Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

[Note 199.1] The illustration at the top of the broadside shows a locomotive very similar to the Rocket which was the most famous of the locomotives on the Liverpool and Manchester railway.

[Note 199.2] The Liverpool and Manchester railway was an immediate commercial success. In 1833 it carried 1100 passengers daily.

Wolmar, Christian, Fire & Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain (Atlantic Books, 2007)


[Note 199.3] A series of ascents were made from Salford by several balloonists between 1814  [i] and 1840 [ii] George Green, the most famous balloonist of the time, made several ascents in 1828 [iii]  and 1837 [iv] There was a series of Johnny Green songs one of which was Johnny Green's trip from Owdham to see a balloon ascent' [v]. In the introduction to that song, Harland suggests that it was prompted by Mr Sadler's ascent in 1824 [vi]

[i] Manchester Mercury Tuesday 20 September 1814
[ii] Manchester Times Saturday 17 October 1840
[iii] Manchester Mercury Tuesday 05 August 1828
[iv] Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Saturday 28 October 1837 and Manchester Times Saturday 11 November 1837 
[v] Harland, John, songs of the Wilsons (London, Whittaker & sons, 1865) pp49-52
[vi] Manchester Mercury Tuesday 27 April 1824 

[Note 199.4] Wellington's coach is seen in this famous illustration of the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester. The lines "They'll show it thee or any mon, An tell thee aw ist axes." Suggests that it was a tourist attraction.

[Note 199.5] Taxes may be a reference to Wellington's support for the continuation of the Corn Laws. The Duke's widespread unpopularity was demonstrated when he opened the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Roy Palmer [i]  offers two accounts.

M. Sturge Gretton wrote "My grandfather who was…one of the guests of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on the occasion of the running of their first passenger train, used to recount how the duke of Wellington, who was also a guest, became plastered with mud in his efforts to shield the ladies from the filth that the populace, ranged along the line, was flinging at the travellers.

A Miss Fanny Kemble wrote of tricolour flags, cries of 'No corn Laws', and hissing and booing. "The vast concourse of people who had assembled [in Manchester] to witness the arrival of the successful travellers, was of the lowest order of mechanic and artisans, among whom great distress and a dangerous spirit of discontent with the Government at that time prevailed. Groans and hisses greeted the carriage full of influential personages in which the Duke of Wellington sat….High above the grim and grimy crowd of smiling faces a loom had been erected at which sat a tattered, starved-looking waver, evidently set there as a protest against the triumph of machinery, and the gain and the glory which the wealthy Liverpool and Manchester men were likely to derive from it."

[i] Palmer, Roy (Ed) A Touch on the Times: songs of Social Change 1770 to 1914 (London, Penguin Books, 1974) pp36-37

[Note 199.6] Half of the 26 stage coaches running between Liverpool and Manchester ceased operations within three months of the railway opening in June 1830.

Wolmar, Christian, Fire & Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain (Atlantic Books, 2007)

[Note 199.7] The Manchester Mercury of Tuesday 23 November 1830 reported "that two different companies had been formed for the purpose of making railway from Oldham to Manchester," one as early as 1825. The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser reported progress (or lack of it) throughout the 1830s [i] But Johnny Green and his friends had to wait until 1842 for the opening of the rail link to Oldham [ii]

[i] The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 23rd September 1837, 24th February 1838,  22nd September 1838

[Note 199.8] The end of the French Wars in 1815 was followed by several decades of social unrest exacerbated by the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 and the introduction of the Corn Laws. The Anti Corn-Law League¹ was very active in the Manchester area during the 1830s and it was an important recruiting area for the Chartists¹


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.