HUSKISSON, William, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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HUSKISSON, William (1770-1830). Statesman. Killed by a railway train.
Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent ('My Dear Sir'), 1 page 8vo (irregularly torn at the left hand side without loss of text), Richmond Terrace, 14 June 1828. Asking his correspondent to call on him 'if you can without inconvenience', and adding that 'I am going to the Canada Committee soon after one'.
Huskisson succeeded George Canning as MP for Liverpool after deputising for him on Liverpool business in parliament. He was present at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway when 'On 15 September, in an atmosphere of technological excitement compounded by political intrigue, Huskisson, having alighted from the train during a stop at Parkside, fell into the path of the oncoming Rocket engine while attempting to re-enter the duke of Wellington's carriage.' [Samuel Smiles (Lives of the Engineers) gives a graphic account of his being conveyed pell-mell in a carriage hauled by the same engine with George Stephenson on the footplate in search of help.] He died later that evening at the home of the Revd Thomas Blackburne, facing death stoically but with characteristic attention to detail, correcting the signature to the hasty codicil to his will. He was the first fatality of the railway age. His widow reluctantly acceded to civic request, and Huskisson was buried at St James's Church, Liverpool, on 24 September. A monument stands by the track near the scene of the accident.' [Oxford DNB].
[No: 25617]


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