Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer

12 October -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of any Saint, page 527

Elizabeth Gurney was born at Earlham in Norfolk in 1780. At the age of twenty, she married Joseph Fry, a London merchant and a strict Quaker. She was admitted as a minister in the Society of Friends and became a noted preacher. The appalling state of the prisons came to her notice and she devoted much of her time to the welfare of female prisoners in Newgate. In 1820 she took part in the formation of a nightly shelter for the homeless in London. She travelled all over Europe in the cause of prison reform. She was a woman of a strong Christian and evangelistic impulse and this inspired all her work. She died on this day in 1845.