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Ig27— 1829. Illness of her sister Rachel Guraey, gradual decline and 

^eath Birth of a grandson and nephew—Estimate of infant life — 

Foreign correspondence— Dr. Julius^ Madame Potemkin, &c., &c. — 
Pablic cnj<agements— Journey into Norfolk and Derbyshire— Ladies* 
British Society Meeting— Marriage of a daughter— Journey into the 
north of England— Heavy sorrows— Leaves Plashet— Letter to a 
daughter— Letter to a sister— Many letters of condolence— Winter in 
London— Settlement at Upton Lane— Yearly Meeting - Page 1 


1829 1830. Foreign Correspondence— Dr. Julius, Madame de Pastoret, 
Madame de Barol— Letter to a daughter— Summons to the sick-bed 
of a niece— Poor man by the road-side— Prepares her Text-Book— 
Anecdote-Letter— Attends Suffolk Quarterly Meeting— Visits Pake- 
field and Earlham— Letter to her children at home- Foreign prisons 
—Death of a connexion— Illness of a nephew— Visit to Brighton- 
Death of her uncle Robert Barclay, Esquire— Of a little grandchild— 
Of a nephew— Of her uncle, Joseph Gumey, Esquire— Attends his 
funeral at Norwich- Letter to her family from Earlham— Interest in 
prisons unabated— Capital punishment— Prison reform - - 48 



1831—1833. Journey to Lynn— Letter from Ely— Attends the Kent 
Quarterly Meeting — Interview with the Duchess of Kent and the 
Princess Victoria — Yearly Meeting— Interview with Queen Adelaide, 
and some of the Royal Family — Leave-taking on board the Mary 
Female Convict Ship — Dagenham— Public Meeting in that neighbour- 
hood — Journey with her husband — Ilfracombe — History of Samuel 
Marshall — Death-bed of a converted Jew — Death of Mrs. Sarah 
Fry — Opinions on choice in Marriage — Cholera — Examination before 
Committee of House of Commons— Yearly Meeting — Ladies' British 
Society Meeting — Attends Half- Yearly Meeting in Wales — Crosses to 
Ireland — Marriage of a Son— Marriage of a Daughter — ^Visit to Nor- 
folk — Yearly Meeting— Family assembled at Upton. - - 82 


1833, 1834. Sojourn in Jersey — Visits to Guernsey, Sark and Herm — 
Objects in these Islands — Recall to England — Death of a nephew — 
Nurses one of her daughters in severe illness — Letters to three of her 
daughters — Return to Upton Lane — Marriage of a son — ^Attends the 
Meetings in Dorset and Hants — Crosses to the Isle of Wight — Fresh 
Water^ Coast-Guard Stations there — ^Visit to a Convict Ship — A walk 
in the Plashet grounds — Intercourse with Members of Government — 
Coast-Guard Libraries — Convict Ships — Journey into Scotland — 
Prisons there — Brighton District Society. - - - 119 


1834—36. Death of the Duke of Gloucester— Letter to the Princess 
Sophia of Gloucester — Coast Guard Libraries— Examination before 
Committee of the House of Lords— Goes to Lynn — Marriage of her 
youngest daughter— Journey along the southern coast of England — 
Crosses to Jersey and Guernsey- Libraries for packets at Falmouth — 
Libraries for Shepherds of Salisbury Plain — Death of a sister-in-law — 
Accounts of Jersey prison— Goes to Earlham— Religious visit to Sussex, 
Kent, &c., Hastings, Sheemess — Marriage of a niece — ^Visit to Dublin 
— Female prison, &c. — National schools— Conclusion of seamen's libra- 
lies— Jersey prison— Illness of a sister — Hesitation — Unpleasant voyage 
to Guernsey. ------- 164 

^f W.W 1 

M! ^'mmmmiaA. ^^^ \e^£ jm ^ .VJ*^^* 7ii^ 



1837, 1838. — Earlham — Death of a sister-in-law-— Death of King William 
IV. — Accompanies her brother Joseph John Gumcy to Liverpool — 
His departure for America — Paramatta Factory — Letter to her children — 
Philanthropic evenings — Coalwhippers— Letter — ^Visits France— Letter 
from Abbeville — Sojourn at Paris — Prisons — Schools — Return through 
Normandy — District Society Meeting — Meeting at Westminster— 
Journey to Scotland — Visits to Friends — SoUtary System — 
Return home — Renewed prospect of Visiting France — Family Meet- 
ing-------- 212 


1839. — Sale at Crosby Hall for the Ladies' British Society -* Journey on 
the Continent — Paris— Letter to M. de Beranger — Solitary system — 
Lyons — Nismes — Avignon — Toulouse — The Pyrenees — Grenoble — 
Geneva — Zurich— Frankfort — Return home — Goes into Norfolk — Dif- 
ferent administrations in religion - - - - 261 


1840, 1841. — ^Audience of the Queen— Meeting in London — Leaves 
home for the Continent — Ostend — Brussels— Antwerp — Amsterdam 
— ZwoUe— Minden and Pyrmont — ^Hanover — Berlin — Leipzig — Diis- 
seldorf — Return home— Yearly Meeting — Anti-Slavery Society Meet- 
ing — Dying hours of a relative — Isle of Wight — Parkhurst— Nursing 
sisters — Illness of a son — Niger Expedition — Silent and Solitary 
Systems — Dangerous illness of a daughter ... 334 


1841, 1842. Letter to Colonel Jebb — Leaves home for the Continent — 
Rotterdam — ^The Hague —Amsterdam — Bremen— Hamburg — Lubeck 
Copenhagen — Return to Hamburg— Minden and Pyrmont — Hanover 
— Berlin— Silesia — Illness — Accident — Return home — Ramsgate — 
Upton Lane — Lynn — Earlham —Winter at home — Communications 
with the Continent— The King of Prussia in England — Sale at the 
Mansion House — Letter to her eldest son — Autumn at Cromer — Fish- 
erman's Reading-room— Letters from the Continent— Return by West 
Norfolk to Upton Lane ------ 384 



1842 — 1844. Death of a Granddaughter — Funeral — ^Last visit to Franc< 
Female prison at Clermont-en-Oise — Paris — Guisot — ^The Duchess 
d'Orleans — Gentlemen of colour — ^Greeks— F^te du Roi — Bill for prison 
improvement — Return home — Female prisoners in Van Diemen's Land 
— Increased illness — Sandgate — Tonhridge Wells — Winter of great suf- 
fering — Letter from her brother Joseph John Gumey — Moved to Bath 
— ^Return to Upton Lane — Death of her sister Elizabeth Fry — Death of 
a Grandson — ^Attends the Meeting at Plaistow — Stay at Walmer — 
Death of a Granddaughter — Death of her son William Storrs Fry — 
Death of another Granddaughter — Deep affliction - - 452 


1844, 1845. — Return from Walmer — Death of a Niece — ^Visit to Kensing- 
ton — ^Visit to her brother Joseph John Gumey — Parting with some of 
her children for Madeira — ^Marriage of a Nephew to a Niece — Death of 
Sir T. Fowell Buxton— Visit to Norfolk— Earlham— North Repps— 
Runcton — Yearly Meeting — ^Ladies' British Society Meeting — ^Mar- 
riage of her youngest Son — Marriage of a Niece — Removal to Rams* 
gate — Successive parties of her family — Sudden increase of illness — 
Death — ^Funeral — Conclusion - - - - - 501 


Pagt 110, note, bottom line, fw Sir John Hewry Selly, read Sir 
John Heniy Pelly. 

— 21S, line 7 from bottom, /or mother, rwd brother. 

— 392, line 7, /or Hambuig, reoA Harbiirg. 






1827 — 1829. Illneas of her sister Rachel Gumey, gradual decline and 
death — Birth of a grandson and nephew— Estimate of infant life — 
Foreign correspondence — Dr. Julius^ Madame Potemkin, &c., &c« — 
Public engagements— Journey into Norfolk and Derbyshire— Ladies' 
British Society Meeting— Marriage of a daughter — ^Joumey into the 
north of England — Heavy sorrows— Leaves Plashet — Letter to a 
daughter — Letter to a sister— Many letters of condolence — Winter in 
London — Settlement at Upton Lane — Yearly Meeting. 

Mrs. Fry's return from Ireland was clouded by the illness 
of her sister, Rachel Guruey^ who was then at Brighton for change 
of air. Thither she soon followed her, and remained for a few 
days with her and one of her own daughters, who was staying at 
Brighton to be near her aunt. Threatening as had been the 
symptoms attending the illness of this most beloved sister; it was 
on this occasion, that the sorrowful conviction was first driven 
home to her heart, that the case was becoming so alarming, that 
but one termination could be expected. From childhood, from 
the happy days of Bramerton, and Earlham, when '' one cabi- 
net, one little set of tea*things, one small light closet,'* had 



been shared between them^ their love had flowed on, deepening 
and strengthening with life, and its vicissitudes. The depth 
and fidelity of Bachel Gamey's attachment to her sister had in 
truth been '^ wonderful." Self-sacrificing, considerate, and pro- 
tecting — most sensitively alive to her interests, her cares and 
her joys ; but there were distresses approaching, from which 
this devoted friend and sister could not have shielded her ; and 
the mercy was apparent, when little more than a year had passed 
by, of her having been taken hence, without seeing one, so ten* 
derly beloved, borne down by many sorrows. 

Plashety Sixth Months %ith. — {First day morning.) The 
commencement of this day always feels weighty to me ; another 
week begun, the awful and responsible situation of a minister of 
the gospel in the services of the day, at home and at Meeting ; 
all weighs upon me. Grant, Oh Lord ! I pray Thee, a little 
help, that whatever Thy unworthy servant does, in word or in 
deed, may be done, as in the name, so through the power of 
Christ her Saviour. Bless this day, I pray Thee, Oh Lord ! not 
only to our house and family and to our religious body, but to 
thousands and tens of thousands, that however outwardly sepa- 
rated, thy servants may unite in magnifying Thy name, and 
that their spirits may rejoice in Christ their Saviour. Amen. 

Worse accounts from Brighton induced Mrs. Fry again to go 
to her sister there ; after a few days sedulous nursing, she was 
able to move the invalid as far as Plashet, on her road into 

Brighton, Seventh Month, 20th. — ^When I arrived here, I 
found my beloved sister Bachel exceedingly ill, with a fresh 
attack of illness, and no sister with her; so that I was greatly 
needed, and much as I had feared, that seeing this beloved one 
in a low and suffering state, would be almost more than I could 
support, I have been wonderfully shielded, and I trust enabled 
to be a real help and comfort to her, in a time of deep trouble. 
This I feel cause for humble and renewed thankfulness, to be 



able, however feebly, to return the unbounded kindness of one, 
who has been so much to me. ■ May I continue strengthened in 
this most interesting engagement, and minister to the spiritual 
and temporal wants of this tenderly beloved sister. 

Plashet, Eighth Month, 2nd, — At Brighton, I had a meeting 
with the members of the District Society, which was humbling to 
me, as such exposures always are, more or less, and a real effort 
of duty ; but I desired only to do it as such, and was very much 
helped to keep to my point and go steadily on with the business, 
to my satisfaction and I trust to the benefit of the institution ; 
which appears to have done much good to the poor of the place. 
Nothing of the kind appears to me to effect so much, as forming 
and helping these public charities, because so many are assisted 
by them. I understood that this Society last year induced the 
poor to lay by amongst them, about dSlOOO. Numbers of the 
distressed had been relieved, and visiting the poor appears to 
have been blessed, both to the visitors and the visited. I also 
called at one of the Blockade Service stations, and found that the 
libraries I had sent to the Coast Guard stations, after my illness, 
three years ago, continued to be very useful to the men and their 
fietmilies. Out of deep distress, I formed these institutions, (if I 
may so call them) Uttle thinking that an illness that appeared to 
myself, as if it would almost take away all my powers, should be 
the means of producing good to so many — surely out of weak- 
ness I was made strong. May it be a lesson to myself and 
others to bow under the Mighty hand of God, however mysteri- 
ous His dispensations may be. 

I was enabled to attend to my beloved sister, during the 
remainder of her stay at Brighton, and then brought her home 
here; she left us, for Earlham, on Secoud-day, the 30th. 

Very peaceful was Eachel Gumey's return to the home of her 
childhood ; her " flesh, and her heart," were, indeed, " failing," 
yet God was the ** strength of her heart," and to Him she looked 
with unfaltering confidence, as about to become her ** portion 
for ever/* She wrote to Mrs. Fry, on her journey:— 

B 2 


■ " The quiet travelling has only been a luxury ; both morning 
and evening have been delightful to me, as to weather and 
scenery. I have felt soothed and comforted, more than any 
thing else. I am most deeply sensible of the blessing, thou hast 
been made to me, I think it seems to have put me more in the 
right way of taking, bearing, and feeling, my present allotment; 
above all, I trust it has strengthened me in my best desires, and 
endeavours to walk humbly with my God ! 

*' My kind and grateful love to all my affectionate attendants, 
and abundance of love to the dear children. 

From Earlfuim, — " I have never wanted yet, and think I never 
shall want, the kindest of helpers. I can look around this 
morning upon the beautiful order of every thing, with something 
like pleasure. Thou wouldest be pleased with the beauty of my 
luxurious apartment ; the window, to the south being opened, 
is a beautiful improvement to it. In short, it is something of a 
paradise here below, that Joseph brings his bride to take posses- 
sion of! How differently we are led, and allotted, in this world. 
Some seem to be taught by trial and bereavement, and others by 
having all things * richly to enjoy.' If the heart be turned the 
right way, and the eye be kept single towards God, I believe all 
may equally learn that great and most important lesson, that 
here we have no continuing city." 

The sunshine of her mind, her christian spirit of contentment, 
coloured all around her^ again she says in another letter : — 

"It is almost beyond my power to describe to you the relief 
to my feelings, in being put into these two rooms of profound 
quiet, and wheeled from one to another, without an effort; look- 
ing from my bed, where I am only for some hours in the day, 
on the peaceful lawn, and green trees, surely, ' He maketh me 
to lie down in green pastures : He leadeth me beside the still 
waters.' " 

Dagenham, Eighth Months ibth. — Since my beloved sisters 
return home to Earlham, my dear William and two of his sisters 


have Bet off, on an expedition into Normandy. My feelings 
have been much excited, by the very serioas account of my 
beloved sister Bachel, implying a sensible decline of power and 
health, which touches me in a most tender place. I may say, in 
the prospect of losing her, that I shall lose the person that has 
(taking life through) been more to me, than any othermortal,in 
constant} faithful love, and kindness, and in ministering to all 
my wants, according to her ability. Oh ! gracious Lord ! grant 
her a full reward here, and above all, hereafter; but, I desire to 
return thanks for her prepared state of soul, (as far as we can 
judge, one of another), and the many alleviations granted her. 
If she be taken,— my companion, my friend, near my own age, 
— ^I think it will in no common degree, bring death home to my 
view, and may it lead me to have my heart really more placed 
on things above, less on things below. 

22nd. — ^It is hard very hard, a most difficult matter to know 
how to help those, whose welfare and salvation are past expres- 
sion, near to us. We can only go to Him, who is willing and 
able, not only to hear our prayers on our own account, but on 
account of those most tenderly beloved ; and who does, in His 
tender mercy, so bear our griefe and carry our sorrows, that our 
souls can rest on Him. Oh 1 may I ever have the encourage- 
ment of seeing those nearest to me, walking closely with God ; 
not doing their own pleasure, or walking in their own ways, but 
doing His pleasure and walking in His ways. I believe it would 
bring unspeakable joy, refreshment, and consolation to my soul; 
and may I never cease to commend them to Him, who can work 
with, or without human instrumentality. 

I went on Second day to Lord Lansdowne (Secretary of State) 
and the Under-Secretary, T. Spring Bice, on prison matters, and 
was received with the utmost kindness and attention. The 
prison cause appears prosperous. On Third-day, I attended the 
Monthly Meeting, and much in the cross with great fear, 
weakness, and nervousness, I was enabled to minister consolation 
to others. Peace and refreshment followed to myself, and 
although trials have since attended me, I feel the sweet balm 
remain — ^that balm which heals the wounded heart. 

