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Robert Owen

A picture of Robert Owen

About Robert Owen

Social reformer

He was the son of saddler, born 14th May 1771 at Newtown, Montgomeryshire. At the age of 10 he was put into a draper's shop at Stamford, and by the age of 19 had risen to be the manager of a cotton mill. In 1799 he married the daughter of David Dale, the philanthropic owner of the New Lanark cotton mills, where in 1800 he settled as manager and part-owner. He laboured to teach his workpeople the advantages of thrift, cleanliness, and good order, and established infant education. He began social propaganda in A new View of Society, (1813), and finally adopted socialism. He lost much of his influence by his utterances on religion. His socialistic theories were put to the test in experimental communities at Orbiston near Bothwell, and later at New Harmony in Indiana, - in County Clare, and in Hampshire, but all were unsuccessful.

In 1828 his connection with New Lanark ceased His means having been exhausted, he spent the remainder of his days in secularist, socialistic,and spiritualistic propagandism. He died on the 17th November 1858.

His son Robert Dale Owen was born in Glasgow in 1801 and went to America in 1825 to help in the New Harmony colony. He settled in America in 1827, and edited the Free Inquirer in New York, and was a member of the Indiana Legislature, entering Congress in 1843. he was later charge d'affaires and later minister for the U.S. at Naples 1853-58, and was an abolitionist and spiritualist. He died in June 1877.
Two other sons - David Dale Owen (1807-1860) and Richard Owen (1810-1890) were notable geologists.

Information submitted by Alan Longbottom

Other famous people alive at the time of Robert Owen

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Edward ElgarBorn 2nd June 1857, died 23rd February 1934 aged 76
Elizabeth GaskellBorn 29th September 1810, died 12th November 1865 aged 55
Robert HawkerBorn 3rd December 1803, died 15th August 1875 aged 71
Lillie LangtryBorn 13th October 1853, died 12th February 1929 aged 75
John PeelBorn 1776, died 1854 aged 78
Robert PeelBorn 5th February 1788, died 2nd July 1850 aged 62
Joseph PriestleyBorn 13th March 1733, died 8th February 1804 aged 70
Humphry ReptonBorn 21st April 1752, died 24th March 1818 aged 65
Peter Mark RogetBorn 18th January 1779, died 12th September 1869 aged 90
Queen VictoriaBorn 24th May 1819, died 22nd January 1901 aged 81

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