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was the Messiah. Though music has met with occasional patronage here, and the Music-hall in Bold-street was opened so far back as the
year 1786, yet the encouragement bestowed on this sublime art has been so precarious and chilling, that no conductor of the concerts has ever been able to make them pay; and the late proprietor was constrained to relinquish the concern,
after having sustained considerable loss.
REVIEW OF COMMERCE, POPULATION,
The mayor of Chester, in the year 1648, was ordered by the privy council to make a return of the vessels belonging at that time to the port of that city; on which occasion William Williamson, the then mayor of this town, was unwilling to allow that Liverpool was dependent on Chester, but was finally forced to admit it, and the following report was made :
Vessels. Tons. Men. Chester and its Creeks...... 15 383 63
DEPENDENT PORTS : Liverpool and its Creeks... 24 462 76 Beaumaris and its Creeks... 3 34
9 Carnarvon and its Creeks... 2
6 From this statement it appears that the worthy chief magistrate had good reason to dispute the
superiority of Chester over his own port. On comparing the number of ships belonging to the port in 1540 with this return, we find that in a hundred
the increase in vessels was exactly double, the amount of tonnage nearly treble, and the difference in the number of men employed was one. In 1752, we have an account that there were,
83 Ships in the African trade. 124
West India do. 28
American and Foreign do. 21
London Cheese do.
This list shows the increase that took place in a hundred years to be in the proportion of eighteen to one,-a demonstration of the growing prosperity of the town at that period; and it appears to have continued in an accelerated ratio during the succeeding twelve years, as is seen from the Custom-house return for the year 1764, which states the number of vessels that were entered inwards to be 766, and those entered outwards to be 832, forming a total of 1598 entries made in one year.
The salt trade must have been very considerable thirty years anterior to this time, as it is mentioned that there were no fewer than eighty sloops, averaging fifty-five tons burthen, employed on the river Weaver in the conveyance of this article alone. This extensive traffic led to the building of the Salthouse Dock, which was exclusively appropriated to it. The tax on this necessary of life commenced in the reign of William III.
The commerce between this port and Ireland has long existed ; for in the quotation we have already made from Leland, who wrote his itinerary in the sixteenth century, he
“ Good marchaundis at Lyrpole, and moch Irisch yarn that Manchester men do buy ther.” From that time the Irish trade has been constantly increasing; but since the adoption of steain navigation it has received a vast impetus, unparalleled in the annals of commercial intercourse, by which means a transit regular and expeditious has been opened betwixt the port of Liverpool and the various ports of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. The quantities of cattle and produce now imported from Ireland into this town is truly immense.
The total amount of Foreign and British ships, in the year 1821, entered inwards was 3381, and of those entered outwards was 2581, making altogether 5962; exhibiting in little more than half a century an annual increase of 4364 entries.
The intimate connexion between trade and
money has been strongly evidenced, on the various occasions whenever there has been a consi. derable extension or contraction of the circulating medium; for after the government, by means of the expenses attendant on the American war, had drained the country of its gold, the result was the stoppage of the Bank of England in the year 1797. This evil was for a time remedied by the issuing of small notes, which then supplied the place of gold; but, like every factitious substitute, eventually proved destitute of the solidity and permanence which reality alone possesses. The circulating of small notes by the Bank of England was speedily followed by a copious uttering of provincial bank paper, as well as a great quantity of bills; this abundance, like a plethora in the human constitution, bearing the semblance of health, which is suddenly succeeded by extravasation and paralysis, was the cause of great distress among the commercial body of Liverpool, in the years 1807, and 1810; several houses that had been deemed not only solvent, but possessed of considerable riches, were obliged to stop payment. This shock serving as a purifier, caused a more cautious and less fictitious system of trade to be carried on from the aforesaid period, until some time prior to the year 1825, when a general rage for speculation, that had been generated by an excessive issue of paper money, was again checked by a sudden drawing in of the Bank of England notes. This excited a panic almost unequalled in the annals of the country: in the metropolis and in the provinces nothing was heard of but stoppages; bankers, merchants, and tradesmen, all classes were threatened to be overwhelmed in one uni. versal ruin. On this occasion it was declared by a member of the cabinet, in the House of Commons, that the nation had been within fortyeight hours of barter. Liverpool, like the rest of the trading community, sustained some very heavy failures.
A comparison between the populousness of ancient and modern nations, has exercised the pens of some of the ablest writers of our own and other nations, but without producing any satisfactory result; however, the arguments and historical facts that have been adduced, incline us to the opinion of that party who contend that our species is more numerous now than it was in former times. Another fact, strikingly corroborative of this inference, is the rapid increase in the number of inhabitants belonging to Liverpool, during a period of little more than five centuries, as will be evident from an inspection of the subjoined table, which, though it may not be strictly correct, yet must approximate near to the truth :