26iA, — ^The evening before last, an account arrived from Nor- 


mandy, from my beloved children there, to say that myRichenda 
had been very seriously ill. But I desired to be thankful that 
she was better, and that she had fallen amongst such truly kind 
persons, (though total strangers to us) who had treated our 
ohildren like their own, assisted in nursing her with the utmost 
care, and paid her every attention. 

I am at times reminded of these words in Job, chapter xxxiv., 
29th verse—" When he giveth quietness, who then can make 
trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold 
him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man 
only ?" 

How striking a proof of the truth of the Scriptures, and that 
of which they testify, is the way in which they speak to our 
individual experience. Oh, may I dwell nearer to the source 
of all good, and live in a more devoted, quiet, humble, watch- 
ful, dependent and resigned spirit. 

Earlham, 80/A. — On Seventh day, the 20th, my son John 
came with an express from town, to say that the accounts from 
Earlham were so much worse, that it was thought desirable that 
I should go as quickly as possible to Upton, to fix whether to 
setoff that day or not; this agitated me and brought me very 
low, but on reading the different letters, and seeking for a quiet 
mind, I believed that there was no such hurry, and concluded to 
wait until after Meeting on First day, and an early dinner with 
my family before setting off. I find it very important in such 
cases as these, not to act upon impetuous feelings, but upon 
quiet and sober consideration ; hurried movements rarely an- 
swer to ourselves or others. 

We set off, and were favoured with a quiet journey, and a 
hopeful one, as I could not believe that we should find any very 
great change had taken place, and so it proved. Our much-loved 
invalid was certainly sunk, since we were last together, and in 
many things gone some steps lower; but there appeared to me so 
strong a vital principle remaining, that I think weeks rather than 
days are likely to be her portion here below. Her mind is in a 
most favoured state, she appears to feel it wonderful how easy 
her circumstances are made to her ; all fear of death seems to 
be removed from her, bhe talks of it with ease, almost pleasure. 


Last night she said^ that, she wished not to be in other circam. 
stances than she was, the way in which she had found the ful- 
ness of the power was quite beyond her expectation, and even 
her trials only appeared now to fit her for greater joys. At times 
her sinkings are great and also her sufferings, but in these states, 
though naturally low, faith always appears more than sufficient 
to sustain her, and she receives them only as a part of the pre- 
sent work of preparation. She said, they led her to desire to 
depart ; but her wish was, to say from her heart, " Not my will, 
but Thine be done." 

Surely, this is a fresh proof of the wonderful work and power 
of grace, and Christian redemption — ^what consolation it brings ! 
and how much we see, even in these times of deep trial, the 
mercy of a kind Providence, in granting so many mitigations 
and alleviations. Surely, His tender mercies are over all His 

I think, I never am brought into contact with many of my 
beloved brothers and sisters, without a very humbling feeling of 
my own infirmity, and short-comings; I find them such exam- 
ples to me, and am ready to say within my heart — though I have 
come so publicly forward — though I have preached righteous- 
ness in the great congregation, what will become of me, and of 
my house ? and where is there amongst us the same ftuits of 
the Spirit? 

My merciful Father has helped me, cared for me, sustained 
and provided for me, and in many ways blessed me; but I still see 
many hidden evils in my heart, and as for my family, fears often 
get hold of me, and for myself also, lest I should not walk worthy 
of my high and holy calling: I can only intercede for us all, that 
for the sake of Him who came to seek and to save that which 
was lost, our graoiousGod would have mercy on us. Oh^ dearest 
Lord ! Thou hast granted the petition of Thine handmaid, for 
her brothers and sisters, she now sees in them, in a great mea- 
sure the travail of her soul, and is satisfied. Beject not her 
prayers for her husband and children ; bring them by any ways, 
or by any paths, that Thou mayst see meet, but let them also 
come to the knowledge of the ever-blessed truth, as it is in 
Jesus, that they may be saved with an everlasting salvation. 


And oh« gracious Lord be mth Thy poor servant to the end ; 
and through the continued extension of Thy grace. Thy help, 
and Thy mercy, let nothing ever be permitted to separate her 
soul from Thy love in Christ Jesus, her beloved Lord, and all- 
sufficient Saviour. 

" By any ways, or by any paths, that Thou mayst see meet ; 
but let them come to the knowledge of the ever-blessed truth 
as it is in Jesus. 

Such had become the language of her heart. 

More than twenty-five years had passed, of deepening expe- 
rience and growing dedication, since the ministry of William 
Savery had been the means of producing so marvellous a change 
in her. Religion, for the first time presented to her view, 
through the medium, and under the aspect of Quakerism, was, 
for a length of time, associated in her mind too exclusively with 
the peculiar form in which she then had known it, and which 
had been so eminently blessed to herself. She appears now 
to have attained to the conviction, that the peculiar forms and 
scruples of sects may be mistaken and substituted for the cross 
of Christ, and that there may be faithful and devoted Cross- 
Bearers, who adopt none of these peculiarities ; having 
learned to recognize the vast distinction, between the diversi- 
ties of forms in religious worship and the mighty mystery of 
religion itself; even the ** being renewed in the spirit of the 
mind, and born again from the death of sin to the life of 

Amongst her brothers and sisters, she saw much of the fruits 
of the Spirit, in dedication of heart, and labours of Christian 
love ; but it was not at first easy to her to believe, that the path 
that some of them had chosen, was for them as entirely right, 
as the one she had taken was for herself and others of the 

To a mind so honestly seeking truth, and desiring to receive 


it in simplicity, oonviotion could not fail in ita effect, and she 
became at last reconciled to these " diversities of administra- 
tion." Her acquaintance with the excellent of the earth, be- 
yond the sphere of her own family, tended to enlarge her boun- 
daries, still, she clave to the peculiar form of Christianity which 
she had adopted for herself; and for her children, it was long 
the craving of her heart, her intense desire, that they might 
become '' Friends" from conviction — but even this strong desire 
of her heart was to be, in great measure, disappointed. We 
now find her, fully and unreservedly, petitioning Him who had 
eminently proved to her a " prayer-hearing, answering God," 
'* by any ways, or by any paths, that He might see meet," but 
that they might " come to the knowledge of the ever^blessed 
truth, as it is in Jesus." Here is no reserve, no holding back, 
the surrender of will is entire, and the spirit of submission 
complete. Very blessed it is to those of her children, who 
have been unable to see as she saw, and to receive the views 
which she entertained, to know, that it was given her by degrees, 
without any wavering in her own opinions, without any dimi- 
nution of her entire love for the principles of Friends, ''to 
recognise no distinction,^* provided ''the narrow path was 
chosen, and the cross of Christ borne." 

Earlham, Ninth Month, 2nd, First day. — My sisters Cathe- 
rine, Bachel, Rich enda and I have had a very remarkable morning. 
I thought it better to stay at home from Meeting, to be with my 
beloved suffering sister. I had a desire for some religious time 
with her. After she was dressed and removed into the dressing- 
room on her couch, we read in the Bible ; but so overcome was 
she from weakness and sleepiness, that she could not keep 
awake ; however, we went on, till I knelt down in prayer and 
thanksgiving for her and for us; this, appeared more than 
to revive her, she prayed beautifully and powerfully for us then 
present, for all her sisters, for my children, and for me and my 
dearest husband. Afterwards, she sent a particular message to 


some of the absent, her ** dear love, and that they ahonld be 
told, what a rich blessing she had foand there was in seeking, 
Jirsty the kingdom of God and His righteoasness.** The con- 
soling effect of this time lasted for many hours, so that our be- 
loved invalid remained in a delightful state all day. 

First daify 9th. — I was sent for express this morning from 
Lynn, where I had gone for a day or two to see my be- 
loved daughter. This visit proved highly satisfactory. I had it 
in my power to make all arrangements for her, as to medical 
attendance; and what was more, in no common degree, I found 
the spirit of prayer poured forth on her account, so that, I be- 
lieve, it was well to be there. Sut my dearest sister passed 
through so deep a conflict last evening, that I was sent for- 
The letters irom Plashet conveyed the happy news, that my 
children were returned from abroad, and my Bichenda better, 
though far from well. 

lOM.— My beloved sister appeared much sunk last evening, 
but awoke early, greatly refreshed, quite clear, and even very 
bright in her mind, and relieved from suffering. In the night 
I went to her, and seemed unable to endure witnessing her con- 
SlctB of body; but to my help and consolation, I found her thus 
relieved this morning. So it is, things too hard for us are not 
permitted; and my humble trust is that as trials eome, sd 
strength will be given to endure them. My strong confidence 
for my beloved sister is, that for her, way will in tender mercy 
be made through the valley of the shadow of death, and sup- 
port granted to us also ; though firom the weakness of the flesh, 
fears at times overwhelm me on this subject On seeing her so 
comfortable, I said to her, '' brooks are granted us by the way; 
she replied, " yes, and more of them the nearer we approach 
the journey's end." 

lith. — Yesterday, our dear patient passed through nearly 
constant conflict, from spasms on her breath, which was deeply 
affecting to us. We besought for her present relief; some miti- 
gation was granted, and by degrees, during the night, she became 
more easy : she told me, this morning, it was '' as though, the 
Buler and Head of the people had been very near to her all 
night ;** and mentioned what a conflicted day yesterday was, but 

1827.] OF BLIZAB£TH FRY. 11 

addedj ** I leant on the beloved.^' Her apparent patience and 
quiet spirit were striking to witness. 

Id/A. — ^A wonderful revival; she appears better than she has 
done for many days. This is extraordinary, after watohing what 
has been thought her dying bed for some time past ; — last even- 
ing, almost all the symptoms of the near approach of death 
were apparent. I so deeply have felt it, that being in the room 
has been often almost more than I could bear ; indeed, it is a 
time of much self humiliation to me, my unworthiness is very 
present with me. I feel as if I did not fulfil my duties towards 
my loved sister, because I do not sit up at night, and remain 
oonstantly with her ; I am afraid of being upset by it, my 
tender inexpressible sympathy is so great for her inher sufferings, 
though I cannot but thankfully rejoice for her blessed state of 
spirit. As for myself, these words seem applicable : " Oh Lord ! 
Thou knowest my foolishness and my sins are not hid from 

15/A. — Sitting opposite to my most beloved sister in the blue- 
room : — She appears to be gradually sinking into death, and may 
we not humbly trust and confidently believe, into the arms of her 
God and Saviour. Grant Lord, I pray Thee, if consistent vdth 
Thy holy and blessed will, that she may fall asleep in Thee, and 
that no painful struggles may attend her change ; that quietly 
and imperceptibly, she may cast off this mortal tabernacle, hay- 
ing ahready testified to us her faith and her hope, and belauded 
on the other side of Jordan, awaking to joy and glory unspeak- 
able. And do Thou, Oh Lord ! sustain us also, in this time 
of trial, and enable us in our low estate to rejoice in Thee, our 
God and our Saviour, who yet giveth the victory oyer death, 
hell, and the grave. 

I have been alone and quiet a little while, and I find in 
this awful time, that " help is laid on One who is mighty ;" 
for that, which ever since I came to an age of understanding has 
appeared almost impossible to bear, even the loss of this sister, 
who has been like *' flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone,'^ 
now I am enabled to receive, and bow under the dispensation 
with peace. I believe that she has done her work, and that we 
have nearly finished our work for her ; but, is there not an all- 


sufficient Helper near, who is holding np her head above the 
waves of Jordan, that they overwhelm her not ! 

nth. — ^About three o'clock this morning, our most tenderly- 
beloved sister departed this life. Late in the evening she fell 
asleep, from which sleep she never appeared to awake. They 
came to let me know, about twelve o'clock, how she was going 
on ; but, at first, I felt unequal to going to her^ and she did not 
want me ; but, gradually, I found my tribulated, tossed spirit, 
calmed, animated, and strengthened, so that I joined the com- 
pany round her bed, where I remained until the solemn close. 
We sat some time in deep silence ; then I knelt down, and asked 
that mourning and lamentation might not be the garment of our 
spirits, but thanksgiving, inasmuch as the warfare was accom- 
plished, the conflict over, and through the unmerited mercy of 
God in Christ Jesus, an entrance was granted through the gates 
of the City, whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise. 
Then I prayed for ourselves, that the loss of such a sister, who 
had in so remarkable a manner ministered to some of our neces- 
sities, might be made up to us by an increased portion of spiritual 
blessings, and that her various labours of love to us and to our 
children might receive such a blessing, as to produce an increase 
to our lasting good. After returning to bed, natural weakness 
much overcame me ; the death of the body, and its terrors, got 
hold of me, and the heavenly Inheritance appeared hidden from 
my view, for a time. To-day, I feel able to partake of the repose 
now granted us, in no longer having to travel through '' the 
valley of the shadow of death," with one so beloved ; and, in 
measure, to partake of her rest, as I believe I did, in no common 
manner, of her sufierings, as if one with her in them. 

19M. — Blue-room — with my beloved sister's remains. All 
quietness, rest in comparison — over my own mind a solemn feel- 
ing of peace, and this truth impressed upon me, " There is a rest 
for the people of God." Several important lessons, I think, I 
have learnt by attending this most beloved sister. 1st, That 
persons are apt to dwell more on the means of grace, about which 
they differ^ than its simple pure operation leading out of evil into 
good. This I have long believed, but, seeing one who united as 
she did with the good in all and could hardly be said to be of 

1827 ] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 13 

any sect or body of Christians, so grounded in the Christian 
life and practice, proves experimentally ; that being united fully 
to any set of people is not essential, and all minor points 
of difference of comparatively little value. 2ndly, I learn to 
trust more, and be less afraid. She like myself was liable to 
many fears, particularly in her nervous sinking states — ^how iitde 
cause had she for these fears, and how were the things that she 
most dreaded remarkably averted ; also. That the last part of a 
death-illness gradually appears to diminish rather than increase 
in conflict, as with natural life and power, sensibility to suffering 
lessens. In short, the lesson taught us is, to seek to serve and 
follow our Lord, and He will be with us and make a way for us, 
even unto the end. Srdly, That in passing through life, patience 
should have its perfect work, that we should seek for a more 
willing mind to suffer, as well as to do the will of God, looking 
for daily help in this respect ; that we should endeavour in all 
things for an upright, circumspect walk before the Lord, speaking 
the truth in love ; above all, that we should seek after full under- 
standing of, and reliance on, the work of salvation through Christ; 
and obtain (if possible) more knowledge of the Scriptures, and a 
better acquaintance with religious books. 

Of my very many outward blessings, the brothers and sisters 

that I yet have are amongst the greatest. C with her 

simple, powerful, noble, yet humble and devoted mind. R 

with her diligence, excellence, cheerfulness, vivacity, willing- 
ness and power to serve many. H with her chastened, 

refined, tender, humble, and powerful character. Louisa with 
her uncommon ability, talent, expansive generosity, and true 

sympathy and kindness. S always my friend and my 

companion ; more or less my guide, my counsellor, and my 
comforter. His stable mind, his living faith, his Christian 
practice, rejoice me often. Joseph, the fruitful vine whose 
branches hang over the wall, my prophet, priest, and sympa- 
thiser, and often the upholder of my soul. D , his up- 
rightness, integrity, power and sympathy, and son-like as well 
as brother-like attentions to me, invaluable ; he has sweetened 
many of my bitter cups. 

The various places, taken in our beloved sister s sick-room by 


the different sisters were yery beautiful to8ec,bowooiisoientiously 
they filled their different allotments. I have been struck in this, 
as in other instances, how much real principle is needed, to enable 
U8 to nurse and do full justice to the sick, particularly, in very 
long illnesses, and how muoh patience and watchfulness are re- 
quired even with the most favoured patients. I should like to 
give a little account here of this most beloved sister. We began 
life very much together, she was a year and a half the elder. 
We were partners, as children, of almost all that we pos- 
sessed, we were educated a good deal together, and mostly slept 
in the same room. She was also very strongly united in early life 
to Catherine. She was when young, beautiful, lively and warm- 
hearted; she was very attractive, so as even to excite in some of 
us who were much less so, feelings of jealousy. She formed a 
strong attachment when quite young, under very painful circum- 
stances, being contrary to our father's wishes. It eventually was 
broken off, although our father withdrew his opposition, when 
she reached twenty- one years of age. This produced a wonder- 
ful change in her, destroyed her naturally fine spirits ; brought 
her into deep distress, but I believe also led her to seek better 
consolation, and that love which could satisfy and would remain. 
She was a most constant, faithful, devoted friend to her own 
family, most particularly to myself, a companion and helper in 
illness and distress, such as is rarely met with or heard of, both 
before and after my marriage. Of her it might in no common 
degree be said, "self was of no reputation," she was able to 
give up her own will, her own way, and her own pleasure to 
others, in an extraordinary manner. 

