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Barker, Dame Lilian Charlotte (1874–1955), prison administrator, was born on 21 February 1874 in Islington, the fifth of seven children and youngest daughter of James Barker, tobacconist, and his wife, Caroline Williams. Educated at the local elementary school, she was trained at Whitelands College, Chelsea...

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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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Bruce, Victoria Alexandrina Katherine (1898–1951), prison governor, was born on 13 September 1898 at Kennet House, Clackmannan, the youngest by fifteen years in the family of two sons and three daughters of Alexander Hugh Bruce, sixth Lord Balfour of Burleigh (1849–1921), secretary for ...

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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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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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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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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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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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Kelley [née Beadon], Joanna Elizabeth (1910–2003), prison administrator, was born on 23 May 1910 in Murree, a hill station in India, the younger daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Beadon (1867–1916) of the 51st Sikhs and his wife, Joanna Elizabeth, née Ballard (1870–1958), a portrait painter, daughter of ...

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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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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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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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Richard Greene

revised by James Sambrook

Purney, Thomas (1695–1730?), poet and prison chaplain, was born on 1 August 1695. His parents have not been identified. Perhaps he was related to a family of Purneys in Buckinghamshire, but his poems hint that he spent his childhood in Kent. After two years at ...

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Rewse, Bodenham (d. 1725), thief-taker and prison warden, is of unknown parentage. He married Thomasine Springwell in Lincoln's Inn chapel, Holborn, London, in 1690 or 1691. Rewse was an embroiderer, living in September 1693 in Bow Street, Bloomsbury; the most reliable records place him in 1696 in ...

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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 ...