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it pleased Providence to permit him to enjoy until the period of his death. That individual was the author's father.*
In laying this Treatise before the public, the author may be permitted to observe, that, in undertaking it, he did not seek private gain, but he considered that its publication might probably be attended with the advantage, of preventing the information so acquired, from being lost to the public.
It is only proper to mention, that this work has not any pretensions to be a history of Liverpool ; but it contains a descriptive acccount of the town, with an outline of its commerce and statistics, of the principal occurences, and of the habits, pursuits, and manners of its inhabitants, during the 25 years which elapsed between the commencement of the year 1775 and the termination of the 18th century; and the chief object of the work is to preserve, unimpaired, the knowledge of various particulars and events relating to Liverpool, most of which would, perhaps, otherwise soon have been forgotten.
LIVERPOOL, 7th November, 1853.
* He was born on the 14th of June, 1761, and died on the 15th of June, 1852, after having just entered his 92nd year. He had resided in Liverpool from the 13th of January, 1776; and it is believed that he was the last, or one of the last, surviving persons who had been resident there during most of the American Revolutionary War. Some rather remarkable particulars respecting him and his knowledge of Liverpool, appeared in an account published in one of the Liverpool newspapers soon after his death, a copy of which will be found in the Appendix, No. XIV.
During the present, and a considerable part of the last century, Liverpool has advanced in commercial greatness and prosperity, with a rapidity which is almost unprecedented ; and from being a place comparatively unimportant, it has become one of the most populous and prosperous commercial towns in Europe. Its origin, however, is enveloped in obscurity, and so little is known of the early history of this modern Carthage, that it is very doubtful whether it existed during the period of the Anglo-Saxon sway; if it did then exist, it was probably nothing more than a collection of mean hovels, inhabited by poor fishermen and herdsmen. The same uncertainty presents itself at the period of the Norman Invasion. Liverpool is not even named in Domesday Book, which is one of the most authentic and curious relics of antiquity connected with this country; nor is there any account of Lancashire, as a distinct county, in it, which may possibly be accounted for, from the circumstance, that at the time when William the Conqueror caused it to be compiled,
the devastation which had been committed by the Normans, in that, and parts of the other northern counties, had made vast tracts of country depopulated and waste; and the part of Lancashire which lies between the Ribble and the Mersey is included in the survey of Cheshire, in that book. The contractions and peculiar marks which abound, render it not an easy task to read it; but the following are extracts in extenso, from the portions, which relate to that part of Lancashire where Liverpool now stands():
“ In Cestre Scire tenet Episcopus ejusdem civitatis de Rege quod ad suum pertinet episcopatum. Cum suis hominibus totam reliquam terram comitatus tenet Hugo Comes de Rege. Terram inter Ripam et Mersham tenuit Rogerius Pictavensis—modo tenet Rex.”(2)
[TRANSLATION.] “ In Cheshire, the Bishop of the same city holds of the King what appertains to his bishoprick. All the remaining land of the county, Hugh, the Earl,(3) holds of the King, with
The land between the Ribble and the Mersey, Roger of Poictou held—now the King holds it.”
Further on, we find in the same ancient book of record, the following statement:
“ Inter Ripam et Mersham.” “ Terram infra scriptam tenuit Rogerius Pictavensis, inter Ripam et Mersham. In Derbei hundredo.”
[TRANSLATION.) “ Between the Ribble and the Mersey.” Roger of Poictou held the underwritten land, between the Ribble and the Mersey. In the hundred of Derby.”
(1) The contractions and peculiar marks introduced in Domesday Book render it besides very difficult to procure a type adapted to a fac simile copy. The survey of the lands, &c. comprised in the book, was completed in 1086.—Sir Henry Ellis's Introduction to Domesday Book, vol. 1, page 4. Many of the Latin words used at that period, and for centuries afterwards, are very strange, and often seem invented to express some local custom, tenure, or duty; indeed, the mediæval Latin is entirely a dialect per se, the terms used being always unclassical and often barbarous.