My becoming a Friend was in the outset a trial to her, she 
would weep over it, and endeavour to show me the folly of it, as 
at that period her own mind was only opening to receive religious 
truth; but on perceiving that my peace was concerned in it, and 
that my desire was simply to obey that which I believed to be the 
manifestation of duty, she soon became one of the foremost to 
make my way easy, in any sacrifice or cross that this led me into ; 
and so far irom remaining a hindrance, she became a faithful, 
constant, steady, helper to me. Even to the last, she would in 
the spirit of love and truth, warn me or any of us, of such rooks 

1827.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 15 

as she thought our peculiar views would endanger our stumbling 
against; and I may truly say, I have for one, often found them 
watchwords in season — words, that I trust have taken deep root 
in my heart, and been blessed to me. In religion, her ground was 
expansive. As it respected worship, I think she united much 
withFriends, in some other matters with the Established Church, 
she had peculiarly the power not only to see, but to unite with 
the good of all persuasions ; and according to the ability granted 
her, to help all on their way. She was cheerful, hopeful, but 
very sensitive ; yet so remarkably grounded on the everlasting 
Bock, as not to be greatly moved by, though deeply sensible of, 
the various trials and fluctuations of this life. She owed much 
also to her well-regulated and self-possessed mind. Her heart 
was in no common degree affectionate, even so as at times to 
prove a trial to her, but deep and strong as was her affection for 
her own family and friends, her dependence was on higher 
ground ; and He who gave himself a ransom for her, and was 
her Lord and Master, had her first love. 

Her sound mind, good understanding, and clear judgment 
were very conspicuous ; her patience and long-suffering, united 
with natural cheeriulness, very marked, particularly in her last 
illness; amongst her minor virtues, her order, regularity, and 
punctuality were great. She had peculiar power over children, 
and possessed, in no common degree, the gift of training and 
educating them ; she was strict, though most kind to them ; she 
particularly cultivated habits of industry, and having whatever 
was done, well done ; she also early proved a teacher to bring 
them to Ohrist, and was able, not only to instruct them in the 
Scriptures, but general religious truth, and many bear testimony 
to her invaluable labours with them on these most important 
subjects. She not only sympathised particularly with the afflicted 
in her own family, but was a frequent and faithful nurse to 
many others in sickness, and a comforter to them when sorrowful. 
In short, she was greatly gifted by nature and grace, and what 
is far above all^ she '^ gave diligence to make her calling and 
election sure ! " 

The funeral of Baohel Gumey took place on the 23rd. An 



occasion of very deep feeling, and one that wakened many 
sorrowfal recollections and associations. 

On the 24th, Mrs. Fry went to Lynn, and the following even- 
ing wrote to announce the birth of a little grandson, thas rapidly 
passing from the last^ to the first scene in '* man's eventful 
history." She had been anxious to come to her child, and yet 
could scarcely leave Earlham sooner. To her family at home she 
says, " I cannot but thank a kind Providence for bringing me 
here in the needful time, and thus guiding my steps aright.^' 
One day later she was sent for to Buncton, in consequence 
of the birth of a nephew ; whose life, which hung upon a 
most slender thread, was apparently saved through her unre- 
mitting exertions. She set an unusual value upon infant life ; 
she was almost displeased at the death of little children being 
lighdy considered; "You none know how good or how great they 
may live to be." Nor was it only in reference to this world that 
she felt thus, for *' Are there not ' many mansions ?' different 
degrees of glory, in the heavenly inheritance." This estimate 
of life, and the use to be made of it, was perfectly consistent 
with absolute submission to the will of Ood, whenever it was 
His good pleasure to take it. There were four lines of Sir 
William Jones, which she greatly delighted in — often and of ten 
has she recited them, with some little one in her arms, whose 
soft skin, and meaningless expression, bespoke how lately it 
had become an inhabitant of this world — 

*' On parent knees, a naked Dew-bom child. 
Weeping thou sat'st — ^while all around thee smiled. 
So live, that sinking to thy long last sleep. 
Safe thou may'st smile— whilst all around thee weep." 

A press of engagements awaited her return to Plashet. Busi- 
ness and correspondence, public and private, at home and abroad. 
Communications addressed to her had become increasingly 
numerous, especially from the continent Dr. Julius of Ham- 

1827.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 17 

borgb^ became a fireqaent correspondent This gentleman had 
long devoted himself to the subject of Prison Discipline. 
Daring this year, he had lectured at Berlin, for two months 
upon the subject, the course being attended by above a hundred 
gentlemen of rank and fortune. From M. Duopetiaux, at 
Brussels, a zealous advocate for Prison Beform, she had received 
communications. A long letter, of great interest, had reached 
her from Madame Potemkin n6e Galitzin, at St. Petersburg ; 
also, through John Venning, Esq. she received details of Prisons 
and Lunatic Asylums, by desire of the Empress Dowager of 
Russia. From another quarter, she had details sent to her, of 
the Grand Duke of Baden, having in his dominions, instituted 
inquiries as to the best method of constructing prisons. Again, 
from Paris she recei7ed communications of the state of prisons 
in France, with, amongst other matters, an account entitled, 
" Fragmens d* un compte rendu sur les Prisons de Lyons, 1827," 
&C. &c.; presents & Monsiegueur le Dauphin, par M. le Baron 
De Gerando. 

The era of advance was come ; and those who wished well to 
their fellow-creatures, marked the progress of good with intense 
satisfaction. Few and scattered as were the efforts made, the 
opinion was gaining ground, that preventing crime was of 
sounder policy ^than punishing it ; and the reformation of the 
culprit, the end to be sought in penal legislation. 

Plaahet, First Month, Srd, 1828. — This year commenced 
with many interests. On the morning of the new year, we 
assembled almost all our large household, and many guests, 
principally young people. Before we began reading, I men- 
tioned, some of the striking marks of Providential care and 
mercy shewn to us during the last year. We then read, and 
afterwards had a solemn time, in which I returned thanks '' for 
mercies past, and humbly craved for more." My dearest brother 
Joseph joined us, and under a serious, yet cheerful influence, 

VOL. u. c 


our large party eat down to breakfast This is often to me a 
most agreeable time of the day, after the repose of the night, 
and often some spiritual refreshment in our readings. I can 
hardly say how much I enjoy my family circle^ and thankfully 
receive the blessings conferred on us. 

31^^ — ^During this month, my beloved family, husband and 
children, have occupied most of my time and attention, and in 
many respects I have had much comfort; but at their present age, 
when there is so much to excite the susceptible mind of youth, 
my anxieties are many on their account, and I feel that I have 
to watch with at times fearful care over them and their associates, 
and perhaps when they do not know it, sympathise with them 
in their passing troubles arising from such circumstances. I 
sometimes pour forth my prayer for them, that if they are to be 
united to others in life, their affections may settle on the right 
objects. How deeply, how tenderly, to be felt for, and watch- 
fully to be cared for, are young people at this period of life ; 
and how difficult for us, who apprehend ourselves, as Friends, 
to be bound by unusual restrictions in marriage connexions, 
exactly to know the right line to pursue. I have been, as usual, 
much occupied by public objects, and have met with both en- 
couragement and disappointment. Encouragement, because 
the government has greatly aided us in the female convict ships ; 
and disappointment, from not succeeding in more generally 
obtaining permission for ladies to visit prisons. In our own 
Society, I have had one important call to Birmingham, to attend 
a funeral ; a very serious and weighty occasion it proved ; num- 
bers of the children and grand- children of the deceased, of va- 
rious descriptions were present. There was a crowded meeting, 
and few ministers, so that the weight of the service appeared to 
devolve on me, there, and at the house. The help granted me 
was marvellous in my eyes ; and I was enabled, at these different 
times, to preach the glad tidings, the liberty and the peace of 
the gospel of Christ. So it is, out of weakness, we are, when 
dependent on our Lord alone, made strong, and fear is removed 
in the most remarkable manner — my dearest brother Samuel 
accompanied me — who has such brothers as I have, to help in 
the needful time ? I think, as it respects the ministry, I am 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 19 

never so much helped as when without other ministers to look 
to, my dependence heing then singly on my Lord and on His 
anointing. I yesterday went to see one of my sons at school, 
and attended Epping Meeting, which I thought a satisfactory 
time. I tried to make my visit pleasant to all the hoys, hy 
taking them a walk, and giving them oranges ; I like that the 
laatniments, who communicate religious instruction to the 
young, should he pleasant to them. I have had interesting, 
and encouraging communications from Ireland, as if, in some 
parts particularly, our labours there had not been in vain. I 
have once or twice been to see my sister Hoare, and have felt 
the value of the near union between us ; my dearest sister Rachel 
is often present with me, the way in which I have been enabled 
to support this inexpressible loss, is sui*prising to myself; 
surely it is only the tender mercy of my God, that has thus 
healed my wounds and upheld me under it. Indeed, at the close 
of this month, I may raise up a fresh Ebenezer, and say — the 
Lord be magnified for His loving-kindness to me, His poor un- 
worthy, yet dependent one. Oh ! may He see meet to keep me 
in the way that I should go, and preserve me from right hand 
and from left hand errors. 

Second Months %nd. — ^Yesterday, was a full day, and one 
humbling in its eflfect. In the first place, I earnestly desired 
preservation, that I might keep my eye single to God, and not 
bow to man in spirit. I then went to town, and to Newgate, under 
a feeling of rather deep concern, where I unexpectedly found 
numbers of persons, a magistrate, foreigners, a Jew, a clergyman, 
many ladies, some Friends, and my brother Samuel. Before I 
began to read, I in secret asked for preservation, at least it was 
my earnest desire to have my eye kept single to my God. But 
either the fear of man got too much hold of me, or the '' unction" 
was not with me, for I did not feel the power of Truth over us, 
as it very often has been at such times. I am ready to believe, 
that if I had not looked at man, but dwelt yet deeper in spirit, I 
should have openly calledupon the Lord, and should have found 
help and power in so doing. I went away humbled. My sister 
Elizabeth said something ; but of late there has been so much 
felt and said about our doing too much in these things with the 

c 2 


prisoners, and going out of our province, that it makes me fear- 
ful, and consider that as far as the Spirit is rightly subject to 
the prophets, so far, at this critical time, we ought to curtail in 
these things. I then went with my beloved brother Samuel to the 
Bishop of London, to talk to him about religious services with 
prisoners, to inform him of our situation respecting it in Newgate, 
and the extreme care necessary in the appointment of chaplains 
for gaols ; also to speak to him of the state of our parish* I 
spoke, I trust, to the point, and that good and not harm will 
result from the visit ; but I always fear, after such times, lest I 
should have said too much. We then made a call, where I pretty 
boldly spoke my opinions of theatres and public places ; and 
in reply to the question, " How I went on, in reforming the 
world ?'' I replied, that my zeal was strong in my declining 
years to do what little I could towards reforming things. After- 
wards, I feared that I might have said too much. We went 
to the Secretary of State's office, and saw the Under-Secretary; 
there, again, I had to speak my mind fully on many things, 
prisons especially. 

Now, during this day, my services were numerous — some of an 
important nature, and such as might by some persons be supposed 
exalting, to be admitted although a woman, to represent things 
of consequence to persons of influence and power, and to be re- 
ceived as I am by them — ^but He who searcheth the heart, only 
knows my humiliation, and how, in these services, fears for myself 
get hold of me, lest I should bow to man and not to God; lest 
any thing but the simple object of promoting '' the thing that 
is good," should influence me. This I certainly know, that 
such engagements often bring me into deep exercise of spirit 
before the Lord, that I may be kept as a clean instrument ready 
for His service, and not become contaminated by the spirit of self 
nor the spirit of the world. Truly, my desire is, to walk humbly, 
faithfully, circumspectly, before my God in the first place, and, 
secondly, before my fellow- mortals; but ever and in all things, 
to seek to serve my Lord, doing His will and His pleasure, before 
serving myself or others, or doing my own will or the will of 
man. Lord, continue to be my help, my strength, my glory and 
the lifter up of my head ; and if consistent with Thy holy will, 


1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. ^l 

bless my labours and the labours of others, in these works of 
charity, and keep us, the unworthy instruments employed in 
them, so, as to be fitted to perform them, or any other service 
Thou mayst see fit to call us into. Amen. 

25M. — ^At times, I have felt distressingly overdone in body 
and mind ; but in the midst of fatigue and bustle, I have sought 
the Lord for help and endeavoured to wait upon Him, that a 
quiet spirit might be granted me, which, in tender mercy, has 
frequently been the case, so that the storm has become a calm. 
Generally speaking, I do not think that I work too hard, for I 
am deeply sensible that we do not serve a hard Master, and that 
He will never require more of us, than we have strength to per- 
form. I think our health, strength, and life, are valuable gifts, 
that we have no right to play with, but should take all reasonable 
care to preserve; although, I am also of opinion, that active em- 
ployment for body and mind is preferable and conduces to the 
health of both, whilst many suffer great loss for want of it ; 
sitting, as it were, in their ** ceiled houses," taking undue care 
of themselves. I also believe, that a portion of rest, quiet and 
recreation, is not only allowable but right, and in the ordering 
of a kind Providence for us all. Surely, in a spiritual, as well 
as an outward sense, I may fully and heartily testify, that in 
unmerited mercy the " brook by the way** is often partaken of, 
sometimes in a large and overflowing manner, so that I may say, 
" my cup runneth over " I am at times ready to exclaim, " Oh 
Lord ! our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth !" 
The works of the outward creation give me delight; and I am 
enabled to perceive the beauty and the excellency of the spiritual 
dispensation, as revealed to us, through the unspeakable blessing 
of the gospel of Christ. 

Third Month, 6th. —May I not say to Him, who seeth in 
secret. Thou hast known my soul in adversity ! but amidst these 
dispensations, is not the '' Lord known by the judgment which he 
executeth T What peace, what blessing, what fulness of help 
and consolation, have I also experienced. How have gospel 
truths opened gradually on my view, the height, the depth, 
length and breadth of the love of God in Christ Jesus, to 
my unspeakable help and consolation ; principally, I believe. 


through the dispensations of Almighty wisdom^ partly from the 
soundness of faith of some near to me, my brother Joseph, my 
sisters Friscilla, Catherine, and Baohel, as well as many others 
of different religious persuasions. I think that my general reli- 
gious association, has delightfully extended my spiritual borders. 
I can, from my heart say, all one in Christ ; all dearly beloyed, 
as brethren and sisters, who love His name, and seek to follow 
Him. Although, I remain a decided Friend in principle, and 
believe for myself and for many others, that it is our calling, 
for I consider ours to be a highly spiritual dispensation, and 
that not only we ourselves, but others would su£Per much loss 
by our not keeping to it. 

27th. — On Second-day, I attended the Select Quarterly Meet- 
ing, and was appointed representative to the Yearly Meeting. 
The next day the meetings were satisfactory. How striking to 
me, and how humbling— here am I, that used to be one of the 
last, least, and lowest in this Quarterly Meeting, now obliged to 
be one of its foremost members in the Meetings of Discipline ; 
partly, from so many vacant places being left amongst us, 
partly from my long experience of its ways, and many years in 
its service ; and last of all, truly, deeply unworthy as I am, 
because it has pleased a kind Providence to grant me the unity 
of my beloved friends, and thus to raise me up. My spirit, not- 
withstanding my outward cheerfulness, was much bowed down 
within me, in earnest cravings to be washed, renewed, and more 
fitted for my Master's service. 

In April, Mrs. Fry accompanied her husband on a short 
journey. To visit some meetings of Friends, and several Prisons, 
formed her chief inducement, but she also was glad to avail her- 
self of the change of scene and travelling for some of her family. 
" To follow, and not force Providence " was a favourite senti- 
ment with her, she had taken it from " Cecils remains," a book 
in which she delighted. ** To avail ourselves of the openings," 
was another expression to be frequently heard from her lips. 
Extracts from two of her letters, pourtray something of her 
various objects and interests. 


