ANECDOTES OF THE MEMBERS—THE WORKING CLASS STAND BY THE
STORE AND THEY "KNOW THE REASON WHY."
IT is as instructive as it is gratifying to notice
the kind of replies frequently made by persons who have been served by the
Store. One woman who had about £50 in the Store to her credit, was
told the "Store would break," by persons who wished it would do so.
She answered, "Well, let it break; I have only paid one shilling in, and I
have fifty pounds in it. It'll break with it's own, if it do
break." These anecdotes are common. Many poor people, whose
confidence was sought to be tampered with, have answered alarmists, who
have tried to shake their trust—"Well, if it do smash it may smash with
all it has of mine, for it has paid me out more than ever I paid in."
These answers not only show good sense, but gratitude and generosity of
sentiment. In all service of the people there will be ingratitude
displayed. Every man finds it so, sometimes among his private and
chosen friends; no doubt, it will be so with the public, whom you serve at
random. In publicism in all human relations a man who will not be
cast down needlessly must learn to look on both sides. He will in
every crowd find many whom he cannot respect, and who do not deserve
respect; and numbers of poor, yet devoted, trusting, toiling, manly,
impassable, grateful men and women, whom you might worship in the fulness
of the sentiment of admiration with which they inspire you.
Another fact ought not to escape notice, which none but those
having considerable experience are aware of—viz., it is seldom that the
people whom you expect to help forward a movement do it. Exactly
those on whom you most rely— commonly those whom you elect for
appeal—deceive you, or fail to help when you expect, and when the crisis
The effects of the Store in improving the finances of its
members was seen in the instance of one known as Dick, who has lived in a
cellar thirty years, and was never out of debt. He one morning
astonished his milkman by asking him to change him a £5 note. The
sly dog never had one before, and he felt a pardonable pride in displaying
his first possession, Dick has now twenty pounds of "brass" in Store.
And most of those who have the largest balances standing to their credit
are persons who have never paid many shillings in. The whole is the
accumulation of their profits.
The following cases, designated by the numbers belonging to
the particular member, were taken by the present writer from the books of
the Store in 1853, and communicated to the Leader newspaper:—
"No.12 joined the Society in 1844. He had never been
out of a shopkeeper's books for forty years. He spent at the shop
from twenty shillings to thirty shillings per week, and has been indebted
as much as £30 at a time. Since he has joined the Pioneers' Society
he has paid in contributions £2 18s.; he has drawn from the Society as
profits £17 10s. 7d., and he has still left in, the funds of the Society
£5. Thus he has had better food and gained £20. Had such a
Society been open to him in the early part of his life, he would now be
worth a considerable sum.
"No. 22 joined the Society at its commencement. He was
never out of a shopkeeper's debt for twenty-five years. His average
expenditure with the shopkeeper was about ten shillings per week, and was
indebted to him forty shillings or fifty shillings generally. He has
paid into the Society £2 10s.; he has drawn from the Society £6 17s. 5d.;
he has still left in the funds of the Society £8 0s. 3d. He thinks
the credit system made him careless about saving anything, and prevented
his family from being as economical as they would have been had they been
compelled to pay ready money for their commodities. In this he
agrees with No.12. Since he (No.22) has joined the Society, he has
enjoyed other advantages, having a place accessible, where he can resort
to, instead of going to the public-house or beer-shop for information and
"No. 114 joined the Society in 1848. Paid in fifteen
shillings, has drawn out £11 14s. 11d., has still in the funds of the
Society £7 2s. 11d. Gained in two years £18.
"No.131 joined the Society at its commencement in 1844.
He says he was never out of debt with a shopkeeper for fourteen years.
He spent on an average about nine shillings per week with the shopkeeper,
and generally owed him from twenty to thirty shillings. He has paid
into the Store as contributions at different times £1 18s. 4d.; and has
drawn from it £1 12s. 1d.; and has still in the funds of the Society £3
1s. 10d. He thinks the credit system one reason why he was always
poor, and that since he joined the Society his domestic comfort has been
greatly increased; and had he not belonged to the Society in 1847, he
would have been obliged to apply to the parish officers for relief.
"Thus the members derive all the advantage of a sick as well
as a benefit society. It is thus that the Society give to its
members the money which they save." 
A mother who had always sent her child to the neighbouring
shop, at length began to send her child to the Store, which was more than
a mile away from her house. The child asked the mother why she
should be sent so far away for things instead of going into the shop next
door. The mother explained to the child that the profits made at the
Store would come to them. The child understood the lesson, and would
come down in a morning to fetch the food for breakfast, and the family at
home would wait till she returned; and, as Sir James Graham would express
it, both mother and child knew the reason why. A butcher's wife
expressed her new experience thus:—"Instead of having to take her 'strap'
book with her, she now had money in her pocket and money in the Store."
One member has £50 in the Store, all of which he has made by profits, he
having drawn out for his own use all that he ever paid in. In one
case a woman withdrew £5 from her savings in the Store, not so much
because she had special occasion for the money, as for the pleasure of
having £5 in her possession. She had traded at shops for nearly half
a century, and she declared it was the first time she had ever had £5 of
her own in her hands in her life.
A husband who dealt at the Store, and had accumulated money
in it, had a wife who did not believe in co-operation, and was easily
persuaded that the Store was unsafe, and she took the opportunity of
drawing her savings from the Store and placed them, for more safety, in
the Savings Bank. Before long the Savings Bank broke. The poor
woman's faith was made whole by the mishap. She gathered up the
tardy dividends of the bank and placed the residue in the Store, where
since they have remained.
George Morton, an old man above sixty, says that had there
been no Store, he does not know how he could have lived without going to
the poor-house. The profits he has received from the Store on goods
purchased has nearly kept him out for the last eleven years—that is, from
1845 to 1856. He has, during that time, received in dividends £77
3s. 6d., and has remaining in the Society £11. He has never paid
into the Society more than £5 16s. 7½d.
Of the confidence in the dealings of the Store, Mrs. Mills, a
widow, gives this testimony. She came to the Store for a steak, but
as the Store butchers had none, and she wanted it for a sick person, she
went into the public market and bought a pound and a half. On
reaching home she weighed her purchase, and found that the pound weighed
fourteen ounces, and the half-pound only seven ounces. She now says
that when there is no steak at the Store, "they lump it;" meaning that
they make shift until the Store is replenished. This authentic
anecdote gives no bad idea of a Rochdale sickness, to which a pound and a
half of steak seems congenial. The vegetarians might take a turn
Speaking of beef—the other day I was standing at the upper
window of the Store, when the Store butchers, who had just come from the
Society's abbatoirs, drove up with an immense waggon full of "prime
joints." Upon looking over the chief butcher's bill, I found he
reported himself as having "killed four cows and a half," which led me to
inquire by what co-operative process he was enabled to kill half a cow at
a time. The explanation was this. Some butcher in the town
wanted half a cow for that day's market, the Store wanted four cows and a
half only, so the fifth cow was divided and both parties served, which the
butcher called "killing half a cow."
"The Tillicoultry Co-operative Society" admits no member who
is immoral in his
conduct. A female householder is admitted a member, but is refused a
vote. The Baking Company of the same place has a similar ungallant
and uncivil rule.  The Rochdale Store renders
incidental but valuable aid towards realising the civil independence of
women. Women may be members of this Store, and vote in its
proceedings. Single and married women join. Many married women
become members because their husbands will not take the trouble, and
others join it in self-defence, to prevent the husbands from spending
their money in drink. The husband cannot withdraw the savings at the
Store standing in the wife's name unless she signs the order. Of
course, as the law still stands, the husband could by legal process get
possession of the money. But a process takes time, and the husband
gets sober and thinks better of it before the law can be moved.
Many single women have accumulated property in the Store,
which thus becomes a certificate of their conjugal worth. And young
men, in want of prudent companions, consider that to consult the books of
the Store would be the best means of directing their selection. The
habits of honourable thrift acquired by young men, members of this Store,
renders it unlikely that they would select industrious girls in marriage
for the purpose of living in idleness upon their earnings or savings, as
happens elsewhere. 
What quality is it that makes a poor woman pay her way?
Ladies do not always do it; many bankruptcies in London are occasioned by
their neglect; the poor woman who has been born with that faculty, or who
has acquired it, is a treasure and a triumph of good sense and social
cultivation. The difficulty of bringing about this result many
working class husbands can tell. The art of living within your
income is a gift. The woman who has it, will do it with £1 a week;
she who has it not, will be poor with £20. Peter Noakes, tired of
finding himself always in debt, wants to get his wife one week in advance
with the world. He wants to stand clear on the shopkeepers' books.
He knows that the small tradesman cannot pay his way unless his customers
pay theirs. He therefore saves, by carefulness and secret thrift, a
little money, and one week delights his wife by giving her double wages,
that she may pay in advance for her things. What is the result?
Next week he finds her running into debt as usual. He complains, and
then she tells him the everlasting story of a thousand working-class homes
"What could she do? Mr. Last’s bill for Tommy's boots had never been
paid, the account for Billy’s jacket had stood over till she was ashamed
of it, little Jane's shoes were out at the toes, and poor Polly, she was
the disgrace of the family for want of a new frock, and as for Mrs. Noakes
herself, her own bonnet was not fit to be seen, she would rather stop in
the house for ever than go out in that old fashioned thing any longer."
