13th – 14th – 15th – 16th Centuries

Liverpool timeline snippets you just need to know!

See how the ‘Pool’ originally shaped Liverpool –


13th Century


King John’s ‘Charter’ 1207

John, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, to all his faithful people who have desired to have burgages in the township of Liverpool, greeting. Know ye that we have granted to all our faithful people who have taken burgages in Liverpool that they may have all the liberties and free customs in the township of Liverpool which any Free Borough on the sea has in our land. And therefore we command you that securely and in our peace you come there to receive and inhabit our burgages. And in witness hereof we transmit to you these our letters patent. Witness Simon de Pateshill. At Winchester on the 28th day of August in the 9th year of our reign.
  • 1207 – Leverpul – Charter from King John, 28th August, witnessed by Simon de Pateshill. 150 burgages’s set up/granted
  • 1211 – King John uses Liverpool as a base for military ventures in Wales
  • 1212 – Toxteth is a royal hunting forest
  • 1215 – Town was garrisoned for King John during lead up to Magna Carta
  • 1229 – The lease of Liverpool was given to Randell Blunderville, Earl of Chester
  • 1235 – Liverpool Castle completed by William de Ferrers – 4th Earl of Derby – demolished 1720
  • 1257 – ‘Old Hall’ is in place (under site of Echo office/Old Hall St as is), home of the More family. Demolished 1820
  • 1292 The earliest reference to a park at Knowsley when it was owned by Robert de Lathom. The estate passed to the Stanleys by marriage in 1385.
  • 1296 – by now the town has 168 burgesses/inhabited houses, and a population of approximately 800


14th Century

  • 1307 – a new parliament is called. Richard More and John More are Liverpool’s last MPs for 240 years
  • 1309 – the first official mention of Bailiffs for Liverpool – John de la More and Adam Walsemann
  • 1317 – Benedictine Monks in Birkenhead are granted the right to build houses of entertainment for ferry goers
  • 1320 – Norris family come into ownership of Manor of Speke
  • 1328 – King Edward III grants right to collect dues for paving of streets – sadly the funds are misappropriated!
  • 1353 – land was granted to the Mayor and Burgesses of Liverpool on which to build a larger chapel to replace the existing chapel of St. Mary del Quay
  • 1356 – writ for erection of Chapel of Our Lady and St Nicholas
  • 1361 – many deaths from the plague – too many burials for Walton church, St Nicholas cemetery also used
  • 1362 – ‘All ships between 20 tons and 200 tons burthen between Bristol and Liverpool were ordered to be collected at Liverpool’  – Irish wars
  • 1374 – Thomas del More sues William de Liverpool for having disposed him of the Castle St bakery, the fishery, and some turbary
  • 1388 – The Moore family build Bank Hall in Kirkdale
  • 1399 – Henry IV comes to the throne and Liverpool is again under royal control


15th Century

  • 1400’s  – Problems between burgesses and crown on
    collection of taxes
  • 1406 – Sir John Stanley asks for permission to fortify The Tower on Bank St (Water St)
  • 1415 – The burgesses petition House of Commons ref interference from ‘offices of crown and king’
  • 1421 – The Molyneuxs of Sefton becomes Constables of the Castle for the next 2oo hundred years
  • 1424 – a feud between the Stanleys and Sir Richard Molyneux nearly erupts into a local civil war
  • 1441 – New tower built on castle
  • 1461 – Stanleys and Molyneuxs fight under banner of Yorkists. Stanleys hold borough
    of Liverpool and other estates. Sir Richard Molyneux receives chief forestship
    of royal forest and parks in West Derby, and constableship of castle
  • c1470 – Lydiate Hall built by Lawrence Ireland
  • 1472 – Lease granted exclusively to Edmund Crosse – burgesses never get it back from this date
  • 1473 – Molyneux family aquire Croxteth Hall (previously Barrets Hall)
  • 1485 – Henry VII gives Thomas Stanley the title of Earl of Derby – Knowsley Hall – for support at Battle of Bosworth
  • 1492 – Thomas Fazakerley is granted a fishing station south of the pool
  • 1495 – Lease of fee-farm passes to David Griffith – by HenryVII – (held til 1537)


