Born on the 14th May 1771, in Newtown, a small market town in Wales, Robert was the sixth of seven children born to the local saddler and ironmonger. He was an intelligent boy who read avidly, loved music and was good at sports. He began his career in the textile industry early on, from around the age of 10. By the time he was 21 he was a mill manager in Manchester. His entrepreneurial spirit, management skill and progressive moral views were emerging by the early 1790s. In 1793, he was elected as a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, where the ideas of reformers and philosophers of the Enlightenment were discussed. He also became a committee member of the Manchester Board of Health which was set up to promote improvements in the health and working conditions of factory workers. Meanwhile, in Scotland, New Lanark Cotton Spinning Mills were being established. This enterprise was to prove pivotal in Owen’s career as a businessman and social pioneer.
George Alexander Fleming was active in the early co-operative movement in Salford, including the Salford co-operative store and the co-operative school. He was instrumental in the founding of the Salford Community Association in 1836. Fleming was later prominent in the Association of All Classes of All Nations, and was editor of the New Moral World, and later of the Moral World. After the end of the Owenite movement, he was involved with the League of Social Progress and the Co-operative League. (John C Langdon) DPhil University of York, 2000.
In the 1840s, Robert Owen embarked on a new settlement at Queenwood Farm in Hampshire. This land was originally part of the manor of East Tytherley, called Columbers in the 15th century. He rented out the 1000 acres and built a luxurious mansion, Harmony Hall, as his centre for Social settlement. There was insufficient capital and the community, intended to support 500 members, barely reached a hundred souls. It was an abject failure, running out of funds and discipline. His followers Owenites were bitterly disappointed and he moved on. Robert Owen continued his evangelistic approach and was never silent on the subject of Socialism. http://www.hampshire-history.com/robert-owen-pioneering-socialist/