Poor Peter is overwhelmed—he had never thought of these things. In
fact, Mrs. Noakes tells him "he never does think of any thing. He
gets up and goes to work, and comes home and goes to bed, and never thinks
of anything in the house." What can Peter do? He does the only
thing he ought—he allows that his wife ought to know best, confesses that
he is very stupid, kisses her in confirmation of his repentance, and
promises to save her another week's wages, and she shall try what can be
done the next time. In the course of a few weeks, Peter, by
over-work and going without customary half-pints of beer, saves up another
week's wages, when, alas! he finds that the shoemaker has sent in another
bill, and the tailor another account—that Master Tommy's trousers have
grown too short for him, young Billy's jacket is out at the elbows, Jane's
shoes let in water, Miss Polly (bless her sweet soul!) is still the
disgrace of the family, and Mrs. Noakes, although Peter thought she never
looked so young nor so pretty as she did last Sunday, declares her bonnet
"perfectly hateful; indeed, there is not such another fright as herself in
the whole neighbourhood, and if Peter was like anybody else, he would be
ashamed to see his wife go out in such a condition." And the little
book still goes to the shop, Peter eats cheese tough as guttapercha, she
buys tea that has been used to boiling before it was sold to her, the
coffee tastes grievously of burnt corn, Tommy's boots are a long time
being mended, Mrs. Noakes never has sixpence to bless herself with, her
money is all condemned before it comes in; Peter, degraded and despairing,
thinks he may as well drink a pint as a half-pint—things can't be worse at
home. He soon ceases to take interest in public affairs. How
can he consistently help the public who cannot help himself—How can he
talk of independence, who is the slave of the shoemaker and the tailor—How
can he subscribe to a political or social society, who cannot look his
grocer in the face? Thus he is doubly destroyed. He is good
neither for home nor parish. So ends many domestic experiments for
paying in advance. When children are sick, or the husband is out of
work, a wife will submit to any amount of privation. If she would
submit to half as much from pride of independence as she will from
affection, thousands of families, now always poor, would be in possession
of moderate competence. But to starve your household when you can
help it, to prevent them being starved one day when you cannot help it,
implies good sense, strength of will, and courageous foresight, which many
women certainly display, but which is yet so rare a quality that one
cannot but marvel and applaud the Rochdale co-operators, who have taught
so many families the art of getting out of debt, and inspired them with
the pride of keeping out.
Let the enemies of co-operation ponder on this fact, and
learn wisdom; let the friends of co-operation ponder on this fact and take
courage; the fact that the members in a short period learn provident
habits by connection with these societies—habits which, in some cases,
forty years of competition have failed to teach.
RULES AND AIMS OF THE SOCIETY.
THE founders of the Society were opposed to capital
absorbing all profit arising from trade, and to hit upon a plan that
should give proportionally the gain to the persons who make it, was a
problem they had to solve. After meeting several times for the
purpose of agreeing to laws, Mr. Charles Howarth proposed the plan of
dividing profits on purchase—that is, after paying expenses of
management, interest on capital invested, at a rate of five per cent., the
remaining profits to be divided quarterly among the members in proportion
to their purchases or dealings with the Society. This plan continues
the feature of the Rochdale Store.
The division of profits is made quarterly from the net
proceeds of all retail sales in every department, after paying:—
1. Expenses of management.
2. Interest on loans.
3. Reduction in value of fixed stock.
4. Dividends on subscribed capital.
5. Increase of capital for the extension of business.
6. Two and a half per cent. (of the remainder after the above
are provided for) applied to educational purposes.
The residue thus accruing is divided among the members of the
Store in proportion to the amount of their respective purchases during the
The Pioneers prudently established early in their career a
"Redemption Fund," which consists of the accumulation of entrance fees of
one shilling from each member. The last two pounds drawn from the
Society by a retiring member are liable to a forfeit of one shilling each
pound. The trade of non-members of the Society affords some profit.
These sums go to the Redemption Fund, which is a reserve to meet the
depreciation of the fixed stock. In all financial reports of the
Society a broad allowance is always made for depreciation of stock, and
the fixed capital at stocktaking is always estimated below its real value,
so that if the Society broke up, it is calculated that every subscriber of
£1 invested in the Society would receive twenty-five shillings as his
A new member must now hold five £1 shares in the capital. He
pays one shilling
deposit on these on entrance, and threepence a week afterwards, or three
threepence a quarter, until the £5 are paid up; but these payments are
assisted by all
the profits he makes by dealing at the Store, and any interest, which is
fixed at 5 per
cent., accruing to him as successive pounds are made up. All profits and
not paid to the member, but carried to the credit of his shares, until the
£5 are paid.
The Board of Directors may suspend any member whose conduct is considered
be injurious to the Society, and a general meeting may expel him, after
which he has
great difficulty in obtaining re-admission, if he desires it.
Any co-operative society can buy to any extent through one of its members,
however, must become a member of the "Equitable Pioneers' Society."
A member, being in distress, may withdraw any sum he
may have in the funds of the Society above £2, at the discretion of the
Board of Directors. In the great distress period of 1849, many
applications were made to be allowed to draw all out except £1.
Though it is rarely that any Director puts a question as to the personal
affairs of an applicant, yet narratives were volunteered of so painful and
remarkable a character, that the Directors learned to esteem that
co-operation which had placed in their hands a wholesome power of relief.
To this day these Directors recur to the experience of that year when
defending the Society. Members may withdraw any sum above £5
according to the following scale of notice:—
£2 10s. at once on application to the Board
£2 10s to £5 at 2 weeks' notice
£5 0s to £10 at 3 weeks' notice
£10 0s to £20 at 4 weeks' notice
£20 0s to £30 at 5 weeks' notice
£30 0s to £40 at 6 weeks' notice
£40 0s to £50 at 7 weeks' notice
£50 0s to £60 at 8 weeks' notice
£60 0s to £70 at 9 weeks' notice
£70 0s to £80 at 10 weeks' notice
£80 0s to £90 at 11 weeks' notice
£90 0s to £100 at 12 weeks’ notice
No member can hold more than £100  of shares in the Society except by way of annuity, nor,
circumstances, shall his interest in the funds exceed £30. The Directors
loans, but not exceeding four times the amount of the paid up
subscriptions of the
members for the time being.
All disputes are settled—
1. By the Directors, or
2. By appeal at a general meeting.
3. By arbitration.
Complaints and suggestions relative to the qualities or prices of goods,
or conduct of
servants of the Society, are required to be made in writing to the
record their decision thereupon; if not satisfactory, the question is
referred to a
special general meeting, whose decision is final.
The question of liability to Income Tax occupied the attention of the
Store for several
years. Its apparently final solution may be useful information to other
August, 1850, the Board applied to editors of newspapers, who are the
lawyers of the poor, to learn whether co-operative societies were liable
individual members have not the requisite amount of income. Answers so
could not have the force of law, but they had the quality of direction.
paid Income Tax regularly, but as the separate income of each member was
below the amount at which the Government commences its assessment, the
appealed against it. Still the local Commissioners forced its payment.
They were told,
indeed, that each member might demand a form of Exemption, and claim the
of his assessment back again. But this, on the part of a thousand members,
involved too much trouble, as the Exemption claims must have been filled
for them in most
cases. One year the members went to the Appeal office in a body, but the
Commissioners refused to admit them, and required one representative to be
appointed. It ended in the old order to pay being enforced. Opinions of
Parliament were obtained, who said the Society was liable, and the
lawyers, who said they were not liable. As their numbers and importance
their confidence grew, and, in 1856, they resolved to make a stand against
exaction, and, if need be, carry it to trial. An adjourned meeting of the
Board, held in
October, appointed Messrs. Smithies and Ellis "to appeal against the
These officers, who were trustees of the Society, presented themselves on
day, and argued that the Society was exempt, being enrolled under the
and Provident Societies' Act, which forbid any member receiving more than
annually in any or all forms from the Society. The case was adjourned to
day, when it was to be heard first. The day came, but Messrs. Smithies and
were edified by the opportunity of hearing numerous cases disposed of
case being called on. They were told to come the following day. On the
day" they were told they should receive notice when required to appear, as
Commissioners were in correspondence with London. Messrs. Smithies and
had the happiness never to be sent for. However, the Income Tax Collector
refrain from making his accustomed demand, and insisted that it must be
the Society the gratifying assurance that, if illegal, they could get it
back again. The
Society, however, were not to be gratified in this way. They thought
the part of the collector to make the demand, so long as the case was
and attempt to use his legal position to intimidate uneducated men. Mr.
Cooper reported the case to the Pioneers' Board, who put on their minutes,
December 4th, 1856, this very English resolution:—"Resolved, that we do
not pay the
Income Tax until we are made." The next Saturday, the collector again
demanded the money. He was told the decision of the Board. He replied, in
professional terms, that "he wanted no unpleasantness, but the Society had
alternative but to pay, and that, if his demand was not paid in a few
days, he should
seize the goods of the Store." On the Board being informed of that, they
Dec. 18th, 1856, "That the Income Tax Collector take his own course." He
taken his course to this day, nor have the Commissioners made any sign of
course to take.
One most honourable feature of the Society, which proves the earnest
desire of the
members for self-improvement, is the reservation of a portion of their
educational purposes. The 2.5 per cent. of their quarterly profits
assigned for division
among the members, together with the fines accruing from the infraction of
constitute a separate and distinct fund, called the "Educational Fund,"
intellectual improvement of the members of the Store, the maintenance and
extension of the Library,  and such other
instruction as may be considered desirable.
GENERAL FINANCIAL ACCOUNT OF THE EDUCATIONAL FUND.
1 - 2 - 6
2½ per cent. from
424 - 18 - 11½
308 - 11 - 9
Catalogues and fines
17 - 19 - 11
20 - 12 - 3½
Sale of Newspapers
2 - 14 - 3
25 - 9 - 11
3 - 7 - 9
28 - 5 - 4½
6 - 0 - 6
17 - 5 - 2½
2 - 8 - 8
Cash on Hand
1 - 9 - 8
|£450 - 3 - 4½
£450 - 3 - 4½
Their News-room is as well supplied as that of a London Club and the
contains 2,200 volumes of the best, and among them, many of the most
books published. The Library is free. In their News-room, conveniently and
up a member may read, if he has the time, twelve hours a day, also free.
