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18 Account of Benton, eo. Northumberland.--- Ancient Liverpool. (Jan.

who in 1792 presented to it the Empire," mentions the memorable Rev. John Clapp, the present incum- fable of the Seven Sleepers, in the folbent. It is a vicarage, and is valued lowing narrative: in the King's Books at 31. 1s. 3d.

“ When the Emperor Decius persecuted The inhabitants of this parish, New- the Christians, seven noble youths of Ephecastle, Morpeth, and its environs, sus concealed themselves in a spacious have a peculiar guttura) pronunciation, cavern in the side of an adjacent mountain, like that called in Leicestershire hurl- where they were doomed to perish by the ing, none of then being able to pro- tyrant, who gave orders that the entrance nounce the letter R. This guttural should be firınly secured by a pile of large pronunciation gave rise to the follow stones. They immediately fell into a deep ing proverb, mentioned by Grose. slumber, which was miraculously prolonged, “ He has the Newcastle bur in his without injuring the powers of life, during a throat.” Few, if any of the natives of period of 187

years. At the end of that time, these places, are ever able to get rid of ritance of the mountain had descended, re

the slaves of Adolius, to whom the inhethis peculiarity The Rev. Mr. Brand, in his inge- some rustic edifice. The light of the Sun

moved the stones to supply materials for nious annotations on “ Bourne's Popu- darted into the Cavern, and the Seven lar Antiquities,” mentions a well at Sleepers were permitted to awake. After a Benton, similar to the well near the slumber, as they thought, of a few hours, foot of Rosberrye Toppinge, between they were pressed by the calls of !sunger ; the towns of Aten and Newton, co. and resolved that Jamblichus, one of their York, and dedicated to St. Oswald. number, should secretly return to the In the opinion of the neighbours St. city, to purchase bread for the use of his Oswald's well has a particular charm, companions. The youth (if we may still which is this : that if a shirt or shift employ the appellation) could no longer retaken off a sick person is thrown into cognise the once familiar aspect of his nathis well, it will shew whether the

tive country, and his surprise was increased person so sick will recover or die. If it by the appearance of a large cross, triumHoats, it denotes their recovery; if it Ephesus. His singular dress and obsolete

phantly erected over the principal gate of sinks, there remains no hope of their language confounded the baker, to whom he life. To reward the Saint for his offered an ancient medal of Decius, as the intelligence, they tear off a rag of the current coin of the empire; and Jamblichus, shirt, and leave it hanging on the briars on the suspicion of a secret treasure, was thereabouts, “ where,” says the writer dragged before the Judge. Their mutual of the MS. in the Cottonian Library, enquiries produced the amazing discovery, marked Julius F. 6. “I have seen that two centuries were almost elapsed since such numbers, as might have made a

Jamblichus and his friends had escaped from fayre rheme in a paper myll*.” These the rage of a Pagan tyrant. The Bishop of rag-wells, as they are called, were for- Ephesus, the Clergy, the Magistrates, the nierly not uncommon. Mr. Pennant people, and it is said the Emperor Theo

dosius himself, hastened to visit the Cavern tells us of two in Scotland, which were visited for many distempers, and where henediction, related their story, and at the

of the Seven Sleepers; who bestowed their the offerings were small pieces of money the same iustant peaceably expired.” and bits of rags.

The historian gives the following reYours, &c. STEMMALYSMU.

Aections on this celebrated legend : ANCIENT Liverpool.

“We imperceptibly advance from youth (Continued from Part I. p. 587.)

to age, without observing the gradual, but

incessant change of human affairs ; and even GIBBON, in his ii History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman in our larger experience of history, the ima

gination is accustomed by a perpetual series

of causes and effects, to unite the most disSomething like this is mentioned by Mr. Hanway, in his “ Travels in Persia,"

tant revolutions. But if the interval be

tween two memorable æras be instantly anvol. i. p. 177, where he says, “ After ten days journey, we arrived at a desolate carra

nihilated; if it were possible, after a movensera, where we found nothing but water.

mentary slumber of 200 years, to display

the new world to the eyes of I observed a tree with a number of rags tied

spectator, to the branches: these were so many charms,

who still retained a lively and recent imwhich passengers coming from Ghilan, a

pression of the old, his surprise and his reprovince remarkable for agues, had left

Aections would furnish the pleasing subject there, in a fond expectation of leaving this

of a philosophical romance.' disease also on the same spot.”