Matlock, Fourth Month, igth, 1828. 

My dearest Children, 

The beauties of this delightful place, even amidst pouring 
rain, are such, as to make me long to have you all around us, 
to admire them. I am sitting in a bower window ; a sweet little 
garden, cut out of the side of a high hill, on one side, a deep 
valley on the other, the river Derwent at the bottom, full with the 
late rains, flowing over rocks ; and very high rocky hills, covered 
with trees, beyond. We are in a quiet, comfortable hotel, kept 
by a widow, where we feel quite at home, and only want all of 
you, and a little fine weather, to complete the pleasure of our 
circumstances. We feel the comfort of quiet and rest the more, 
because we have had such a very ftill time, almost as much so as 
in Ireland. At Leicester, Nottingham, and Derby — ^Meetings, 
Prisons, Friends, other people, forming Prison Associations, and 
various engagements. I have hardly had time for rest or meals. 
We unexpectedly met my dear brother Joseph at Leicester, on 
First day ; and the next day, he greatly helped me, as usual in 
the prisons and in endeavouring to form committees. He and I 
went forward to attend the Quarterly Meeting at Nottingham, 
which we were favoured to get well through. On Fourth day, I 
was very busy receiving visitors and taking care of your dear uncle 
(who was very unwell), until he left us. We then proceeded to 
visit three Prisons and a Lunatic Asylum ; and in the evening 
there came about thirty ladies to form themselves into an Asso- 
ciation, and to revise the Prison Committee now existing. We 
arrived at Derby on Fifth day, in time for Meeting ; afterwards I 
set off with our dear friend Henrietta Newton and others, to visit 
the different prisons. The town one is vile, and the country one ad 
beautiful ; there, I think six, at least, of the principal magistrates 
met me, as well as other persons. I was sadly tired, and only re- 
turned to Leylands in time to dress for dinner with our charming 
host and hostess, and their dear children. The next morning 
there was a party to breakfast with us — after a solemn reading. 
About eleven o'clock, many ladies, Friends and others joined us, 
to form associations for the Asylum and Prisons. This done, I 
had to write to the magistrates, go and visit the Asylum and 


Infirmary, then dine at a kind friend's, where we met several 
persons ; and set off for this place about six o'clock. 
Now, in the nearest love to you all, farewell. 

Your mother, 

E. F. 

Uttozeter, Fourth Month, 2l9i. 

My dearest William, 

We are just arrived here afler a pleasant visit to Matlock, 
although it rained nearly the whole time we were there. 

Yesterday was very interesting. We went eleven miles to sit 
at Meeting with some persons of the lower class, in a stocking- 
weaver's room ; a very striking scene it was, and very pleasant 
afterveards to see these poor people. But, my dear children, yon 
know enough of mama's eye for the ludicrous, not to wonder that 
my fancy was tickled to see the mistress get up during our Meet- 
ing, to attend to dressing the dinner ; two Friends also sitting 
on the stocking-loom for want of chairs, and we believed that 
those chairs we had, were leat by the neighbours to help the party 
out. It is a very remarkable case — a poor man, a wheelwright, 
in a little out of the way place called Cowhouse Lane, about 
ten miles from Matlock became convinced of the principles of 
Friends at a public meeting, and it has spread to several of his 
neighbours, who sit down in silence together on First days. We 
were all much pleased and interested by them. We returned to 
Matlock about four o*clock, and spent a quiet pleasant evening, 
until a smell of fire excited anxiety in some of our party. We 
were sitting in our little parlour, at the end of a long passage, 
three stories high. I asked Foster Reynolds to go into my room, 
as there was a fire there, and see if anything was burning. What 
should he find all in a flame, but my cloak hanging up, a large 
packing-cloth, towels, towel-horse and side of the fire-place. 
Some how or other, from the window being open, part of the 
towel must have blown into the fire, and all the other things 
caught. We think that, as it was very near to the bed, and that 
the flames were up to the ceiling or nearly so, had we delayed 
only a few minutes longer, the whole large inn would have been 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY.' 25 

bnmt ; and what is more, we could not have passed the door, 
which it was necessary for us to do to go down stairs. Thus we 
have had a most providential escape. Foster gave no alarm, 
but began to put it out before we got to him ; then, with thy 
father's aid in throwing water on the flames extinguished the 
whole. We happened not to have begun reading, therefore, 
our attention not being occupied, we were particularly alive to 
what passed ; we were just going to read something very inter- 
esting. It made us think of thy escape at Bristol. What a 
mercy to be preserved from such awful dangers. 

Thy nearly attached mother, 

E. F. 

Plashet, Fifth Month, lih, — ^I am once more settled at home» 
after a journey to Lynn, and into the midland counties, with my 
husband, my daughter Bichenda, and Foster Beynolds. In the 
course of it, I visited thirteen prisons, also some Meetings; often to 
my wonder that so unworthy an instrument should be so honoura- 
bly made nse of to minister to the spiritual state of others, and 
to visit and be the means of assisting so many in prison and in 
bonds. It is perfectly curious to me to observe how my way is 
made when I go to a place, hardly knowing a person in it ; how 
soon I am favoured to be surrounded by the serious and the good 
of different descriptions ; to partake of sweet unity of spirit with 
them, to encourage them in their good works, and often induce 
them to visit the prisons. Surely the hand of Providence is in 
some of these things, small and great ? It was strikingly mani- 
fested in many instances on this journey ; I was enabled to form 
three new Committees for visiting prisons, and to re- organise 
others, in a way that I hope will prove useful. Where my lot 
was cast among Friends, I also found the best help to be near. 
I attended the Derby and Nottingham Quarterly Meeting, as weU 
as several other Meetings, and met my dearest brother Joseph at 
Leicester, where I was enabled to assist him in the needfnl time ; 
it appeared almost providential. I walked into the Meeting 
where he was at Leicester ; he did not expect me, neither did I 
know he was in that town. He appeared greatly in need of help, 
being fatigued and very unwell. Since my return home, the 


British Society Meeting has muoh occupied my attention. It 
was on the last day of last month ; it was a very numerous 
assemblage of ladies, many of them of high rank. I had muoh 
to do in it from time to time, when the different reports were 
read ; I explained a little, and at other times poured forth much 
of my mind on the subject. However, I went away low and 
humbled at the conspicuous part I had to take, not doubting 
that it would bring me into evil report as well as good report, 
and fearing lest the Secretaries and other valuable members of 
the Society might feel my doing so much, and their doing com- 
paratively little ; and yet my heart was so full of interest upon the 
subject, and my head so full of matter, that I did not nearly 
express all I had to say. The general impression I hear was 
satisfactory, and I trust good was done : but I may set my seal to 
this — that public services are fearful services, and none but those 
engaged in them, know how much those are spared who do good 
privately. Still, if the Master calls us into public duties, it is 
not only well, but honourable, and in them much more good is 
accomplished, because so many are concerned ; still I would have 
no one seek for them, but if rightly brought into them, preser- 
vation will I believe be granted. A watchful, humble spirit is 
called for ; one that is not exalted by the undue approbation of 
fellow-mortals, nor too much cast down by disapprobation or 
evil reports. There must also be a willingness to commit all 
these works to Him, who can prosper them or not, according to 
His own good pleasure. 

For this meeting of the British Society, Mrs, Fry had pre- 
pared rough notes, or memoranda, which exist. They contain 
allusions to some facts but not the facts themselves, as illus- 
trations of her opinions as to the proper treatment of female 
prisoners. They were much the same, as those contained in the 
little work published by Mrs. Fry in 1 827. The same ideas are 
to be found in her evidence before the Police Committee of 
the House of Commons, and in letters to official persons. They 
include observations on the good effect of ladies visiting prisons, 
workhouses, hospitals, lunatic asylums and other public insti- 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 27 

tations ; the necessity of classifioation, female officers^ regalar 
occupation ; enforced plainness of appearance, separation, and 
where that cannot he enforced, absolute silence after retiring 
for the night ; with many details that must present themselves 
to every one who has entertained the suhject of Prison Disci- 
pline, but above all, the infinite importance of religions instruc- 
tion. She enlarged on the state of female convict-ships, the 
need of better clothing for the women, the wretched condition 
of their little nurslings, and various topics connected with the 
peculiarities of a sea voyage. She finished by a heart-stirring 
appeal to the many present, gifted with influence and talent, 
wealth and position, on the subject of the increase of crime in 
this country, the responsibilities of all, the sphere of usefulness 
open to every individual, even to the tender and delicate 
woman, who might be said scarcely " to have the air of Heaven 
visit her face too roughly," as a wife to influence, as a mother 
to educate and train, as the mistress of a family to guide, con- 
trol, reprove, encourage. She touched upon district societies, 
fibraries for the lower classes, general education,— and con* 
eluded by nrging upon her hearers in nothing to be discou- 
raged ; but in humble confidence to go on, remembering that 
the work is not ours — therefore, we may look to Him Who is 
mighty, upon Whom help is laid, to be '' stedfast, immove- 
able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as 
their labour would not be in vain in the Lord.*' 

P&MAe/.<— Last Sixth day, we had a very interesting visit to 
Newgate. Numbers were there ; clergy, some of the nobiUty, the 
SherifiT, many ladies, gentlemen, and Friends. It was a solemn 
time; the fear of man much taken away. After the reading I 
had to speak for them, and pray for them. I have of late been 
surrounded by my family, and deep cravings of spirit have been 
my portion for them. Through all, I have at times almost 
panted for a surer and a better resting place, more particularly 


where there will be no more sin or responsibility. I see much 
to enjoy here; but the temptations that are in this world, at 
times make me feel^ if not weary of it, at least longing for a 
Heavenly inheritance ; although the fear of the passage to it 
always makes me flinch from this great change, as well as the 
knowledge of my unutterable unworthiness. 

Since I last wrote my journal, death has been brought closely 
home to me. I was unexpectedly called to attend my dear aunt 

C , in a violent illness, which ended in her death. I went 

to her on Seventh day, and for some hours every day afterwards, 
and one night, till she died. I fully believe her state was a 
blessed one, and that in her trial she knew the Bock to be her 
stay. Still, as far as I can judge from observation, death is 
even to the righteous an awful conflict, generally attended with 
distress of body, reduction of spirits, some obscurity of mind, 
and great difficulty in communicating to others, either the wants 
or the feelings. My aunt seemed in her distress to depend 
much upon me ; I appeared to be a comfort to her, and was 
enabled, in measure, to minister to her bodily and spiritual 
wants. The day after all was over, and after having had a very 
solemn time with the family, I became ill myself; much as I had 
been at Waterford, hardly able to hold up my head, or go on my 
way. On Sixth day I was worse. It was a sudden, unex- 
pected loss of strength, being brought down as to the ground, 
when I was anticipating with no common degree of pleasure 
the Yearly Meeting, and after it my child's wedding, looking 
for rather prosperous days. As usual in my illnesses, I was 
greatly cast down at times, and wonderfully reduced in a short 
time. In the midst of my conflict and distress, I still thought 
I could see the hand of God in it to keep me low ; may it be 
at His footstool. I abounded also with outward comforts and 
mitigations. My husband, my sister Buxton, my children, my 
sister Elizabeth Fry devoted to me, I wanted no outward thing ; 
but was plunged under a deep feeling of my infirmity and great 
unworthiness before God. I am now much relieved, very thank-* 
ful, full of love, may I not say to all ; sweetly in unity with my 
beloved Friends at the Yearly Meeting ; in degree overflowing 
towards them all, still abundantly sensible of my unworthiness 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. ^9 

before the Lord. Oh ! may He see meet farther to fit me, to 
8ufiFer as well as to do His will. 

20M. — I think I am better, but am remarkably reduced for so 
short an illness. If daring such times of trial, or in the end,— 
I am supported, the whole glory must be given to God ; for I 
think it impossible for any one to be more naturally distressed 
or overset by bodily illness. Even if my sun sets under a 
cloud, all must be laid to my great natural infirmity in this 
respect. With God all things are possible, but if He should 
see meet at that awful hour to hide Himself from me, may none 
be discouraged ; but all look upon it as a dispensation permit- 
ted in some way for good. In times of health, also at times in 
siekness, I have had to rejoice in His salvation, and firequently 
when most favoured with clearness oF judgment, have perceived 
the wisdom and mercy of all His dispensations, particularly 
some of these afflictive ones. Why he saw meet to permit sin 
to come into the world is not for us poor frail finite mortals to 
comprehend ; but that we have an enemy to bufiet us, I cannot 
doubt. May we look to that blessed day, when God shall be all 
in all and shall put all enemies under His feet, even Death it- 
self. Dearest Lord, increase my faith more firmly, more fixedly 
establish me upon the Rock of Ages, that however the winds 
blow, the rains descend, or the floods beat against me, I may 
not be greatly moved ; and let not any of the hindering or pol- 
luting things of this world lessen my love to Thee and to Thy 
cause ; or prevent me from going steadily forward in heights and 
in depths, in riches and in poverty, in strength and in weakness, 
in sickness and in health ; or prevent my following hard after 
Thee in spirit, with a humble, faithful, watchful, circumspect, and 
devoted heart Amen. 

2 1 sL — ^The day before yesterday the wedding was accomplished. 
The Meeting was solemn and satisfactory. Our bride and bride- 
groom spoke well, and with feeling. My dearest brother Joseph 
prayed for them and ministered to them, as did others ; I prayed 
at the close of the Meeting most earnestly for them, for the other 
young people, and ourselves further advanced in life. After a 
short solemn silence the certificate was read and signed. In the 
morning we had a satisfactory reading with our children. 



Thanks be to oar Heavenly Father, there was^ I think, 
throughout the day a great mixture of real solemnity with true 
cheerfulness. It was certainly no common day. William Foster 
Reynolds and his wife, my husband and myself, with nineteen of 
our own children in the two families, besides children*in-law and 
some grandchildren, and nine of my brothers and sisters. 
Through everything, order, quietness and cheecfdlness were re- 
markably maintained. After dinner I returned thanks for our 
many blessings, and could with a few present feel how many 
outward deliverances we had experienced ; that we had had our 
heads kept above the waters, spiritually and temporally, and were 
able to have such a day of rejoicing. Our dear bride and bride- 
groom left us in the afternoon. The evening was fine, and our 
lawn looked really beautiful, covered with the large and inter- 
esting party. In the evening we assembled together, and had a 
solenm religious time; giving, I trust, the praise that was due 
alone to Him from whom all good and blessings flow. 

This marriage was hailed by Elizabeth Fry with sincere plea- 
sure : not only was the connexion highly acceptable to her, and 
one that she believed likely to promote the happiness of her 
child, but it also possessed what was, in her estimation, the pe- 
culiar advantage of being with amember of the Society of Friends. 
Whilst her hospitable and affectionate nature was gratified with 
the prospect of receiving the bridal party at Plashet, she craved 
spiritual blessings for the two most interested, and that the oc- 
casion, like the marriage at Cana in Galilee, might be owned 
by the presence of the Lord. It was a beautiful summer day, 
— the sun shone brilliantly, — ^Plashet was arrayed in all its ver- 
dure, gay with bright flowers, and sprinkled with groups of 
happy young people. After the bride was gone, one of the 
sisters crossed the lawn to speak to her mother, she said some- 
thing of the scene before them, and the outward prosperity 
which seemed to surround that beloved parent. The reply was 
remarkable ; for, after expressing a strong feeling of gratifica* 

tion and enjoyment, she added, in words which have have rivet- 


1828.] OF EUZABETH FEY. 81 

ted themselves upon the memory of her, to whom they were 
addressed : " Bat I have remarked, that when great outward 

prosperity is granted, it is often permitted to precede great trials." 

