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Liverpool was again taken by the parliamentary forces, under the command of Sir John Meldrum, the earl of Derby having failed in an attempt to relieve it with the loss of five hundred men killed and taken prisoners.
In a scarce book, entitled England's Worthies, first published under the Commonwealth, and which gave so great offence to king Charles II. after the Restoration, that he ordered it to be burned by the common hangman, we find the following passage in the description given of the achievements of Sir William Brereton, Majorgeneral of Cheshire, &c. :-“Hee (Sir William Brereton) also took the Town and Castle of Leverpoole, with all the Ordnance, Arms, and Ammunition therein; and had singular good successe in preventing a dangerous designe of Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice to have passed their forces through Cheshire into Lancashire, against our brethren of Scotland in the north.”
If there be no error in this account, it would seem probable that this circumstance happened some time prior to the siege, perhaps a few months; for we find it related that the town was taken on the 26th of June, being twenty-four days after the beginning of the siege, and that on the following October the place was retaken by Lieutenant-general Meldrum, when the parliament appointed Colonel Birch to be governor of the castle; who, in retaliation for an affront he
had previously received from the Earl of Derby, made his children prisoners, and during eighteen months kept them confined in the Tower at the bottom of Water-street, not even allowing them the necessaries of life, which they obtained only through the benevolence of their friends, at that time in a very impoverished state.
Seven years after the siege, Liverpool was visited by the plague, that most dreadful of all the
scourges with which the human race is liable to be afflicted ;-two hundred persons are said to have died of it, and in order to prevent as much as possible the spreading of the contagion, the deceased were buried in Sickman’s-lane, at the present day called Addison-street.
In the year 1654, several resolutions were passed, in which it was ordered, “that the roof of the Town-hall should be repaired, that a lantern should be fixed at the High Cross, and likewise another at the White Cross, during the time of Dark Moon,—that a stone bridge should be erected at the lower end of Dale-street,that the gates at the street ends should be taken down,—and that the mud walls, which had been made at the time of the siege, should be removed.”
In 1663 the Corporation issued their mandate, forbidding any more boats to be built in Froglane, now called Whitechapel.
The part of the town where the Botanic Gar-: dens, Abercromby-square, and many new streets
are now situate, was formerly called Moss-lake Fields, where a large sheet of water was dammed up, and which could be let off by means of floodgates; it was used for the purpose of cleansing the old Pool, supposed to have been the spot on which the new Custom-house is now being erected, and had its course along Pembrokeplace, across London-road to the north end of Byrom-street, and then through Whitechapel and Paradise-street.
In 1669 the land in Hackin’s-hey was not laid out, and the front part of it was valued at one shilling per yard; and a short time afterwards it is related that a bridge was built at the bottom of Lord-street, at that time called Lord Molyneux-street.
In 1674 the High Cross was ordered to be taken down, and on the site of it was built the Town-hall, which stood for seventy-three years, when it was taken down, being destined to give place to a more splendid structure.
An anonymous author, who published an account of Liverpool nearly forty years ago, mentions an original painting, at that time in the possession of Ralph Peters, Esq., which gives a representation of the town in the year 1680. Whether this picture be still in existence we know not: but as we have not access to it, we shall take the liberty of inserting the writer's description of this rare document.
“ The station of the observer is plainly on the river, to the northward of Water-street, from whence the whole extent of the town, from north to south, appears at one view. On the northern extremity is a small fort. This fort almost immediately connects with the stone wall of the Old Church-yard, or northwest parapet of that cemetry, which was at that time almost close to the water. This perspective confirms the church record, that the wall of the present church-yard, and all the land to the westward thereof, has been gained from the Mersey. The same painting also shews, that the parapet westward of the Derby Tower, was then at the extremity of Waterstreet, and butted on the river; therefore all the ground now between the water and the old site of that parapet wall, must have been gained also on the river.
This wall at that time appears to have been on a line with the church-yard, which determines how far westward the inclosed fortified walls of the tower extended. The turrets of this building appear to have been then embattled, though they have now only a common coping, one only excepted. The whole line of the old parapet in this perspective does not shew a single embrasure, nor does the south-west angle form any bastion, though it is said in the memoirs to have been originally built for defence: it may therefore be concluded that no danger, at the time this view was taken, was apprehended from any attacks by water.
“ The old Custom_house, which then stood at the south side of Water-street, opposite to this tower, had the principal front facing the river to the west, and covered the ground froin thence southward to the Old Ropery; but this building appears to have been erected some little distance from the river, no doubt for the convenience of admitting a small quay for the purpose of land. ing goods, no docks at this time having been made; this is all that can be gathered from the terrestrial line of the perspective. The bird-view gives some idea of the castle, which appears to have been built much upon the plan of others about the same period; it had an embattled round tower at each angle, and seems to be sufficiently formidable to the attacks of the archery, or other military implements of ancient times, but deficient in principle and strength of any resistance to regular artillery. The two northern towers were at this time much impaired; no buildings are seen to the south, and there was probably nothing but open ground quite down to the pool, which filled the place where the Old Dock is now made. This perspective also gives you a view of a building, which was the market or town. house, common in these kingdoms. The attic only is seen; below it might have been supported by pillars, as is usual with these erections, which are generally designed to accommodate market people, and might be also convenient for trans