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Very much looking forward to the day when this view is dominated by a cruise liner berthed up against the new CLT.


If you go onto the old wooden jetty and climb underneath it, there is a bricked up tunnel entrance. I believe it runs to old hall street to the basement of the cotton exchange. When I worked for a solicitors firm I was taken down to the sub sub basement of the cotton exchange and shown the old cells where some slaves where kept between transits, I am fairly sure they had been walked to that location through that now bricked up tunnel.
 

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My understanding of the Africa Trade is that slaves where to valuable in the colonies to be brought into Liverpool/Bristol/London. The landed gentry being to astute to supplant the local workforce with slaves would have set off violent opposition to having to compete with slaves for work in the Kingdom and the local peasantry being more abundant and a far cheaper commodity than slaves. Also, the records show that the differential between the price of a slave landed in England was a pittance compared to one landed in the colonies. Non of which is to say that no slaves landed in England and, particularly, Liverpool. But Liverpool claim to fame was that, considering the trade between London and Bristol being well established before Liverpool entered the African Trade, it's ships carried more slaves to the colonial markets than did those of Bristol and London combined.

Also, the slaves ships plied their trade on the "Golden Triangle", meaning they left Liverpool with cooking utensils, clothing, knives, guns etc., to be traded for human beings on the West African coast, then carried those humans across the ocean to the markets in the West Indias and North America. They then used the money generated by the sale of the human cargo to purchase commodities like sugar, rum, dried fruit, spices and cotton which, to complete the "Golden Triangle", sailed back to Liverpool where the goods where sold for cash.

It would be my guess that any "cells" located in the sub-basement of the Cotton Exchange would likely be for the storage of the commodity that they (cotton brokers) dealt or, something as valuable.
 

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I'd seriously doubt that any slaves were held in cells under the Cotton Exchange
Slavery was officially outlawed in 1833 but effectively abolished in England in 1772 and as the first Cotton Exchange building went up in 1808....
 

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If you go onto the old wooden jetty and climb underneath it, there is a bricked up tunnel entrance. I believe it runs to old hall street to the basement of the cotton exchange. When I worked for a solicitors firm I was taken down to the sub sub basement of the cotton exchange and shown the old cells where some slaves where kept between transits, I am fairly sure they had been walked to that location through that now bricked up tunnel.
Isn't there a rather big problem with that in a 'time line'... of not possible.
 

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An English court case of 1569 involving Cartwright who had bought a slave from Russia ruled that English law could not recognise slavery. This ruling was overshadowed by later developments particularly in the navigation acts, but was upheld by the Lord Chief Justice in 1701 when he ruled that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Isn't there a rather big problem with that in a 'time line'... of not possible.
No idea, just repeating what I was told at the time regarding slaves being held there. It wasnt like this was the other storage rooms you get in there what other companies (like the solicitors I worked for ) use for archive storage, these even looked like cells. Be interesting if anyone could get in there for a nose.
 

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No idea, just repeating what I was told at the time regarding slaves being held there. It wasnt like this was the other storage rooms you get in there what other companies (like the solicitors I worked for ) use for archive storage, these even looked like cells. Be interesting if anyone could get in there for a nose.
Yes, would be interested in finding out just what they where used for. Knowing, of course and with the above knowledge, they where not used to restrain slaves.
 

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There must be a lot of undiscovered history under the streets of Liverpool. Being built on sandstone, which is an excellent tunnelling medium succeeding generations will have made excavations for now forgotten purposes.

We know that there is a tunnel that runs from the site of the castle in Derby Square to the Mersey, which is still in use as a conduit for a sewer pipe, so it is not inconceivable that similar ones were built. There was once a fort on the site of Princes Dock so was a tunnel built as a sally port to the river?

I've mentioned before the story I was told as a student engineer in the City Council offices. Two of the senior engineers had been called to the site of the Corn Exchange when it was rebuilt in the 50s. The Contractor had discovered a system of underground passageways and wanted advice on what to do with them so that construction could continue.

The engineers inspected these passageways and found them to be around four feet wide with iron railings to one side forming what looked like very cramped cells. Apparently there were four levels of these passageways and they seemed to run for some distance either side of the Corn Exchange site.

Nobody knew what their purpose was or when they had been built. There was speculation that they formed secret prisons for slaves - dating from the days when the slave trade was abolished.

Contractors working to a programme and archaeology don't mix. The council engineers recommended that they collapse and infill the top layer of tunnel and that was the end of it. Maybe they will turn up again in some future development.
 

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No idea, just repeating what I was told at the time regarding slaves being held there. It wasnt like this was the other storage rooms you get in there what other companies (like the solicitors I worked for ) use for archive storage, these even looked like cells. Be interesting if anyone could get in there for a nose.
I worked in the Cotton Exchange for about 10 years and we had one of the many cellars for archive storage. I never heard any stories of tunnels whilst I worked there, but I occasionally see one of the maintenance guys who used to work there and will ask the question. I also worked in Tower Building and do remember hearing a story that during one of the many revamps of the Strand part of the basement was flooded and this was attributed to passageways from the building collapsing.
 

