Liverpool was founded in c.1190 and was originally called ‘Liuerpul’ with a possible translation of ‘creek with muddy water’. Another possible interpretation is ‘Livrѐe’ which is derived from the French word meaning ‘to trade or dispense with’. The word was used by the Norman French, and King John was the monarch who awarded Liverpool its City Status in 1207.
Liverpool had its own castle, which was more than likely constructed between 1232 and 1235, as instructed by the 4th Earl of Derby. The castle was built to protect King John’s new port, and was sited at the top of Lord Street, where the current Queen Victoria statue is located at Derby Square.
Although Liverpool is famous for its port, its main trading partner in the 16th Century was neighbour, Ireland. It was at the end of the 17th Century that Liverpool’s trade really began to take off. This was due to the growing English colonies in North America and the West Indies, as Liverpool was in a good geographical position to trade with colonies across the Atlantic.
The world’s first enclosed commercial dock was built in 1715 in Liverpool, making way for the larger city we know today. As the waters are deep around the bay of Liverpool, it enables larger ships to make passage to the docks – the tide stands at 10m – which is the fourth highest in the world. This high tide meant that ships could dock closer to the city, making loading and unloading easier for ships, providing a fast turnaround. Four additional docks were constructed, with the main trade being in Cheshire salt. Liverpool was becoming one of the largest ports in the country, behind London and Bristol. However, during 1775 the American War of Independence broke out, affecting Liverpool’s trading activities.
International Festival of Business
Liverpool is about to play host to inaugural event ‘International Festival of Business’ – it appears the city was chosen due to its links with port and maritime, as the main theme of this event first is maritime and export. Look out for our blog post next week summarising the festival.