(2) Domesday Book, vol. 1, edition of 1783, published by the direction of the Commissioners of Public Records.
(3) Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester.
It then proceeds to mention Roby, Knowsley, Kirkby, Crosby, Maghull, Aughton, Huyton, Torbock, Toxteth, Sefton, Kirkdale, Litherland, Ince Blundell, Thornton, Meols, Woolton, Allerton, Speke, Childwall, Wavertree, Bootle, and other places in the neighbourhood, amongst which we find Walton mentioned :
« Winestan tenebat Waletone. Ibi duæ carucatæ terræ et tres bovatæ : valebant octo solidos."(1)
[TRANSLATION.] “ Winestan held Waletone (Walton). There are two carucates of land, and three bovates : they were worth eight shillings."
From the circumstance of Liverpool not being named, whilst so many places in its vicinity are mentioned, it has been surmised, that from its then insignificance, it was included with Walton,(2) of which parish it remained a part for centuries, and was only separated from it by an Act of Parliament(3) in 1699.
If historical records fail us, so that we cannot trace out any authentic account of Liverpool immediately after the Norman Invasion, we may well be ignorant of all matters relating to it, or to the part of Lancashire near it, at a far more remote period; yet, in various places in the county, there have occasionally been discovered, the graves, mortal remains, weapons, implements, and even the rude canoes(4) of wild and
(1) As some slight diff nce as to the construction to be put upon the contractions, which exist in the passage in Domesday Book, may be observed in the works of some writers, the author has judged it best to give the above extract in extenso, as it is given by Dr. Whitaker, F.S.A. in his History of Whalley, 3rd edition, book 1, chap. 3, page 38, he being a high authority upon such points. The figures and word in contractions, “vili sol ” are inserted above the end of the line, in the printed copy published in 1783,
(2) Although commonly called Walton, the correct name is Walton-on-the-Hill. (3) Act of 10 and 11 William III, c. 36.
(4) Upon draining Martin Mere, in Lancashire, there were discovered no less than eight canoes, in figure and dimensions not much unlike those used in America,
uncivilized tribes, of great antiquity, whose very names have been forgotten in the lapse of ages.
Not long before the Norman Conquest, that part of Lancashire which lay to the eastward of the Mersey, was principally either forest land, or swampy and unproductive. To the northward and north-eastward, with the exception of some rather elevated ground near Ormskirk, the country between the Mersey and the Ribble was almost entirely flat and marshy; and, from the numerous trunks of trees, which are even now frequently dug up in that district, many parts of it must, in remote times, have been covered with woods of considerable size. Some other parts of Lancashire consisted of wild tracts, in most of which were extensive forests, moors, and swamps, and a small portion only was cultivated. “Could a curious observer” says the eloquent historian of Whalley, “of the present day carry himself nine or ten centuries back, and ranging the summit of Pendle, survey the forked vale of Calder on one side, and the bolder margins of Ribble and Hodder on the other, instead of populous towns and villages, the castle, the old tower-built house, the elegant modern mansion, the artificial plantation, the park and pleasure ground, or instead of uninterrupted inclosures, which have driven sterility almost to the summit of the fells, how great must then have been the contrast, when ranging either at a
one of which had some plates of iron upon it; and in a morass at Sawick, about nine miles distant from the mere, a stone instrument resembling a whetstone, and with it one of the ancient weapons, or implements, (antiquaries differ as to their use,) called celts, of mixed metal.- Dr. Leigh's Natural History of Lancashire, page 18, and also page 181, where engraved representations of one of the canoes, the stone instrument, and the celt, are given. Dr. Leigh also states that a human body had been found in a moss, near Meols, in Lancashire.--Ibid. page 65 and 119. It is supposed to have been that of one of the early inhabitants of the country. Since Dr. Leigh wrote that work, in 1700, other human remains, apparently of very remote antiquity, as well as other celts, and i nts of the ancient inhabitants, have occasionally been discovered in Lancashire.