There is an old rhyme which says, 

When joy seemeth highest 
Then sorrow is nighest I" 

Surely this was verified, in the contrast hetween that day and 
the scenes, which so shortly followed in that long-loved home. 
Shortly after the wedding, the family removed to Dagenham 
for their summer retreat ; and in the autumn Mrs. Fry accom- 
panied her husband into the North of England, where he went 
on account of some business transactions. In this journey, her 
daughter Hannah was with her. She received at that time, as 
she had frequently done before, very great kindness from her 
valued friends of the Benson family. Nor was theirs the friend- 
ship which existed only in the day of sunshine ; for when so 
soon afterwards the storm arose, and adversity prevailed, they 
were among those whose ejOBicient kindness was singularly mani- 

Flasket, Eleventh Month^i^th, — I have been favoured to par- 
take of very sweet feelings of peace, and refreshment of soul, 
since my return home ; that which I am ready to believe, in the 
most unmerited mercy, is something of the '' Well of water 
springing up unto eternal life." But I find outwardly and about 
me there are storms, not at present so much in my very own 
borders, as close to them. 

1 bth. — ^The storm has now entered my own borders — once more 
we are brought into perplexity and trial — but I have this con- 
solation, " He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not 
despise their prayer." To whom can I go in this time of 
emergency, but to Him who hitherto has helped me and pro- 
vided for me and mine in a marvellous manner — made darkness 
light before me and crooked things straight Lord ! Thou 
who remainest to be the God of my love, above all things, in 


this our sorrow and perplexity oast us not out of Thy presence, 
and take not Thy Holy Spirit from us ; keep us from evil and 
from the appearance of it, that through the help of Thy Spirit 
our conduct may he kept upright, circumspect, and clean in Thy 
sight, and amongst men ! that in all things, at all times, and 
under all circumstances, we may show forth Thy praise. Keep 
us in love and unity with those whom we have to act, even if 
they do contrary to our wishes and judgment But, oh, dearest 
Lord, if it he Thy holy will, make a way of escape for us, from 
the calamity we so much dread, and continue in Thy unmerited 
mercy to provide for Thy unworthy servant, her family and all 
concerned in this trial, that we may not want what is good and 
needful for us, and that others may he kept from suffering 
through us. If it he possihle remove this bitter cup from us ; 
yet, if it he Thy will that we drink it, enable us through the 
grace and spirit of Him who suffered for us, to drink it without 
repining, — ^yet trusting in Thy love. Thy mercy, and Thy judg- 

But it was not at this time the will of God to remove " the 
bitter cup" from His servant, but rather to grant strength and 
grace to drink of it, as coming from His holy hand. 

It is a marvellous thing to the natural mind ojP man, and 
wholly beyond the unassisted scope of his reasoning powers, 
why, eminent Christians are often so intensely afiSicted. Faith's 
estimate is different, and holy writ solves the problem, by show- 
ing us that it is by this process they are fitted for the heavenly 
inheritance, the most fine gold purified, the diamond of the first 
water polished for the Master s use. 

The failure of one of the houses of business in which her 
husband was a partner, though not that which he personally con- 
ducted, involved Elizabeth Fry and her family in a train of 
sorrows and perplexities which tinged the remaining years of her 
life. Nature staggered beneath the blow — but the staff on which 
she leaned could not fail her, and she fell not. 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 33 

Eleventh Month, 26ih. — I have been brought at times, into 
little short of ang^sh of spirit ; not I think so mach for what 
we most suffer ourselves, as for what others may suffer. The 
whole thing appears fraught with distress. When I look at this 
mysterious dispensation permitted by Almighty wisdom, I am 
ready to say. How is it Lord, Thou dealestthus with Thy servant, 
who loves Thee, trusts in Thee, and fears Thy name— and then 
I say this is my infirmity, thus to query. Need I not chastise- 
ment ? Do I not deserve it ? May it not be a mysterious dis- 
pensation of deep and sore affliction, laid not only upon us, 
but upon others, to draw us all more from the things of time 
and to set us more on the enduring riches of Eternity. I can- 
not reason upon it, I mast bow, and only bow and say in my 
heart, which I believe I do, " Not as I will, but as Thou wilt." 
Well, if it be of the Lord, let Him do as seemeth Him good. 
Lord let Thy grace be found sufficient for us in this most awful 
time, and grant that we faint not when Thou rebukest us ! 

The following Sunday the question was much debated, as to 
whether she, and her family generally, should attend their Meet- 
ing for worship or not, but she felt it right to go, and of course 
was accompanied by her husband and children. She took her 
usual seat, bowed down and overwhelmed, with the bitter tears 
rolling down her cheeks— no common thing with her. 

After a very solemn pause she rose with these words, her voice 
trembling with emotion: "Though He slay me yet will I trust 
in Him ;" and testified in a short and beautiful discourse, that 
her faith and love were as strong in the hour of adversity, as 
they had been in the time of prosperity. Her friends were deeply 
affected, marking by their manner their sympathy and love. 

To her only absent child she wrote. 

Plashet, Eleventh Month, 27th, 1823. 

My dearest Rachel, 
I have at last taken up my pen to write to thee ; but to one so 
near, and so much one with myself, it is difficult I do not like 
to pour out my sorrows too heavily upon thee^ nor do I like to 



keep tbee in the dark as to our real state. This is, I consider, 
one of the deepest trials to which we are liable ; its perplexities 
are so great and numerous, its mortifications and humiliations 
so abounding, and its sorrows so deep. None can tell but those 
who have passed through it, the anguish of heart at times felt ; 
but thanks be to our God, this extreme state of distress has not 
been very frequent, nor its continuance yery long. I frequently 
find my mind in degree sheathed to the deep sorrows, and am 
enabled not to look so much at them — ^but there are also 
times, when secondary things arise — ^parting with servants, the 
poor around us, schools, and our dear Place. These things 
overwhelm me ; indeed I think naturally I have a very acute 
sense of the sorrow. Then the bright side of the picture rises, 
I have found such help and strength in prayer to Gk)d, and 
highly mysterious as in some points of view this dispensation 
may be, yet I think I have frequently, if not generallyt oome to 
be able to say, " Not as I will, but as Thou wilt,*' and bow 
under it. All our children and children-in-law, my brothers 
and sisters, our many friends and servants, have been a strong 
consolation to me ; and, above all, a little refreshment to my 
tribulated spirit has been granted me at times, from what I trust 
are the well springs from on High. 

To HER Sister, Mrs. Bqxton. 

Plashet, Twelfth Month, 2nd. 
My dearest Hannah, 

I have received your valuable and excellent letters ; and the 
advice, as well as consolation in them, I trust will do us all good. 
My desire is, that we may entirely and altogether bow under our 
circumstances and the various pains attached to them. I feel 
with thee, and have felt all along, that a still greater pain and 
trial might in many ways have been permitted us ; but one of 
its deepest stings is from the peculiar and perplexing nature of 

it. It abounds with temptation, as my dear friend, Mary S , 

so deeply felt under similar circumstances; but there is a power 
that can preserve amidst them all, and in this power I trust. I 
see that I have many blessings left, and do earnestly desire to 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 85 

estimate them as I ought. Your very kind offer for Hannah, I 
do not at present think it right to accept ; I think it better for 
her to drink the cup with us for a time, but I may be glad before 
long gratefully to accept it. I feel all your kindness, and trust 
I shall never be a burden to any of you. I expect our way will 
open — ^we must commit it in faith 

The tide of sympathy flowed in marvellously from all quarters. 
The mass of letters that exist, attest by how many, and how well, 
she was loved ; how highly she was valued, and upon how many- 
hearts, she and her sorrows were borne. 

Amongst such numerous communications, it is difficult to 
select, but a few of them ought to be known, to give some idea ' 
of the feeling excited towards her amongst persons of different 
classes and denominations. 

From William Wilberforce, Esq. 

*' Famham Castle, 29M November, 1328. 

" My dear friend, 

" Though my eyes are just now weaker than usual, I must 
claim a short exercise of their powers, for the purpose of express- 
ing to you the warm sympathy which Mrs. Wilberforce, and,indeed, 
all of my family that have the pleasure of knowing you, as well as 
myself, are feeling on your account. Yet you^ I doubt not, will 
be enabled to feel as well as to knoWy that even this event will 
be one of those which in your instance are working for good- 
You have been enabled to exhibit a bright specimen of Christian 
excellence in doing the will of God, and, I doubt not, you will 
manifest a similar specimen in the harder and more difficult exer- 
cise of suffering it. I have often thought, that we are sometimes 
apt to forget that key, for unlocking what we deem a very mys- 
terious dispensation of Providence, in the misfortunes and afflic- 
tions of eminent servants of God, that is afforded by a passage 
in St. Pauls Epistle to his beloved Philippians * Unto you it is 
given not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. 
It is the strong only that will be selected for exhibiting those 

D 2 


graces which require peculiar strength. May you, my dear friend, 
(indeed, I douht not you will) be enabled to bear the whole will 
of God, with cheerful confidence in His unerring wisdom, and 
unfailing goodness. May every loss of this world's wealth, be 
more than compensated by a larger measure of the unsearchable 
riches of Christ. You will not forget that the time is short ; 
but there will be no end to that eternity of happiness and glory 
which, I doubt not, will in your instance follow it Meanwhile, 
you are richly provided with relatives and friends, whom you 
love so well as to relish receiving kindnesses from them, as well 
as the far easier office of doing them. That you may be blessed 
with a long continuance of usefulness and comfort in this 
world, to be followed by a still better portion in a better, is the 
cordial wish, and shall be the prayer also, of (begging from you 
a frequent performance of the last-named office of friendship for 
myself and mine) 

"My dear Mrs. Fry, 

** Your sincere and afiectionate Friend, 


Mrs. Backhouse, daughter to her uncle Joseph Gurney, 
wrote to Mrs. Fry's sister Mrs. Samuel Hoare, finding it less 
difficult to express to her the earnest breathings of her heart 
for one united to her not alone by ties of consang^nity, 
but by a close agreement in religious opinions and spiritual 
experience than to address her afflicted cousin herself. 

" 26th qf Eleventh Month, 1828. 

"I have felt far too much for her (Elizabeth Fry), and for 
many of her family, not to acknowledge a little of the near and 
dear sympathy I feel for her and for them. I hardly know how 
to express it to herself immediately ; through thee I can do it 
more easily. I think if ever I have known what sympathy is, it 
has been with her, and especially at times during the course of the 
last year or two, it has sometimes nearly melted all within me 
to come near her. Well, I can make no doubt she is graven on 
His hands, who chooses his servants in the furnace of affliction. 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 37 

and that in due time she will come out of this yet more pure. 
Deep searchings of heart may be her portion, yet I trust the 
enemy will not be suffered to prevail, so as to call her good evil, 
either in her own estimation, or in the estimation of those among 
whom she has stood so high. I think I never loved her half so 
much before.'' 

Fbom the Bev. John W. Cunningham. 

'' Harrow, November 26th, 1828. 
" My very dear Friend, 

*' I need not tell you, with what sorrow, I have received the 
most unexpected intelligence which reached me yesterday. It 
is but a short time, since I was called to sympathize with a near 
relative in similar circumstances, and now again I am called to 
mourn as for a brother and a friend. My experience in the 
former case^ has enabled me to take a more hopefiil and cheerful 
view of your heavy trial. Perhaps, dear friend^ this event may 
be made a blessing to every member of your family; and we 
must not complain of a little rough handling when the jewels 
are to be polished for the treasury of God. All that drives us 
home to Him, and to the power of His spirit, for grace, and 
strength, and joy, is beyond all price to the soul. Is it not a 
comfort to you, dear friend, at this moment, that you have spent 
so much of your time and property for God and for His crea- 
tures* Is not money given to the poor lent to the Lord, and to 
be returned again in some form or other, ''with usury !" I beg 
my very kind remembrances to Mr. Fry, and your dear children. 
I have already been led to pray for them more than once, that 
this affliction may be sanctified to them, and that they may more 
and more seek the durable riches of the kingdom of Christ. 

*' My wife unites with me in very kind regards, and I am very 
affectionately yours. 

**J. W. Cunningham." 

38 memoir of the life [1828. 

From her Brother-in-law, T. F. Buxton, Esq. 
(afterwards Sir T. Fowell Buxton, Bart.) 

'' Northrepps, December Ut, 1828. 
'' My dearest Sister, 

" I have hitherto, I confess, shrunk from writing to you. Not 
surely, however, from any want of feeling for you, and with you; 
but from so deep a sense of your calamity, as to make all attempts 
at comfort appear almost idle. A very quiet day yesterday, and 
a long time spent over the 69th Psalm, from the 13th to the 
i7th verse, with peculiar reference to you, have given me more 
encouragement. I am more able to feel, that we may confidently 
commit you and yours to that most merciful Lord^ from whom 
the dispensation has come, and I have been comforted by the 
reflection, strange comfort as it may seem, that you and all of us 
have not long to live ; that in truth it signifies little how we fare 
here for a few years, provided we are safe in that long and 
endless journey upon which we shall soon enter. I think, how« 
ever, I have in some degree followed you in the little mortifica- 
tions, as well as the great ones, of this trial. I am not sure 
that the great and lasting disaster is so galling to my mind at 
the moment, as some of the little provoking and humbling atten- 
dants on it. But since the time I spent in heart with you yester- 
day, I have been able in some measure to get rid of these 
intruders, and to look upon you under the aspect of one beloved 
of God, honoured of men, and more than ever loved, cherished, 
and delighted in, by a large brotherhood. I never felt so keenly 
as now, the privilege of belonging to you, or so conscious of the 
honour and the benefit of such a sister; and I feel no distrust 
about your future lot. I cannot doubt that years of content- 
ment and happiness await you. I expect that your light will 
shine forth more brightly than ever. You have ever been a 
teacher to the whole family, and now, I am confidently per- 
suaded, you will instruct us with what humility, with what sub- 
mission, and with what faith, we ought to bear the deepest trials. 
What comes from above cannot be bad for us ; and under the 
sense of this, I adopt David's words, * Why art thou cast down, 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 39 

Oh my soul ! and why art thou disquieted within me ; hope thou 
in God, for thou shalt yet praise him/ 

" Ever, my dearest Betsy, 

'' Your most affectionate brother, 

"T. R Buxton." 

The following extract is from a letter addressed by the 
Marquis of Gholmondely to Mrs. Opie, inquiring after Mrs. Fry. 
He had been acquainted with her for many years, and his friend- 
ship was highly valued by her ; he had supported many of her 
benevolent objects, and had strenuously exerted himself in be- 
half of more than one wretched object, at the time when execu- 
iions for forgery were so rife at the Old Bailey. 

** It is a consolation to hear, that that exemplary woman Mrs. 
Fry is enabled to look to her God in this hour of trial, and I do 
hope that she may be yet made an instrument of much good ; 
even if her own ability should unfortunately be lessened, she has 
the comfort of knowing that she began the good work of Prison 
Reform. I have seen it suggested, in the " Record" newspaper, 
that it would be grateful to Mrs. Fry's feelings, if additional 
subscriptions were now made to one or two societies which have 
lost so much, owing to the stop which has been put to her bene- 
volent exertions. I should be much obliged to you to let me 
know if there is any truth in this suggestion." 

Fjrom Mrs. Opie. 

T»4fth Month 17 th, (f^rst day morning), 1828. 

** Though I have not hitherto felt free in mind to write to 
thee, my very dear friend, under thy present most severe trial, 
thou hast been continually, I may say, in my thoughts — ^brought 
feelingly and solemnly before me, both day and night. But 
I am now desired by thy sister Catherine to tell thee, that she 
will be with thee to-morrow evening. I must also tell thee, to 
please myself, that two nights ago I had a pleasing cheering 
dream of thee ! — 


'* I saw thee looking thy best, drest with peculiar care and 
neatness, and smiling so brightly that I conld not help stroking 
thy cheek, and saying, ' dear friend ! it is quite delightful to me 
to see thee looking thns again, so like the Betsy Fry of former 
days,' and then I woke. Sut this sweet image of thee lives 
with me still, and I trust, that when this dark cloud has passed 
away from you (asit has passed away from so many, many others) 
I shall not only see thee in a dream, but in reality, as those who 
love thee desire to see thee always. 