If one of our forefathers, who de


Ancient Liverpool.

19 scended into the tomb in 1650, should ships of a magnitude unknown to men now miraculously awake from his of his day, and steam vessels, accomslumbers, and should behold the altered plishing in a few hours and without aspect of his native town, his surprise danger, voyages which it would have would not be less intense than was required days, nay perhaps weeks, to that of the noble youth of Ephesus, in perform. The opposite shore would viewing, after a lapse of nearly two not less astonish him. His eye

would centuries, the changed aspect of his search in vain for the few mean huts native city. He would look in vain which were at that period inhabited for the almost rural dwellings which by fishermen. He would now behold at that period met his eye in every the spires of Churches, splendid hotels, direction; for the neat crofts and gar- commodious ferries, and charming dens which were then uniformly at- cottages. Bidston-hill, which, in his tached to the houses ; for the gloomy time, was nothing but a lonely elevacastle, which at one end of Castle- tion, looking down upon the sea bestreet, frowned upon the lowly dwell- neath, would appear strangely changed. ings beneath ; at the other, for the He would now see it crowned with an rustic town-house, towering above the excellent light-house, and displaying, humble dwellings which surrounded in the numerous signals along its ample it. In vain would he search for the ridge, the most incontestible proof of spacious fields which stretched from the commercial wealth of his native the ancient Castle-hill and old Hall- town. In short all would appear altered street, down to the river side, or those from what it was when he lived and leading in an opposite direction, to moved in 1650; and although he Frog-lane and Common Shore (the should be able to recognise some faint modern Whitechapel and. Paradise- points of resemblance between ancient street). In vain would he inquire for and modern Liverpool, yet the metathe water which used to flow along morphosis would appear so complete, Paradise-street and Whitechapel, and as almost to induce him to imagine for the ferry-boat at the bottom of that the change was the work of magic, Lord-street, and Sir Thomas’-build- and that he beheld some fairy scene. ings. In vain would he look for the I have not, for the sake of heightenbridge at the bottom of School Lane, ing the preceding contrast, overcharged which, when passed, landed him in the picture, or attempted dimiaish the country, and pointed the road to the real magnitude of Liverpool about Wavertree. He might find the ancient the middle of the 17th century. To port, but so changed from what it shew the truth and fidelity of the deliwas, when he knew it, that recogni- neation, I shall briefly appeal to a few tion would be difficult. Instead of facts respecting the real state of the discovering it on the margin of the town at that period. My intention, river, he would find it in the very however, is not here to contrast but to heart of a populous neighbourhood, describe the town at two distant pesurrounded on all sides by spacious riods. This will be attempted by way shops and lofty warehouses, and its of introduction to another article, in communication with the river appa- order to convey to such of your

readers rently cut off. The strand of the Mer- as are not acquainted with the history sey would also appear to him entirely of the rise and progress of Liverpool, changed. He would no longer behold some notion of the rapid strides which the water washing the walls of the she has made, since the middle of the adjacent houses, as it now washes 17th century (the earliest period of those along the North shore. He authentic record respecting her history), would find it driven back many hun- in extent, population, and all the eledred yards, and a magnificent sea-wall, ments of commercial wealth and greata mile and a half in length (with spacious docks within, crowded with The town about the year 1650, is vessels) curbing its impotent fury, and thus described, in a passage in the saying to it, “ hitherto shalt thou come, “ Stranger in Liverpool." but no further.” The scenery of the river itself would astonish hiin. In- of the siege by Prince Rupert, may be

“ The extent of Liverpool, at the time stead of a few small craft occasionally gathered from the account by Secomb.' On breaking the dull monotony of its sur the East, and Northward to the river, it face, he would behold it crowded with was inclosed by a mudwall; and on the



Ancient Liverpool.

