By 1797 Liverpool’s shipping industry had grown in scale and scope, trading with North America and West Indian colonies importing tobacco and sugar. The city of Liverpool was also linked, via navigable rivers, to the Lancashire coal mines, textile factories, Cheshire salt producers, local glassworks and Staffordshire potteries. Liverpool was the second busiest port in Britain, with five major docks in operation, even attracting many tourists. This image illustrates the danger of navigating through the River Mersey.
Serres succeeded his father as marine painter to George III and published ‘Liber Nauticus, and Instructor in the Art of Marine Drawing’ (1805-6).