Elizabeth Fry

(1780—1845) penal reformer and philanthropist

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Society of Friends


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Quaker prison reformer. A daughter of John Gurney, in 1800 she married John Fry, a London merchant and a ‘Plain Quaker’. In 1811 she is recorded as an approved ‘minister’ in the Society of Friends. In 1813 her interest was aroused in the state of the prisons and she devoted herself to the welfare of female prisoners in Newgate. She campaigned for the separation of the sexes, classification of criminals, female supervision of women, and the provision of secular and religious instruction. Feast day in CW, 12 Oct.

Subjects: Christianity — History.

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