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Bambridge, Thomas (d. 1741), prison warden, became briefly notorious for the regime of extreme cruelty he inflicted upon the prisoners under his charge. The details of his parentage and childhood are unknown. He practised as a London attorney and had chambers at the ...

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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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Clay, John (1796–1858), prison chaplain, was born in Liverpool on 10 May 1796, the fifth son of Thomas Clay (d. 1821), ship- and anchorsmith, and his wife, Mary Lowe. He was a sickly child and was seen by the family as having learning difficulties. He was sent to ...

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Coles, Charles Edward [called Coles Pasha] (1853–1926), prison administrator in Egypt, was born at Buge, India, on 17 November 1853, the only son of Major-General Thomas Gordon Coles of the Indian army, and his wife, Maria, daughter of Colonel Charles D'Oyle Straker...

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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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Dawtry, Frank Dalmeny (1902–1968), probation service organizer, was born on 17 January 1902 at 54 Cromwell Street, Walkley, Sheffield, the son of Wycliffe Bright Dawtry, cabinet-maker, and his wife, Alice Jackson Ross. His father was a Unitarian and keen Liberal, who had been apprenticed as a pattern maker by his father, a renowned foundry foreman, when the use of cast iron was at its height. The youngest and most delicate of four brothers, ...

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Devon, James (1866–1939), prison medical officer and criminologist, was born on 25 October 1866 at 18 James Street, Calton, Glasgow, the son of John Devon, a journeyman iron-moulder, and his wife, Margaret, née Arthur. His family was poor working class—his mother signed his birth certificate with a cross—and he left school aged eleven. ...

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Du Cane, Sir Edmund Frederick (1830–1903), prison administrator and army officer, born at Colchester on 23 March 1830, was the youngest of the four sons and two daughters of Major Richard Du Cane (1788–1832), and Eliza (1791–1870), daughter of Thomas Ware of Woodfort, Mallow, co. Cork, Ireland...

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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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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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Harris, Alexander (fl. 1619–1621), prison warden, of whose personal circumstances very little is known, and whose origins are unknown, did not attend university or any of the inns of court. He is known entirely as a result of the complaints made against him by a number of prisoners to the ...

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Jebb, Sir Joshua (1793–1863), prison administrator, was born in Chesterfield on 8 May 1793, the eldest son of Joshua Jebb (1769–1845) of Walton, Derbyshire, and his wife, Dorothy, the daughter of General Henry Gladwin of Stubbing Court, Derbyshire. Destined for a military career, he attended the ...

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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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Morrison, William Douglas (1852–1943), criminologist and prison chaplain, was born at Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, on 15 May 1852, the son of Robert Southmuir Morrison, a merchant, and Ann Donald-William. Educated at nearby Trinity College, Glenalmond, he was ordained deacon in 1877 and priest in 1878 by the bishop of ...

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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 ...