Mitchell, John Thomas Whitehead

Mitchell, John Thomas Whitehead


Born Oct. 18, 1828, in Rochdale, Lancashire; died there Mar. 16, 1895. Prominent figure in the English cooperative movement.

Mitchell began working as a weaver when he was ten years old. In 1853 he joined the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, becoming one of its leaders in 1857. In 1874 he became the director of the Cooperative Wholesale Society.

Mitchell left no scholarly works on the problems of the cooperative movement. He devoted his life to the practical work of management in the English cooperatives, mistakenly believing that under capitalism this represented the best way to eliminate poverty and improve the living standards of the workers.


Redfern, P. John T. W. Mitchell: Pioneer of Consumers’ Cooperation. London, 1924.
Webb, B. My Apprenticeship, 2nd ed. London, 1946.