16th Century

  • 1500 – By now Crosse Hall in place under the current site of the Municipal Buildings Dale St/Crosshall St – demolished approximately 1755
  • 1501 – Henry VII by act of parliament secures the possessions of Duchy of Lancaster inc Liverpool
  • 1502 – lease of fee-farm to David ap Griffith renewed (was now Mayor)
  • 1513 – Sir Edward Stanley led the victorious men of Merseyside and Lancashire against the Scots at Flodden. Sir William Molyneux, ancestor of Lord Sefton, returning with captured standards
  • 1515 – Gilde House built- becomes first Town Hall – bequeathed by Rev John Crosse
  • 1515 – first grammar school in Liverpool – Chapel of St Mary del Quay
  • 1516 – Old Hall St becomes a public way to the fields
  • 1520 – Bonke/Bank St becomes Water Street
  • 1522 – John Crosse sets up free grammar school – possibly in School Lane in building subsequently taken by Bluecoat in 1708
  • 1524 – A tithebarn first built by William Molyneux on Tithebarne St – previously Moor St (corner of Cheapside)
  • 1525 – Original Croxteth Hall built – rebuilt 1702 – seat of Molyneux family – Earl of Sefton
  • 1525 – Grammar school in Dale St – Mr Crosse
  • 1530 – Robert Fazakerley becomes Mayor of Liverpool
  • 1530 – Speke Hall started and finished 70years later – Norris family
  • 1534 – Skeffington’s army leaves Liverpool and Chester for Ireland
  • 1540 – An outbreak of the plague nearly depopulates Liverpool
  • 1543 – Grammar school in grounds of Walton Church – still there
  • 1544 – In a late Henrician statute (35 Hen. VIII, c.4) Liverpool was included among a list of ‘decayed’ towns
  • 1545 – Liverpool presents two MPs to parliament again – Nicholas Cutler, Gilbert Gerard
  • 1545 – Sir William Molyneux and his son Richard had acquired jointly the fee-farm of the borough,
  • 1547 – Chapel of St Nicks goes due to Chantries Act
  • 1548 – plague strikes again
  • 1553 – Customs House moves to Castle St
  • 1556 – A new Charter is granted to Liverpool
  • 1557 – All Saints Church Childwall founded
  • 1557– earliest record of a Poor House – Pool Lane – under current site of Law Courts
  • 1558 – big plague in Liverpool, quarter of population killed. Isolation cabins are put on The Heath. No markets for 3 months, no annual fair held. It was said to have been brought in by Irishman John Hughes who travelled from Manchester
  • 1558 – An ordinance required a council of 12 to be elected annually, the number being raised in the following year to 24.
  • 1559 – reference to St Patricks Cross – junction of Hatton Grden/Marybone/Tithebarn/Vauxhall
  • 1559 – repairs are carried out on the castle
  • 1560 – Molyneuxs purchase Kirkby lands
  • 1561 – Great storm in Liverpool – may have been 9th Nov 1561. Mayor Robert Corbett calls a town meeting on 9th Nov and townsfolk subsequently work together to rebuild the haven/jetty
  • 1561 – population 690 people living in 138 cottages
  • 1561 – An attempt is made to create a type of dock in the pool
  • 1564 – Townsend Bridge mentioned as in need of repair –  carrying far end of Dale St across ‘the pool’
  • 1565 – Port of Chester is still laying claim to levy dues on Liverpool
  • 1567 – Mersey Ferry is run by Blanche Oliver and partner Cecilly Gregory
  • 1567 – The Cockpit Yard Theatre – Moor St
  • 1567 – Cockpit built for cockfighting top of Shaws Brow – in 1868 one re-discovered and described as ‘built of stone with a gallery and benches’
  • 1572 – There is mention of a quarry below St James Mount
  • 1573-96 – Troops frequently leave Liverpool for Ireland – merchant ships often stuck in port, troops causing trouble etc. Injured and dying returning soliders also cause the town problems
  • 1575 – The Molyneuxs demolish and rebuild bigger Croxteth Hall
  • 1578 – Ducking Stool mentioned – Vauxhall/Marybone – repaired: 1695: 1712 – replaced – 1637: 1657
  • 1579 – The town books note inconvenience of having no gaol in the town. Stocks and ducking stool are in existence
  • 1584 – The burgesses elect a permanent self-renewing Town/Common Council of 24 ordinary members and 12 aldermen – til 1835 – instigated by Edward Halsall at meeting on 13th Jan
  • 1585 – Mayor – Ferninando 5th Earl of Derby
  • 1586 – West Derby Court House built
  • 1588 – Privateer Captain, Humphrey Brook from Liverpool, on board his ship the ‘Relief’, outward bound from his home and sailing for the Canary Islands spotted the Spanish Armada Fleet
  • 1589 – Francis Bacon is MP for Liverpool
  • 1590 – The following decade is blighted by poor harvests, wheat-oats-barley – quotas introduced. The town actively addresses issues of vagrancy and begging
  • 1591 – Toxteth Park has park status removed and sold to Earl of Derby, and then onto Richard Molyneux in 1603 – split into 27 tenements
  • 1592 – By now Liverpool is thoroughly Puritan
  • 1598 – Mayor – William Dixon
  • 1599 – Mayor – Robert More







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