Deposited by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on 24th August, 1970.
The foundation of the West india Association is described by a founder member Thomas fletcher in his Autobiographical Memoirs of Thomas Fletcher of Liverpool, 1843, pp. 80 - 86 (Hq 920 FLE). An early list of members is given in Gore's Directory of Liverpool, 1807, Appendix, p. 9.
Administrative / biographical background:
This Association was formed of West India merchants and planters resident in Liverpool. Its originator was William Peatt Litt, a London West India merchant who had settled in Liverpool. There already existed in London a similar Standing Committee of Merchants and Planters. An initial meeting was held on 25 May, 1799 and later a more general meeting took place at the Golden Lion in Dale Street. The objects of the Association were to watch over the general interests of the West India trade and to make representations to the Government if necessary. Funding was provided by membership subscriptions and a small note on imported West India produce. One of the Associations main priorities was to ensure that the duties imposed by the Customs and Excise on imported goods were kept at the correct level. In its early years it was also much concerned with the provisions of Pitt's 1803 Warehousing Act.
The Association continued as an independent body until 1974. In that year it became a Trade Section of the Merseyside Chamber of Commerce, merging with the Latin American Trade Section to become the Latin American and West India Trade Section (LAWITS).