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There was speculation that they formed secret prisons for slaves - dating from the days when the slave trade was abolished.
When the slave trade was abolished in the British Empire the government assembled a squadron of Royal Navy ships and dispatched them to patrol the African coast. They where so successful that within two years of abolishin the trade between Africa, the Caribbean and North America shrank to a trickle. Even American freebooters, in fear of, as likely as not, loosing their ships to the Royal Navy's Africa Squadron, ceased operating on thye Africa coast.

The idea that British shipowners, even if they where successful in avoiding the Africa Squadron on the coast, would try the even riskier voyage to Liverpool and store slaves ashore in Liverpool before venturing across the North Atlantic to sell their cargo in the US, is as improbable as it is fanciful.

PS: Legend has it that the taverns and inns which rimmed the Strand and the Pool had tunnels and alley's connecting them to the river in order to transport (Shanghai) drunk'n'incapable sailors to ships short of the odd hand aboard before sailing. And some where kept in secret lock-ups for future, short manned, ships.

Lot's of African's settled in Liverpool. These where crew members, some who had been freed during voyages to sell them, when members of the white crew succumbed to African diseases and/or being lost overboard during storms. And some where escaped slaves from American plantations and even others where recruited on the West Coast of Africa by the Royal Navy. Remembering that a ship, especially on board a totally labour intensive, fully rigged ocean going sailing ship. The loss of one sailor could and, often did, spell disaster for a ship at sea. They would comment; "A yard was blind to the colour of the hand hauling the sheets".
 

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No idea, just repeating what I was told at the time regarding slaves being held there. It wasnt like this was the other storage rooms you get in there what other companies (like the solicitors I worked for ) use for archive storage, these even looked like cells. Be interesting if anyone could get in there for a nose.
Maybe it is more likely that the cells were built to house other prisoners or perhaps valuable commodities that needed to be secret it away in times of emergency? I was thinking of a scenario such as the gold reserves which were kept in Liverpool during WW2.
 

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My understanding of the Africa Trade is that slaves where to valuable in the colonies to be brought into Liverpool/Bristol/London. The landed gentry being to astute to supplant the local workforce with slaves would have set off violent opposition to having to compete with slaves for work in the Kingdom and the local peasantry being more abundant and a far cheaper commodity than slaves. Also, the records show that the differential between the price of a slave landed in England was a pittance compared to one landed in the colonies. Non of which is to say that no slaves landed in England and, particularly, Liverpool. But Liverpool claim to fame was that, considering the trade between London and Bristol being well established before Liverpool entered the African Trade, it's ships carried more slaves to the colonial markets than did those of Bristol and London combined.

Also, the slaves ships plied their trade on the "Golden Triangle", meaning they left Liverpool with cooking utensils, clothing, knives, guns etc., to be traded for human beings on the West African coast, then carried those humans across the ocean to the markets in the West Indias and North America. They then used the money generated by the sale of the human cargo to purchase commodities like sugar, rum, dried fruit, spices and cotton which, to complete the "Golden Triangle", sailed back to Liverpool where the goods where sold for cash.

It would be my guess that any "cells" located in the sub-basement of the Cotton Exchange would likely be for the storage of the commodity that they (cotton brokers) dealt or, something as valuable.
This has always been my problem with Liverpool apologising for its role in the slave trade. For the most part, it seems true to say that Liverpool was not responsible for enslaving the slaves -- this was done by Africans to their fellow countrymen. similarly, Liverpool-based merchant did not work the slaves -- that was largely done by American plantation owners. In getting slaves from point A to point B, it could be argued that Liverpool ships merely acted as couriers taking slaves from where they were supplied to where they were needed. we were the DHL of the day.

Okay, this city did process raw materials produced by slaves and transported here but then so did many other cities (London, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds) and none of those, as far as I know, have apologised. Perhaps an apology was appropriate for this aspect, but surely this should have been a joint one?

The triangular nature of the trade was merely a lucky, and very lucrative aspect that Liverpool was ideally placed to make the most of. And boy did it do that.
 

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This has always been my problem with Liverpool apologising for its role in the slave trade. For the most part, it seems true to say that Liverpool was not responsible for enslaving the slaves -- this was done by Africans to their fellow countrymen. similarly, Liverpool-based merchant did not work the slaves -- that was largely done by American plantation owners. In getting slaves from point A to point B, it could be argued that Liverpool ships merely acted as couriers taking slaves from where they were supplied to where they were needed. we were the DHL of the day.
An unbelievable post.
Okay, this city did process raw materials produced by slaves and transported here but then so did many other cities (London, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds) and none of those, as far as I know, have apologised. Perhaps an apology was appropriate for this aspect, but surely this should have been a joint one?
Really:eek:hno: Wonder how many Angles/Celts/Picts colluded with the Saxons/Vikings/Romans or Irishmen colluded with the English? How about Aztec/Inca/Maya colluded and aided the Conquistadors? Or for that matter native American's colluded with the US government to conquer, enslave and steal the land of their compatriots? Or how about the rich Jews trading their coreligionist to the Nazi's to save their own skins. Yes, it did happen but using that to justify the horrors that all the above exploited suffered is not just revisionism but akin to denying the evil crime by the perpertrators.
As for apologising for ones wrongs doesn't need others to apologise for theirs, if you (collective) are guilty of something, why do you need other culprits, even those with equal guilt, let alone the few traitors who, in every case, exploit their own for personal gain, to apologise?

