Liverpool is an English port city located on the Mersey Estuary in Lancashire, 176 miles (282 kilometres) north-west of London. The city is built across a ridge of sandstone hills on the eastern shore of the estuary. By the eighteenth century, Liverpool was a major port with trade from the West Indies, Ireland and Europe passing through its docks. It also had close links with the Atlantic slave trade, before it was banned by the British Government in 1807. By early in the nineteenth century, 40 per cent of the world’s trade passed through Liverpool. There is some ambiguity concerning the etymology of the name ‘Liverpool’. One theory connects it with the liver, or lever, bird that was said to live in the marshy tidal pool of the original settlement. Another theory claims that the name is derived from the Welsh words Ller pwll, meaning ‘place on the pool’. A third theory has it that Liverpool was so named because it was the site of a ‘pool with muddy water’; from Lieurpul, from Old English, liferpol.

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