Dr. William King (April 17, 1786 - October 19,1865) was a British physician and philanthropist from Brighton. He is best known as an early supporter of the Cooperative movement.
By 1827, Robert Owen had taken his ideas of a cooperative movement to the USA. However, they were picked up and amplified by Dr. King. King founded a cooperative store in Brighton. Then in 1828 he started a paper, The Cooperator (the first edition of which appeared on May 1, 1828) to promote these ideas. The Cooperator had a wide circulation and a great influence in the emerging movement. Though only published for slightly over two years, the paper served to educate and unify otherwise scattered groups. King's articles in the paper gave the movement some philosophical and practical basis that it had lacked before.
King's overriding rationale for the movement is best illustrated by the phrases repeated on the masthead of every issue of The Cooperator:
- "Knowledge and union are power. Power, directed by knowledge is happiness. Happiness is the end of creation."
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