Owenite Street, SE2

Place Name

Robert Owen (May 14, 1771 – November 17, 1858) was a major social reformer on whose principles the cooperative movement was founded. He was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist, and one of the founders of utopian socialism. Owen raised the demand for an eight-hour day in 1810, and instituted the policy at New Lanark, his Scottish textile mill. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour workday and coined the slogan: “Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest.” Owen tested his social and economic ideas at New Lanark, where he won his workers’ confidence and continued to have success through the improved efficiency at the mill. The community also earned an international reputation. Social reformers, statesmen and royalty, including the future Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, visited New Lanark to study its methods. This road like many on the Bostall Estate, which was developed by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society Ltd, is named after prominent members and ideals of the movement.

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