Liverpool in 1850. On the ground reporting from this bustling port city—with personal accounts from the people themselves.

Labour and the Poor Volume X - Liverpool eBook Cover


Labour and the Poor Volume X: Liverpool


Charles Mackay


Hardback, Paperback & Kindle

ISBN (Hardback):


ISBN (Paperback):




Liverpool was a city alive with people from all over the world—home to a multitude of sailors awaiting their next passage, Irish immigrants escaping famine at home, emigrants awaiting departure to the New World, and the “crimps, sharpers, mancatchers, and the multifarious varieties of the genus ‘rogue’”. Charles Mackay guides us around this dynamic city, through the docks, onto the emigrant ships, and into the back streets, giving us a memorable view of the city in early Victorian times.

The major Atlantic port of the United Kingdom, Liverpool fed the textile industry’s voracious appetite for cotton shipped in from the southern United States and was the principal port for emigrants about to embark on a new life abroad.

The investigation into the working and living conditions of the poor people of Liverpool and its up-and-coming neighbour Birkenhead ran to 20 letters. The first letter was published on May 20th, 1850, the final one on September 30th of that year.

Charles Mackay was the “Special Correspondent” for The Morning Chronicle tasked with the investigation as part of their “Labour and the Poor” series.

The Table of Contents for Volume X is shown below but for a better appreciation of the material we suggest previewing the Print Edition Sample which includes the Table of Contents, a sample letter, and the Index.

The Liverpool volume completes our 10-volume reproduction of The Morning Chronicle’s “Labour and the Poor” investigation.

Labour and the Poor Volume X: Liverpool

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Letter I.
    • The Burdens Upon Towns.—Irish Pauperism.
  • Letter II.
    • The Liverpool Docks—Their Management and Mismanagement, and their Influence upon the Social and Moral Condition of the Poor.
  • Letter III.
    • The Prohibition of Fire and Light in the Liverpool Docks.
  • Letter IV.
    • The Porterage System.
  • Letter V.
    • The Dock Labourers and their Families:—The “Chip,” “Grit,” and “Oakum” Trades.
  • Letter VI.
    • Shirtmakers and Needlewomen.—The Slop Trade and Sweating System.
  • Letter VII.
    • The Tailors, the Slop Trade, and the Sweating System.
  • Letter VIII.
    • The Sanitary Operations of the Borough—The Water Supply—Baths and Wash-houses—The Cellars, and Dwellings of the Poor.
  • Letter IX.
    • Emigration.—Emigrants and Man-Catchers.
  • Letter X.
    • Departure of Emigrant Vessels—The Stow-Aways—The Roll-Call.
  • Letter XI.
    • The Mormons, and Mormon Emigration.
  • Letter XII.
    • The Mormons—Their Rise and Progress—Mormon Emigration from Liverpool.
  • Letter XIII.
    • The Mormons—Death of the Prophet—English Emigration of the Sect (concluded).
  • Letter XIV.
    • Education in Liverpool.
  • Letter XV.
    • The Maritime Population.—The Sailors’ Home.
  • Letter XVI.
    • The Amusements and Literature of the People.
  • Letter XVII.
    • Ship-Building and Repairing.
  • Letter XVIII.
    • Ship Joiners and House Joiners.
  • Letter XIX.
    • Birkenhead and its Docks.
  • Letter XX.
    • Present State and Prospects of Birkenhead.
  • Charles Mackay
  • Index   ** print editions only **

For anyone interested in family history or social history, the “Labour and the Poor” series really is an invaluable resource.