Alabama House, 10 Rumford Place, unofficial Confederate embassy.

During the American civil war, Liverpool was the unofficial home of the Confederate fleet. Three significant acts of the war involved Liverpool.

The first act of the war - the first shot of the civil war was fired by a cannon made in Lydia Anne Street.

The very last act of the war - Captain Waddell of the CCS Shenandoah walking up the steps of Liverpool Town Hall surrendering his vessel to the Lord Mayor, after sailing 'home' from Alaska to surrender.

The last official lowering of the Confederate flag - Was on CSS Shenandoah on the River Mersey at Liverpool overseen by the Royal Navy.


At the outbreak of war the Northern Union fleet blockaded Confederate ports to prevent trade and supply of munitions of war. The Confederacy had no navy and proceeded to build one from Liverpool. The British government was officially neutral in the dispute not recognising the Confederacy. Cotton importers Frazer Trenholm at 10 Rumford Place, now known as Alabama House, acted as the unofficial Confederate embassy where operations were conducted. The Northern Union consulate was a few minutes walk away in Tower Buildings, Water Street. Commander Bulloch of the Confederate Navy was based in Liverpool, his prime task was to assemble and run a navy. He never returned to America after the conflict remaining in Liverpool for the rest of his life, and now lays in Toxteth Cemetery.

Charles Kuhn Prioleauís lived in a house Abercromby Square, he was senior partner of Fraser, Trenholm and Coin Rumford Street, (the building in the photograph), and the leading Confederate financier in Britain during the war. He provided the funding necessary to build ships such as the Alabama, Florida, and Shenandoah, and numerous blockade runners.

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