Extracts from the Universal Directory of Great Britain published in 1791

"Liverpool is situated on the NW coast of England......It is on the eastern banks of the Mersey and on the SW side of the county palatine of Lancashire. It is bounded on the N by the township of Kirkdale, on the W by the river Mersey, on the S by Toxteth-park and on the E by Low-hill and Everton............. Liverpool lies low and extends along the shore in an oval form. On the N the country is perfectly flat for some miles; on the E it is surrounded by higher land which rises gradually from the town to about a mile distance so that, on the whole it is a pleasant and commodious place for commerce.........................There was no considerable increase of population till a little before the inhabitants obtained an act of Parliament for building a new church and making the town a distinct parish of itself. This act was passed in 1699; before this the town was part of the parish of Walton..................from the reign of William and Mary to George II we may trace the prodigous increase of population and commerce in this flourishing place."
The records show that in 1568 there were 168 householders and cottagers, by 1790 the town contained nearly 56,000 people - some 10,000 houses. There was a comparable increase in trade in the same period from 12 boats involving 75 men to 2,800 outgoing vessels in 1788. The town was exporting large quanities of salt and coal and trading with all parts of the world, especially Guinea (Africa) and the West Indies. By this time Liverpool had become second only to London as a port.