John Earle

John Earle
Hanging in the eastern ground floor corridor of Liverpool Town Hall is the portrait of John Earle (1674-1749), artist unknown. The plaque currently in place (pictured below) describes him as “a descendant of a very famous old Lancashire family living near Warrington. By 1703 he was a person of considerable influence in Liverpool and was made a member of the Town Council. In 1707 (sic) he was elected Mayor of Liverpool and witnessed the laying of the foundations of the Blue Coat Hospital.”
I think something more appropriate would read as follows:
“The Earle Family were heavily involved in slavery over four generations, as slave ship owners, captains, plantation landlords and purveyors of slave-produced goods. John Earle was responsible for financing one of the first legal slave ships to leave Liverpool, the ‘Union’, in 1699. By 1700, he was trading in a range of commodities including: wine, tobacco, sugar and iron goods, whilst also investing in another two slaving voyages that year, firmly establishing the family interest in slaving that would continue for over a century. Along with many other slavers, John used some of his wealth for the founding of the Blue Coat Hospital. In 1709, he was elected Mayor of Liverpool”
John Earle portrait panel
John Earle portrait