Letter from William Watkins to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter stating the correspondent's disappointment on hearing that there were far more important issues to engage Owen's attention than the idea of establishing a Labour Bank, i.e. a mechanism by which labour and produce could be exchanged through the use of "labour notes". [Note: This may be likened to the present day LETSystem (Local Exchange Trading System) by which members, through the provision of goods and services, gain credits. These credits can then be exchanged, either directly, or at a later date, for goods and services offered by other members.]As a consequence of Owen's changing priorities the correspondent took it upon himself to look at the feasibility of establishing Labour Banks by drawing up a report. This, he states, was favourably received and subsequently appears to have led to the establishment of the First Western Union Exchange Bank by Benjamin Warden in February 1832.


Stamped number: 503