The history of port health
The Port of Liverpool was first established in 1207. Find out more about its history and key events.
- 1207 – King John decrees a royal charter to create the Port of Liverpool.
- 1348 – Black death sweeps across Europe, initially transmitted to humans with a bite from an infected flea carried by a rodent. This led to the quarantine of ships for forty days before being allowed to dock and unload cargo.
- 1715 – World’s first commercial wet dock built Liverpool. Further docks were added enabling ship movements within the dock system 24 hours a day. The interconnected dock system was the most advanced port system in the world.
- 1847 – appointment of the country’s first Medical Officer for Health, William Henry Duncan, known as Dr Duncan, in Liverpool.
- 1874 – Port Sanitary Authority created which was he forerunner to Mersey Port Health Authority.
- 1896 – gunboat deployed to stop unauthorised movements of quarantined shipping. Liverpool docks handled over 40% of the world’s maritime trade.
- Late 19th to early 20th Century – both the White Star Line and Cunard Line were based at the Port of Liverpool. Liverpool was the home port for the ill-fated vessels RMS Lusitania and RMS Titanic.
- 1972 - opening of Seaforth Dock (RSCT), the largest dock on the dock network.