Gorrie Collection

Political memorabilia of Archibald Gorrie (c.1885-1941) relating to the Labour movement in Leicestershire in the period c.1889 -1909.

MS 81 Gorrie6



Archibald Gorrie became a supporter of the socialist pioneer Thomas Barclay after hearing him lecture, and subsequently Gorrie became the branch secretary and benefactor of the Socialist League (Branch 13, Leicester). (Lancaster, B. 1987 Radicalism, Cooperation and Socialism: Leicester working-class politics 1860-1906. Leicester Universty Press. pp. 88-89)


MS 81 Gorrie5



Bill Lancaster provides further information about Barclay, the Leicester-born son of Irish parents who eked out a living as a rag and bone collector and was converted to secularism in the 1870s, in his book on radicalism and socialism.

(Lancaster, B. 1987 Radicalism, Cooperation and Socialism: Leicester working-class politics 1860-1906. Leicester Universty Press. p. 59)




The Gorrie Collection consists of 2 boxes of loose papers containing many press cuttings, posters, handbills, circulars, invitations, etc. (some loosely inserted) concerning local groups such as the Leicester Radical Club, Leicester Branch of the Socialist League (of which Gorrie was a founder-member), Leicester Christian Socialist Society and the Leicester Socialist & Anarchist Society. Other societies include the Leicester Radical Club, the Leicester branch of the Socialist League,  the Leicester Anarchists-Socialists, the Leicester Anarchists-Communists, the Leicester Anarchists' Group, the Leicester branch of the Christian Social Union, the Leicester branch of the Independent Labour Party, the Leicester Trades Council, the Midland Counties Socialist Federation, the Midland District Council of the Social-Democratic Foundation, the Leicester Passive Resisters' League, the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Citizens' League and the Walsall Anarchists.

MS 81 Gorrie4

Further information about the bomb conspiracy in 1892 involving the Walsall Anarchists can be found in chapter 6 of John Quail's online reproduction of his book "The Slow Burning Fuse The lost history of the British Anarchists".

In addition there are 9 mounted posters advertising political meetings and demonstrations.

MS 81 Gorrie3



Among the speakers at meetings were Prince Kropotkin, Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb, John Burns, Annie Besant, representatives of striking miners and dockers, and leading Leicester socialists. Also included are manuscript notes by Gorrie of the first two meetings of the Leicester Branch of the Socialist League, 11 & 18 October 1889.




Anarchy Archives includes biographies of famous anarchists, such as Kropotkin, with online versions of some of their work.

MS 81 Gorrie1













MS 81 Gorrie2





Share this page: