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Adrian [née Pinsent], Hester Agnes, Lady Adrian (1899–1966), penal reformer, was born at Lordswood House, Harborne, Birmingham, on 16 September 1899, the only daughter and youngest child of Hume Chancellor Pinsent (d. 1920), a solicitor, and his wife, Ellen Frances Parker (1866–1949)...

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Badger, Charlotte (b. 1778?, d. in or after 1816), escaped convict, was one of the first European women to live in New Zealand. She may have been the child of Ann and Thomas Badger baptized on 31 July 1778 at the parish church of ...

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Baker, Thomas Barwick Lloyd (1807–1886), promoter of reformatory schools, was born at the family seat, Hardwicke Court, the only son of Thomas John Lloyd Baker and his wife, Mary, daughter of William Sharp of Fulham. Like his father, Baker went to Eton College...

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Bambridge, Thomas (d. 1741), prison warden, became briefly notorious for the regime of extreme cruelty he inflicted upon the prisoners under his charge. The details of his parentage and childhood are unknown. He practised as a London attorney and had chambers at the ...

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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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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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Berry, James (1852–1913), hangman, was born at Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, on 8 February 1852, one of the large family of Daniel Berry, a woolstapler, and Mary Ann Berry (née Kelley), both Wesleyan Methodists. He attended Heckmondwike day school and a boarding-school, Wrea Green Academy...

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Brandon, Richard (d. 1649), common hangman and probable executioner of Charles I, was the son of Gregory Brandon, whom he succeeded in the post of common hangman. His father was certainly hangman of London by 1611, when he was living in Rosemary Lane, Whitechapel...

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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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Bryant [née Broad], Mary (b. 1765), convict, was born in April 1765 in the town of Fowey, Cornwall, the second of the four children of William Broad, a master mariner, and his wife, Grace. In 1785, for reasons that remain unclear, although it is on record that times were particularly hard, she became a highwaywoman, and in January 1786 she was captured after holding up a woman from whom she stole jewellery worth ...

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Buckley, William (1780–1856), convict and settler in Australia, was born at Marton, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, the son of small farmers. He learned to read at evening school before being apprenticed as a bricklayer. At nineteen he enlisted in the local militia, then the ...

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Dame Geraldine Southall Cadbury (1865–1941) by Thomas Bowman Garvie, 1912 ? Birmingham Museums Trust

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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 ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by J. Gilliland

Calcraft, William (1800–1879), hangman, was born at Baddow, near Chelmsford. He was a cobbler by trade and had once been a nightwatchman at Reid's brewery in Clerkenwell. He then hawked meat pies around the streets, and particularly around Newgate, where he became known to the execution staff and to the hangman, ...

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See Campbell, Robert

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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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Margaret Catchpole (1762–1819) by Richard Cobbold, pubd 1845 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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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 ...