Canada has, just yesterday, apologised for turning away a ship (ss St. Louis) full of Jewish refugees escaping for Nazi persecution in Europe. More than 200 subsequently died in the Nazi death camps when the ship was refused refuge in the UK, US, Cuba and Canada and was forced to return to Europe. Should Canada have waited for the British and others to apologise and, in the absence of those apologies, should not themselves have done so?

Compared to the millions of souls torn, by Europeans, from their homelands, families and loved ones, the participation of fellow Africans was miniscule and used as a straw man, not even to mitigate the sins of Europeans, that would be impossible, but to, IMO, denigrate Africans and place their crimes on a par with the European slavers. Like the examples I provided above, there is just no comparison.

PS: I have a friend who equates those Africans who benefited from their participation in the enslavement of their brothers and sisters, to those of the working class who take "overseers" (supervisors/managers etc.,) positions in modern day corporations.
 
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Meh,
the African slave trade was mostly started by the Arabs and other Muslims and mostly stopped by the Royal Navy.
In 1812 the Americans fought a war to keep slavery at a time when the Royal Navy was trying to put an end to all high seas use for trade in slaves.

Of course the history revisionists write it differently. History, as they say, is written by the winners.
 

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Meh,
the African slave trade was mostly started by the Arabs and other Muslims.
That was on the Indian Ocean which is on the other side of Africa. The Royal Navy's "Africa Squadron" was deployed on the Atlantic Ocean which is the West Coast of Africa. The "Africa Squadron" patrolled that coast and the sea lanes between Africa, The West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico and the ports on the lower eastern seaboard of the United States. With the African's and the teeming millions in India and no industry like in the Atlantic colonies, slaves where plentyful and, in present day parlance, where "ten'a'penny" and the extra weeks and months it would take to deliver them to market in the Atlantic basin markets would see most of the cargo, if not all, spoil (die). No profit in dead slaves and like cheap labour in Britain at the time, labour was even cheaper in Africa and India.
In 1812 the Americans fought a war to keep slavery at a time when the Royal Navy was trying to put an end to all high seas use for trade in slaves.
The War of 1812/1814 was fought, ostensibly, to halt American ships from being raided and their cruise impressed by the Royal Navy. It was, in actuality, fought to take advantage of Britains preocupation with the difficult military position it found it's self, in the fight against Napoleon Boniparte. The war was started by the American invasion of Canada.
Of course the history revisionists write it differently. History, as they say, is written by the winners.
Yes, we have noticed, however, in the War of 1812 the Americans lost but, still revised the history. Think about it, they, the Americans, won one battle, which was fought after the war was ended. That was the Battle of New Orleans. The last major battle of that war was fought at Lundys Lane, in Niagara Falls, Canada. Three American generals and their forces, led by Gen. Winfield Scott, invaded Canada and surprised a single British regiment of foot, namely the Kings Liverpool Regiment which fought them all through the hot summer night of 25 July and, when the dawn broke, the Americans could be seen retreating across the Niagara River, never to return to Canadian soil.

Yes, I see what you mean about revisionist history. ;)
 

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Meh,
the African slave trade was mostly started by the Arabs and other Muslims and mostly stopped by the Royal Navy.
In 1812 the Americans fought a war to keep slavery at a time when the Royal Navy was trying to put an end to all high seas use for trade in slaves.

Of course the history revisionists write it differently. History, as they say, is written by the winners.
History is written by everyone, most of them liars. Sadly your interpretation seems to be one which aims to totally reduce Britain's principle and murderous role in the Slave trade. The British Empire is up there with the worst in terms of lives lost because of it.

Liverpool as a place which saw a vast amount of slaves travelled through it is in a position that needs to be recognised and remembered. I'm not talking about self-flaggelation, nobody here should feel shame for the crimes of the past but we should teach history correctly, which we simply do not in this country. Just because the rest of the country ignores British history doesn't mean we should.
 

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Liverpool as a place which saw a vast amount of slaves travelled through it.
Very few (a miniscule amount) of African slaves traveled through Liverpool. Liverpool ships did carry more slaves than any other European ships, from the African coast.
 

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it seems true to say that Liverpool was not responsible for enslaving the slaves -- this was done by Africans to their fellow countrymen. similarly, Liverpool-based merchant did not work the slaves -- that was largely done by American plantation owners. In getting slaves from point A to point B, it could be argued that Liverpool ships merely acted as couriers taking slaves from where they were supplied to where they were needed. we were the DHL of the day.

An unbelievable post.
For one so verbose, that is a rather unqualified statement. Would you care to expand?
 
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