From 1850 to 1855, a school for young persons was conducted at a charge of
twopence per month. Since 1855, a room has been granted by the Board for
of from twenty to thirty persons, from the ages of fourteen to forty, for
other instruction, on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Any readers of these pages, who may contemplate forming stores in their
neighbourhood, will, on application to the Secretary of the Equitable
Society, Toad Lane, Rochdale, obtain the laws at present in force, and
documents from which executive details may be learned, not necessary to be
included in this history; but a personal visit to the Store ought to be
made by all who
would initiate similar establishments. Many Members of Parliament,
economists, and some distinguished publicists, have made journeys of late
the Rochdale Store. The officers receive with courtesy, and give
enthusiasm to, all inquirers. Indeed, they are often found travelling
thirty miles from
their homes to give evening explanations to some workmen's meeting
information in practical co-operation, and of forming societies
themselves. It will
greatly promote the extension of co-operative societies if the Rochdale
train officers who may be transplanted to the towns commencing stores, to
and conduct them. This co-operative colonisation will save both waste and
Though an element of self-sacrifice for the good of others—a feeling
rather than selfishness should pervade industrial intercourse, if it is to
be healthy—animates these co-operators, who are neither dreamers nor sentimentalists. This
may best be shown by a quotation from a letter by one of their leaders, to
elsewhere refer—Mr. Smithies. "The improved condition of our members is
in their dress, bearing, and freedom of speech. You would scarcely believe
alteration made in them by their being connected with a co-operative
well-wishers to the cause think that we rely too much upon making
capitalists; but my experience among the working classes for the last
has brought me to the conclusion, that to make them act in union for any
given object, they must be bound together by chains of gold, and those of
In 1855, a co-operative conference was held at Rochdale. A Committee was
appointed to carry out certain resolutions agreed to. Abraham Greenwood,
President, James Smithies, Secretary, published a declaration of the
which the proceedings of the said Committee would be regulated. We shall
them to the credit of co-operation. They were these:—
I. That human Society is a body consisting of many members, the real
which are identical.
II. That true workmen should be fellow-workers.
III. That a principle of justice, not of selfishness, must govern our
We think these three sentences honourably illustrate how much higher is
of co-operation than that of competition. When did any commercial firm
and, what is more, act up to, a manifesto like this?
The co-operative conference of 1855, held in Rochdale, was called by the
Equitable Pioneers; the delegate from London was Mr. Lloyd Jones,  who has as continually aided, as he has
serviceably defended, these associations. On this occasion, the Rochdale
addition to the manifesto of its own principles and public aims, which
entitled it to
distinction above all other societies, took the opportunity of paying a
just tribute to
the labours of others, to which they had themselves been indebted, as well
"They were convinced that the Society for Promoting Working Men's
had, during the period of its active existence, conferred great benefits
on the Co-operative
cause by gathering all sorts of valuable information, and spreading it
throughout the country amongst the various Co-operative bodies; by urging
attention of Parliament, through members favourable to the cause, the
hindrances to the movement; and by helping to procure such alterations of
relating to Friendly Societies as to give freer action and greater
security to the men
who have embarked in the Co-operative undertaking. Not only have they done
things, but they have likewise drawn up model laws suitable for either
productive associations, so as to facilitate the safe enrolment of all
bodies, and to secure the highest degree of legal accuracy with the
cost; in addition to which, they have at all times given legal advice
freely to such of
the Societies as stood in need of it—a matter, it must be acknowledged, of
to bodies of working men.
"The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers feel deeply the value of the services
Co-operation by the Council of the Society for Promoting Working Men's
Associations; and, as the fullest and most acceptable acknowledgment, they
considered that the best thing they could do would be to attempt to
continue the work which the Society for Promoting Working Men's
perfect, if possible, the design which they were unable to complete."
Never was testimony more nobly deserved than this thus borne to the
rendered to working men by the gentlemen known in London as "Christian
Socialists," Professor Maurice, Mr. Vansittart Neale, the Rev. Charles
Furnival, Mr. Ludlow, and others. Guided by their wisdom and sustained by
wealth, efforts for "Promoting Working Men's Associations," for which the
be more grateful as they acquire more knowledge to appreciate their
generosity, their patient and costly services, the Working Men's College
of London is
the crowning tribute of their catholic love of the people.
The Rochdale Store has done business for several years with "The Universal
Purveyor," instituted by J. L. St. André,  author of the
"Prospects of Co-operative
Associations in England," a volume remarkable for comprehensive views
of industrial organisation. In the words of one who knew him, "M. St.
may be his enthusiasm, or his over-estimate of what can be done with men
are, appears to have the merit of a sincere desire to draw associations
together in a
spirit of unselfish co-operation, and at the same time to place them in a
healthy connection with the external world." 
We record, and rightly, the names of inventors and discoverers—we record
names of those who signalise themselves on the field of battle—it is no
less useful to
record the names of those who have discovered, or perfected, or, at least,
the art of self-help among the people, and conquered in the field of
providence and good sense, where so many fail and perish. Every name
the continuity of small duties well fulfilled—a quality more valuable to
society than the
emulation of sublime virtues. Every member of this Store has been a
equally with the officers, but we can only enumerate those who have taken
in the most successful experiment conducted by the people. Their
must give a new idea of the capacity of the working class.
The first general meeting of the founders of the Store was held in the
Institution, Rochdale, on Sunday, August 11th, 1844. The first resolutions
minutes are as follows:—
Resolved, 1st—That the following persons be appointed to conduct the
the Society now established—Mr. John Holt, Treasurer, Mr. James Daly,
Mr. Miles Ashworth, President, Messrs. Charles Howarth, George Ashworth,
William Mallalieu, be appointed Trustees.
2nd—That Messrs. James Tweedale, James Smithies, James Holt, James
and William Taylor, be appointed Directors.
3rd—That John Bent and Joseph Smith, be appointed Auditors.
(Signed) Miles Ashworth, Chairman.
ARBITRATORS OF 1844.
Mr. James Wilkinson, shoemaker, High Street; Mr.
Charles Barnish, weaver,
Spotland; Mr. George Healey, hatter, Sudden-brow; Mr. John Garside,
cabinetmaker, High Street; Mr John Lord, weaver, Cronkey Shaw.
The present arbitrators (1858) are—Thomas Livsey, Esq., Alderman,
Chief Constable ; John
Garside, cabinetmaker ;
Rev. James Wilkinson, Unitarian Minister; John Lord, publican; Samuel
First among the arbitrators of the Co-operative Manufacturing Society, and
Corn Mill Society, of which we have yet to speak, stands the name—universally
esteemed among the working classes of Lancashire—of Jacob Bright, Mayor
OFFICERS' NAMES FROM OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS OF THE STORE, ETC.
John Holt (Treasurer), Benjamin Rudman, James Standring. Names appended to
Laws of 1844.
John Cockcroft, Henry Green, John Kershaw. Names attached to the Laws of
William Cooper and Abraham Greenwood. From Laws of 1855.
George Adcroft (President), James Hill, Robert Taylor, John Whitehead,
Hoyle, Thomas Hollows, James Joyce Hill, George Morton, James Mittall,
Clegg. Names attached to Corn Mill Rules.
Abraham Hill, Treasurer; John Tweedale, Robert Woolfenden, Trustees;
Thomas Hill, James Whittaker, Directors ; Samuel Ashworth, Superintendent.
officers from the Almanack of 1854.
Samuel Fielding, David Hill, John Hollows, Trustees; Peter McKenzie,
Whitehead, William Ellis, Adam Grindrod. Directors. Store officers from
Almanack of 1855.
James Manock, Trustee; John Smith, Secretary; Thomas Glegg, Isaac Tweedale,
John Worsnip, Directors; Emeryk Roberski, 
Superintendent. Store officers from Almanack of 1856.
Edward Farrand, Clerk. Corn Mill advertisement. Vide Almanack, 1856.
William Whitehead, Secretary. Vide Manufacturers' advertisement, 1856.
John Aspgen, Librarian; William Holt, Samuel Newton, Robert Glegg, Samuel
Robert Howarth, Thomas Halliwell, Committee of Library. Vide Almanack,
John T. W. Mitchell, Secretary; John Kenworthy, Trustee; Jonathan
Thomas Fielding, Thomas Cheetham, Samuel Stott, Directors. Store officers
the Almanack of 1857.
James Glegg, George Watson, Matthew Ormerod, William Briggs, William
Abraham Howard, Edmund Kelly, Thomas Whittaker. Library Committee from
Almanack of 1857.
These names are given here in the order of time in which they appear in
documents cited, and with the office annexed the person happened to hold
in the list
quoted. Each name is given but once, though most of them occur again and
some in connection with every office. For instance, Mr. James Smithies, to
whom the members, some time ago, presented a valuable watch and chain, in
their regard, has held offices during twelve years. Mr. Abraham Greenwood,
mentioned in connection with the Corn Mill, has been an officer nine
William Cooper has been an officer in the Store from the commencement. To
last-named persons I have been mainly indebted, and especially to Mr. W.
the present Secretary, for the sources of the leading facts of these
THE OLD CO-OPERATORS—WHY THEY FAILED—THE NEW
CO-OPERATORS—WHY THEY SUCCEED.
"THAT were a noble achievement which should
originate a system of more wages and less work, that the labour of the
handicraftsman might be lighter on his hands, and his earthly blessings
and little comforts be increased; and that were a still more worthy
achievement which should teach him to till his intervals of time with the
study of philosophy, and the pursuit of literature and science."
