company). The former Chorley Street was subsumed in the building as a shopping arcade. (Rowse also designed Martin's Bank in Water Street, the Philharmonic Hall and structures associated with the Mersey Tunnel)
1928 Dixie Dean, the Everton player, scores a total of 82 goals in the 1927/8 season.
1932 Riot in Birkenhead last for several days.
1934 Mersey Tunnel officially opened - construction
had started in 1925, and it seems to have become available for use from
17 December 1933.
Before opening, about 300 000 people had walked thru it. Apparently, at the time, it was
the longest underwater road tunnel in the world, at 3.2 kilometers.
The government paid half the cost, one quarter came from Liverpool and
Birkenhead and one quarter
was to come from tolls for a period of up to 20 years (the tolls are stilll there).
The tunnel has a maximum depth of 52 meters below the surface at the river, although
around there it is only
about a meter away from the bottom of the river. A lot of the spoil
went to Otterspool and Dingle.
1936 Matt Busby signs for Livepool
Unemployment still double the national average.
Everton win the last Football League Championship before the war suspends the competition.
Brendan Behan arrested for trying to blow up a battleship and sentenced to three years in borstal.