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Liverpool Provincial Grand Orange Lodge

Liverpool History

Liverpool has a turbulent history

Just as the Institution across the world has identical principles it has also faced identical problems and has come through them with fortitude and courage. For example it is interesting to note that Orange expansion in the great City of Liverpool (which is now synonymous with English Orangeism) really began after the only Orange Lodge in that City was attacked on parade...

Orange Parades became associated with ritualised confrontations in some northern towns. On 12 July 1819, a parade of about 90 Orangemen marching towards the largely Irish Catholic district of Vauxhall, with images of 'the lamb, the ark, the Bible, men dressed in ermine, pontifical robes etc', was attacked by a stone-throwing Irish crowd.

The Orange Order has had a presence in Liverpool since that year when the first parade was held to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, on July 12th. In its early years in the city the Twelfth was known as Carpenters Day due to the abundance of shipwrights who, having emigrated from Belfast, took part. The organisation was not just an association for migrants from Ireland however; their politics ensured that the majority of Orangemen were English-born. Indeed, the Institution in England was started by soldiers returning to the Manchester area from Ireland. The organisation was its strongest in the Toxteth and Everton areas of Liverpool. Many prominent Liverpudlians were members, including, reputedly, the founders of Liverpool Football Club.

In the nineteenth century the movement became very closely linked to the dominant Conservative and Unionist Party although in 1909 the Liverpool Protestant Party was founded by George Wise. The party returned several councillors but became defunct in 1974 after their power base was destroyed. Today, Orange Order members in Liverpool, lean towards the policies and thinking of the Conservative Party with regards to Loyalism and a pride in the Union.

A difficult one to explain in a 'Socialist City'

The Orange Order in Liverpool holds their annual Twelfth parade in Southport along with Bootle Province and Manchester Province - a seaside town north of Liverpool. The Liverpool Institution also holds a parade there on Whit Monday. The Black Institution which is a sister organisation to the LOL holds their Southport parade on the first Saturday in August.

The Orange Order also parade in Liverpool on the Sunday prior to the Twelfth and on the Sunday after. These parades go to and from church. Other parades are held to commemorate significant events throughout the year, for example St Georges Day, Reformation Day and Remembrance Sunday.

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