chapter  8
Robert Owen, Peter Drinkwater and the Early Factory System in Manchester, 1788–1800
WithD. A. Farnie, W. O. Henderson
Pages 22

Messrs. Barton were wholesale merchants and cotton manufacturers of No.6 Phoenix Street, Manchester. Robert Owen, cotton-mill owner, philanthropist and the 'father of British Socialism', came to Manchester about 1788 and left it soon after his marriage in September 1799, when he entered upon the government of his 'kingdom' at New Lanark in Scotland. Owen was only too glad to sever his connection with Jones after a few months, when a third party with capital came along and took Owen's place in the business. He seems to have been a supporter of Pitt's Government at a time when there was considerable criticism of that Minister's foreign policy. An alternative explanation is that he remained Drinkwater's manager well into 1795, but was at the same time actively engaged in the affairs of his new partnership with Jonathan Scarth and Moulson. The Borradaile connection is rather more complicated and certainly more interesting.