During its first five hundred years, Liverpool remained a minor port servicing trade along its coast and with Ireland.
Even as late as 1700 its population was only about 5000. This was soon to change as Liverpool developed its ‘triangular trade’ based on the slave trade. In 1715 the port opened the world’s first commercial ‘wet dock’.
Others soon followed and by the time of the first official census in Britain in 1801, Liverpool’s population had risen to 77,500.
This rapid rate of increase continued during the course of the 19th century. By the 1851 census, the population of Liverpool had grown to 258,000 and was to rise to 685,000 in 1901 before finally peaking at 855,000 in 1931.