Thus wrote Dr. Chalmers.
"This that they call organisation of labour is, if well
understood, the problem of the whole future, for all who would in future
govern man." Thus wrote Thomas Carlyle.
"It appears from actual experiment, that a thousand
subscribers of from one penny upwards will yield a weekly revenue of £5.
In Great Britain there are 6,000,000 adult males. Take of these,
including such females as choose to subscribe, 4,000,000; these will yield
£20,000 weekly, or £1,040,000 a-year. Now, £1,040,000 a-year, with
compound interest, would amount,
|In 10 years, to. .
18,232,413 - 14 - 11
|In 20 years, to. .
65,522,599 - 8 - 3
|In 30 years, to. .
188,181,161 - 18 - 8
|In 40 years, to. .
506,325,883 - 12 - 8
|In 50 years, to. .
1331,511,365 - 15 - 1
|In 60 years, to. .
3471,129,995 - 18 - 4
Now this sum would buy all the property of the kingdom.
Do not suppose for a moment that 4,000,000 of working men will soon be
found steadily subscribing their penny or twopence a-week for this object;
but these figures show what a fund there lies in the smallest co-operation
of the millions, and which the devotion of the sums expended merely on
spirits and tobacco might accomplish for mankind." So calculates the Leeds
Redemption Society, and seeks to win by figures those whom argument fails
"Wait no longer on the banks of the great and ever-growing
river of poverty for the golden boat of the capitalists to carry you over,
till you perish. Awake to the fact you may become capitalists
yourselves—that you can and must help yourselves." Thus exhorts the
People's Journal, in its genuine sympathy for the working classes.
Upon how many thousands of our countrymen have these words of
wise direction fallen, as upon "stony ground." The more, therefore,
the esteem with which the public will regard the men of Rochdale, upon
whom they have not fallen in vain.
That co-operation was the secret whereby the poor could make
money was known to old co-operators, though the Rochdale Society has been
the most skilful in turning it to progressive account; for as early
as 1831, one William Shelmerdine, storekeeper of a society, meeting at 7
Rodger's Row, Deansgate, Manchester, reported that their members, with a
stock of only £46 12s., and subscriptions of £26 10s., had made, in twelve
months, £20 2s. of profits. Eight members founded the Society, and
thirty-six had joined it by the end of the year.
The second Co-operative Congress was held in Birmingham, in
October, 1831. The first appears to have been held in Manchester, in
May, in the same year. In this year, the Lancashire and Yorkshire
Co-operator appeared—a small fortnightly penny paper, calling itself
the advocate of the useful classes, and bearing this sensible motto:—
"Numbers without Union are powerless—
And Union without Knowledge is useless."
The true warning is here, tough twenty-six years of experience has not
supplied the necessary wisdom to profit by it.
At the third London Co-operative Congress, 1832, there was
reported the existence of a "Rochdale Friendly Co-operative Society,"
which sent, as a delegate to London, one William Harrison. It had a
secretary of the gentle name of T. Ladyman, whose address was 70 Cheetham
Street, Rochdale. The Society was formed October, 1830. In
1832 it had fifty-two members. It employed ten members and families.
It manufactured flannel. It had thirty-two volumes in its library.
It had never discussed the "principles of exchange;" and there were two
societies in its neighbourhood.
In 1832, there existed in Birkacre a society, whose secretary
was Ellis Piggot, Printer's Arms, Salford, which had 3,000 members and
£4,000 of funds. This society were silk and calico printers.
At the third London Co-operative Congress there were
sixty-five societies represented, of which nine were in London. Of
the delegates or secretaries, the following names are still known:—W
.Lovett, B. Cousins, T. Whitaker.
Why have so many stores one after the other disappeared?
Some have not known how to turn their prosperity to a progressive account,
and have grown tired of a monotonous success. There have been of
late years failures around Rochdale; the leading cause assigned is the
system of credit.
The Oldham Mechanics' Store, and the Bolton Store, were
broken up through the
strike of the amalgamated ironworkers; but it was said they paid twenty
shillings in the pound. The Brighton Store did not acquit itself so
well on its failure, which was attributed to its giving credit to its
members. Mr. Smithies, who is certainly the most competent and
practical authority we can follow, said, writing in 1855:—"Nearly all the
Stores—there is hardly one exception—are now on the ready-money
principle. We find that those Co-operative Societies which commenced
by giving credit, but have since adopted the ready-money plan, have all
improved since doing so. I look upon the strap book," says he, "as
one of the greatest evils that can befal a working man. He gets into
debt with the shopkeeper, and is, for ever after, a week behind; and, as
we express it here, eats the calf in the cow's belly."
Hence arose that just terror of credit which the Store from
the first betrayed. In their first book of laws—the laws of
1844—the grand fine, the lion fine of the list there given, was to be
inflicted on any officer, who, on any pretence, should either purchase or
sell any article except for ready-money; which prohibition, as usual when
they are emphatic, is given twice over.
The Liverpool Co-operative Store, rising every year in
importance and usefulness, gives credit to the amount of two-thirds of the
paid-up shares of the members. The Store connected with Price's
Patent Candle Manufactory acts upon a similar rule. This, of course,
is a safe form of credit, but it involves a great additional amount of
book-keeping, and stops short of that moral discipline which ready-money
payments exercise upon the poor and naturally improvident.
In Rochdale, each workman in the manufacturing department is
required to become a capitalist. Either by weekly subscription or
other payments he is required to hold five shares in the Society.
Each of these artisan shareholders receives 5 per cent. upon the amount he
has invested. After the payment of this interest, and the wages of
the workmen at the usual average of the district, and all trade expenses,
the surplus of profit is divided according to the wages received by each
workman. The amount of profit over 5 per cent. interest, which is
first paid to the shareholders, is divided equally between the
shareholders and the workmen. One half goes to the shareholder 
according to the number of his shares; the other half goes to the workman
or workwoman according to the wages paid to him or her. The dividend
in the Rochdale Co-operative workshops, paid January, 1857, was one
shilling and sixpence upon every pound of wages received by workman or
An important difference in the division of co-operative
profits in Padiham and in Rochdale should be noticed. In Padiham,
workmen who had made small savings, and other minor capitalists,
subscribed a fund among them, bought machinery, and employed workmen.
The chief profits were reserved by the subscribers of the capital for
themselves. The workmen they employed had better situations and
somewhat higher wages than at other mills. This arose from most of
the proprietors being workmen, and having sympathy with the persons they
employed. In other respects, the Padiham Cotton League Company,
under the Joint Stock Companies' Act, paid their profits wholly to the
capitalists or shareholders. All the societies enrolled under this
act are understood to pursue this rule. It is no part of their plan
to acknowledge the labourer's right to a share of the profits his labour
creates, which is the Rochdale principle.
By precautions and good sense, the Rochdale Co-operators have
succeeded, notwithstanding the impediments the prejudices of their class
put in their way. During the period known among them as "the Corn
Mill Panic," Mr. Coningham, M.P., to whom the country is indebted for
valuable personal reports of the Working Men's Associations of Paris,
consented to make an advance of capital to assist in the exigence of the
Corn Mill, but on being very naturally required to submit their securities
to the examination of his solicitor, the Board objected to "having
anything to do with a lawyer," yet their securities were ample and good,
and they knew it.
Confidence among the members was sought the first year of the
existence of the
Store by establishing and showing plainly that checks upon the honesty of
officers existed. Drawers conveniently constructed are now used by each
provided with brass or tin coins according to the nature of his sales, of
hands to each purchaser an amount exactly representing the cash expended.
The Treasurer and Secretary of the Store, the Corn Mill, and manufacturing
departments, balance their cash accounts weekly. This rule, which enables
be corrected as they may arise, has operated very beneficially.
Security is now taken from £10 to £200 from each officer employed,
according to his
measure of responsibility. Each officer in charge of a shop till gives £10
Where other guarantee is not provided the Society holds the deposits of
the officer in
the Society, and if he has not a sufficient amount paid in, he is required
to make up
such amount by periodical payments. For sums so lying in the hands of the
interest is paid as in the case of shares. This is a very efficient
securities, for no man will find it answer his purpose to rob himself. The
of Directors assisted the shopmen in their duties. Economical in all their
improvements, it was not until 1854 that they lowered the floor of their
flour store, for
the convenience of children and the aged members coming to make purchases.
Numerous stores have at times sprung up around the Rochdale one, and in
consequence of its example; but none have been conducted with the same
nor have achieved more than a tithe of its success. This is owing to no
fault in the
principle, but to deficiency on the part of those who apply it, to want of
union, of patience, and enterprise. There are numerous instances in which
Stores have not only succeeded, but, in the opinion of the members, have
succeeded too well. They have made more money than they know what to do
Not knowing how to employ their savings advantageously, they have been
to the members, who have commenced saving again. Their Directors have
the talent of expanding their operations, and making their capital
Rochdale weavers appear to have been born with a special talent for
One cause of the striking success of these co-operators is, no doubt, to
be found in
the great economy of their trade expenses. The proportion of the salaries
they pay to their receipts is very small.  It would be
to maintain the same rate in the metropolis, where rents and wages are
the rate of poor men's provisions, in leading articles, the same. In
answer to a
question put to him on this point, Mr. W. Cooper writes me—"I see no
reason why the
people of London cannot carry on a Co-operative Society as well as people
in the provinces. In a small town, some dozen or twenty persons will meet,
agree that if a Co-operative Provision Store could be commenced it would
good. These twelve or twenty do commence one. They work on together,
to make the thing do. When it has worked on awhile, people who doubted
see that it can be carried out, and they join too. I see no reason why a
earnest men in London cannot act in the same way." In answer to other
the same informant writes—"At the commencement of a co-operative store
manufacturing society, it is essential that the members be visited or
often, so that contributions may be collected to establish and carry on
and that the members may become acquainted with the objects, position, and
requirements of the society. With this kind of management a store easily
acquires sufficient capital to work its business with, because the members
gained confidence, and pay in subscriptions on their own account without
To get people together in this personal and continuous manner is the
problem in London. Making some allowance for higher expenses in proportion
profits, the thing might be done if a number of the working-class could be
got to act
together, and keep together, for this end. It requires to convert a number
of them to a
clear view of their own personal interest, to be promoted in no other way,
and a deep
sense of duty towards their order, whose character is elevated by such
Compare Rochdale with Liverpool for instance. In Rochdale, a little bridge
spans, like a rocking horse, an imaginary stream, in which there is
nothing liquid but
the mud, situated in an invisible part of the town, is the only
picturesque object in it.
