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Brise, Sir Evelyn John Ruggles- (1857–1935), prison administrator and founder of the Borstal system, was born on 6 December 1857 at Spains Hall, Finchingfield, Essex, the second son of Sir Samuel Brise Ruggles-Brise (1825–1899) and his wife, Marianne Weyland, fourth daughter of Sir Edward Bowyer Smith, ...

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Crawford, William (1788–1847), prison inspector, the youngest son of Captain Robert Crawford and his wife, Mary Haw of Great Yarmouth, was born on 30 May 1788 in London, where his father ran a wine retail business. He was educated for a business career, but from 1805 to 1815 he worked at the ...

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Crofton, Sir Walter Frederick (1815–1897), prison administrator and penal reformer, was born at Courtrai, Flanders, on 27 February 1815, the second son in the family of two sons and two daughters of Walter Crofton (1784-1815) and his wife Harriet née Wauchope (1782/3-1836). His father, a captain in the ...

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Eden, William, first Baron Auckland (1744–1814), penal reformer and diplomatist, was born on 3 April 1744, the third son of Sir Robert Eden, third baronet (d. 1755), landowner, of Windlestone Hall, West Auckland, co. Durham, and Mary (d. 1794), daughter of ...

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William Eden, first Baron Auckland (1744–1814) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1792 Christ Church, Oxford

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Goodcole, Henry (bap. 1586, d. 1641), prison visitor and author, was baptized at St James's, Clerkenwell, on 23 May 1586, the eighth or ninth child (he was a twin) of eleven children of James Goodcole (d. 1597) and his second wife, Joan Duncombe...

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Gordon, Mary Louisa (1861–1941), physician and prison inspector, was born on 15 August 1861 at Seaforth in Lancashire, the daughter of James Gordon (1809/10-1894), hide and tallow broker, and his wife, Mary Emily, néeCarter (1831/2-1915). The Gordons had lived for generations in the ...

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Griffiths, Arthur George Frederick (1838–1908), inspector of prisons and author, was born on 9 December 1838 at Poona, India, the second son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Griffiths of the 6th Royal Warwickshire regiment. He was educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and entered the ...

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See MacDonald, Malcolm John

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Martin, Sarah (1791–1843), prison visitor, was born in June 1791 at Caister on the Norfolk coast. She was an only child and her father, a local tradesman, and her mother both died in her infancy. She was brought up by her widowed grandmother, a glove maker, and attended ...

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McNair, (John) Frederick Adolphus (1828–1910), colonial official and penal reformer, was born at Bath on 23 October 1828, the eldest son of Major Robert McNair, a staff officer. He was educated at King's College, London, and at the School of Mines. In 1844 he was commissioned into the ...

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Paterson, Sir Alexander Henry (1884–1947), penal reformer and prison commissioner, was born on 20 November 1884 at Bowdon, Cheshire, the youngest child of Alexander Edgar Paterson, a solicitor, and his wife, Katherine Esther Dixon, a voluntary worker. The family background was Unitarian, although ...

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Pearce, William Harvey (1920–1982), probation officer and prison inspector, was born on 8 April 1920 at 26 Lina Street, Walton, Liverpool, the son of William Charles Pearce, a dock labourer, and his wife, Agnes Jane Saunderson. His career in the Probation Service was extremely distinguished but almost did not begin. His early working life was in the merchant navy, and while serving on ...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by Stephen M. Lee

Popham, Alexander (1729–1810), politician and penal reformer, the only son of Alexander Popham, rector of West Monckton, Somerset, and his wife, Mary (née Gatchell), was born on 18 July 1729. His family was closely allied to the Pophams of Littlecote, Wiltshire. He matriculated from ...

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Silverman, (Samuel) Sydney (1895–1968), politician and penal reformer, was born at 33 Elizabeth Street, Liverpool, on 8 October 1895. He was the second of four children, only two of whom survived to maturity, of Myer Silverman, general draper, and his wife, Blanche Stern...

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(Samuel) Sydney Silverman (1895–1968) by Bassano, 1947 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Told, Silas (1711–1778), schoolmaster and prison visitor, was born at the Lime Kilns in Bristol on 3 April 1711 of 'very creditable' parentage. His father, a physician like his paternal grandfather, lost money invested in the building of a wet dock and died at sea. His mother was the daughter of ...

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Thomas Wright (1789–1875) by George Frederic Watts, c. 1850–51 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wright, Thomas (1789–1875), prison visitor, was born in Manchester, of a Scottish father and Manchester mother, on 20 September 1789. He had two sisters, one of whom died young and one outlived him. Wright was educated at a Wesleyan Sunday school and was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to the ...