Which Liverpool-born person had the greatest effect on the world? The Beatles must be candidates, having launched a cultural revolution that still resonates fifty years on. From the nineteenth century, we have William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), four times Prime Minister and champion of Home Rule for Ireland. From the generation before, we have William Roscoe (1753-1831), a self-made banker and anti-slavery campaigner, whose love of the Italian Renaissance and the Medici’s city state of Florence defined the concept of the modern civic role of encouraging the growth of a cultural community in which merchants’ wealth was not an end in itself but the means to enlightenment.
What is remarkable about all of these is that their homes are still part of the city’s fabric. However, one of the most influential of all Liverpudlians is not honoured at all and all traces of his birthplace have long been obliterated.
Robert Morris (1734-1806) was born into poverty in Chorley Court, which was at the foot of Dale Street by the Queensway Tunnel entrance. At the age of 13, he left for America, helping out on his father’s tobacco farm. By the age of 18, he was a banker/shipping merchant in Philadelphia. Rapidly acquiring wealth, he put his weight behind the fight for independence from Britain, effectively bankrolling George Washington’s army. Responsible for establishing the financial and banking systems of the newly independent country, Morris was one of only two people to sign the three significant founding documents of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution.
Perhaps because of our ambivalent relationship with the USA, Liverpool failed to recognise the significance of Chorley Court and it was pulled down in the early 1930s to make way for the Blackburn Assurance building (later Stanley Leisure).

2 Responses to “Chorley Court c1925”