[Jan, South-east, by marshy ground, covered hall (situate a short distance from with water from the river. The fortifica- Bootle), were, according to Blome,“the tious, extending from the East end of Dale- chief Lords and owners of the greatest street to the river, and the marshy ground share” of the property in the town. before described, occupied the place where

And in an appendix to the useful Paradise-street, Whitechapel, and part of work just quoted, are many interesting Byrom-street now stand; the whole area

extracts from an ancient manuscript, thus inclosed must have been small, not exceeding 405,000 square yards. It is not

in the hand-writing of Sir E. More, however to be supposed that this extent of bearing the date of 1667. This MS. land was wholly covered with buildings; for contains a description of his property it appears from an old painting * which re in Liverpool, accompanied with adpresents the town in 1650, six years after vice and instruction to his son, and is the siege, that within this area were several interspersed with curious notices of the plots of land unbuilt, and planted with trees. state of the town at the period when it This painting is further interesting, as it was written. presents us with a view of the appearance of

It is abundantly evident, from this the town along the water's edge, and of all ancient document corroborating the the public buildings it then possessed. On painting of the town, before described, the northern extremity is a small fort of that Liverpool in 1667, though comChapel-yard ; the western parapet of which, paratively Hourishing, was a town, in

which our modern habits of thinking and and that in front of the tower, are close to the water, which shows that all the lands speaking would induce us to bestow Westward, viz. the lower part of the pre

the epithet, insignificant.” It can sent Church-yard to the pier-head, has been be regarded as presenting nothing more gained, at different times, from the Mersey. than a Nucleus for the present town; St. Nicholas appears with a plain square the worthy Baronet speaking of cuttower-steeple, without a spire. The tower ting, should trade be good, a street had then embattled turrets, though lately from the “ Quld Hall (hence the oply a common coping: The old Custom- modern name, Old Hall-street) to the house which then stood on the South side river, which, might be noe steper of Water-street, opposite the Tower, has its than ye Chapel-street.” He also speaks front towards the river, and appears to have been erected at some distance from it

, sides, “ large backe-sides, keeping, a

of allowing to each house, on both perhaps for allowing room for a small for landing goods. The form of the old good part for a garden and out-buildCastle is also distinctly seen.

It was a

ing, to geather with other nessesarys massy square building, with embattled round Vuld Hall.” All the houses be

ye towers at the angles. There is no ap- longing to his estate appear to have pearance of buildings to the South of this had large crofts and gardens attached Castle, and the ground was probably quite to them. One, on the very banks of open, down to the Pool, which covered the the river, where the Prince's dock now space now occupied by the old, or Custom- stands, he describes as having house Dock. The attic only of the old yards, and a free fissing, and a fine Town-hall is to be seen. It stood to the large croft on the backe-side.”. Southward of the present Town-hall, its

The present Moor-street still perpen North front being represented in a line with

tuates the Baronet's name. It the South side of Water-street. The attics

appears have seven windows in the West frout, and from the MS. to have

een a capital the same number probably on the other sides. street; and there are two or three anThese apartments were for the use of the cient houses still standing in it, one Corporation ; below it might have been sup- bearing the date 1663. Sir Edward is ported by pillars t, leaving an area for the very precise and circumstantial in his accommodation of the market people or the directions to his son, respecting this traders of that time. The roof was sur street and the ground adjacent. From mounted by a square lauthorn, with a win- his description, it appears that at his dow on each side, perhaps used as a look- time, a spacious field, inclosed with out for vessels.”

posts and iron chains, ran down from At the period to which the preced- the Castle-hill (part of modern Castleing extract refers, the Mores of Bank- street), to the river side, spreading on

towards Water-street, scarcely any of * See it engraved in vol. LxxxIII. ii.

the intervening ground being occupied p.

by buildings. Part of this ground was + This was the case : I have a view of the used for a ropewalk (hence the present Town-hall alluded to.

