Trade and Commerce in Liverpool to 1900

Liverpool street and business directories, 1766-1900

Liverpool street and business directories, 1766-1900

The publisher humbly hopes that this Publication will be found of such general utility as to gain the approbation of the Public, and encourage him to continue it Annually
The Liverpool Directory, for the year 1766img 28

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See Liverpool grow, commercially and street by street, from 1766 to 1900

The city's importance began to grow following Parliament's decision in 1698 to end London-based Royal African Company's official monopoly in England on the triangular slave trade. By 1750, 43% of all British slave ships were setting sail from Liverpool, rising to 79% by the time the trade was abolished in 1807. This resource comprises all the street and trade directories in the collections of the Liverpool Record Office up to 1900, beginning with the first one to be published by John Gore in 1766. With few exceptions chiefly in the early years, Gore's directory thereafter appeared annually, enabling the researcher to chart the expansion of Liverpool as a commercial centre in the later 18th century, the effects of the cessation of the slave trade on the economic life of the city, and the revival of its fortunes in the Victorian era, as a major port bringing raw materials from the Empire to the industrial heartlands of North West England. Also reproduced here are surviving examples of the half dozen unsuccessful attempts by other publishers to rival Gore's directory. These include: Lewis's Liverpool directory for 1790;" Baines' History and directory of Liverpool for 1824;" Robson's Alphabetical directory of Liverpool (1840); McCorquodale's Annual Liverpool directory (1848); Slater's Directory (1869); and A. Green & Co.'s Directory for Liverpool & Birkenhead (1870); as well as the section entitled Description and directory of Lancaster and Liverpool", from the Universal British directory, dated c.1794.


Trade and Commerce in Liverpool to 1900...

Containing 81,992 pages belonging to 93 documents housed in 3 volumes...

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Reprints of the early Liverpool directories

The first five issues of Gore's Liverpool directory were reprinted in the early 20th century. These are reproduced here with...

Gore's Liverpool directory

The first ever printed directory of Liverpool was published in 1766 by John Gore (1738-1803), "Containing an alphabetical list of...

Miscellaneous other Liverpool directories

Over the years, a number of other publishers tried to emulate Gore's success but in vain, as this small group...


  • The years 1766 to 1900 saw some of the most dramatic social change in Liverpool's history. The slave trade fueled Liverpool's growth in the 18th Century. It was followed by the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
  • These directories enable the reader to see how each street in Liverpool was shaped by the dramatic changes happening around it.
  • Gore's directories were the only directory which managed to survive for over 140 years. The other directories reveal elements of Liverpool's history as they try to produce a more tempting rival offer.
  • Social services are listed in directories from 1790. Listings that emerge include an institution for recovering drowned persons, a school of industry for blind persons, and the juvenile reformatory association.
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