Letters Patent of King John

One unique and very significant record we hold is the record marking the beginning of Liverpool, the Letters Patent of King John signed on the 28th August 1207. This was when King John proclaimed Liverpool as a free borough.

It had previously been a small settlement consisting of fishing and farming communities, a part of the West Derby Hundred. King John’s charter rendered Liverpool a privileged port, making trading a part of the incentive for people to come and settle.

Download Liverpool's Royal Charters leaflet