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William Huskisson

Person  Male  Born 11/3/1770  Died 15/9/1830

Huskisson is famous for being the victim of the first fatal railway accident (not quite true), being run over by the train known as Stevenson's Rocket, at the opening ceremony of the Manchester to Liverpool railway. He and some friends had taken a ride in a train, the Northumbrian. At Newton-le-Willow they had descended from that train when the Rocket came into view. Huskisson, weak from a recent operation, could not get out the way and fell in front of the on-coming train, which, like all trains at that time, had no brakes.

He died later that day at Eccles. There were previous fatal accidents on the railways, but Huskisson’s was the first to be widely reported. The Duke of Wellington who was present at the accident and not a friend of Huskisson, described his death as ‘an act of god’. The subsequent enquiry absolved the railways of any responsibility. Shortly after brakes became standard equipment on trains.

Huskisson had previously escaped from another unlikely accident, when a horse fell on him during his honeymoon. Born at Birtsmorton Court in Worcestershire. MP. Buried in Liverpool's St. James's Cemetery.

Peter Duby adds the following: “Member of Parliament (for Morpeth), a president of the Board of Trade and colonial secretary in 1827/28”.

Huskisson railway station, near Liverpool, opened in 1880.

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William Huskisson

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Huskisson statue

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William Huskisson

London County Council William Huskisson, 1770 - 1830, statesman lived here.

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