" Since your trials were known, I have rarely, if ever, opened 
a page of scripture, without finding some promise, applicable to 
thee and thine. I do not believe that I was looking for them, 
but they presented themselves unsought, and gave me comfort 
and confidence. Do not suppose, dear friend, that I am not 
fully aware of the peculiar bitterness and suffering which attends 
this trial in thy situation to thy own individual feelings ; but 
then, how precious and how cheering to thee must be the evi- 
dence it has called forth, of the love and respect of those who are 
near and dear to thee, and of the public at large ! Adversity is 
indeed the time to try the heart of our friends, and it must 
be now, or will be in future, a cordial to thee, to remember that 
thou hast proved how truly and generally thou art beloved and 

The committee of the Ladies British Society evinced their deep 
sympathy, in a letter firom one of their members. Miss Neave. 

Albemarle Street, Tuesday Night, 

*' I was deputed by our fiiends of the British Society Com- 
mittee to address our dear absent leader, which under these 
circumstances will not be considered an intrusion. No answer 
is claimed. Tour note was read, and its contents received with 
strong emotion ; and ere it was read, prayer had been made 
orally and silently, I need not add fervently, for you and yours. 

" The conduct of the Navy Board, and the account of the 
Penitentiarybeing completed for the convicts on their arrival, 
were cheering circumstances. How pleasant to find that text 

1828.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 41 

Tenfied, * Tbey that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength/ May you, my dear friend, under your present afflict- 
ing trial, find every part of this text verified in your experience. 
May you mount up as with eaglets wings above every earthly 
cloud, and be enabled to fix your eye solely on the Sun of 
Righteousness, who has arisen for you, with healing on his wings, 
who has received gifts, and laid them up for you. You may have 
need of patience, hut may the Spirit, the Comforter, make you 
now to feel what He has indited — that afflictions are light, and 
the glory that awaits the Christian a weight ; you have received 
the earnest, having been sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 
and the purchased possession is yours ; all things are yours, and 
all things must work together for your good, for thus saith the 
Lord. We have His oath and His promise, and nothing can 
separate us from His love. 

" My dear friend, you cannot now trace God, but you can 
trust Him ; if you can no longer equally relieve the temporal 
wants of others, you may still minister to the spiritual neces- 
sities; and your inability may open other sources, and teach those 
who before were inactive, to labour — be that as it may, the poor 
are Ood*s creatures, not ours, and His will must be done in this 
also. I have continued still to place my Asylum women most 
advantageously ; there are now thirty-two, of whom we entertain 
no doubt, who have been many of them from one to four years 
in respectable service. 

*' And now, my dear friend, commending you, and all that are 
near and dear to you, to the care of the good Shepherd of the 
sheep — his own sheep, whom He knows by name, and with 
whom in all their affliction He is afflicted. 

'' I remain, 
'' Yours, with much esteem and affection, 

" C. H. Neave." 

A severe accident to her eldest grandson, for a few days de- 
tained his mother in Norfolk. She had last seen Plashet really 
and figuratively basking in sunshine. All the family had been 
assembled for her sisters wedding, all were again together; 


there was the same pleasant dwelling, the wme expanse of 
yerdore, the same beloved ones to receive her — but all was 
changed. The countenance and effect of her mother at that 
time^ were emphatically her own — an expression of such intense 
suffering, and yet such immoveable peace. Her soft full-toned 
voice, saddened, yet sweet as ever ; her chastened smile, whilst 
she could point to better days, and hopes to be fulfilled, even 
in this life ; and then the wonderful judgments-dear, discern- 
ing, and practical — with which she would enter into details so 
little suited for women, and without minutely following their 
different points, from her ready quickness, arrive at true and 
just conclusions. 

She had a quality difficult to describe, but marked to those 
who knew her well, the power of rapidly and by a process of 
thought that she could herself hardly have explained, arriving 
at the truth, striking the balance, and finding the just weight of 
a doubtful question ; nothing could be more valuable than this 
quality, under such circumstances. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fry resolved upon at once leaving Flashet, 
and seeking a temporary home in St Mildred's Court, then the 
residence of their eldest son. One immense mitigation at- 
tended this calamity, that the mercantile business formerly 
their grandfather s, and conducted by their father, remained to 
the young men of the family, who were enabled by the im- 
portant assistance of their mother's brothers to carry it on, and 
by this means aided by their uncles to re-establish their parents 
in comparative comfort. With leaving Flashet came much 
that was sad — uprooting habits, long- formed tastes and local 
associations, parting with servants, and leaving many old 
pensioners and dependants. 

The surrounding poor found a kind and judicious firiend in 
the Vicar of East Ham (of which parish Flashet is a hamlet), 
to whom the living had very recently been presented. To him 


the schools hitherto supported by Mr. and Mrs. Fry, conjointly 
with William Morley, Esq., of Green-street House, were trans- 
ferred, and in his hands and under his care, they have since 
remained and flourished. 

It was no easy thing to arrange for a very large family party, 
accustomed to country habits, and liberty of space, when con* 
fined to a city dwelling ; and that under circumstances of such 
peculiar pain. Mrs. Fry had for many years displayed singular 
wisdom and economy in her household arrangements, as well as 
in her charities and benevolent objects, varying according to the 
various circumstances in which she had been placed. To '' be 
just before generous," was a maxim often expressed to those 
around her. On this occasion, these powers were called into full 
action. As the winter advanced, her health greatly failed. Cir- 
cumstances occurred to weaken her husband and children's at- 
tachment to the Society of Friends — truly the sorrows of her 
heart were enlarged. She exclaims in her journal (which was 
very irregularly kept), that her " soul was bowed down within 
her, and her eyes were red with weeping." Yet was she enabled 
to adopt the language, ** I will hope continually, and yet praise 
Thee more and more ;" and also to acknowledge that she was 
much sustained inwardly, and that at times her heart was kept 
almost in perfect peace. But in addition to domestic trials, 
her tender feelings were at times grievously and unnecessarily 
wounded, and from without there was much of bitterness infused 
into her daily cup, which can only be appreciated by those, who 
have had to bear the brunt of a similar calamity. 

Plashet, Twelfth Month, l^th. — I have had some quiet peace* 
iul hours, but I continue in the low valley, and naturally feel 
too much, leaving this sweet home, but not being well makes 
my spirits more weak than usual. I desire not only to be re- 
signed, but cheerfully willing to give up whatever is required of 
me, and in all things patiently to submit to the will of God, and 



to estimate my many remaimng blessings. I am sorry to find 
bow mucb I cleave to some earthly things — healthy ease« places, 
possessions. Lord, Thou alone canst enable me to estimate 
them justly, and to keep them in their right places. In thine 
own way, dearest Lord, accomplish Thine own work in me, to 
Thine own praise ! grant that out of weakness I may yet be 
made strong, and through Thy power wax valiant in fight ; and 
may I yet, if consistent with Thy holy will, see the travail of my 
soul and be satisfied, as it respects myself and my most tenderly 
beloved family. Amen ! 

Mildred* 8 Courty First Month, 19/A, 1829.— My first journal 
in this year I What an eventful one was the last ! prosperity and 
adversity were peculiarly our portion. It has been in no com- 
mon degree a picture of life comprised in a small compass. How- 
ever, through all, in prosperity and in adversity, however bright 
or cloudy my present position or my prospects may be, my desire 
for myself, and all whom I love is this, so strongly expressed by 
the Psalmist, " I will hope continually, and yet praise Thee more 
and more !" So be it, saith my soul, and if it be the Lord s will, 
may light rise in our present obscurity, and our darkness become 
as the noonday, both as to temporal and spiritual prospects ! 

The deep discouragement passed through by Mrs. Fry at this 
period, is evidenced by the following letter firom her kind and 
faithful friend, Mr. Wilberforce, to whom it would appear^ by 
the reply, that she had expressed some doubts of the propriety 
of resuming her labours in the prisons. 

<' Highwood Hill, Middlesex, 30M January, 1829. 

My dear Friend, 
Though my eyes are just now so indifferent that I must be 
extremely sparing in the use of my pen, yet I cannot forbear or 
delay assuring you, that I do not see how it is possible for any 
reasonable being to doubt the propriety (that is a very inadequate 
way of speaking — let me rather say, absolute duty), of your 
renewing your prison visitations. A gracious Providence has 
blessed you with success in your endeavours to impress a set of 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FKY. 46 

miaerables, whose character and circnmstances might almost have 
extinguished hope ; and you will return to them, if with dimi- 
nished pecuniary powers, yet we may trust, through the mercy 
and goodness of our Heavenly Father, with powers of a far 
higher order unimpaired, and with the augmented respect and 
regard of every sound judgment, not merely of every Christian 
mind, for having home with becoming dispositions, a far harder 
trial (for such it is) certainly than any stroke which proceeds 
immediately from the hand of God. May you continue, my 
dear madam, to be the honoured instrument of great and rare 
benefits to almost the most pitiable of your fellow-creatures. 

" Mrs. Wilberforce desires to join with me in saying, that we 
hope we shall again have the pleasure of seeing you, by and by, 
at this place. Meanwhile, with every kind regard and friendly 
remembrances to Mr. Fry, and your family circle, 

'' I remain, with cordial esteem and regard, 

" My dear friend, very sincerely yours, 

" W. Wilberforce." 

MildretTs Court, Third Month, — It appears late to begin the 
journal of a year ; but the constant press of engagements, and 
the numerous interruptions to which I am liable in this place, 
prevent my having time for much writing. We are remaining 
here with our son and daughter, and their children, until there 
is some opening for having a settled home. However, my desire 
is, that we may in faith and in humility entirely bow. I have of 
]ate not visited the prisons, and been much occupied at home ; 
but I trust that I may be permitted to enter this interesting 
work again, clothed, as with fresh armour, both to defend me, 
and qualify me for fresh service, that my hands may be taught 
to war and my fingers to fight ; and that if consistent with the 
will of my God, I may, through the help of the Captain of my 
salvation, yet do valiantly. 

During that mournful winter in London, there were periods of 
peculiar suffering and anxiety. Mrs. Fry's own health being 
so shaken by her severe mental distresses, as nearly to confine 


her to her room with a bad cough. Her beloved and valaed 
son William was on the bed of sickness from oppression of 
the brain, the result of an overstrained and exhausted mind. 
Shortly afterwards, her daughter-in-law was in the same house 
in an alarming state of illness, and a lady, who came to assist in 
nursing, was taken ill with the measles. The measles in a 
grown-up family becomes a serious disease. They were driven 
from London in consequence, though too late to escape infection^ 
and took shelter in the vacant house at Plashet, which, for many 
weeks, became a scene of anxious nursing. 

Thence they removed} early in June^ to a small but com- 
modious dwelling in Upton Lane, immediately adjoining the 
Ham House grounds, the residence of her brother Samuel 
Gumey, Esq. 

Upton, lOth, — We are now nearly settled in this, our new 
abode ; and I may say, although the house and garden are small, 
it is pleasant and convenient, and I am fully satisfied, and I hope 
thankftil, for such a home. I have at times been favoured to 
feel great peace, and I may say joy, in the Lord — a sort of 
seal to the important step taken ; though, at others, the extreme 
disorder into which our things have been brought by all these 
changes — the pain of leaving Plashet — the difficulty of making 
new arrangements, has harassed and tried me. But I trust it 
will please a kind Providence to bless my endeavour, to have and 
keep my house in order. Place is a matter of small importance, 
if that peace which the world cannot give, be our portion, 
even at times, as a brook by the way, to the refreshment of our 
weary and heavy laden souls. Although a large garden is not 
now my allotment, I feel pleasure in having even a small one ; 
and my acute relish for the beautiful in nature and art is on a 
clear day almost constantly gratified by a delightful view of 
Greenwich Hospital and Park, and other parts of Kent, the 
shipping on the river, as well as the cattle feeding in the mea- 
dows. So that in small things and great, spiritual and tem- 
poral, I have yet reason to raise up my Ebenezers, and praise, 
bless, and magnify the name of my Lord. 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FKY. 47 

Sixth Monthy 2drtf. — ^I little expected to attend the Teariy 
Meeting, having of late appeared to he so much taken out of such 
things and such services, but, contrary to my expectation, way 
opened for me to attend every sitting, and to take rather an 
active part in it, to my real consolation, refreshment and help. 
The unity of Friends was remarkable. I certainly felt very low 
at its commencement. After having for so many years received 
dear friends at my house, and that with such heartfelt pleasure, 
it tried, not to say puzzled me, why such a change was permitted 
me. But I rest in the weighty import of tlie words, " That 
which I do^ thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know here- 


1830, 1830. FoTMgn CorretpondeDce — Dr. Julio*, Miuluae de Putoret, 
M>dame de Bsrol— Letter to a dangliter— Summoiu to tbe rick-bed 
of B niece — Poor men by tbe road-eide — Preparea her Text-Book — 
Anecdote— Letter— Attends Suffolk Quarterly Meeting-~Vi«its Pake- 
field and T'-Tlhnin — Letter to her children at home— Foreign priaona 
— Death of a connexion— lUneM of a nephew— Visit to Brighton- 
Death of her uncle Robert Barclay, Eaqoire— Of a little {grandchild — 
Of a nephew— Of her nnde, Joaeph Gumey, Eaquire— Attenda hie 
funeral at Norwich— Letter to her family from Earlhain — Intereat in 
priaona unabated — Capital puniahmeot— Prison reform. 

AHID8T her own personal boitowb and perplexities, Elizabeth 
Fry was cheered from time to time, hy finding that the eabjeot 
so near her heart oontioned to prosper. At Berlin, a Committee 
of Ladies had been formed to visit prisons. Dr. Julius had 
informed her a few months before, of the pablioatioo of bis 
" Lectares on the improvement of Prisoa>diaoipline, and on the 


moral amendment of Prisoners." Prefixed to them, was a long 
and laborioDS intoduction on the caases, number, and different 
kinds of crime, in most of the countries of Europe and in 
America, with remarks on the most likely means of prevention. 

The result of Dr. Julius' observations amounted to this — 
that in those countries where the education of the people is 
decidedly on a moral and religious basis, crime diminishes, but 
where instruction aims only at the increase of the means of 
wealth, and imparting human knowledge, there, crime increases. 

From Madame la Marquise de Pastoret, she received interest- 
ing accounts of the efforts making in France, amongst pious 
and benevolent individuals, to benefit the unfortunate. In a 
letter addressed to Miss Fry, that lady mentions some of the 
existing associations, and still further enlarges on the subject in 
another communication to Mrs. Fry of later date. 

Differing essentially, as do the Protestant churches from that 
of Bome, they may yet learn from her, in the performance of 
practical duties towards their fellow-creatures, for amongst 
pious Boman Catholics, there is to be found eminent devotedness 
of purpose, in the fulfilment of these self-imposed oiBces of 
mercy. Knowledge and system, it is true, are wanting ; for 
combined endeavour is incompatible with the power of the 
priest, and cannot exist while his will controls, directs, stimu* 
lates or arrests exertion. In countries as our own where the 
laity have no human interposition between God and their own 
consciences, where education freely flows forth to all, where the 
Bible is to be found up and down in the lanes and streets of 
our cities, what might not be effected, if the spirit of self-sacri- 
fice and self-devotion that is to be met with in the prisons and 
hospitals of Boman Catholic countries, more generally pre- 

What is there in our Protestant institutions to prevent sisters 
of mercy— devoted ones of the female sex — being wholly given 



to such works ; or amongst the more busy part of mankind^ 
hours and periods taken from the needful occupations of life, 
and devoted to good deeds ? In the patient teacher of the 
ragged school, in the laborious district visitor, who threads his 
way through the endless mazes and foul air of the worst parts 
of our metropolis, we recognize the dawn of a better day ; nor 
is this hope diminished by the fact, that it is not alone in the 
middle classes, but amongst the sons of our nobles and our 
statesmen, and amongst those nobles themselves, that may be 
found the most resolute and persevering in these labours of love. 
An immense stimulus is given to acts of charity, amongst the 
members of the Church of Borne, by their favourite dogma, that 
''good works" can be performed to the exceeding benefit of the 
individual, and the covering of many sins ; but he who simply 
takes the Bible as the rule of life, and receives the words of 
scripture in their direct and literal meaning, there learns, that 
from the moment he has received the Lord Christ into his 
heart, his time, and talents, and powers, are consecrated to His 
service — ^not to the exclusion of any relative or domestic duty, 
nor to the neglect of his outward calling, but to the considera- 
tion of what may be required of him individually for the service 
of God, and the good of his fellow-men. Were this spirit mors 
devoutly entertained, and more practically exercised in Eng- 
land — civilized, educated, reflecting as she is — how new an 
aspect would her children wear ; misery and crime would stalk 
no longer unchidden through the land, tenderness and sympa- 
thy would be offered to the afflicted, counsel and wise reproof to 
the offender. The best regulated and well-planned institution is 
but a body without a soul, whilst rules and regulations are en- 
forced, unaccompanied by personal influence or individual com- 
munication. The prisoner, the lunatic, the hospital patient, 
require these to touch the heart, to reach the mental malady, or 
give confidence under suffering and painful treatment. 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 51 

Prassia has shown what may be accomplished in various 
Ph>test8nt Institatioiis of extensive and increasing usefulness. 
Her recognition of the Diaconate has undoubtedly tended to 
this result, and taking in their full sense the words '' Kings 
and Priests unto God/' she has led the way in showing the 
practical benefits that must accrue from using the laity as agents 
for religious instruction as well as employing them in general 
education and the care of the helpless and suffering. Very 
frequently did Elizabeth Fry urge upon others the importance 
of these acts of benevolence. She believed that not merely 
were they blessed to the receiver; but to the giver "twice 
blessed." Earnest were her desires, and strong her hopes, that 
English men, and English women, would increasingly awake 
to their responsibilities, that they would not rest content with 
subscribing of their abundance, or even of their penury, to 
refuges, to hospitals^ and schools, but that they would give of 
that which is more precious — of time, sympathy, communion 
between man and man, and mind with mind. For how admir- 
able would be the results, could the well^lanned Protestant 
institutions of Great Britain be visited, and cared for, and 
watched over, by spontaneous benevolence and unpaid services) 
with something of the love, and of the zeal, which can illumine 
even the dark regions of Popery. A greater proof of this devo* 
tion, can hardly be found than is pourtrayed in the following 
letter, describing the Befiige established at Turin, by Madame 
la Marquise de Barol, n6e Colbert, for penitent females. 