There is, indeed, a church with a flight of steps to it, so narrow, steep,
interminable, that you can never get to it, or if you do, it is a question
as to whether
you will ever get back. The remainder of the town is made up of roads that
nowhere, ornamented with factories apparently built before the dawn of
There is not a building in Rochdale upon which it will do any eye good to
town is in the shape of a teacup, with a gutter at the bottom and a
upon the rim. In such a place, if people are disposed to act together,
there is nothing
in the way of striking attraction around them to prevent them. The people
are immensely before the town, which like many other manufacturing towns
North, has grown into importance anyhow; but will, no doubt, yet assume
magnificence which is gradually being imported into Bradford, Leeds, and
places, which, twenty years ago, were quite as unpromising as Rochdale. Now pass
to Liverpool, with the bright and busy Mersey—its migratory population—its
magnificent buildings—its open halls, surpassing in variety those of
it requires more devotion among the few to carry a store to success in
it does in Rochdale. Then if you compare the ordinary provincial town,
and tame, with London and its countless attractions, the difficulty is
people are "too clever by half" to be useful. Will a dozen men stick to a
reform year after year, never failing on the weekly night of meeting to be
posts, amid the charms of the metropolis? Dickens is making a speech at
Lane, or reading his "Christmas Carol" at St. Martin's Hall—Thackeray is
the "Four Georges" at the Surrey Gardens, with Mr. Spurgeon to succeed him—Robson is coming out in a new character—Mr. Saunders has a new play at
Haymarket—Cardinal Wiseman is preaching in the next street—Dr. Cumming
prove that the end of the world will occur on Saturday, and the People's
Bands play in the Parks on Sunday—Neal Dow is at Exeter Hall, and George
Dawson at the Whittington Club—there are Cremorne, Rosherville, and Kew—the
National Gallery and the British Museum, and the Houses of Commons and
South Kensington Museum, and public meetings, where you may hear speakers
never to be heard before, and of tell never again—and countless other
A man must have self-denial as well as interest, who steadfastly grinds
berries and watches the sale of tea and sugar, and sits for years upon
Treacle Committees, amid this confluence of celebrities and novelties,
though it be
duty and religion to do it. This is why popular movements in London, which
upon the working and middle classes, make such uncertain progress. Unless
be wise enough to choose a side and discharge its obligations as a sacred
undertakes to win others to act in concert with him and pursues his object
with the fidelity of a soldier, nothing can be depended upon. In fine, it
working men in
London to be as superior to the average of their class in the metropolis
Pioneers of Rochdale are superior to the average of their own class in
and then co-operation may carry its moral discipline and physical comfort
poor of London.
The Leeds Corn Mill Society—the Padiham Co-operative Manufacturers—the Galashiels Co-operators—present features of success worthy to be placed
side with the Rochdale Store. Whether in being originated and conducted by
working men—whether in the variety and development of their operations—
in propagandist spirit—they are to be compared or placed before the
Pioneers, are matters I leave for others to determine. The public will be
glad to hear more about these experiments than these pages can
Just as the farmers, some years ago, could not be prevailed upon to make
their crops, lest their interests should be prejudiced in Parliament by
the fact, so the
Co-operators in some districts, having the fear of the Income Tax
before their eyes (the Rochdale issue of this question not being known, or
considered settled), or distrust of Government, object to make reports. Mr. T. Barker,
of Todmorden, in an unfilled return sheet before me, assigns this reason
incompleteness. Todmorden, Walsden, Bridge End, Alma Works, and
are mentioned in his return. Mr. Smithies, of Rochdale, whom I had
requested to get
certain forms filled up for me, despairs on these grounds of succeeding.
Working men are often injudiciously treated by employers in this way. Where the
men dressed with some taste, and maintained an appearance of social
masters would infer that they were doing too well, and would reduce their
This had a disastrous influence on the men, who come to regard careless
indigence of dress as means of keeping up wages. How were working men to
raised from improvidence while those who ought to incite them to
suggested to them the policy of keeping themselves poor, in order to avoid
made poor. A master whose pride or ignorance was put to the blush by
the manners of his men, would reduce their wages in order to lower their
however, has changed now; and masters are prouder of being enabled to say,
my men are worth money," than that "half of them are in debt." Throughout
the tendency is universal to help those who can help themselves. The
that exists will, if he reflects, find himself unconsciously acting on
this feeling. The
very beggar will not give to the beggar if he has reason to think that
what he gives
him will do him no good. There is no benevolence, high or low, that will
repeat the act of pouring the water of charity into a sieve. This fact, so
every man's experience, should teach the working class that if they
display the habits
of thrift, others may display the disposition to help. Moral statistics
will assure the
intelligent workman that where one employer reduces the wages of his men
of their social aspirations, there are more who made it a pretext to
because they see no resulting improvement.
Writers who speak with the
authority of political science have testified to the utility of
these efforts of self-help. One to whom the working classes are indebted
instruction and defence, remarks:—"We think, moreover, that these
Associations may be one of the most powerful of the many influences now at
for the education of the lower orders of the people; that wisdom will be
gained, if not
wealth, from the industry, self-control, and mutual forbearance needed to
This is the place where one may usefully cite words which one of the
friends of the people has written, and which cannot be too widely known
them, as this grave truth is not to be disputed.
"I lately heard the case of a letter-printer, who used to employ in his
savings of his workmen with mutual advantage. At one time he had thus in
as much as a thousand pounds, the property of one of the workmen. A master
manufacturer at Manchester assured me that he would gladly employ in his
any sums which his men would entrust him with, but that it was out of the
although, personally, he was on excellent terms with them. To invest money
master's business would be binding themselves to his interests, and
themselves proportionably from that of their own order. Such a step might
expose them to resentment, and, at any rate, their party feeling was too
had an indefinable suspicion that the master would be able to take
advantage of it.
Many of them, perhaps, did not like the master to know how rich they
Perhaps no sentence written about the people is more likely to serve them
following words by Mr. J. S. Mill:—"In Europe the time, if it ever
existed, is long past,
when a life of privation had the smallest tendency to make men better
more civilised beings." This sentence strikes at the root of that
about the condition of the people which has checked, and still checks, so
endeavours for their elevation. The gentlemen of England are, as a class,
less indolent and sensual than the poor. Opulence, and the means of
have not robbed them of enterprise. No spur of privation remains to
but the spur of intellect, of art, of high cultivation, excites them,
interests them—a new pride possesses them, and a lofty consciousness of
powers than those which poverty simulated, now carries them on to a
undreamed of, and, indeed, undesired before. When this truth is applied to
common people, when it is no longer an article of parish faith, that
"privation" is the
sole incentive of labour, the social policy of our rulers will be changed,
systematic elevation of the people begin.
When, a few years ago, Mr. Carlyle began, with his noble insight, to write
"Captains of Industry," he was considered to have visions of the most
of chieftains ever pictured in romances. But his ideas, grafted on the
age, have taken
root. Modern employers, if they wished, might found chieftainships, nobler
those of feudal days, and will, no doubt, do it yet. The Crossleys,
Akroyds, and Salts
of the North, are already taking proud places in the industrial history of
the people. A
few years ago, the "hives" of Lancashire and Yorkshire, Halifax, Bradford,
and Manchester, were dreary as penal settlements—as Oldham,
Hyde, Stockport, and crowds of smaller towns, are still. Of late years,
however, the warehouses of Manchester, and Bradford, and Leeds have
an air of
magnificence. Buckingham Palace does not look half so imposing as does the
structure erected by Sir John Watts, of Manchester. Towering in variegated
head and shoulders above all surrounding structures—occupying the site
former tenements—it stands the Monarch of Warehouses. The factory worker
grows taller by looking up at it—the most insensible inspire pleasure in
walking by it.
Must not the beef-built, square-headed, shrewd Bradford man, grow somewhat
refined, and even proud, if he has a spark of national spirit in him, as
his way home
lies by noble structures every day rising up on his path, and raising the
glory of his native town and land? Are we not all far away, proud to think
that trade is
not all mammon worship and gross materialism. Is it not a relief to see
saving merchant, wooing the arts, and obtain from the brain of the
structures, in which to enjoy his patiently earned wealth? Let not the
stunted, hot-air-stewed factory lands of Hyde, on precarious nine
shillings or fourteen
shillings a-week, nurse a sense of perpetual despondency. Their turn is
When the noble warehouse has, for some time, been admired, public
be turned to the factory, and next to the "factory-hand," and will be found
to admire both, if they will bear admiring; and then it will never do for
the proud and
rich employer to say, "Oh, I keep dainty rooms to store my cottons in; but
as for the
people who make them, any murky, sooty, unventilated, and dreary den will
them." The day is coming when no employer in the North will like to say
Titus Salt has been the first to feel this, and Saltaire; the noble
factory and dwellings
he has erected point to what will one day be done. Workmen think it a
privilege to get
an engagement in Mr. Salt's mill. The town of Bingley has been deserted by
who prefer Saltaire. The workmen's rooms, in which the factory operations
carried on, are nobler, higher, healthier, pleasanter rooms, than were the
of the gentlemen of the North fifty years ago. Any workshop in Saltaire is
pleasanter than any room in the house you pass at Bury, where the late Sir
Peel was born.
