Letter from William Wilks to Robert Owen

Archive Unit

Scope and Content

In this manuscript letter Owen is encouraged to visit Worcester once again and to tell the people of the city of his plans in regard to Labour Exchange Banks. Wilks writes, that presently there seems "little prospect" of establishing such an Exchange there as people are content in forming themselves into unions. However, Wilks' recent visit [promoting Owen's plans] to the members of the Shoemakers Union in the city found them "very eager" to learn more about the scheme and, whilst some in the Glovers Union raised objections to Owen on grounds of religion, Wilks and his friends were still well received by them.

Wilks explains that Owen's plans have not taken hold in the city for three reasons; the lack of information available to the working classes, the happiness in the men merely forming themselves into unions and the opposition from the Clergy, who are "many and influential", have all hindered the spread of "true co-operative knowledge".

Note

Stamped number: 647