Credit, Banking, & Bills of Exchange


Major Bank of London


Without the creation of well-connected trading houses and banks, as well as innovative trading practices, Liverpool’s success in the 18th century would not have been possible. Liverpool’s early traders relied on partnerships with banks from London and Manchester ,such as the one on the left, to obtain long lines of credit. Liverpool banks were known for providing merchants with the longest repayment periods for slave traders due to the nature of long-distance trading.


Many slave merchants in Liverpool were the ones to establish the first banks. For example, Martin’s Bank was established by a slave merchant to wanted to support other slave traders. Transatlantic trade was a risky business, so the availability of credit and financing was essential to Liverpool’s economic growth and success.

Martin’s Bank in Liverpool


Check out this link to the International Slavery Museum for an audio clip of a transcript of a letter from Liverpool merchants to a slave trader, which was found in the “Davenport Papers.”