The Collections

The Dockland Revolution

Created: 07.07.11

The British Empire was built on trade, and British ships were the couriers of that trade. Two centuries ago, London and Liverpool not only shipped British goods out to the world but also received incoming goods from all around it. International transport had many problems. Even if a ship survived its treacherous journey, there was no guarantee that its cargo would make it through the docks unmolested. Porters were notoriously light-fingered – but they would not get away with it forever...


  • Name
  • Artist / Maker
  • Date made
  • ID
  • Salmon, Robert
    circa 1810
    1928-47
    The 'Ann' off Birkenhead

    A portrait of the merchant ship 'Ann', flying the 1801 pattern red ensign, probably on her return from a voyage to the West Indies. The ‘Ann’ was not a slave ship, but carried plantation stores and supplies to the colonies…

  • Salmon, Robert
    1809
    1932-69
    A Packet off Liverpool

    An early work by the artist painted when he was living and working in Liverpool. It is set in the Mersey with the buildings of Liverpool carefully delineated in the distance. The small 24-gun ship in the foreground is shown…

  • Salmon, Robert
    1802
    OP1965-14
    A Frigate Coming to Anchor in the Mersey

    An early work by the artist, painted when he was living and working in Liverpool. It is set in the Mersey, looking directly upstream from the river mouth. Perch Rock Fort is shown in the distance to the left of…

  • Salmon, Robert
    1811
    BHC3203
    The Brig 'Ariel'

    A portrait of a brig shown in three positions, a common convention of ship portraiture. In the centre the vessel is shown in port-broadside view, to the left in stern view and to the right in bow view. The main…

  • Minasi, James
    1760-1803
    O'D1
    Robert Milligan, Esqr

    Print showing Robert Milligan (c.1746-1809) a West India merchant and shipowner. Milligan was a wealthy West India merchant and shipowner, having previously managed his family's Jamaica sugar plantations. Outraged at losses due to theft and delay at London's riverside wharves,…