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Cadbury, Dame Geraldine Southall (1865–1941), social and penal reformer, was born Geraldine Southall at 5 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, on 29 June 1865, the daughter of Alfred Southall (1838–1931), chemist, and his wife, Anna Strangman, née Grubb (1841–1912). She inherited a propensity for social activism from her Quaker parents; her father was a temperance worker who taught a working men's adult school class, while her Irish mother was a supporter of women's suffrage. She was educated at ...

Article

M. G. Watkins

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Catchpole, Margaret (1762–1819), convict and author, was born on 14 March 1762, perhaps at Nacton, Suffolk, the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Catchpole and a farm labourer employed by a celebrated breeder of Suffolk carthorses. When Margaret was thirteen years of age the farmer's wife was suddenly seized with illness; ...

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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 ...

Article

Ellis, John (1874–1932), executioner, was born on 4 October 1874 at Buersil, Rochdale, the eldest child of Joseph James Ellis, a hairdresser, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Dawson. He left school to work for the local Eagle Spinning Company. When he was twenty, he married ...

Article

Fitzpatrick, Sir Jeremiah (c. 1740–1810), physician and campaigner for prison reform, was born in Kilbeggan, co. Westmeath. His background and early years are shrouded in obscurity, but circumstantial evidence points to the conclusion that his parents, of whom nothing is known, were Catholic and that they were comfortably off. He received a medical education abroad and though his graduating institution has not been identified ...

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Fry [née Gurney], Elizabeth (1780–1845), penal reformer and philanthropist, was born on 21 May 1780 at Magdalen Street, Norwich, the fourth of twelve children, seven daughters and five sons, of John Gurney (1749–1809), a merchant and banker, and Catherine Bell (1754–1792). Her parents were both descendants of old Quaker families, ...

Article

Thomas L. Hodgkin

revised by Mark Pottle

Fry, (Sara) Margery (1874–1958), penal reformer and college head, was born at Highgate, London, on 11 March 1874, the eighth child and sixth daughter of Sir Edward Fry (1827–1918), judge of the High Court, Chancery Division, and his wife, Mariabella Hodgkin (1833–1930). Joan Mary Fry...

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Hill, Matthew Davenport (1792–1872), penal reformer, was born on 6 August 1792 at Suffolk Street, Birmingham, the eldest of the eight children of Thomas Wright Hill (1763–1851), schoolmaster, and his wife, Sarah Lea (1765–1842). Two of his five brothers attained professional eminence: Rowland Hill (1795–1879)...

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Lomax, Eric Sutherland (1919–2012), prisoner of war and author, was born on 30 May 1919 at 11 Bedford Terrace, Portobello, Edinburgh, the only child of John Lomax (1878–1950), post office clerk, later post office manager, formerly a Stockport pawnbroker's assistant, and his wife, ...

Article

G. Le G. Norgate

revised by Stephen M. Lee

Neild, James (1744–1814), penal reformer and philanthropist, was born on 24 May 1744 at Knutsford, Cheshire. His father's death left his mother to support Neild and his four siblings by continuing her business as a linen draper. After a very brief education Neild...

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Paul, Sir George Onesiphorus, second baronet (1746–1820), prison reformer and philanthropist, was born on 9 February 1746 at Woodchester, Gloucestershire, the son of Sir Onesiphorus Paul, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1774), a successful woollen manufacturer, and his first wife, Jane (c...

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Pierrepoint, Albert (1905–1992), executioner, was born on 30 March 1905 at home at 5 Green End, Clayton, Bradford, the eldest son and third of five children of Henry Albert Pierrepoint (1874–1922), clogger and executioner, and his wife, Mary, née Buxton. He was aged eleven when he discovered what his father's second occupation was, and why he was away from home so frequently. In a bizarre echo of young Jerry Cruncher in ...

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Sheppard, John [Jack] (1702–1724), thief and prison-breaker, was born on 4 March 1702 in White Row, Spitalfields, London, the son of Thomas Sheppard (1672–c.1706), carpenter, and his wife, Mary. His father, reputedly an honest, industrious artisan, died young, leaving three children. ...

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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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Tumim, Sir Stephen (1930–2003), judge and prison inspector, was born on 15 August 1930 at 10 Basing Hill, Golders Green, Hendon, Middlesex, the second son of Joseph Tumim (1895–1957), barrister, and his wife, (Edna) Renée, née Davis (1902–1941), daughter of Nathaniel Davis, architect. Both families were of Jewish descent. On the outbreak of the Second World War the ...

Article

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 ...