Hispanic Liverpool aims to uncover the traces of Liverpool’s role as a hub in the 19th-century networks that connected the Anglophone world with the Luso-Hispanic world, including Spain and Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines. Liverpool merchant and shipping families such as the Holts of Sudley House, the Booths and the Larrinagas played an important part in the development and exploitation of trade routes, which in turn facilitated the development of networks – of kinship and friendship, social, cultural and business relationships – that not only connected Liverpool with fellow port cities such as Bilbao, Vigo, Oporto, Manila, Havana, Callao, Buenos Aires and Manaus, but also brought thousands of migrants from the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds to Liverpool.
The photo above is of the Baltic Fleet pub on Wapping, all that remains of the waterfront site of Liverpool’s thriving 19th-century Basque and Galician communities.
An important aspect of the project is the Hispanic Liverpool database (currently in beta testing, but please contact me for details), which currently contains records of some 2000 foreign-born members of Liverpool’s vanished Hispanic communities: Argentineans, Andalusians, Asturians, Basques, Brazilians, Cape Verdeans, Castilians, Catalans, Chileans, Cubans, Filipinos, Galicians, Panamanians, Portuguese, Peruvians and Uruguayans all made their homes in Liverpool during the 19th century. They include ship owners and merchants, but also artists, bakers, boarding house keepers, butchers, opera singers, sailors, servants, shopkeepers, students, tailors, translators, and washerwomen. While some of them were just passing through, others settled permanently, and their descendants remain in Liverpool today.
I’m currently experimenting with Google Maps to find ways of representing the geographical and chronological transformation of Hispanic Liverpool during the 19th century. The map below shows locations of the homes of the Luso-Hispanic families and individuals who lived on what is now the University of Liverpool precinct. The blue flags show 1851 census locations, the red flags show 1861 census locations, the green flags show 1871 census locations, and the pink pins show current sites where you can see evidence of Liverpool’s Luso-Hispanic past and present:
View Liverpool’s Hispanic Communities, 1851-1911 in a larger map
Another part of the project aims to trace and record the locations where Hispanic Liverpudlians lived and worked, many of which have already disappeared, or exist only as ruins. Some of my favourite sites, and of great importance to Liverpool’s Luso-Hispanic history, include Hurst St (Baltic Triangle), Park Lane (Baltic Triangle), and Shaw St (Everton).