"Tarin, ee ler Avrii, 1829. 

'' C'est avec beaucoup de regret que j'ai appris, Madame, la 
cause de votre silence ; le mien a aussi 6t6 leffet d'une longue 
maladie, dont je ne suis pas encore gu6rie. Elle m'a emp^chde, 
Madame, de vous remercier de votre aimable lettre et des int6- 
ressants rapports que vous avez eu la bont6 de m'envoyer. Vous 
d6sirez que je vous rende compte des soins donnas aux prison- 

E 2 


nitres, et moin je d6sire vivement pouvoir faire quelqne chose 
qui Yous soit agr6able. 

" Nous continuons a suivre la mdme marche pour Tam^liora- 
tion.des prisonnidres. Nous sommes lemdme nombre de per- 
sonnes, nous emplojons les m^mes moyens. Quelques heureux 
r6sultats nous soutiennent dans une entreprise qui, comme vous 
le savez mieux que personne, a souvent des moments p^nibles. 
J*esp^re que cette marche que nous suivons avec uniformity et 
exactitude, a quelque chose de bon» car elle am6ne le repentir. 
J'ai pendant quelque temps, ainsi que je crois vous Tavoir 
maDd6, plac6 dans diff6rentes maisons des femmes repentantes 
et sorties de prison. Je croyais qu^il valait mieux les dis86- 
miner que de les r^unir dans une maison de refuge ; mais I'ex- 
p6riencem'a prouY6 combien j'avais tort J'ai done sollicit6 et 
obtenu de la bont6 du Boi une maison pent contenir de 50 a 60 
personnes; elle est dans nn bon air; il y a un grand jardin, 
une chapelle. Elle a d6j& vingt-sept femmes repenties. Quatre 
sceurs de St Joseph (ou de la Charity) sont k la t^te de cet 
^tablissement. II y a un Confesseur, mais point de Directeur. 
Nous n'avons point de revenus : jusqu'& present la charit6 
foumit aux besoins de ces pauvres filles. J'esp^re avec le tems 
obtenir de la bont^ du Boi un revenu fixe. Je tache en attend- 
ant de reunir les fonds n^cessaires. Je les remets a la sup6ri- 
eure qui ne rend qu'li moi compte de son administration. Je 
crois qu il vaut mieux ici ne pas mettre d'hommes k la tSte d un 
6tablissement de ce genre. Et j'ai pens6 k la mani^re de me 
faire remplacer quand la mort viendra interrompre mes soins. 
Le travail peut 6tre compt6 pour quelque chose pour le soutien 
de r^tablissement ; mais comme cette maison est un lieu d'6du- 
cation et non une manufacture, le travail ne peut 8u£Bre au 
payement de la nourriture et des vetemens. Les femmes appren- 
nent k faire de la toile et des ^tofi'es en coton. EUes font des 
robes, des jupons de toute sorte d ouvrage en tricot. L'admi- 
nistration du Bureau de la guerre leur donne a coudre des 
chemises de soldats. Plusieurs travaillent k faires des gants. 
La Sup6rieurede la maison sait bien blanchir et raccommoderles 
dentelles. EUes n'apprenuent pas toutes tous ces difit^rents 
ouvrnges ; mais cependant chacune est instruite de mani^re a 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 53 

avoir p]u8 dune ressoarce an moment ou elle sort delamaison. 
Elles appreDnent toutes le Gat6chisme, I'Evangile, et a lire ; 
les plus intelligentes, celles qui le d^sirent, apprennent aussi 
a 6crire et k compter. 

Bien n est fix6 pour le temps de la sortie. II faut que Ton 
sache suffisamment travailler pour pouvoir gagner son pain, et 
que la conduite soit assez bonne pour que nous puissions 
esp^rer que ces pauvres femmes, se trouvant dans les mdmes 
occasions, n'y commettent plus les m6mes fautes. J^en ai d6ja 
plac6 plusieurs qui jusqu'a present se conduisent fort bien; dans 
ce nombre il y en a eu de rendues k leurs parens; une s^est 
mari6e ; d'autres placees comme servantes ; deus., dont la sant6 
n'^tait pas trop bonne et qui savaient bien travailler, se sont 
r6nnie8 dans une cfaambre: elles vivent du produit de leur 
ouvrage. Le repentir seul donne acc^s dans cette maison ; et 
lorsqu'on est renvoy^ pour cause de mauvaise conduite, on n'y 
est jamais plus admis. II y en a qui quelque fois out voulu 
sortir dans un mouvement de colore ou dMnqui6tude; lorsque 
celles-1^ sont bien repentantes, on peut encore les recevoir: mais 
comme il est certain que dans la maison on faitpour leuramande- 
ment tout ce que la charit6 peut inspirer, et qu*on les renvoie 
parceqa elles sont incorrigibles, il est n^cessaire qu'elles sachent 
bien qn'unefois chass^e de cet asile, il leur estferm6 li jamais. 

Les fiUes de la maison de refuge peuvent sortir quelque fois 
pour des cboses n6cessaires; mais toujours accompagn6es. 
Quand elles sortent, elles quittent leur costume. Ce costume, 
fort simple, est de toile blanche et blue. Dans les premiers mois 
elles adopt^rentavec peine ce genre de vdtement, et deux d'entr 
elles se sont sanv6es de la maison pour ne pas le porter. Mainte- 
nant dtre babilI6 aux frais de la maison, est une recompense que 
Ton n'obtient que lorsque Ton sait faire un alphabet en points 
de marque. Ce travail qui les applique beaucoup et qui est un 
peu minutieux, a §t6 ohoisi exprds pour les obliger a I'applica- 
tion, et profiter du premier moment de ferveur qui les amdne. 
Les penitences sont toutes fort 16gdres, La plus grande est de 
manger k genoux au milieu du r^fectoire, de ne manger que du 
pain et boire de Teau, et de garder le silence pendant I'heure de 
ses recreations. La mani^re d'infliger les penitences etait ce 


qui m embarrassait le plus^ car, toutes ces femmes ^tant k pea 
prds d un ftge on Ton doit dtre raisonnable, il 6tait txds-embar- 
rassant de les traiter commedesenfans. D^ailleursellessont non 
aeulement volontairement dans cette maison^ mais y £tre admises 
une recompense. Aussi ai-je pris le parti d' ^tablir que ce soient 
elles-mdmes qui demandent la punition. Je leur ai expliqud 
qu'elles 6taient ainsiplus utiles, plus m6ritoire8,et cette m^thode 
a apport6 beaucoup de oahne et de paix dans rint6riear. Quand 
une fille a fait quelque faute, elle demande elle-m6me sa p^ni* 
tence, et le plus souvent la Sup^rieure k qui elle s'adresse, est 
moins s6v^re que la coupable ne lest pour elle-m£me, et 
retranohe une parde de la penitence demand^e. 

^^Dans les premiers terns j'avais promis aux repenties de leur 
douner, au moment de leurs sortie, le tiers de Fouvrage qu'elles 
auraient fait dans la maisun ; mais j'ai trouv6 k cet arrangement 
un inconvenient Elles caloulaient I'argent qu'elles ponvaient 
avoir, faisaient des projets, des plans qui nuisaient k la subordi* 
nation. Maintenant elles se fient k moi, comme elles le feraient 
k une m^re occup6e de leur bien* Comme je Tai dit au com* 
mencement, il n'y a point de Directeur ou d'administrateur dans 
cet etablissement. Je vois dans la prison des jeunes filles qui 
annoncent les meilleures dispositions. Je les fais mettre dans 
une cbamber s^par^e sous la tutelle d'une prisonni^re, dont la 
conduite est bonne et les sentimens religieux ; et aprtounpeude 
temps d'^preuves, quand le terme de la condamnation est arriv6, 
ou bien si je puis obtenir grace, ce qui m'arrive quelque fois, je 
eonduis (le plus souvent moi-m£me) les repenties de la prison k 
la maison du refuge. Quand Tune d'elles airive, elle se met aux 
genoux de la sup^rieure k qui on donne le titre de m^re. Elle 
lui demande de la recevoir par charit6 au nombre de ses enfants. 
Elle lui promet ob^issanoe : Tob^issance, le silence et la prito 
sont le bases du regime moral de cette maison. Une 
grand douceur est aussi indispensable; o'est par elle que Ton 
ram^ne au bon Pasteur ses brebis 6gar6es» Quant au regime 
physique, il est simple et entremSl^ de mouvement et de travail. 
On se l^ve k cinq heures, et on se couche k neuf. II y a» outre 
le temps des repas, deux beures de recreation par jour, pendant 
les quelles on court dans le jardin. On joue k des jeux propres 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 55 

k lear faire faire de Texercice. Leur nourriture est grossidre^ mais 
saiue et abondante. Elles ont du pain blano k discretions deux 
soupes par jonr, et k I'henre du diner des legumes et de la viande. 
Elles boivent du vin m616 avec beaucoup d'eau, except^ oelles 
qui travaillent & faire la toile et k qui Ton donne un verre de vin 
pur. La chaleur et rhomidit^ de ce climat obligent k ne point 
refuser cette boisson fortifiante. 

II me semble, madame, que je yous donne des details trop 
minutieux; mais votre amour du bien vous fera^ j*ose Tesp^rer, 
prendre de Tint^r^t k tout ce qui est essay^ pour I'obtenir. Fer- 
mettez moi encore avant de finir cette lettre, de tous faire part 
d'une bonne action d'une de mes prisonnidres: elle ^tait avec 
quatre de ses compagnes et une surveillante dans une chambre 
s^par^e ou elles attendent leur sortie de prison pour venir au 
refuge. Mais comme il ne sendt pas prudent d'en faire entrer 
un grand nombre k la fois^ je les avais pr6venues que je les pren- 
drais Tune apr^s I'autre, cboisissant toujours celles qui se con- 
duiraient le mieux. Elles se piqu^rent d'bonneur ; et vraiment 
sans injustice, je ne pouvais faire un choix. Je fis tirer au sort 
leurs noms qui avaient 6t6 Merits sur des morceaux de papier. Le 
nom de Th^r^se Borat sortit le premier ; toutes les autres se 
mirent k pleurer, en disant : " au moins si ce n'6tait pas celle-lil ! 
elle sait un pen lire et nous apprend, afin que nous ne soyons 
pas si ignorantes en arrivant au refuge." Je fis sortir Th6r6se 
un instant de la chambre, et je lui dis : Tu vois le chagrin de tes 
compagnes ; il ne vient point de jalousie; mais elles regrettent 
de perdre en toi un moyen de s'instruire. Dans ta vie, mon 
enfant, tu as nui k ton prochain ; tu Tas aid6 k mal faire ; tu lui 
as donn6 de mauvais exemples : veux-tu r^parer cela, et ceder ta 
place k une autre pour continuer k instruire celles qui restent ? 
Elle me r^pondit : " Oh ! oui, Madame, je veux faire tout ce 
que vous croirez bien, tout pour rearer mes fautes." Elle rentra, 
et dit a ses compagnes : ^ je ne sortirai que la demi^re.' Ce qui 
ajoute k sa bonne action, c'est que nous 6tions au milieu de 
rhiver, et qu'^elle etait fort mal couverte par une vielle robe de 
toile. Je lui ai, comme vous pensez, donn^ tout de suite des 
v^temens chauds ; mais elle est rest^e la dernidre, et, depuis son 
entr6e dans la maison du refage, elle continue a se bien conduire. 


Ces pauYTes filles ont un grand esprit de pros^lytisme : eUes 
m'aYertissent que, dans tel lieu^ je trouverai an 6tre faible, con- 
pable, qa'un pen de secours aiderait a sortir da vice ; et, qaand je 
puis suivre leurs oonseils et amener^parmiles repen ties, celles que 
leurs YOBUX ont appel^es, c'est une grande joie ; mais ces £vene- 
mens sont rares. £n g6n6ral toutes lea habitantes du refuge 
ont ^t6 habitantes de la prison. 

'* II faut cependant finir cette lettre : je Youdrais, Madame, 
YOur ofiiir encore Tassurance de toat le prix que j'attache k 
Yotre souYenir, k Yotre amiti6. Veuillez me les conserYer et 
croire i, ma reconnaisance. 

"La Marquise de Barol nee Colbert/* 

Eighth Month, 29M.— Our wedding-day! twenty*nine years 
since we married ! My texts for the morning are applicable : — 
*' Our light a£9iction which is but for a moment, worketh for us 
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." — '' We walk 
by faith, not by sight." As far as we can judge from external 
appearances, mine has not been a common life. He who seeth 
in secret, only knows the unutterable depths and sorrows, I haYC 
had to pass through, as well as at other times, I may almost say, 
joys inexpressible and full of glory. I haYe now had so many 
disappointments in life, that my hopes, which haYe so long liYed 
strong, that I should see much brighter days in it, begin a little 
to subside, and my desire is, more entirely to look beyond the 
world, for that which can alone fiiUy satisfy me ; and not to 
haYe my heart so much set upon the things of this life ; or cYcn 
those persons nearest to me, but more set upon the life to come; 
and upon Him who is faithful, and will be all in all to His de- 
pendent ones. At the same time I desire faithfully to perform 
all my relatiYC duties ; and may my heart be kept in tender 
loYC to all near to me. 

Dpton, Tenth Month, 2i8t. — Something has occurred which 
has brought me into conflict of mind; how far to restrain young 
persons in their pleasures, and how far to leaYC them at liberty. 
The longer I Uyc, the more difficult do I see education to be, 
more particularly, as it respects the religious restraints that we 
put upon our children ; to do enough, and not too much, is a 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 57 

most delicate and important point. I begin serioasly to doubt, 
whether as it respects the peculiar scruples of Friends, it is 
not better, quite to leave sober-minded young persons to judge 
for themselves. Then the question arises— When does this age 
arrive ? I have such a fear that in so much mixing religion, 
with those things which are not delectable, we may turn them 
from the thing itself. I see, feel, and know that where these 
scruples are adopted from principle, they bring a blessing with 
them ; but where they are only adopted out of conformity to the 
views of others, I have very serious doubts whether they are not 
a stumbling-block. 

