Letter from George Mudie to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter written alongside a printed Report from the [Edinburgh] Police Court.

The manuscript letter opens with Mudie referring to the printed report which discusses the origin of infant schools. The report, written by Mudie, supports Owen's claim to be the originator of infant schools in particular opposition to the claims expounded by Samuel Wilderspin. Mudie writes that the Scotsman newspaper has, under the instigation of Wilderspin, denied that "Wilderspin was ever instructed by any person in the principles and practices of Infant Schools" which stands contrary to the events as detailed in Mudie's report. Mudie believes that Owen should get some London papers to notice the reports which have appeared about infant schools in Edinburgh so that he will can then be acknowledged as the originator of such schools.

Discussion of the community established at Orbistion follows, and in particular the circumstances which saw "certain disasters" befalling Mudie through his problematic relationship with Abraham Combe and his "insane views".

Mudie writes he would like to start publishing a new periodical on the subject of "Practical Political Economy" and believes he would be best served doing this through the "instrumentality of the Co-operative Societies in England"; Owen is asked for his advice on this matter.

Mudie also explains he has invented a new printing machine which he believes is capable of doing more and better work than any of those currently available. He explains such would be the simplicity of use it could be "driven by children", and notes that he has an "imperfect" machine currently printing his Police Reports. On this machine four boys of ages 14 to 17 are able to print 1500 impressions in 1 hour and ,with a "perfect" machine, 3 boys could print 3000 impressions of the Times newspaper in 1 hour. Owen is asked if he knows of any individuals who may be willing to invest money in manufacturing the machines.

Note

Stamped number: 245

Geographical Names