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Bayley, Thomas Butterworth (1744–1802), penal reformer, was born at Manchester to one of the town's well-established nonconformist families. His father, Daniel Bayley, was deputy lieutenant for Lancashire and served, along with his father-in-law Thomas Butterworth, as a trustee of Manchester's Cross Street Chapel...

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Carpenter, Mary (1807–1877), educationist and penal reformer, was born on 3 April 1807 at Exeter, the eldest of six children of the Unitarian minister Lant Carpenter (1780–1840) and his wife, Anna Penn (1782?–1856), a supervisor of schools for girls. The Carpenters belonged to the intellectual aristocracy of English puritanism, a world largely set apart from the wider society. Piety, an exacting sense of obligation, and reforming principles marked the household. Though vowed to tolerance, the ...

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Matthew Davenport Hill (1792–1872) by Charles Henry Jeens, 1878 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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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 ...