The vast concourse of people who had assembled to witness the truimphant arrival of the successful travellers was of the lowest order of mechanics 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 scowling faces a loom had been erected, at which sat a tattered, starved-looking weaver, evidently set there as a representative man, to protest against this triumph of machinery, and the gain and glory which the wealthy Liverpool and Manchester men were likely to derive from it.

The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 15 September 1830: Fanny Kemble.

Records of a Girlhood, 1878.

Some of the directors observed, that they were but trustees for property to an immense amount, that the value of that property might be affected, if the procession did not go on, and thus demonstrate the practicability of locomotive travelling on an extensive scale; and that, though the illustrious duke [of Wellington] and his cortege might not deem it prudent to proceed, it was the duty of the directors to complete the ceremony of opening the road.

Discussion following the death of William Huskisson, run over by George Stephenson’s locomotive engine Rocket during the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 15 September 1830.

25 September 1830: Mechanics’ Magazine