“ Old Ropery"), and in Fenwick



o fiss


a foote

Ancient Liverpool.

21 street, a dry bridge, similar to the pre- to, gives a long account of the “ Mosesent Newington bridge, was thrown lacke, respecting which he had freover it. On the Castle-hill the Baronet quent lawsuits with Lord Molyneux, reminds his son that “ there is for ever who it appears laid claim to it, and

way in this fild common to all deprived Sir Edward of the right of ye Kings lidge peopell.". Words can- cutting turf. The following passage is not convey a more graphic description so curious, it may not be tedious to of the state of Liverpool, than this give it entire. short sentence. The most spacious “ There is,” says he, “two great reasons and elegant street in the modern town, wherefore ye towne ought to kepe ye watter the scite of its most sumptuous and course ye right and ussell course, wch if magnificent structures, the centre of other-wise, it may prejedies ye towne very business, the mart of commerce, was

much. Ye first is, there is noe watterin Sir Edward's time a green field ! course convenient or about ye towne for

From these quotations, some idea skiners, diers, or other such traids, as this may be formed of the aspect of the is, wch makes ye continvell water strem wch town, about the middle of the 17th rones downe ye gout to ye Poule Bridge. century. At that period the scite prin- tradsmen as will have noe incoridgmt. Yo

So if this streme should be torned, such cipally covered with buildings, appears to have been for the most part con

second reason is, if ever ye Poule be cute

navigable of necessity, all such cuts, where fined to the elevated ground on which

in ships are to ride, must cather have a conCastle-street now stands, and to a few sedrable rese streme, to rune continuelly streets running short distances from through it, or it will quickly wrecke up; or the ancient town-house. Towards the ells there must be convenient places for river-side there appears to have been rasing great dames of water to let out wth only three streets, Moor-street, Water. Aud-gates wn necessity requires, for clensing street, and Chapel-street; and these, of ye chanell. And truly God and Natur as we have seen, were but scantily haith maid all ye places betwne ye Poule covered with buildings. Eastward,


ye Stone-plate so convenient for rasing Dale-street appears to have been a few

exsisive great dames, and yt so convenient straggling houses, with crofts and barns.

out of ye way, to ye prejedise of none, and Between this street and Tithebarn

then to suply these dames so great a frese

from ofe yé Moselacke, ye though my eies street, there would seem to have been no communication ; for Sir E. More Allmighty, wch makes nothing in vaine,

may newer see it, yt I am confident yi God recommends his son to open a passage. haith ordained this to be ye greatest good from Dale-street to Tithebarn-street, for this towne. Therefore I hope ye towne through a petty croft” which was will newer lose ye advantage of ye watter where Hackin's-ley now stands. On coming yt way; for if they doe, all ye are the South-east, towards the Pool, there worth cannot procure a streme to clense ye were several houses, but with wide in- Poule, as above se." terstices between them. The inlet Such was the vast importance the along Whitechapel was the natural worthy Baronet attached to the stream boundary of the town, and all beyond of water called the “ Mose-lacke.”

“ the country,” to which people If he were to be the individual whose passed either over the bridge at the reșurrection from the tomb has been bottom of School-lane, or by means of imagined, what would be his asto'the Ferry-boat, stationed at the end of nishment at the complete revolution Lord-street, and Sir Thomas’-build- which has taken place, with respect ings. On the banks of this inlet boats to this, his favourite stream ! were kept, an order having been made The POPULATION of the town, after by the Corporation in 1663, “ that no the civil wars, could not have been more boats be built in Frog-lane (now great; for in 1700, fifty years subseWhitechapel).”. This inlet had a com quent, the inhabitants were estimated munication with the water in Moss- only at 5000. Liverpool had made lake fields (the scite of the present progress in the interval ; and we may Abercrombie-square, adjacent to the therefore fairly estimate her population, Botanic gardens), its course being down about the middle of the seventeenth Pembroke-place, across London-road, century, at something more than 4000, to the end of Byrom-street. The water or equal to the present population of was kept in the lake by means of rudely Prescot*, which by the last census constructed gates, and was used for the amounts to 4468. purpose of cleansing the pool. Sir Edward More, in the MS. alluded

Eight miles distant.




