O'Connorville

 

This map shows plans for a Chartist land settlement in Hertfordshire, named O’Connorville after the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor.

In April 1943, O’Connor proposed plans for a Land Scheme in The Northern Star newspaper. This was later established publicly in April 1845 under the name of the Chartist Cooperative Land Society. The project aimed to make working-class people self-sufficient and to improve their quality of live by setting up peasant holdings across England and converting workers into farmers. William Cuffay, a supporter of O’Connor and his 'physical force' tactics, was to serve as auditor of the National Land Company from 1846 until 1848.

In 1846, the Chartists purchased a large patch of land in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. They planned to put O’Connor’s ideas into action and use the land to build affordable housing for the urban poor. Each house included a patch of land on which the owner could rear farm animals or build workshops.

However, the scheme eventually failed and ceased functioning in 1848, causing many investors to lose a lot of money. Just two of the problems with the plan were that the land allocated to each house was not enough to support a family, and that many of the residents had little experience of farming. All the properties that had been built were eventually sold, and the area which was once going to be O'Connorville is now an expensive housing estate.

Taken from: O’Connorville
Date: 1847
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Maps.162.s.1