A man, whose soul is affluent as well as his circumstances, will
stately warehouse by a stately and healthy factory; from being an artist
premises, he will, to use Mr. Thornton Hunt's words, become "an artist in
will covet that his men shall, in their way, look as well and bear
gracefully as his machines, and then that they shall dwell in homes as
salubrious, and as suitable as those accorded to spinning-jennies: he will
the ring of his money shall echo with the contentment of those who aided
to earn it.
Thus, were the advocate silent, and the plea of humanity disregarded, and
rights ignored, a principle of artistic consistency will, one day, enforce
in the produce of industry and the conquests of science.
AN ILLUSTRATIVE CHAPTER
DURING the progress of this little book through the press, some new
incidents in the
career of the Store and its departments have arisen, which deserve brief
(1857.) The Store has been attacked in local newspapers, and on placards,
anonymous writers, who appear to seek the destruction of the Society by
disunion and creating distrust of its financial security. The attacks were
during the recent panics. In the December quarter the Board reported that
unfavourable reports had been circulated respecting the Stores, the number
members on the books was greater by forty-eight than at the commencement
quarter—making a total of 1,848. Had the placard writers here referred
in their design, considerable injury would have been done to a large body
working class at a time when firms were daily breaking. Had the credit of
commercial house been attacked in the same way, a jury would have given
considerable damages, had the case been brought before them: and we think
Board of Directors would do well to regard themselves as entitled to the
protection of commercial houses, and to make an example of the first
assailants to whom they can trace similar wanton aggressions. There is
enemies to the success of the Pioneers, enemies on competitive grounds,
that the Pioneers have become really formidable, seek to destroy them by
It requires great good sense and mutual powers of forbearance to sit
silent and see
statements published which appear to the public more than half true, and
know to be wholly false. The temptation to go into controversy in
self-defence is very
great; and the ease with which controversy slides into personalities we
all know—then time is wasted, temper lost, and only scandal gains, and the enemy
Any shrewd opponent may naturally calculate that amid 2,000 persons, some
found who may, by taunts of want of courage, or want of truth, be seduced
disastrous newspaper or placard war. It is said of the first Napoleon,
that in the early
part of his Italian campaign he was followed by numerous letters, some
him, some abusing him, and all perplexing him very much to answer. After a
deal of time had been consumed in replies, which time might have been much
employed upon maps and strategy, and actual war with the enemy, it
him to throw all his letters into a capacious basket, and let them lie
there for six
weeks: at the end of which period he found that time and events had
nearly all. We suggest some such plan as this to the Board of Directors of
Rochdale Store. We recommend them to refer all matters of controversy to a
committee of three clear-headed, dispassionate men, whose duty it should
be to give
very brief explanations of any point really misunderstood; and if any
seemed called for, to enter upon it only once a year, and to lay by all
newspapers, letters and articles, until December, and then reply, to what
success may not have confuted, and what the public may not have forgotten
will be found to be nine-tenths of the whole), and then let silence and
for twelve months more.
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE PIONEERS' SOCIETY.
Equitable Pioneers' Co-operative Stores,
Nos. 8, 16, and 31 Toad Lane,
Rochdale, April 17th, 1858.
SIR,—By this post I send the report of the R.
D. C. C. M. S. (Rochdale District Co-operative
Corn Mill) for March, 1858, from which you will see that the Society is
making progress—as is the co-operative principle as a whole. I think I
told you that
our next step forward will be to extend the operations of the
here, and, while I write, a Committee is sitting to consider proposals
been made in response to an advertisement for a capitalist to build us a
we purpose to fill with machinery and work. The working classes may at
by having over confidence, but do not they lose much more who never have
confidence? The five thousand members of the Co-operative Societies within
miles of Rochdale, representing twenty-five thousand persons, could not
benefits they now receive unless they had confidence in each other and in
principle of co-operation.
To Mr. G. J. Holyoake.
THE OPINION AND ADVICE OF LORD GODERICH, M.P. 
(A later Letter from the Secretary of the Store. )
We (writes William Cooper of Rochdale), received a long letter from Mr.
Leeds, this morning, April 26th, 1858, which shows that they are aiming at
Stores to distribute their groceries in preference to the agency
which they adopted to distribute the flour made at their own mill. In the
course of his
letter Mr. Holmes remarks:— "The other day your West Riding Member, Lord
Goderich, being in the town, visited our mill, and met the Board in a
had a very interesting meeting and conversation. His lordship told us we,
Rochdale (or rather Rochdale and Leeds, for we cheerfully give way to
superiority), were the objects of frequent conversations both in the House
and out of
it; that our success was most welcome to some good statesmen, who see if
people are doing well, all else must be well. Our prosperity was pointed
at as proving
the people can, and will, manage their own affairs. If we fail, the
reputation of the
principle will be seriously damaged, and when our contentions and
mentioned, it ties their hands. He told us it was not ourselves alone we
consider; we were now held up and closely watched by other societies, and
people would follow us if we succeed, or be disheartened if we fail. We
had a most
kind and strong exhortation to go on, economise, save, and extend—to be
wise and peaceful. It would take me long to tell you all, but he promised
service should we need it, and he be able to do us good. By the way, I
recommend you to send reports to Lord Goderich, Mr. Conningham, M.P., Mr.
Slaney, M.P., and other good friends in London. It affords them pleasure,
sympathy is deserving of return."
I make you this copy of Mr. Holmes's letter, which will interest you, as
that our progress bears some fruit.
To Mr. G. J. Holyoake.
The cordial interest taken by Lord Goderich in the welfare of the working
well known, not only in the West Riding but throughout England. We choose
to close this brief history of the first thirteen years of the Rochdale
with the above
transcript of Lord Goderich's wise and influential words of encouragement
AN OLD PIONEER'S ACCOUNT OF THE ORIGIN OF THE STORE.
MR. JOHN KERSHAW,
the last but one of the Pioneers, sent to Mr. Abraham Greenwood various
MSS. (1891-2) records relating to the period preceding the formation of
the Equitable Pioneers, which he wished should reach my hands. Many
things are new, all told by him with the vividness of a witness, and the
circumstantiality of one who took part in them. The story adds to
our knowledge of the old Pioneers, and is confirmatory of all that has
been published of them. The pictures given of Rochdale life and
meetings of working men, are scenes from the past well worth preserving.
"I began," Mr, Kershaw writes, "to work as a tearboy at the
Gate Printworks before I was seven years old, and went to work in the pit
before I was eight years old. So you will see there was not much
time for my schooling had any schoolmaster been about."
The Rochdale Pioneers began their work when distress was wide
spread. The handloom weaver seemed to be the worst off of any of the
working class. Improved machinery had driven him to the lowest point
at which he could live. The condition of things in Rochdale would be
incredible did it not rest upon authority. Sharman Crawford, the
member for the borough, declared in the House of Commons in the debate
Sep. 20, 1841, that in Rochdale there were 136 persons living on 6d. per
week,  200 on 10d. per week, 508 on 1s. per week,
855 on 1s. 6d. per week, and 1,500 were living on 1s. 10d. a week.
Five-sixths of those he spoke of had scarcely any blankets, eighty-five
families had no blankets, forty-six families had only chaff beds, with no
covering at all. No wonder the country was full of agitations, and
in Rochdale, where there was intelligence as well as unrest, all
agitations seemed to rage. There was a great local agitation against
the new Poor Law. There was one for the Charter. Temperance
had its advocates. The Socialists had their society. The
Anti-Corn-Law agitation was rife in the town. The Ten Hours Bill was
fiercely discussed. Two social facts stood out very clear—labour
was cheap, but bread was dear. Yet bread was almost the only article
of food the people were able to get.
"In 1842, at an Anti-Corn-Law meeting, a proposal was
made to close factories to compel Parliament to repeal the Corn Laws.
The chairman was about to put the motion, when an elderly gentleman, who
seemed to have more forethought than the rest, said it would never do, as
the work-people would soon be starving, and very soon there would be
rioting. Another speaker said that employers would reduce the wages
lower than they were."
In the summer of 1843, Rochdale was placarded, announcing a
discussion on "The best means of obtaining the People's Charter." Mr.
Kershaw says "I attended that discussion; so did Charles Howarth, James
Smithies, and James Daly. It was there I first heard the principles of the
Pioneers announced; Charles Howarth taking the lead, was well supported by
Smithies, Daly, and others. Mr. Howarth showed, as I thought, very clearly
that it was the only lever whereby the working class could permanently
improve their social and political condition. His scheme and its details
were so well studied out and clear that it commanded assent. It was said
at this meeting that a co-operative society had been in existence in
Rochdale not more than two years before, and that it had gone down. Howarth at once showed us the reason why. He seemed thoroughly acquainted
with the cause, and was well prepared with a new principle which would
keep continually infusing new life into the movement. A few days before
Christmas, 1843, a circular was issued calling a delegate meeting to be
held at the Weavers' Arms, Cheetham Street, near Toad Lane. Each trade was
invited to send two delegates. The colliers sent me (John Kershaw). The
promoter of this meeting was a strong trade unionist, and a unionist
chairman was at once appointed. His address pointed out what the colliers
had just done in getting their wages increased nearly double the amounts
they were receiving a few weeks before. He praised the colliers to the
skies, as it were. It appeared from what he said that he thought all other
workers could do the same, if they took the same means."
