Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool

BookTrade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool

Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool

Mercantile Business and the Making of a World Port


November 1st, 2000



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This book charts the development of Liverpool’s trade, shipping and business culture in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Using previously neglected evidence, it assesses the causes and consequences of major changes in the port’s economy, and considers the activities of the international trading community that had to work in this complex business environment. Shipowners and merchants confronted difficult choices, whether in adopting the new steamship technology, diversifying into new commodity trades, competing for government contracts, or managing their port through the elected Mersey Docks & Harbour Board.

Author Information

Graeme Milne is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Liverpool.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Plan of the Mersey docks, c. 18606
List of tables9
List of figures10
1: Introduction: Boom, bust, crisis and opportunity11
Part I: Patterns and contexts29
2: Shipping in an era of transition and opportunity31
3: Trade, diversification, regions and commodities56
4: Accommodating diversity: Port infrastructure75
Part II: The dynamics of mercantile business103
5: Function, specialisation and integration105
6: Capital, credit, growth and control133
7: Insecurity, information and reputation156
Part III: Institutions and influence177
8: Constraint and opportunity: Government contracting179
9: Interest, faction and port management206
10: Conclusion: Trading in interesting times229
Notes on sources232
Notes on abbreviations235