Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Moss

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John Moss (1782-1858)

1782 February 16th. Born in Liverpool the son of Thomas Moss, a Merchant.[1] Thomas (1749-1805) was a timber Merchant who came from Whiston and had many interests outside of timber, including land and the ownership of a privateer and he died in 1805[2] at his house in St. Anne Street, leaving his 23 year old son a flourishing business.

Using his legacy, John Moss (junior) acquired Otterspool where he had a house built. The Oil Mill was a joint venture with George Forwood, the grandfather of Sir Arthur Forwood (M.P. for Ormskirk) and Sir William B. Forwood (Mayor of Liverpool 1881 - the year of the opening of the North Docks and the laying of the Lake Vyrnwy Foundation Stone).

By the year 1816, Moss had acquired the Manorial rights, purchasing a portion of the strand at a cost of £500 enabling a channel to be excavated between high and low water giving barges access to the Mill.

Like his father, Moss broadened his business interests - in 1822 he was one of the leading advocates of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and at the first meeting between associates of both Towns he took the chair.

1832 Appointed Chairman of the Grand Junction Railway

At this time Moss also had interests in sugar plantations in Demerara, in addition to his banking house of Moss, Dales and Roger. It is reputed that he owned 1,000 slaves.

1851 John Moss living at Otterspool, Aigburth Road, Liverpool (age 69 and born in Liverpool), a Magistrate and Banker. Living with his wife Hannah (age 63) and children Hannah (age 37) and son Gilbert Winter (age 23) plus seven servants. [3]

Following the death of John Moss in 1858 (he is buried in St. Anne's, Aigburth) his sons Thomas and Gilbert continued the business.

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Sources of Information

  1. Parish register
  2. 'On Tuesday last, after a short illness, aged 55, Mr. Thomas Moss, merchant, St. Ann-street, Liverpool. (Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 09 February 1805)
  3. 1851 Census