After a deal of talk, a collier (Mr. Kershaw) was asked to
show how they had
managed to get advances in their wages without a strike. He said he could
recommend them all to do just what the colliers had done, for if all
industry did the same, they would be worse off after the advance than they
before. This seemed to puzzle the meeting not a little, which could not
see how they
would be worse off with higher wages, and asked the speaker to explain. He said:
"Suppose you were all getting £1 a week, and with it you could just pay
Then suppose you got an advance of 4s. a week, but at the same time the
all the articles you needed to buy cost you 5s. a week more, you would be
after the advance than you were before." The plan of the colliers was this—the
Haddershaw Moor Colliery just employed thirty coal getters at that pit.
quarter each got (a quarter contains fifteen loads) the collier was
advanced 2d. per
quarter, and the masters advanced the coal 2d. per load or 2s. 6d. per
is for every 2d. they paid the collier they charged the public fifteen
collier got 2d. and the coalowner 2s. 4d. "I say," said the speaker, "that
is raised upon the same principle we shall all be worse off after the
advance than we
were before." Whereupon a great tumult arose in the meeting, and the
called everything that was bad, and were even charged with conspiring with
masters to rob the public.
No one seemed to perceive that all employers could not charge the public
2s. 6d. for
every 2d. extra they paid the workmen. The collier speaker himself did not
see that if he had 4s. extra wages he would not have to spend 4s. for the
burnt in his house every week, probably not 1s., and he would be 3s. the
every trade the same argument applied. The poor collier had got into his
nonsense employers always talk. They always say the higher your wages the
you will be off, and the only way to improve your condition is to work for
Those who smile to-day at the poor colliers' muddle-headedness should
that political economists in those days talked the same nonsense, and they
same thing still in the House of Commons, when they say that any advance
will drive trade to other countries. The wages of all men are double now
were that day, and according to that theory all trade should have left the
Hearing how the increased price of coal had come about, a tumult
arose, and the
colliers were accused for having incited the masters to raise the price of
it did subside Mr. Kershaw cried out:
"Hold on a bit, there are some of you talking of what you know nothing
anyone is more to blame than another for what has been done, that man is
I, for I
gave the colliers the advice upon which they acted. Up to the present time
I have not
uttered a single word to any master, nor has any master said anything to
that subject. But the masters were not slow to take advantage of what we
It is well known that our wages have been doubled and the price of coal
has risen in
Then a new charge was made, that the colliers had neglected their duty to
in not exposing the conduct of the masters in raising the price of coal so
beyond what they had given to the men. The denunciation of this neglect
and fierce. This roused Mr. Kershaw's indignation, and he replied with
and directness. He said "the colliers owed no obligation whatever to the
public cared nothing about the colliers, and why should the colliers care
about the public? All the public cared for in connection with colliers was
Cheap coal was all their aim.
"Only a few months before this time, I was," Mr. Kershaw said, "getting a
seam of coal, doing all the bye work, paying the banksman; in fact,
delivering it into
the boats. All I was paid was thirteenpence a ton, but never did any of
come and say 'Here, Kershaw, you were not properly paid for that coal that
so cheap. Here's sixpence for you.' No; it was cheap coal they wanted. It
matter to them what became of the collier."
Mr. Kershaw relates "that in going home Howarth and he discussed the
to the public." Mr. Kershaw maintained that they owed no obligation to the
the public cared nothing for the producer, which was amply proved by the
the hand-loom calico weaver was driven out of his trade; when, if the
have given ½d. per yard more for hand-loom woven calico than they gave
steam-power weaving, the hand-loom calico weaver would have held his own. No,
the public preferred the cheaper article, and the hand-loom weaver was
the industrial field. Mr. Howarth well knew that the hand-loom flannel
maintain his ground if the public would give 1d. a yard more for
but the public cared for cheapness, and not for the lives of the workers. The result
was that the hand-loom flannel weaver was going after the hand-loom calico
Mr. Howarth acknowledged he had never seen the question in that light.
At the meeting above described, some trade unionist opposed co-operation
some co-operators were against trade unions, Mr. Kershaw remarking, "All
justly say of trade unions is they are a never-ending contention between
and employed, without producing any corresponding benefit." He did not see
very few workmen did, that organised unionism would one day become a
defender of workmen, and the regulator of wages.
"The question arising,
what could be done to amend things it was said that Charles
Howarth had a plan, but as the night was far advanced it was arranged to
explained another evening. Howarth came well prepared. The trade unionists
there with a considerable opposition. They said co-operation had been
tried and had
failed; the shop had been closed two years ago. Charles Howarth showed
clearly why and how it had gone down, and always would go down, he said,
as the rich, in the character of shareholders, ran away with all the
profits. Under his
scheme the larger the family the greater would be its gain, while the
the richer members would receive a fair remuneration, profits remaining
members according to their purchases."
Mr. Kershaw asked the question, "Suppose all working men were in earnest,
paid threepence a week until they were able to start a co-operative store,
allowed all the profits to accumulate and be relaid out productively—that is, in
establishing co-operative workshops—how long would it take to get the
workshops of the country under the control of the working people?" Charles
and Macnaught (who was present) took pencil and paper to calculate the
Macnaught was the first to raise his head, and said that in fifteen years,
if all working
men went into the project, they might get command of the workshops if
contributions and store profits were laid out productively." At the next
meeting, a week later, Charles Howarth, proceeding upon his own and
calculation, brought a tract ready written, showing how working men might
their own employers in fifteen years. The paper was read, earnestly
discussed, and it
was resolved to print it. Each man, who could, paid 5s. down there and
meeting was a thin one, but £3 was given to Howarth that he might get as
printed as he could for that sum and bring them to the next meeting. The
quantity were consigned to Mr. Kershaw, with the understanding that he
distribute them and collect them in the way tract collectors did. He did
several weeks, allowing each tract to remain a fortnight before calling
for it. Every
alternate week he might be seen collecting these tracts and re-delivering
houses where they had not been before. At one house, at Clegg Hall, he met
very strong rebuff. On collecting the tract he asked whether it had been
answer was mostly "Yes." He then asked what was thought about it, and
little debate followed; but at Clegg Hall, when the occupant, a man about
old, was asked what he thought about it, he said, "Such folks as Kershaw
friends were unfit to live. It was such men who made things as bad as they
was all their fault that times were so bad." He deprecated any new
amending social and industrial evils, lest it should made matters worse—a doctrine
which, if it was generally acted upon, would make oppression of long life,
or improvement of any kind impossible. Those who were in the wrong would
find it out, nor be disquieted in doing wrong; and those who found doing
agreeable to their interests would be guaranteed an easy time of it. The
ensured a charmed life when people, whose houses he is looting, are
advised not to
interrupt him, nor call in the police, lest he should be irritated and
worse. The poor workman Mr. Kershaw encountered was of this way of
simple-minded Clegg Hall man had probably learned this kind of chatter
far more astute than he. It is a commonplace of governments, capitalists,
monopolists, and all who have some interest to defend, or some improvement
of justice to resist. The Government say, "You need not agitate, the time
has not yet
come; you only make irritation and indispose people to do what you want." When, after a lapse of time, those who act upon this advice ask the
the implied promise, they are told "their demand is perverse; nobody is
asking for the change"—thus making the silence they asked for an argument for refusing the very
they were told agitation prevented them conceding. In the same way as a
an interest or an injustice is officiously saying, to any who ask redress,
indispose those in office to concede what you request by perpetually
agitating for it."
If you listen to them they sharply tell you "nobody cares for the
seek or they would be asking for it." It is agitation that makes opinion,
and it is
opinion alone which compels those to do justice whose interest it is to
This kind of argument could not impose upon the intelligent Rochdale
of that day; and Mr. Kershaw at once said, "I know things are bad, since I
earn 10s. a week, and that is not sufficient I to maintain a family upon. That state of
society which compels a man to work for so little wants altering," and he
for one was
determined that it should be altered, so that an honest man should be able
sufficient to live upon by honest means. It transpired afterwards that the
man was a steady workman, who had been imposed upon by those who knew
better, and he was afraid that agitation would make things worse with him
At another meeting the subject discussed was the "habits of the people,"
Pennington said, "the man who lost a quarter of a day's work, or spent or
sixpence unnecessarily, was a fool to himself, a rogue to his family, and
a knave to
his fellowmen." These honest men who had industry in their blood, who
sixpences, and had to economise them, were justly indignant that other
because they had a little capital, were able to amass pounds out of their
labour and they be unable to help it. Accordingly they decided to become
pioneers of a new co-operative store.
There was then a building in Toad
storeys high; the topmost storey a Bethel school; the middle a day school;
ground floor unoccupied. It had been a warehouse, and had a pair of large
an entrance. These would have to be removed, and proper shop doors and
be put in. Charles Howarth and others were appointed to go and see the
soon as he was told the name of the society, and what they proposed doing,
he could not think of letting the room to them. At this point Charles
to the front and said: "Will you take me for a tenant, and I will pay you
a quarter's rent
in advance?" "Yes," said the landlord, "I will do that." So it was agreed
that the new
society should have the place for three years, Howarth being the tenant,
the rent each quarter in advance. It was decided to open only at nights.
Ashworth and William Cooper volunteered to act as shopmen, and if the
did not pay the first three months they would take nothing for their
services, but if it
was able to pay a dividend, they were to receive threepence an hour,
which, if they
were on duty three hours, would be ninepence a night, and the salary of a
permanent night shopman would be 4s. 6d. a week. The Store was opened on
evening of St. Thomas's day, 1844.
