Robert Owen was born at Newtown, a country village in Montgomeryshire, North Wales, on 14 May 1771. His father, also named Robert Owen, was the local saddler, ironmonger, and postmaster, and in addition looked after the general management of parish affairs. The boy attended the local elementary school from the age of about four or five, and quickly developed a strong passion for reading. He became particularly interested in religious works, and studied the teachings of all the world's major faiths. Confused by the fierce disagreements between them, he soon became convinced 'that there must be something fundamentally wrong in all religions, as they had been taught up to that period,.1