Skip to main content
Select Source:

Fry, Elizabeth

Fry, Elizabeth (1780–1845). Reformer. Elizabeth Fry was born into the quaker family of Gurney, bankers of Norwich, and brought up at Earlham Hall. At the age of 20 she married another quaker banker, Joseph Fry, and went on to raise a large family. In 1807 her sister Hannah married Thomas Fowell Buxton, also of quaker ancestry, and keenly interested in prison reform. Elizabeth Fry began visiting Newgate and in 1817 founded an association to help the female prisoners. In 1818 she gave evidence to a parliamentary committee, insisting on the importance of useful work for prisoners. She became greatly concerned for the plight of women convicts transported to Australia and between 1818 and 1843 is said to have visited more than 100 convict ships. By the 1820s she had acquired an international reputation and the patronage of royalty, though her husband's bankruptcy in 1828 forced her to curtail her activities. In 1842 she was visited by Frederick William IV of Prussia while he was in England.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth

Fry, Elizabeth (Gurney)

Elizabeth (Gurney) Fry, 1780–1845, English prison reformer and philanthropist. Deeply religious, she was recognized as a minister by the Society of Friends (Quakers). From 1813 she worked untiringly to improve the conditions of women in Newgate prison, advocating separation of the sexes, employment, and religious training. The success of her methods at Newgate impressed the government and were tried in other prisons. For several years she traveled throughout Europe, visiting penal institutions. Her other philanthropies included the founding of soup kitchens in London.

See her memoirs, ed. by her daughters (2 vol., rev. and enl. 1848, repr. 1972); biography by J. H. S. Kent (1963); studies by D. Johnson (1969) and J. Whitney (1937, repr. 1972).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fry, Elizabeth (Gurney)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fry, Elizabeth (Gurney)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth-gurney

"Fry, Elizabeth (Gurney)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth-gurney

Fry, Elizabeth

Fry, Elizabeth (1780–1845) English social worker and prison reformer. A committed Quaker, she agitated for more humane treatment of women prisoners and convicts transported to Australia. She was also involved in attempts to improve working conditions for nurses and facilities for women's education.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fry, Elizabeth." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fry, Elizabeth." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth

"Fry, Elizabeth." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fry-elizabeth

Fry, Elizabeth

Fry, Elizabeth (prison reformer): see FRIENDS, THE SOCIETY OF.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fry-elizabeth

"Fry, Elizabeth." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fry-elizabeth