Edward V. Neale was born in Bath, the son of a clergyman. At 27 years of age, he became a Christian Socialist, and actively attempted to translate his ideals into action. To do this, he formed several co-operatives for working men, pouring his own fairly large fortune into these experiments and into educational publications. All but one of the ventures failed within ten years of startup. Neale was inspired by the saintly F. D. Maurice and was closely associated with Charles Kingsley, John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow and Thomas Hughes all of whom tried to translate their religious ideas into improvements in the work place.