Letter from James Rigby to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

In this manuscript letter Rigby provides Owen with a comprehensive update of the progress he has made with tasks carried out on Owen's behalf. This includes contacting the John Street [Institute] Committee to make arrangements for Owen's meeting to be held there, and posting Owen a number of newspapers.

Rigby writes that [Pierre] Baume has now sold [Thomas] Atkins 1 acre of land at Colny Hatch, [London] on which to build a house and an "engineering establishment". He explains that "Young Atkins" has been appointed "C.E." of the "New Colony" and has already met with the Great Northern Railway people who have, at their own expense, agreed to lay a "slip way" from Colony Hatch Station to the estate, with Atkins then to supply the track through the estate itself. Rigby will do all he can [for those behind the scheme for the colony], this despite his "opposition to it" as he believes it to be a "Moral Attack on the Old World led by two Mad Brained Men one with Great Physical Power and some Philosophy, the other a Keen, Cunning Man with more Activity than any [other] Man". Rigby suggests he and Owen visit the land incognito [and see for themselves the suitability or otherwise of the Estate for building a colony]; detailed instructions of the location (with a sketched map) are provided.

Note

Stamped number: 2448