Aitken, William (M)

d. 27 September 1869. Nationality: Scottish.
Poet, Chartist, and factory reformer. Born c. 2 June 1812. Autodidact. Family moved from Scotland to Ashton-under-Lyne when Aitken was a child. Worked in a cotton mill at age eleven, but later dismissed due to political involvement. In 1840 was imprisoned for nine months for Chartist activism. Founded a school at Ashton with his wife in 1841. Travelled to America in 1842-1843 after involvement in failed Chartist strike. From 1850s actively involved in ten-hour campaign (limiting the work day for factory labourers), supported confederacy in the American civil war, and became associated with the Liberal party. Author of a serially published autobiography in 1869. Biographical information: *ODNB*. (AC)

Poems associated with this person

Poem title Date Periodical Roles id #
The Captive’s Dream 1841-05-29 The Chartist Circular Poet 102