Ancient Liverpool.

[Jan. The Trade of the port, at the same ployed in commerce, trade, and agriperiod, was inconsiderable. In 1650, culture; and strongly resembling, in fifteen vessels belonged to the town. many of her features, several of the preBut these must not be measured ac sent small seaports on the Cumberland cording to our niodern notions of a coast. She was, however, evidently comvessel. They were merely small craft, mencing, though rather languidly, the most of them probably employed in brilliant career she has since ru. the Irish coasting trade. But even in I shall now proceed to delineate the this low situation, the port gave pro- topography of the town in 1725, severity mise of future commercial eminence; years subsequent to the period at which for Blome, in 1673, says, that among it has been above described, and this, its inhabitants were “ divers eminent with advantages which it was imposmerchants and tradesmen, whose trade sible to enjoy in attempting it at the and trafick, especially into the West former period. Indies, inakes it famous.” Still its In a corner of the admirable Map trade at that period would scarcely of Liverpool, recently published by weigh a feather in the scale, against Mr. Gore, there is a plan of the town its present magnitude.

in 17257, from which it appears that The only Public Structures of its extreme limit to the Northward was which it had to boast, were the Town no farther than the present Unionhouse, St. Nicholas Church, and the street, and that it was bounded to the old Tower.

Southward by the old dock. On the TheDwellingHouses of the period plan, Church-street, School-lane, Colwere built in the rude style of the 17th lege-lane, and Hanover-street, appear century, and with but few exceptions, to the East and South-east. Churchmens still remain in Moor-street, Lan- and two or three above St. Peter's

: celot's key, and Moorfields. Besides Church ; all the land to the Norththe house at the top of Moor-street, east, as well as beyond the scite of the already mentioned, bearing the date present Dispensary, being vacant. 1663, there are two, lower down, on Hanover-street has a few straggling the same side, which are most likely houses, and there is much vacant land the oldest houses in the town. They between it and School-lane. All beare much dilapidated, and fast going yond Hanover-street to the South-east, to decay. They consist of only two down to the river-side, is fields. Comstories, with a cone-like elevation in mon-shore (now Paradise-street) has a front of the roof, characteristic of the few buildings on the East side; but taste of the period when they were the West side, and above one third of built. Blome, who visited the place the streets between it and Pool-lane, in 1673, says, “ that there were in it many goodly buildings, all of hewen The old dock has a few buildings

The houses above described, on the North side only, with wide inare built of a soft sand stone, and were, terstices between them. Between Poolno doubt, considered “ goodly build- lane and Strand-street, with the excepings,” by our ancestors. But “ the tion of houses to the front of each, all fashion of this world passeth away,” the land is vacant. The spacious field and structures which they regarded as between Fenwick-street and the river, the acme of perfection, their posterity and between Moor-street and Wateradduce as proofs of their miserable street, mentioned in Sir E. More's taste in architecture. The Old Hall MS. remains as it was 70 years before. (in Old Hall-street) and Cross Hall The “ Old Hall” is delineated on the (hence the present name of Cross Hall- plan, and occupies all the land between street), were the two principal man- Chapel-street and Rosemary-lane (now sions of the time. Much land laid be. Fazakerly-street), and between Old tween the former and the river, and Hall-street and Lancelot's-key. To the much between the latter and the inlet Eastward, between Castle-street and which flowed up the present White- John-street, there is plot of vacant chapel to the end of Byrom-street. land. From John-street to Sir Tho

Such was Liverpool about the mid mas - buildings, down to Froy-lane dle of the 17th century. She was, it is evident, but an inconsiderable town, + An original copy of this old Map is in inhabited by a mixed population em my possession.


are vacant.


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