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Thread: William Huskisson

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default William Huskisson

    William Huskisson was killed on the opening day of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. He was run over by The Rocket (1830) He was....


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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    William Huskisson, MP for Liverpool, was

    the first man killed by a steam locomotive, at the opening of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway at Chat Moss near Manchester on 15 September 1830. Author

    William Garfield in The Last Journey of William

    Hutchinson
    chronicles Mr Huskisson's chronic accident proneness which afflicted him his whole life down to the famous accident in which he was mortally

    injured.

    The topic of William Huskisson's statues is another odd episode as well. After his death, he was interred with suitable pomp in a

    classical mausoleum in St. James's Cemetery, in what had been an old sandstone quarry next

    to and east of the Anglican Cathedral. This is the same cemetery where, in his Liverpool Oratorio, Paul McCartney speaks about "sagging off" from

    school and smoking ciggies on the flat tabletop tombstones when he was attending nearby Liverpool Institute.

    Inside the mausoleum, as originally

    intended when Huskisson was buried there in 1830, was mounted a marble standing statue of the MP wearing a Roman toga.

    In the seventies, the

    Corporation cleared out many of the gravestones and made it a park, and Huskisson's statue was removed, the empty-of-statue mausoleum though being left.

    From the link to a Liverpool Museums page on the

    Huskisson statue, it appears that the statue was

    removed in 1968 after being vandalized. The original statue is in safekeeping, apparently, under the care of Liverpool museums. There were though two marble

    statues made and a bronze one.

    I remember the bronze statue in Princes Drive near the Princes Drive Synagogue. It was removed in 1982 after vandals

    attacked it because people thought he was a slave trader. That bronze statue is now in a new housing development off Duke Street in the city

    center.

    Last time I was in what had been St. James's cemetery somebody had spray painted their name inside the old mausoleum and you can see from the

    main photo in the link above the glass skylights in the roof are broken.

    The disposition and preservation of the statue and the replicas is another

    topic in itself, and if you go to the Liverpool museums site you can learn what is being done to preserve it/them. It looks to me as if there are two copies

    of the statue in Liverpool (or is it two marble and one bronze?) and another in London in Pimlico Gardens, London. The story of the man's statues appears as

    bizarre and subject to the whims of fate as the man himself was!!!!

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGeorge; 11-06-2006 at 12:56 PM.
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    GhostSearch GhostSearch's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good

    Good info there

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    Senior Member SteH's Avatar
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    There's a marble tablet at the spot where the accident occured near Newton le Willows, although anyone going to take a look would be dicing with death themselves.

    http://www.carlscam.com/people/huskisson.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteH View Post
    There's a marble tablet at the spot where the accident occured near Newton le Willows, although anyone going to take a look would be dicing with death themselves.

    http://www.carlscam.com/people/huskisson.htm
    Thanks for this, SteH. I will take your advice and not seek out a look at the plaque in person. That also has to be one of the longest and most labourious sentences I have ever read, filled as it is with the somewhat overblown sentiments of the day!

    Chris
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    Cadfael
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    The actual cause of the accident isn't actually well known. People think that he tripped on the line and fell over and couldn't get up in time.

    The actual event occured when he had to get out of the way of a train quickly, ran and jumped up on a train carriage door which swung out, bounced off the coachwork and then threw him off on to the floor.

    Don't forget sLemon says that the Cemetary is haunted by Huskinsson!

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    Hi Cadfael

    Yes the contemporary newscutting on the site SteH directed us to gives me an entirely different view of the accident to the impression I had. I did know the Rocket ran over Huskisson's leg. I had been under the impression that he was standing on the line or crossing the line and unable to get out of the way. The account says he was trapped in a crowded carriage which was hit by the Rocket and thrown out then run over. I was also under the impression until recently that the accident took place at Edge Hill which is not so either!

    Chris
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    Senior Member SteH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Cadfael

    Yes the contemporary newscutting on the site SteH directed us to gives me an entirely different view of the accident to the impression I had. I did know the Rocket ran over Huskisson's leg. I had been under the impression that he was standing on the line or crossing the line and unable to get out of the way. The account says he was trapped in a crowded carriage which was hit by the Rocket and thrown out then run over. I was also under the impression until recently that the accident took place at Edge Hill which is not so either!

