Last Updated : 6 May 2016


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Some Prominent Liverpolitans

Frederick Agnew – A businessman who started the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1883 which developed into the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Britain. He adopted the idea after studying the work of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and other societies in America.

Richard Ansdell – Was considered Liverpool's greatest 19th century animal artist. His picture "The Hunted Slaves" was raffled for the benefit of laid-off Lancashire Cotton Workers during the American Civil War and raised £700.

John Bellingham – Lived in Duke Street and was the man who assassinated the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval in 1812. The new Prime Minister was the 2nd Earl of Liverpool.

Junius Brutus Booth – Was a popular actor at Liverpool's Theatre Royal which opened 1772 at Williamson Square. He emigrated to America in 1821 where he continued his acting career.  His son John Wilkes Booth was the person who assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, Washington in 1865.  Junius B Booth also had a brother Algernon Booth who was the great great grandfather of Liverpool actor Anthony Booth who in turn is the father of Cherie Booth, wife of Tony Blair.

Bryan Blundell – Liverpool’s earliest philanthropist of consequence who was master of the "Mulberry" one of the first ships to enter the "Old Dock" on it’s completion in 1715. He transported hundreds of emigrants to Virginian planters. He founded Liverpool’s first charity school which was completed in 1718 and survives today as Bluecoat Chambers.

William E Gladstone – The son of a wealthy Scottish merchant, he was born at 62 Rodney Street on 29th December 1809. William E was baptised at Saint Peter's in Church Street. He became Britains Prime Minister, holding office four times. Saint Peter's church had been built over the "pool of Liverpool" and was the oldest building in the city when it was demolished in the 1920's.

Mr Haies - Helped finance Sir Humphrey Gilberts voyage to found the first English colony in Newfoundland in 1582.

Jesse Hartley – Appointed as Dock Engineer in 1824. His favourite material was Scottish granite. His supreme achievement was the Albert Dock which was opened by the Prince Consort in 1845.

Felicia Hemans – Was born at 118 Duke Street in 1793. A poetess, she wrote some famous work including "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck" and "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers" which is traditionally recited at Thanksgiving.

Frank Hornby – Successful entrepreneur who invented the construction kit "meccano" as well as producing the world famous Hornby model railways and also "Dinky Toy" die-cast cars.

Jeremiah Horrox – Born at Toxteth in 1618, at 14 he gained a place at Cambridge. He was interested in the secrets of the universe and the motions of the heavenly bodies. After graduating he returned home to Toxteth where he took every opportunity to measure the positions of the moon and planets against the stars. He discovered they did not fit the positions given in the tables of Longomonitus which had remained unchallenged as the bible of astromoners for thirteen centuries. Horrox was able to fit his observations to an astronomical theory and became an admirer of the then controversial and radical ideas of Copernicus and Kepler. Horrox died young in 1641 but he was later acknowledged by fellow astromoners as the father of English astronomers. When Isaac Newton first published his "Principia" in 1686 he acknowledged his debt to Horrox.

William Huskisson – The member of parliament who was the first person to be killed by a train when he was knocked down by Stephenson’s Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830.

David Lewis – Was one of Liverpool’s outstanding benefactors. He was a Jew who arrived from London aged 16 in 1856 and established a modest outfitters shop that developed into a great department store. From the fortune he left to Liverpool and Manchester came funds to build a hospital, a hotel and a club where later Frederick marquis, who was to become the first Lord Woolton served as warden.

Thomas Leyland – Known as Lucky Leyland because the basis of his fortune was a lottery prize. He was one of the wealthiest of the slave ship owners of 18th century Liverpool.

Father James Nugent – Was engaged in the relief of poverty and squalor. He opened a Ragged School to get small children off the streets. His allies included William Rathbone and Canon Major Lester. In 1854 they held a meeting in the city with "Save the Child" as it’s slogan. Father Nugent found homes for many of his orphans in the United States and Canada, many of whom later prospered. His statue is in St. Johns Gardens in the centre of Liverpool.

William Rathbone – Introduced district nursing for the first time in Britain. With the advice of Florence Nightingale he established a training school for nurses.

William Roscoe – Was born in 1753 at the top of Liverpool's Mount Pleasant. He died in 1831 and is buried in Roscoe Gardens in Mount Pleasant. In 1802 he was responsible for Liverpool Botanic Gardens, the same plan later being used for Philadelpia's botanic garden. He was sympathetic to America's independence and a friend of President Jefferson. In 1831 Roscoe, Ohio was named in commemoration of him.

George Stubbs – Considered Liverpool's greatest 18th century animal artist. A number of his best works are displayed at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and include "Molly Longlegs" and "Horse frightened by a Lion".

