Letter from William Carson to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter requesting Owen's opinion on the plan of the Co-operative Society of the North of England to establish a school for 500 children aged from 4 to 14. Carson provides comprehensive details of the plan, including the nature of the building, the method by which money will be raised for the building and running of the school - each child paying a 'fee' per quarter, the amount dependant on age, and with each child providing their own bedding, and also the number of adults necessary to educate the children and staff the domestic and agricultural departments (noted as 12 consisting 6 men and 6 women).

Carson asks Owen which system of education he feels should be employed at the school, the importance of this decision being underlined by Carson's belief that "this as an undertaking that will have a considerable influence on the co-operative world and is [to be] taken up by the most zealous advocates of the system in this part of the country".

The letter closes with Carson describing a visit by himself and a Mr Hurst to "Birkacre [Chorley] Co-operation Print works", and he continues to give a full description of the layout of the site, the type of machinery and the range of workers found there.


Stamped number: 522

Geographical Names