Biographical Dictionary of European Labor Leaders - Vol. 2

By A. Thomas Lane | Go to book overview

O

OASTLER, Richard ( 1789-1861). Born in Leeds, England, on 20 December, 1789 to Robert Oastler and Sarah Scurr; his father was a cloth merchant and prominent Methodist who retired from the trade because of his opposition to the introduction of machinery; educated at Fulneck Moravian School and apprenticed to an architect in Wakefield, he became a Commission Agent in the textile trade, going bankrupt in 1820; upon his father's death he succeeded him as Steward of the Thornhill Estate in Huddersfield; during the 1820s his religious and political allegiances were transferred to Tory Anglicanism; in September 1830 wrote his famous letter to the Leeds Mercury on Yorkshire slavery, which initiated the Factory Reform Campaign of which he became the leading spokesman; a vociferous opponent of the new industrial society and the factory system both in the Factory Reform Movement and the Anti-Poor Law League, his distaste for the factory system led to his advocacy, in the last resort, of industrial sabotage; defeated in two parliamentary elections in Huddersfield in 1837; dismissed by the Thornhill Estate in 1838 and pursued by writs for debt he was committed to Fleet Prison, where he produced the Fleet Papers; released in 1844 after a series of public subscriptions he was involved in the revived Factory Reform campaigns of the late 1840s and early 1850s although on a lower level than in the 1830s; he produced a large number of pamphlets and became a major contributor to local and national newspapers and editor of the Fleet Papers ( 1841-44) and The Home ( 1851-53). After his death on 22 August, 1861 a public subscription led to the erection of a statue of 'The Factory King' in Bradford. See C. Driver, Tory Radical: The Life of Richard Oastler ( 1946); G. D.H. Cole, Chartist Portraits ( 1941).

J. A. JOWITT

OBNORSKII, Viktor Pavlovich ( 1852-1919). Born in Griazovets, a town in Vologda province, Russia, on 11 November, 1852; son of Pavel Obnorskii, a

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Biographical Dictionary of European Labor Leaders - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • M 594
  • N 687
  • O 706
  • P 720
  • Q 783
  • R 786
  • S 830
  • T 943
  • U 986
  • V 992
  • W 1019
  • Y 1048
  • Z 1050
  • Appendix: Labor Leaders by State Or National/Ethnic Group 1067
  • Selective Bibliography 1085
  • Index 1089
  • About the Editor And Contributors 1125
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