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The last days of the celebrated Robert Owen
- Item 89/18: from Notebook of Richard Lewis.
- The last days of the celebrated Robert
Owen Nov 8 1858
I was introduced to him by Mr Rigby his
agent. Mr Owen had read my Essay on the
Relation and duty of the Employer and
Employed. When Mr 0 saw me he said, I am
glad to see you, and to shake your Hand,
then after making a few inquirys abought my
Family and Buisness, he told me that he had
come to Newtown to live and die amongst
them, then he said I thank you Mr Lewis for
your kindness to myself and Mr Rigby, I find
you are a man of Liberal views, I wish you to
be come my Public & Privet Secretary while I
am at Newtown and to keep an account of all
I say to you, for I am writing my Life, and
shall use it for that purpose.
I hope to be able in a few days to
come to your house and to make arrangements for
future proceedings. I intend to make
Newtown the happiest place on Earth.
On the 9th he made many inquiries
abought the Magistrates and parties in and
abought the Town, and wished me to ask
them to call and see him as soon as he
would be able to see them.
After a short pause he said, Mr Rigby is
going to London on Thursday and I want you
to call and see me many times a day.
on the 10th Mr Owen was rather better
and spoke with greater ease, he said "Mr
Rigby has been a very faithful servant to me
for twenty five years. But he is a materealist
and that is a great drawback. Reading my
works has made him an infidel, But I hope
now by my example to teach him pure Loving
On the 11th When Mr Rigby left for
London Mr Owen was rather better than on
the 10th. But as the day wore a way he
became rather worse. Dr Slyman was then
called in and found him very weak.
During the 12th & 13th he did not say
much but on the 14th he was more for talking
than I could have wished him to be. Mr
Lewis he said, I want you to let me your
Siting Room and 2 Bed rooms and I will be
removed and come to live with you. My Son
Robert Dale Owen will be hear on Tuesday
and he shall come and settle for the rooms.
I then requested him not to talk any more
lest he would exaste himself, well he said we
will leave the matter till my son comes.
I took my wife & Daughter to see him, he
expressed him-self pleased to see them and
said, I intend to come to see you in a few
days and to live with you.
On the 15th he was worse I felt very
anxious to see some of his Relatives arriving
least he should die with only Strangers to
attend him, (altho everybody was kind to him,
and he to everybody) and to my great
satisfaction on the morning of the 16th his
son The Hon R Dale Owen and Mrs
[Bugden] came. But were surprised to
see the altered state of his health, he was
very poorly the whole of the day. I called at
ten p.m. and proposed to stay with him that
night, but 2 nurses had been provided and
my services was not needed.
on the 17th abought 7 oclock AM he
departed this life. This closed the Earthly
Carear of one who during a life of nearly
ninty years, laboured hard and I believe
sincear to benifit the human race Physically,
Morally and Socially.
I only regret that I am not able to say that
he was a humble believer in Jesus Christ.
I first became acquainted with Mr R Owen.