    Chris
    I havent read that link yet but I did know the accident did take place halfway through the journey. I had always tought that they had to stop the train to let the engines cool down or something and many passengers got off.Huskisson then saw the Duke of Wellington and decided to go and have a chat, but got run over as he did so.

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    Oh, okay I see now, he seems to have taken cover between the carriages but the door of one carriage that he had caught hold of and the Rocket collided, throwing him down onto the track and under the locomotive.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Cadfael
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Cadfael

    Yes the contemporary newscutting on the site SteH directed us to gives me an entirely different view of the accident to the impression I had. I did know the Rocket ran over Huskisson's leg. I had been under the impression that he was standing on the line or crossing the line and unable to get out of the way. The account says he was trapped in a crowded carriage which was hit by the Rocket and thrown out then run over. I was also under the impression until recently that the accident took place at Edge Hill which is not so either!

    Chris
    I didn't even notice that link either It was info I had sourced elsewhere years ago hehe.

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    Default Train Stop Midway

    Apparently the train stopped to take on more water. There had been a disagreement between William Huskisson and the Duke of Wellington. Huskisson had approached Wellington's carriage in a gesture of reconciliation.
    Somehow or other he did find himself in the path of the oncoming Rocket.
    I have read several conflicting eyewitness accounts with contridictions as to the speed of the train and the circumstances causing him to fall into the path of the locomotive.

    Holding the door to the carriage, which could have been clipped by the passing train seems plausible enough.

    Ironically the Rocket, the vessel that maimed him, transported Huskisson for further medical attention.

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    A warm welcome, excellent first post
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

    If you like the website, please donatevia PayPal!




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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    I wrote this poem for the Liverpool 800 poems site:

    Unlucky Husky

    To be known as the first man
    to be killed by a train
    -- what awful luck!

    You were our plucky MP,
    in your prime when
    you were struck,

    as Stephenson’s “Rocket”
    knocked you down;
    now God’s got you
    in his pocket.

    Christopher T. George
    Christopher T. George
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    This site has really awakened my interests, reading and viewing the articles and photos.
    So many different forums to investigate and chat on.
    Will keep me going forv years I think (hope).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooltonian View Post
    This site has really awakened my interests, reading and viewing the articles and photos.
    So many different forums to investigate and chat on.
    Will keep me going forv years I think (hope).

    Great to know. Thanks, mate.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Speaking as a childhood resident of Huskisson Street, the whole thing always struck me as a farce. Not only was he the first railway fatality (at what speed of train?) but, when designing the memorial, they don't seem to have told the designer that there would be a statue. I remember as a kid having to stand on someone's shoulders to see in through the small windows around the top. The statue was probably moved because otherwise no-one would have seen it.

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    Senior Member SteH's Avatar
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    This is the Liverpool Mercury's opening lines on Huskissons funeral. What amazes me is that back in 1830 at 3pm in the afternoon a local paper was able to run a story of something that had happened that day and got the issue out. If only we had the same type of service now.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteH View Post
    This is the Liverpool Mercury's opening lines on Huskissons funeral. What amazes me is that back in 1830 at 3pm in the afternoon a local paper was able to run a story of something that had happened that day and got the issue out. If only we had the same type of service now.
    You might have that same service if you were to pay the equivalent amount of money for a newspaper....

    The 7 penny newspaper of 1830 cost the equivalent of 2.50 pounds now....

    I bet only the rich could afford newspapers back then.

    http://safalra.com/other/historical-...ce-conversion/

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    Was he the first person killed by a steam locomotive? Or merely the first rich and influential person killed by a steam locomotive?

    Anyway, he was a remarkable MP and widely considered to be one of the 'good guys'.

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    Senior Member Doris Mousdale's Avatar
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    The English Sunday Times is over 2GBP and with air freight arrives here at $31.50 but the good news is there is now a print on demand service for international newspapers and they are $14.50 no colour supplements but no rubbish inserts either.. Yes I know you can read some of the news online but the real paper has far more info in it and you can pass it on after you have read it . I swop mine with a customer for her Spectator and Guardian.
    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    You might have that same service if you were to pay the equivalent amount of money for a newspaper....

    The 7 penny newspaper of 1830 cost the equivalent of 2.50 pounds now....

    I bet only the rich could afford newspapers back then.

    http://safalra.com/other/historical-...ce-conversion/

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