Dead Socialist Watch, #318

My goodness – I haven’t posted a new Dead Socialist for a long time. Here’s a cracking one from the ODNB

Frances Morrison, née Cooper, from a poor Sussex background, the 16-year old girl met and eventually married a house-painter, James Morrison (1802-1835), moving to his native Newcastle-upon-Tyne and, later, to Birmingham. The couple became increasingly involved in radical and trade-union activity: he edited the Owenite paper, The Pioneer, which may have been – the ODNB speculates – the first English-language periodical to carry a regular women’s page, which they wrote together, denouncing, among other things, the inequality of women’s and men’s wages: “The industrious female is well entitled to the same amount of remuneration as the industrious male”, they wrote, in 1834.

James died after a fall in 1835, and Frances became a professional propagandist for the Owenite cause, first running a shop in Finsbury, then working as the “hostess” of the Owenite Social Institution in Salford, later touring the North as a popular lecturer on women’s rights. Here’s the title-page for a lecture given in Manchester:


It’s not clear where she went politically from the 1840s; there are conflicting reports. She remarried a London pastry-cook in the 1850s. Born at Petworth, Sussex, January 1807, she died at Harwich, Essex, 29 August 1898.

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