Liverpool as a Commerce Center

Liverpool's Second Town Hall (1673)

Liverpool’s Second Town Hall (1673) [6]

Liverpool’s first expansion came with the influx of goods from the New World. Whereas before Liverpool had relied on trade within England and with its close neighbor Ireland, the discovery of the New World led to the discovery of many new crops, including tobacco, which became extremely popular and profitable in England. Slaves in the New World would cultivate tobacco and other products that were imported into England at port cities, including Liverpool. As money was pumped into the city thanks to the prosperous trade and new people began to move into the city, it began to quickly expand into one of England’s leading cities. As Mary Cathcart Borer describes in Liverpool, “around Liverpool’s original seven streets many more now appeared, several created by Sir Edward Moore … including Moor Street, parallel with Water Street, Fenwick Street, Fenwick’s Alley and Bridge’s Alley.” Lord Molyneux created Lord Street, which cut through the castle orchard. Alderman Preeson constructed Preeson’s Row, James Street can be attributed to Roger James, and Sir Thomas Street gets its name from Sir Thomas Johnson.[1] Streets were constructed on the wasteland that Liverpool had gained during the Tudor Era as well.[2]
Castle Street (1689)

Castle Street (1689) [7]

 People of different faiths came from all over England to Liverpool, which led to the construction of a Nonconformist chapel on South Castle Street to supplement the already existing St. Nicholas Church.[3] In 1673, the original town hall donated by John Crosse was replaced by a new, larger town hall that stood in the center of the market place and housed a council chamber and banquet hall. The quality and size of buildings also increased. Small dwellings made of timber were replaced with larger brick and stone houses built in the Classical style of the Italian Renaissance.[4] The expansion of Liverpool during this time of trade can be seen in a print of the city in 1680, shown below. This view of the city shows how the city expanded from its original dimensions depicted on the original street map from the time of King John and even the city map from 1572.[5]

View of Liverpool in 1680

View of Liverpool in 1680 [8]



[1] Mary Cathcart Borer, Liverpool (London: Longman Group Limited, 1971), 59.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 61.

[4] Ibid, 58.

[5] Mike Royden, History of Liverpool, Mike Royden’s Local History Pages, accessed April 19, 2015, http://www.roydenhistory.co.uk/mrlhp/liverpool/riseoftheport/riseoftheport.htm.

[6] George P. Landow, “The Second [Liverpool] Town Hall (1673),” Victorian Web, last modified January 13, 2013, http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/liverpool/15.html.

[7] Old Photos of Liverpool, Maps and Old Liverpool Books, Liverpool City Group, accessed April 20, 2015, http://www.liverpool-city-group.com/cgi-bin/liverpooldb.cgi?category=*&sb=7&so=ascend&view_records=Go&nh=2.

[8] Royden.

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