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boroughs, whose chartered laws entitle them to exclude all strangers, are gradually sinking to poverty and shame, the inhabitants of the free town are stimulated to energy by competition, and are advanced to riches and honor by laudable industry and unrestrained talent. These remarks could be satisfactorily elucidated by reference to numerous boroughs, which are notorious for their venality, corruption, and impoverished appearance. The following concise notice by Leland, will furnish us with some idea of the place during the reign of Henry the Eighth. “Lyrpole, alias Lyverpoole, a paved towne, hath but a chapel. Walton, a iiii miles off, not far from the Le, is paroche chirch. The king hath a castelet ther, and the Erle of Darbe hath a stonehouse ther. Irish marchaunts come much thither as to a good haven. Good marchandis at Lyrpool, and much Yrish yarn that Manchester men do by ther. At Lyrpole is smaule custume payd, that causith marchauntes to resorte *.” * From this early and accurate tourist, we learn that Liverpool was a paved town when he visited it, much resorted to by Irish merchants, &c. and that its small port duties were then deemed attractions to traders. This account is rather vague, and from the town record of November 1565, which is more decisive, we find that the merchandize and commerce of the place were then much reduced, or had not been previously of that extent which Leland's terms imply. According to this document, Liverpool contained only 138 householders and cottagers. Besides, in a petition from the inhabitants to Queen Elizabeth, in 1571, the place is styled “her Majesty's poor decayed toun of Liverpool.” The term decayed indicates that, from some cause unrecorded, and unknown, the town had suffered some material losses, and its remaining inliabitants had to deplore its former comparative prosperity. At this period there were only twelve barks, or vessels, with seventy-five men, belonging to this port, M 4 and and the whole estimated at 223 tons burthen". By going further back, we find an order from Edward the Third, commanding this sea-port town to “provide all its vessels, in a sufficient manner, with men, arms, and stores,” to assistin a foreign expedition: and “about the same time,” says Macpherson, “the community of Liverpool were repeatedly empowered to levy duties for paving their streets+.” Wanting satisfactory records to explain the causes of these apparent fluctuations in the early history of the place, it would be futile to enter into a conjectural dissertation on the subject. Suffice it to observe, that in consequence of the extended increase of the town, it was found necessary, in the reign of king William the Third, to obtain an act of parliament for making Liverpool a distinct and separate parish from that of Walton on the hill. From this period we shall find the town gradually and rapidly advance in population, buildings, commerce, and riches. This is amply illustrated by the titles and objects of the several public and private acts of parliaments that have been
* Itinerary, Vol. VII, fo. 56.
obtained at different periods; and the number of charters that have been granted by the following monarchs, is a further evidence of the increasing consequence of the town. Most of these - charters are still preserved among the Archives of the corporation: —I. Henry the Second; in which he is styled Duke of Aquitain, and Earl of Anjou : and it is known that King John afterwards lost those possessions.—II. John.-III. Henry the Third.—IV. Edward the Third—V. Richard the Second; an ancient copy of this charter was lately preserved at Speke-Hall.—VI. Henry the Fourth.-VII. Henry the Fifth; 2 charters.-VIII. Philip and Mary
* On the opposite banks of the Mersey, in Cheshire, was a small sea-port called Wellasey, which, at this time, possessed three barks, of sixty tons burthen, and manned with fourteen seamen.
+ “Annals of Commerce,” Vol. I. p. 514, 516. [Rot. pet, second of Edward the Third; prim. seventh of Edward the Third, m, 27; prim. tenth of Edward the Third, m.43.]
LAN CASHIRE. 185
Mary.—IX. Charles the First.—X. Charles, the Second—XI.
ACTS OF PARLIAMENT.
Tenth and eleventh of William the Third, c. 36.-A private Act
To enable the town of Liverpool to build a CHURCH, (St. Peter's), and endow the same; and for making the said town and liberties, a Parish of itself, distinct from Walton. This act empowers the Corporation “to build a kouse for the rector, and to raise 400l. by assessment, on the inhabitants, for that purpose. That two rectors should be appointed, one for the new church, the other for the parochial chapel, who should enjoy the same ecclesiastic benefits as the rector and vicar of Walton had before enjoyed; that all parish dues, &c. should be equally divided between the two rectors. That the patronage and presentation to the rectory should be vested in the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, for the time being; and should any dispute arise, the decision to be referred to the Bishop of Chester—&c.
