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land and Salford, which form its northern and eastern boundaries. Near the middle of this district, and at its eastern border, are some large tracts of mosses; and in the vicinity of Up-Holland and Wigan are some pits of the cannel coal. A small elevated ridge crosses this hundred from south to north; and besides several rivulets that fall into the Mersey, this district is abundantly supplied with turnpikeroads, and canals. West Derby, that gives name to the hundred, is now an inconsiderable hamlet, contiguous to Knowlsley Park, the proprietor of which takes the title of Earl from this obscure place. The principal town in this hundred is the populous and prosperous sea-port of
“Where Mersey's stream, long winding o'er the plain,
AMong the number of commercial towns in Great Britain, it may safely be said, that not one has so rapidly advanced to great extent, and great opulence, as that of Liverpool. From a small inconsiderable hamlet, merely a member of the parish of Walton, this thriving sea-port, by the spirited industry, enterprising pursuits, and speculating habits of its chief inhabitants, has, within the last century, been singularly advanced in the scale of national importance; and whilst many cities and boroughs have gradually sunk into that insignificance and degradation, which almost inevitably close the career of corruption and vassalage, Liverpool has extended her streets, augmented her commerce, and improved in the riches, arts, and luxuries, of civilized life. Though it would be no very difficult task to ascertain the cause, and develope the effects of this progressive amelioration, yet the enquiry would extend to a M 2 length length incompatible with the limited nature of this work; and I am therefore compelled to confine my observations to a few leading points in the history of the place, and dwell only on its most prominent objects.
A magnanimous and liberal spirit has certainly impelled the corporate body, and many individuals of this town, to the adoption and prosecution of several schemes, of great local advantage and public good. In the course of the present essay, I shalf have ample occasion to illustrate and establish this proposition.
“Far as the eye can trace the prospect round,
A history of Liverpool must be an account of the people rather than that of the place; for if the town be divested of its complicated traffic, increased shipping, and nautical erections, it presents little else to recompence enquiry, or gratify curiosity.
Concerning the original name of this place, and the different modes in which that has been written at various periods, it would neither be very amusing, or useful, to enter into particulars: for though all the topographers of Liverpool have said a good deal on this subject, they have not developed much substantial information by their dissertations +. It may, however, be safely . . . asserted
* W. Roscoe—from a deseriptive poem entitled Mount-Pleasant.
* Some writers have deduced the name from the Saxon word Lither-pool:
asserted that there is more reason in deriving the original name of
others from a bird called Liver or Lever, though no such bird has been found
here. Another author derives it from a species of the Hepatica, or Liver
wort; and another from a family named Lever, who were settled here at an
* Translation of the Chatter in a late “History of Liverpool.” There
cognize the origin of a town, which was then a place of trifling im-
for the purpose of commerce, to all the world.”
appears some ambiguity relating to this Charter; for in a petition from the corporation to the king, 1751, the petitioners state that Liverpool “ is a very ancient borough by prescription, long before the time of king John, who granted its first charter.”
* In the history of Liverpool now publishing in numbers, there appears some confusion respecting this date: as at page 42 it is said that the Charter of John is dated A. D, 1207; afterwards it appears to be given in the 9th year of his reign, (1209) and in the next page it is said to be “granted to Liverpool in the year 1203.”