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Trade, Migration and Urban Networks in Port Cities, c. 1640-1940$
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Adrian Jarvis and Robert Lee

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780973893489

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780973893489.001.0001

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Combining Business and Pleasure? Cotton Brokers in the Liverpool Business Community in the Late Nineteenth Century

Combining Business and Pleasure? Cotton Brokers in the Liverpool Business Community in the Late Nineteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.149) Combining Business and Pleasure? Cotton Brokers in the Liverpool Business Community in the Late Nineteenth Century1
Source:
Trade, Migration and Urban Networks in Port Cities, c. 1640-1940
Author(s):

Sari Mäenpää

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780973893489.003.0009

This final chapter examines the role of cotton brokers in the port of Liverpool in the late-Nineteenth century. It uses data compiled by the Mercantile Liverpool Project, census material from trade directories, and social documents such as biographies and obituaries to reconstruct the activities of the Liverpool cotton broker community between 1850 and 1901. It explores the attitudes toward the value of cotton trading as a vocation in Liverpool and provides a case study of cotton broker Samuel Smith, and Robert Rankin of ‘Rankin, Gilmour and Co’. It offers an analysis of cotton broking statistics; British in-migration to the port of Liverpool in pursuit of employment; and the overall business success of cotton broking in Liverpool, to determine that cotton broking was an unstable venture that lacked social prestige, and that successful cotton brokers often had safety nets in other trade ventures out of necessity.

Keywords:   Cotton Trade, Port of Liverpool, Mercantile Liverpool Project, Liverpool Shipowners, Liverpool In-Migration, Mersey Docks and Harbour Board

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