New societies who think they are not going to succeed because their first
are small, may take courage from Kershaw's story.
At the end of the first quarter the Rochdale Society did pay a dividend of
3d. in the
pound, after reducing the value of the fixed stock to what they thought it
under the hammer. The second dividend was 4d., the fourth 7d., the fifth
9d., the sixth 11d., the seventh 1s. 2d., the eighth 1s. 4d., the ninth
1s. 6d.; 1s. 8d.
largest dividend they ever calculated upon getting; but for many years
ranged from 2s. to 2s. 6d.
They arranged their rules so that they could
devote one tenth
of their profits to educational purposes. But when sent to Mr. Tidd Pratt,
Registrar, he refused to certify them. The contest with him lasted for
The rules were altered again and again. The Society tried to edge in
several different ways; but he always struck it out. "We were not allowed
ourselves, but the Society was very loth to part with its education
clause. We had
considerable correspondence with Mr. Tidd Pratt on the subject, but he
give way." These were the days when the law prohibited workmen from
themselves and the Government refused them the franchise on the ground of
want of knowledge.
(The major portion of the following part first appeared in 1878.
twenty-one years later.)
"Others, we doubt not, if not we,
The issue of our toil shall see;
And children gather as their own
The harvest which the dead have sown—
The dead, forgotten, and unknown."
THE REV. WILLIAM NASSAU MOLESWORTH, M.A.,
A CLERGYMAN WHO, TEACHING CHRISTIANITY BY EXAMPLE
AND LEAVING CONVICTION TO CONSCIENCE,
WENT AMONG HIS CO-OPERATIVE. PARISHIONERS, GIVING THEM WISE
AND FRIENDLY HELP,
IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR WILFULNESS IN PIETY OR POLITICS,
THIS STORY OF THEIR CAREER FROM 1857 TO 1878
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.
THE WEAVERS' DREAM.
THIRTY-TWO years ago certain working men in a
third-rate town in Lancashire dreamed, like Bunyan, a dream. Their
subject was different from his. The famous Bedford tinker dreamed of
the kingdom of Sin—the Rochdale weavers dreamed of the kingdom of Labour.
Both dreamers, however, had one vision—that of the pilgrimage out of an
evil and hopeless land. The weavers were weary of dwelling in the
unrequited grounds where toil had no reward; and turned their eyes towards
the Enchanted Lands of self-secured competence. Both knew there was
a rugged pilgrimage before them, and the flannel weavers of the town in
question resolved, like Christian of Bunyan's immortal story, to set out
We do not pursue any further the allegory between the two
sets of pilgrims: a different and simpler comparison will be sufficient
for our purpose. In 1844, co-operation was no unknown thing.
It was worse than that. As sometimes happens at the police courts,
it had, like the prisoner at the bar, "been seen there before."
Co-operation was an old offender; it had been tried and condemned many
times. Many workmen had lost by it; more had suffered disappointment
by it. It was regarded as an exploded scheme. To use a
nautical phrase, the vessel was not seaworthy; in fact, co-operation was
little better than a leaky, rickety cockboat, in which few would sail out
into the sea of industry. It was doubtful whether it would ever get
into port, and was sure to be a long time about it, if ever it did arrive.
However, a few resolute mariners, who could not be much worse off if they
went to the bottom, made up their minds to the attempt.
A year, as the reader (meaning the reader of the First Part
of this narrative) knows, was spent in preparing for the voyage. The
sides of the old hulk were caulked, and the old rigging repaired in 1844.
She had been on the water then sixteen years, the leaky old craft having
been launched at Brighton in 1828. Her condition was very frequently
discussed, and unfriendly onlookers shook their heads. Others tried
to keep up the spirits of the sailors. An outsider or two did take a
small share in the adventure, but the cargo was almost entirely supplied
by the crew which were to man her; and at the end of twelve months she was
launched again, with half £28 worth of provisions, consisting chiefly of
oatmeal, salt, and bacon; and general preparations were made for a very
rough passage. The Equitable Pioneers had pretty hard work to
balance themselves. They were finely tossed about. One minute
they were seen on the crest of an ugly wave, and the next lost in a nasty
trough of sea. The townspeople were on the look-out on the shore.
The crew had been a little shy of getting into so insignificant a
cockboat. Everything was mean, shabby, poverty-stricken, and
worm-eaten about the affair, excepting the bravery of the Rochdale
sailors, who sustained their national renown for pluck and daring.
Some of the spectators wished them "God speed," but these were too poor to
aid, and mostly too desponding to believe in their own kind-hearted hope.
Others jeered, for never was a more absurd, battered, leaky old barque
seen, which went by the name of "The Weavers' Dream."
In more prosaic, but not truer terms, it may be told that
co-operation was a distrusted and doubtful thing, when the flannel weavers
of Rochdale began business in Toad Lane on £28 of capital, the produce of
much hard saving. Gradual gains were made. Years' of
vicissitude and progress followed. The "Pioneers' Store," as it was
called, increased; members multiplied; new departments of business were
opened. Panics occurred, and again it was predicted that the
"Weavers' Dream" would end as dreams usually do, in fantastic nothingness.
This was not to be so. The old craft made many voyages,
and always with an increasing profit on its freights. Storm clouds
darkened its passage, the crew were often driven upon the rocks, but each
year they repaired, strengthened, and new-painted their vessel; and at
times new ones were launched, amid expressions of confidence unknown
before, and rejoicings that none ever thought to witness. At length
1861 arrived, and cotton famine clouds blew from the South and threatened
the wreck of everything. A slave war monsoon blew across the
Atlantic, and withered in a night all the vast industry of the northern
counties. Then was to come the wreck of co-operation and the crash
of stores. Then, at last and for ever, the weavers were to awaken
from their long and infatuated dream!
The great tornado came—panic and famine, and all the furious
winds of war and disaster—but nothing moved the adventurous Pioneer
vessel from its moorings. It had become a stout ship by this time.
It had been remasted, new rigged, had a quarter deck laid down, and been
fitted with machinery of the latest improvements in co-operative
navigation. It made its usual voyages during the tempest as though
nothing was happening; and, while many other ships foundered, it always
came safe into port. And when other vessels were in difficulties,
from stress of weather or want of provisions, it would put off and
gallantly render help. Of course its timbers had been well
strengthened, and the commanders had provided themselves with good maps,
on which the rocks were laid down pretty accurately. The captain
knew where to coast about and when to put out on the open sea. The
crew consisted of stout-hearted, experienced sailors. How it came
about that they alone made prosperous voyages in dangerous seas will be
told herein, in due course, for the entertainment and instruction of
future co-operative navigators.
23. These instances were
quoted by Chambers’s Journal at the time of their appearance.
Vide rules 1845-6 of the above
Vide letter of S. H. Musgrave,
read by Sir Erskine Perry at the public meeting to consider the laws
relating to the property of married women, held at 21 Regent Street,
London, 31st May, 1856—Law Amendment Journal, No. 14, p.94.
26. A recent Act of
Parliament has increased this amount to £200.
27. A minute of Sept.
20th, 1853, orders a motion to be made at the quarterly meeting for
awarding £40 to the Library.
28. The News-room became
chargeable on the Education Fund only within the last six months (1857).
The quarterly meeting passed a resolution that the News-room should be
free to members, and supported from the Education Fund.
29. Mr. Lloyd Jones being
manager of the Manchester branch of the Co-operative Central Agency of
and subsequent traveller for that firm, has frequently visited the working
societies of the North of England, and addressed the members at their
anniversary meetings. On these occasions, and at the several co-operative
conferences held in London Manchester, Rochdale, Leeds, and Bury, he has
exercised an important influence in the development of the co-operative
"Wholesale department" of the Rochdale Store, so important a step in
organisation, was carried out under his advice.
30. And sustained by the
Rev. Charles Marriott,
Fellow of Oriel, one of those Churchmen who commend the priestly character
by uniting a clear faith to works of human interest.
31. "The Co-operative
Principle not opposed to a
true Political Economy," by the Rev. Charles Marriott, B.D., Fellow of Oriel—pp. 35-6.
32. The most radical and
popular chief constable of the day.
33. Known among old social
reformers as "Father Garside."
34. An intelligent young
Polish exile, exiled
through the Hungarian struggle, to whom employment was given in the Store,
and who rose to be superintendent. He has lately emigrated to
35. Though capitalists
were twice paid (a bad example to set) they rose up and took away from the
workman his share, as soon as they proved numerous enough.
36. The cost of
distribution at the central Store is l¾
cent. upon the returns, and with the branch shops, about 2½ per cent.; so
that for 2
per cent. all working expenses of rent, rates, wages, etc., are defrayed.—John
Holmes's paper, read before the British Association for the Advancement of
Social Science, at Birmingham, which we commend to the reader.
37. For the History
of the People's Flour Mill Society of Leeds, the reader can consult the
mentioned in the note on p. 59. It may, probably, be had of the author,
James Holmes, Leeds, or the printer, David Green, 38 Boar Lane, Leeds.
38. W. R. Greg,
"Investments of the Working Classes," p. 120.
39. Professor F. W.
Newman's lectures on "Political Economy," pp 321-2.
40. Since Marquis of
41. Mr. Kershaw took it
from Mr. Lloyd Jones' "Life of Robert Owen." Mr. Lloyd Jones took it
from the late John Noble's "National Finance." I verified it by
going to Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. It seems incredible now
how any human being could have on the sums named. Dr. Abernethy
advised a fat alderman "to live on sixpence a day and earn it." But
a prescription of sixpence a week would have killed the patient.
However did 136 Rochdale persons—not fat and full like Abernethy's
alderman, but lean and hungry—contrive to live on a penny a day and
nothing for Sunday?