The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"THE MERSEY, a river in the N.W. of England, forming the boundary between the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire, and second only to the Thames in commercial importance, being the channel by which vessels approach Liverpool, the second port in England. It is formed by the junction of the rivers Goyt and Thame, which unite their streams at Stockport; and, after receiving the waters of the Irwell, Bollin, and Weaver, falls into the sea a little below Liverpool, by way of the Victoria Channel, which has from four to twelve fathoms water between the Burbo and Formby Flats. At its entrance, which is marked by the Black Rock Light, its channel is deep and narrow, but expanding, a little higher up, into a wide sandy estuary, the shores of which have been converted into spacious docks. [See Liverpool.] Several artificial cuts have been made to facilitate the navigation, so that small craft can ascend as far as Runcorn."