Eighth of Anne, c. 12. A public Act
For making a convenient Dock, or bason, at Liverpool, for the security of all ships trading to and from the said port.
Eighth of Anne, c. 25. A private Act
To enable the Corporation to make a grant to Sir Oleave Moore, Bart. for liberty to bring FREsh water into the said town.
First of George the First, c. 21. A private Act
For building and endowing a Church upon the site of the castle of Liverpool, held by lease from the Duchy of Lancaster, aud for explaining a
former act for the building another church there. Third
* By this Charter, which was confirmed by George the Second, it was or. dained, that in order to preserve the peace, &c. there should be the following officers, &c.—Forty-one good and discreet persons, who shall be called the Common Council of Liverpool, out of which should be yearly chosen a Mayor, Recorder, and two Bailiffs. “ This is the existing corporation,” says Wallace, “whose by-laws and authorities are binding to the present inhabitants.”
Third of George the First, c. 1. A private Act
For enlarging the time granted by an act, passed in the eighth year of the reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled, “An act for making a convenient dock, or bason, at Liverpool, for the security of all ships trading to and from the said port of Liverpool.”
Seventh of George the First, c. 15. A public Act
For making the rivers Mersey and Irwell NAvigABLE from Liverpool to Manchester.
Twelfth of George the First, c. 21. A public Act
For repairing and enlarging the RoAD from Liverpool to Prescot, and other roads therein mentioned.
Eleventh of George the Second, c. 32. A private Act
For enlarging the time granted by an act, passed in the third year of the reign of his late Majesty King George, enlarging the time granted by an act passed in the eighth year of the reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, for making a convenient dock, or bason, at Liverpool, for the security of all ships trading to and from the said port of Liverpool; and for enlarging the same by making an additional dock, and building a pier in the open harbour there; and for £nlightening the said dock.
Nineteenth of George the Second, c. 19. A public Act
For enlarging the term and powers granted by an act, passed in the twelfth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the First, for repairing and enlarging the road from Liverpool to Prescot, and other roads therein mentioned; and for amending the road leading from Prescot to the chapel of St. Helen, in the said county.
Twenty-first of George the Second, c. 24. A public Act
For building a church in the town of Liverpool, and for enlightening and cleansing the streets of the said town, and for keeping and maintaining a nightly watch there.
Twenty-fifth of George the Second, c. 43. A public Act For the more easy and speedy recovery of sm ALI, DEBTs in the town and port of Liverpool, and liberties thereof. In this year, it appears that the corporation petitioned the king for an act, to “grant an additional number of Justices of the Peace, and to empower the recorder to make a deputy, and for granting the sea-shore to the corporation
tion in express words.” In this petition is recited the various charters that had been previously obtained.
Twenty-sixth of George the Second, c. 65. A public Act
For enlarging the term and power granted by two acts of parliament, one passed in the twelfth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the First; and the other passed in the nineteenth year of his present majesty, for repairing the RoAD from Liverpool to Prescot, and other roads therein mentioned; and also for repairing the road from Prescot, through Whiston, Rainhill, Bold, and Sankey, to the town of Warrington, and also the road from St. Helen to Ashton.
Second of George the Third, c. 68. A public Act
For building two new churches, and providing burial places within the town of Liverpool; and for the better preserving the pavements of the streets in the said town; and for ascertaining the fares and prices to be paid carters, carmen, hackney coachmen, and chairmen, and for regulating their behaviour within the said town.
Second of George the Third, c. 36. A public Act
For enlarging the term and powers granted by an act, passed in the eleventh year of the reign of his late majesty, for continuing several acts relating to the HARbour of Liverpool, and for enlarging the said harbour, by making an additional dock, and building a pier in the openharbour there, and for enlightening the said dock, and for making another dock, with proper piers, in the said harbour, and for erecting light-houses, and other proper lights in or near the port of Liverpool.
Such are the principal Charters and Acts that have been successively obtained in behalf of this town, and on which its immunities, privileges, and civil proceedings are founded. Yet it must surprise many to be told that some ambiguity and difficulty still exists respecting the formation of the corporate body. A dispute has arisen, and generated two parties, or corporations, the old and the new; the first consisting of the mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses; and the latter of the mayor, bailiffs, and commoncouncil. In order to settle this dispute, the old corporation resolved to try the issue of their claim at the Lancaster assizes, in 1791 : and after various learned and legal arguments were ad- vanced