Kitty Wilkinson – Came from Londonderry and became a cholera heroine in 1833 with the assistance of Mrs William Rathbone. They helped bring the country’s first public baths and wash-houses.

Some Past Liverpool Characters 

"Arthur" Douglas – joined the privateer "Resolution" aged 19 and served in her for several months before being discovered to be female!

"Jack" Roberts – Drank grog and chewed tobacco and signed on as a member of the crew of the slave ship "Anne". She was later found to be Jane Roberts aged 18.

Kwok Fong – Came from Canton on a Liverpool ship and set-up the "Far East Restaurant" in Great George Square.

Mad Anne Bailey – Born about 1742 in Liverpool as Anne Hennis, she went to Virginia aged 19 and had a "fine black horse" she called "Liverpool". She is famous for riding alone through 100 miles of wilderness to get gun powder to save Fort Lee when under attack by local Indian tribes.

Shanghai Davies – Of the "Red Lion" on Seabrow and Da Costa the Yank – two arch-crimps.

Maggie May, Tich Maguire, Mary Ellen, "The Battleship", Harriet Lane, Jumping Jenny, Cast-Iron Kitty and "The Dreadnought" – All famous nineteenth century prostitutes who hung around Liverpool's Paradise Street or Lime Street. Maggie May was famous for frequenting the "American Bar" in Lime Street. A guidebook of 1816 advised visitors of the "spectacle of vice and misery in their lowest forms" when referring to Paradise Street.

Ma Smyrden – A landlady of a seaman’s lodgings in Pitt Street noted for bamboozling crimps into shanghaiing a corpse.

Some Famous Adopted Liverpolitans

William Brown – He was Irish born but emigrated to America at the age of 16. However, he later came to Liverpool to set-up a branch of his fathers US business. His father was Alexander Brown of Baltimore. In 1857 he presented a complete library to Liverpool in celebration of Liverpool's 650th birthday. He is buried in the grounds of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.

James Dunwoody Bulloch – Captain James was the naval representative of the American Confederate States in Europe with a brief from Jefferson Davies. He was involved with the construction of "Alabama" and a total of 35 Confederate ships on Merseyside. He made his home in Liverpool and died there in 1898. His office was at 10 Rumford Place and his grave is at Toxteth Park Cemetry in Smithdown Road and in 1968 a special tombstone was erected by the United daughters of the Confederacy.

Captain Hugh Crow – Born in 1765 he was a Manxman from Ramsey and sailed with a number of famous Liverpool ships. He died in 1829.

Samual Cunard – Was born in Nova Scotia and came to Liverpool to set-up his transatlantic steamship company in 1840. His first liner "Britannia" made her maiden voyage for Boston leaving Liverpool on 4th July 1840. The Cunard Building can still be seen at Liverpool's Pier Head.

James Maury – He was America's first ever Consul and appointed by George Washington. Maury lived at number 4 Rodney Street and had his office in Paradise Street. He was US Consul in Liverpool from 1790 to 1829 and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Liverpool. One of his roles was to arrange release of American sailors from the Tower of Liverpool after they had become involved in drunken brawls at waterfront pubs.


Some Distinguished Visitors to Liverpool

Buffalo Bill (Colonel W F Cody) – Visited Liverpool to present his "Wild West Show" including Little Annie Oakley. The first visit was in 1891 when the performance was at Newsham Park. Later he returned to do another show at the old Exhibition Ground in Edge Lane.

Andrew Carnegie – He provided Liverpool with five branch libraries. One which is at West Derby is named after him and he came to open another at Toxteth, in person.

Jefferson Davies – Who stayed at the Adelphi Hotel with his family in 1868.

Daniel Defoe – He visted Liverpool several times between 1680 and 1715 and recorded how impressed he was with growth of the city.

Charles Dickens[1812-1870] – Who stayed at the Adelphi Hotel and considered it the best hotel in the world. In 1869 he gave a speech at St. George's Hall.

Nathaniel Hawthorne – The author who was US Consul in Liverpool from 1853 to 1857. His office was in Washington Building, now long demolished.

Herman Melville - Born August 1st, 1819 in New York, he was the author of Moby Dick.  He explored Liverpool in 1839 using his fathers old guidebook in which he read about the Liverbird believing it to be real.  In 1849 he wrote "Redburn : His first voyage", a novel, in which the Liverbird is mentioned.

Teddy Roosevelt – Who came to visit his uncle James Dunwoody Bulloch who lived in Liverpool.

David Steward Salmon - Born 1704 he sailed around the world with Lord Anson and died aged 105 at Cable Street, Liverpool.

Roy Rogers & Trigger – Who stayed in the Adelphi Hotel.

Mark Twain – Who stayed in the Adelphi Hotel.