The Liverpool Quarantine Station

  • "Incoming ships, subject to quarantine regulations, were detained at the Liverpool station if bound for the following ports in the north-west of England . . .Carlisle, Whitehaven, Preston, Lancaster, Liverpool, Chester, Beaumaris, Isle of Man ("And any places belonging to or within any of either or these ports"). ... The station was firstly at an anchorage some miles up the estuary of the river Medway, at a place called the Sloyne. ... In 1721 the lazarette was moved away from the Mersey to a location on the estuary of the river Dee, then known as Hyle Lake. ... The ultimate choice was made in 1809, when the authorities moved the station back into the Mersey, to Bromborough Port, above the Sloyne. ... From then, until modern times Bromborough Port, has remained the recognised official anchorage for the inspection or detention of ships performing quarantine within the jurisdiction of the port of Liverpool."

    Quoted from "A History of the Ship Letters of the British Isles" (page A.42/A) by Alan W. Robertson

    Entire letter from Smyrna (May 20th, 1820) to Glasgow per William

    The letter shows signs of the usual practice of splashing with a disinfecting agent.

    Rates: A triple-rate letter at 4/9 1/2d, being 3x 8d ship + 3x 11d inland to Glasgow (216 miles), plus the Scottish additional 1/2d turnpike charge

    Carried by: William, Capt. C. Quirk, arrived at Glasgow July 6th

    Newspaper report of the Liverpool Mercury (July 14th, 1820): "The William, C. Quirk , from Smyrna, with 20 ck almonds, returned, 260c valona, 2t emery-stones, 1 drum samples wheat, 1 case antiques, 2 bl carpets, 7 cases oranges presents, for JG Gellet... 141 bl madder, 6 do Persian, Duff, Findlay & Co ... 172 do madder, 46 do cotton, 6 cases gum arabic, 6 ck yellow berries, 8 drum figs, 2 do raisins, order."

  • A comment from Denis:

    This letter related to Liverpool shows splashing, "which I think was an accident. Liverpool was a very busy port and I have seen hundreds of letters sent to or through there but I do not believe any were disinfected there. Especially after 1813 when
    disinfection in British ports was to include slitting with a chisel."

  • K Meyer mentions though , page 117, "The High Lake or Holy Lake" as a a quarantine for Liverpool bound ships, although he does not display any covers with "Liverpool Ship Letter"