Letter from John Finlay to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

In this manuscript letter is Owen asked by Finlay, on behalf of himself James Booth and John Bentley, for any advice he may be able to give as to the best means of soliciting the freedom of Joshua Jacob from the Four Courts prison, Dublin where he has been confined for "some years". Finlay explains that Jacob is the leader of a small community, who go by the name White Quakers, and who have lived in Dublin for some years as "one family, having all things in common". He is being in held in prison due to the alleged misappropriation of money belonging to the children of Joshua's sister (who joined the Quakers after her husband died). The case has been brought against Jacob by the relatives of the dead husband who claim they should be Guardians of the children until they come of age.

Finlay further explains, that if Jacob was to sign a document to certify the claim he made orally of not having money himself (having given all of his to the Community), then he would be released. However, Jacob's does not believe in laws and the legal system, and therefore will not sign the document instead choosing to remain in prison rather than betray his beliefs.

Owen is asked to intervene on behalf of the small community, a "Godlike little band", who reside at Newlands Community, 7 miles for Dublin as they are unable to seek legal help due to their belief system.


Stamped number: 1413

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