On First-day, we were rather suddenly summoned to Plashet 
House^ to attend Anna Golder (aunt to my faithful Ghrissy) 
who had charge of the house. She was one of the lowly, retired 
humble walkers before the Lord ; she was suddenly taken very 
ill, and died in half-an-hour after her niece got there. It was 
apparently a departure without sting, to mind or body ; as far 
therefore as it respected her, all was peace. But to myself it was 
di£ferent I arrived there after dark, drove once more into the 
dear old place — no one to meet me but the poor man who lived 
in the house, no dog to bark, nor any life nor sound, as used 
to be. Death seemed over the place, such was the silence — 
until I found myself up stairs in the large, and once cheerful 
and full house ; when I entered the bed-room, there lay the corpse, 
in her gown, she having died in her chair, only our washerwoman 
and the woman who lived in the house in the room besides. 
Circumstances combined to touch some very tender feelings, 
and the inclination of my heart was to bow down upon my 
knees before the Lord ; thankful, surely, for the release of the 
valued departed — but deeply and affectingly impressed with such 
a change ! that once lively, sweet, cheerful home left desolate — 
the abode of death — and two or three watchers. It brought, as 
my visits to Plashet often have done, the hymn to my mind,— 

'* Lord, why is this ? I trembling, cried." 

Then again I find I can do nothing, but bow, trust, and depend 
upon that Power, that has, I believe, thus seen meet to visit us 
in judgment as well as in mercy ! 

58 MEMOIfi OF THB LIFE [1829. 

Slst. — Sinoe I last wrote I have been called to another death- 
bed scene, oar old and yalaed Boman Catholic friends, the 
Fitchfords, have lost their eldest son, a sweet good boy. I felt 
drawn in love, I trust I may say. Christian love, to be much 
with them during their trial ; I felt it right to leave my family, 
and spend First-day evening with them, when all hope of the 
child's life was given up. I had not only to sympathise with 
them in their deep sorrow, but to pour forth my prayer on their 
behalf. The next day, I was with the poor child when he died, 
and was nearly the whole day devoted to them. We had a 
deeply interesting time after his death — my dear Mends them- 
selves, all their children, their mother, sister, and old nurse. My 
mouth was remarkably opened in prayer and praises, indeed, all 
day at their house something of a holy influence appeared to be 
over us. A fresh living proof that what God had cleansed we 
are not to call, or to feel common nor unclean. Tt surely mat- 
ters not by what name we call ourselves, or what outward means 
we may think right to use, if our hearts are but influenced by 
the love of Christ, and cleansed by His baptism, and strength- 
ened by His Spirit, to prove our faith by love and good works. 
With ceremonies, or without ceremonies, if there be but an esta- 
blishment upon the Bock of Ages, all will be well. Although I 
am of opinion, the more our religion is pure, simple, and devoid 
of these outward forms, the better and the safer for us ; at the 
same time, I do earnestly desire a more full union amongst all 
Christians, less judging one another, and a general acknowledg- 
ment, in heart, judgment, and word, of the universality of the 
love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 



My dearest Louisa, 
It is rather too long since I wrote thee a full letter. Having 
John Henry here is quite a pleasure to us, he is better, but I 
am doubtful whether he will be fit for school next week ; we 
moderately employ him, and I think the real quiet he has here 
will be very useful to him. It appears to me, and tell thy uncle 

1829.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 59 

and aunt so, that his mind has been rather overworked, a little 
above his years. I see great advantage in children being well 
employed and industrious, but their minds, particularly at an 
early age^ require a good deal of rest and recreation, which gives 
power in future to receive and retain knowledge. Dr. Babington 
told me, he thought children in the present day suffered materi- 
ally in body by over-study, particularly boys; and that Latin and 
Greek were too much pressed upon them. But at thy age, my 
dearest girl, which is so much more mature, I think it the time to 
work^ and that very diligently. When the soil is prepared before, 
and a good foundation laid, which I hope in some degree is thy 
case, real accomplishment is easily received and retained from 
fifteen to eighteen years of age. It is a time when good habits 
should be formed, and good seed thrown in, that will tell in a 
future day. 

Farewell my darling girl. Be sober, and watch unto prayer ; 
and may the God of peace be with thee. 

Thy loving, tender mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Upton, Eleventh Month, 18M.— Thelast few days have brought 
with them trials of faith, and humiliations. I have for a little 
time past, looked to joining my dear brother Joseph at Chelms- 
ford, to attend the Meetings there with him, on First-day. On 
Seventh-day, I found my dear son's baby so very ill, that it was 
a great effort to leave it and its mother, but duty rather pointed 
the way to go, therefore I went, and certainly felt much peace in 
being there. I believe that I was really helped to minister in 
the power, ihat is not my own, in the Morning Meeting, but 
before the evening, so sad an account of the dear child came, that 
I was brought into real conflict, to know whether to stay the 
Evening Meeting, or to return to London — ^however, outwardly 
and inwardly, the way opened most clearly to stay, although for 
some time, I felt unduly tried and tossed by it ; but in tender 
mercy, after a while my spirit was quieted, and I again was en* 
abled to minister, I trust, in the name of the Lord. When I 
arrived in town, the poor babe was still alive, and has since 
revived. In loolpng back to my distress for a time at Chelms* 


ford, these words might have been applied, '' Oh thou of little 
faith, wherefore didst thoa doubt 7" 

After the recovery of her little grandchild, she was called into 
Norfolk to attend the sick-bed of her most beloved niece, Friscilla 
Buxton, who was dangerously ill ; to her she administered 
spiritual help, and the most judicious nursing. Beferring to 
this illness especially, she describes her aunt's skill in a sick- 
room as ** peculiar indeed ; her very presence and aspect as per- 
fectly calming — ^possessing an authority mixed with soothing 
tenderness, which gave her a most helpful power, quieting both 
body and mind by her judicious and always indulgent advice, 
and by her unfailing power of hoping, perhaps too well; yet 
under feelings of need and discouragement, what an instrument 
for good!" She speaks of her "as condescending to the 
humblest services," recalls '' her soft hand, her exquisite read- 
ing, and delicious company," concluding, " Oh that we could 
hear her, feel her, see her once more !" 

She slept at Earlham, on her road to North Bepps, and there 
found her daughter Louisa, looking so ill that she could not 
make up her mind again to part from her, but took her with her. 

On the road, they saw a man lying apparently at the point of 
death. Mrs. Fry immediately went to him, desiring her 
daughter to open her dressing-case and bring a vial of brandy, 
which, from her frequent attendance in sickness, she had 
learned always to have in readiness. She knelt down by 
the poor man, whose head she found dreadfully torn, she 
carefully replaced the scalp which was lying back, tied it 
down with her pocket-handkerchief,* then gave him brandy, 
and he began to revive. After a time a cart came by, into which 
she had him lifted, and carefully conveyed to the next village. 
He had been driving a powerfol team of horses — they ran away, 
and the waggon- wheel went over his head. He died in Norwich 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 61 

Hospital^ after lingering some weeks, apparently ready for that 
solenm change. Mrs. Fry returned by Lynn to visit her daugh- 
ter and her family, and was accompanied by her, from Norfolk 
to her '' comfortable little home." 

Her return thither, was howeyer clouded, from finding that 
her beloYcd son William, who had been under every circumstance 
a firm support and great comfort to her, now thought it best for 
himself, to lay aside the peculiarities of the Society of Friends 
in dress and manners ; he having come to the conclusion, that 
unless conformity to them arose from personal conviction of their 
importance, however becoming in a very young person under 
the immediate direction of his parents* their practice was incon- 
sistent with truth in one of more mature years. 

Writing on this subject, she says : — 

Upton, Twelfth Month, 2iih. — I truly desire not to be unrea- 
sonable upon the subject, or to require of my dearest William, 
at his age, that which his own judgment does not dictate. Be- 
yond a certain point, I have believed it right not to press it, 
and oh, if I thus take from him my yoke and my bonds, may 
the Lord take him up and put His yoke upon him. Oh ! 
most merciful Lord God, hearken to the earnest prayer of Thy 
servant for this dear child ; make him Thine own, prepare him 
in Thine own way for Thine own service, grant that through 
Thy help and Thy power he may wax valiant in the Christian 
warfare, until all his enemies be wholly subdued before him ; 
and if consistent with Thy holy will, make him in his own 
family an instrument to draw others nearer to Thee and Thy 
kingdom. Lord God make no tarrying, but visit and revisit my 
family, lead them more from the vanities of time, to the enduring 
riches of eternity ; keep also Thy very unworthy servant alive 
unto Thyself, even yet make her joyful in Thy house of prayer, 
and more faithful in the field of offering, and let Thy grace con- 
tinually rest upon us. Amen I 

Early in 1830, we find this entry in Mrs. Fry's journal, " my 


time has lately been much oooapied in writing my text book." 
She bad long felt the difficulty of young people generally, and 
older ones in active life, possessing themselyes of any scriptural 
instructions, before commencing the employments of the day. 
The experience of life, had infinitely confirmed her yalne of the 
written word. She deplored the feeling, wherever she met with 
it, that the Bible was to be approached as a sort of sacred 
mystery, to be applied to only occasionally, and with something 
almost amounting to awe. 

At the period of Mrs. Fry's early life, this was too much the 
case amongst Friends, nor was a circumscribed use of the holy 
scriptures, by any means confined to that body. How much 
more general now, than fifty years ago, is the habit of reading 
the word of God in families ; how much more universal its 
close and individual study. But Mrs. Fry considered, that 
there was something more wanted, to enable those, who have 
but a short period for a hasty toilette before an early breakfast, 
still to taste of the spiritual manna provided, and to have aportion 
of holy writ, however short, impressed upon their minds. 

Amidst her numerous avocations, she found time to select a 
passage of scripture for every day in the year. She endeavoured 
to combine in it, that, which is " profitable for doctrine, for 
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ; and in a 
little preface, she urged the importance of endeavouring to appro- 
priate the truths contained in it, with a heart uplifted, that the 
blessed Spirit might apply the word ; and concludes, " The rapid 
and ceaseless passing away of the days and weeks, as well as the 
months of the year, as numbered at the head of each day's text, 
it is hoped may prove a memento of the speed with which time 
is hastening on, and remind the reader of the importance of 
passing it as a preparation for eternity, in the service of Grod and 
for the benefit of mankind." As soon as her little work* was 

* Text Book by Elisabeth Fry, publiahed by Charles Gilpin, Bishop- 
gate Street without 


finished, she began its distribution, thousands and thousands did 
she give away, besides multitudes that were otherwise circulated. 
Where have not these little text books penetrated, from the 
monarch's gilded hall, to the felon's dungeon ? 

Many instances of their usefulness came to light, but one only 
shall be mentioned here. Two or three years after their publi- 
cation, a text book, bound in red leather, which she had given to 
a little grandson, fell out of his pocket at the Lynn Mart, where 
he had gone to visit the lions. He was a very little boy, and 
much disconcerted at the loss of his book, for his name was in it, 
and that it was the gift of his grandmother, written by herself* 
The transaction was almost forgotten, when nearly a year after- 
wards the Bev. Bichardson Coxe, the clergyman of Wadington, 
a parish about eight miles from Lynn, gave the following his^ 
lory of the lost book. He had been sent for to the wife of a 
man, living on a wild common at the outskirts of his parish, 
a notorious character between poacher and rat-catcher. The 
message was brought to the clergyman, by the medical man 
who attended her, and who after describing her as being most 
strangely altered, added " you will find the lion become a 
lamb " and so it proved ; she, who had been wild and rough, 
whose language had been violent, and her conduct untamed, 
lay on a bed of exceeding suffering, humble, patient and re* 

Her child had picked up the text book, and carried it home as 
lawful spoil. Curiosity, or some feeling put into her heart, by 
Him without Whose leave a sparrow falleth not to the ground, 
had induced her to read it, the word had been blessed to her, and 
her understanding opened to receive the gospel of truth. She 
could not describe the process, but the results were there. Sin 
had in her sight become hateful ; blasphemy was no longer heard 
from her lips. She drew from under her pillow, " her precious 
book," her " dear little book," which had " taken away the 

64 ' MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1830. 

fear of death." She died soon afterwards, filled with joy and 
hope in helieving, having in these detached portions of scripture, 
foand a Saviour, all-sufficient to bear her heavy burden of 
guilt, and present her, clad in his own spotless righteousness 
before the throne of God. 

Perhaps of the thousands of Text-books given by Mrs. Fry, 
no two were ever o£fered with the same words. Her adaptation to 
all states, ages, and conditions, inher intercourse with her fellow- 
creatures, was one of her means of power ; always courteous, 
invariably self-possessed, but ever displaying an exquisite tact, 
and most acute perception of position, circumstance, character, 
and the best method of approach. That her skill in dealing 
with others was partly intuitive, no one can doubt, that her 
compassionate feelings were unusually strong is equally obvious, 
but her highest power was unquestionably derived firom the know- 
ledge she had obtained of the heart of man, greatly, if not 
chiefly from the close study of her own, its feelings, and ten- 
dencies. After an evening with Mr. Buxton, and her sister, in 
London, about this time, where she had met a large and con- 
genial party, she reviews herself, and her own doings, in a note 
written the following morning. 

'* I passed a very low night, because I felt last evening, I was 
made too much of; it gave me real pain my being put more 

forward than . I also feared I had put myself forward, 

and it led me to say in my heart, ' I abhor myself, as in dust and 
ashes,' or to that effect. I have hardly yet recovered the effect 
of it, though I partly attribute it to a nervous state firom fatigue, 
that I saw things through too strong a medium, yet it afiresh 
brought me to feel, what should we do, — were not a fountain 
opened for the uncircumcised and the unclean ? I think I hardly 
can go to such parties. I am almost sure to be low after them, 
under the deep feeling of short- coming." 

In February, Elizabeth Fry believed it her duty to lay before 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 65 

her Monthly Meeting, a concern, which had for some time rested 
upon her mind, to pay a religious visit to parts of Suffolk 
and Norfolk, and attend the Quarterly Meeting at Ipswich. 
Doing this, involved many pains and much effort; she con- 
sidered herself called to go by her Great Master, but she had 
cause to believe, that there were individuals in that neigh- 
bourhood, to whom her visit would be scarcely acceptable. 
It was with fear and trembling, that she set forth on 
this errand of Christian love. Accompanied by her sister-in-law, 
Elizabeth Fry, and their valued friend Joseph Foster, they left 
home one Saturday, spent the Sunday at Bury ; on Monday went 
to Needham, where " the kindest sympathy and hospitality was 
extended " to her by Thomas and Lucy Maw ; that evening 
moved to the house of Dykes Alexander ; and the following days 
attended the Quarterly Meeting at Ipswich. There Christian 
love and unity rose higher and higher, till " all obstacles were 
removed," and she permitted to partake of something like "joy 
in the Lord,*' and unalloyed communion with her friends. 

She wrote, whilst on this little journey, to her children at 
home, upon their being invited to attend the consecration of a 
Church, and to be present at a party afterwards. 

Earlham, Third Month, 23rd, 1S30. 

My most beloved Children, 

The information received to-day, that you should any of you 
have admitted a serious thought of attending our kind friend's 
party on the Slst, surprises and pains me ; not but that I am 
also fully sensible of your willingness fully to be guided by my 
judgment in it. With respect to those over whom I have autho - 
rity, I feel it impossible to leave them in any degree at liberty 
about it — ^it is a thing that must not be. I look upon it not 
only as perfectly inconsistent with our views as Friends, but per- 
fectly so for all religious professors, because if I did approve of 
comecrating a church for the worship of the Almighty, I could 
not possibly conceive it an occasion for amusement or gaiety, 



bat one of real senoasness. I see the thing to be altogether 
inconsistent with religious tmth, both as to the thing itself, 
and this commemoration of it^ and I trust that none of you will 
be present. I am sure it was, in the first instance, your own 
view of the case, therefore do not, my dearest children, be 
shaken in your judgments about it ; I believe it will be a cross 
that you will never repent taking up, but on the contrary, be 
glad you have done so, for, now and then, sacrifices must be 
made to duty. Can you approve sacred things and the world's 
pleasures, being thus mixed together? Can you think the 
consecration of churches, as it is too firequently conducted, con- 
sistent with the purity and simplicity of the gospel of our 
blessed Lord ? 

Upton,FourthMonthy 26M. — ^My Suffolk and Norfolkjoumey 
proved an interesting, instructive, and I think very satisfactory 
one. My way appeared to bo remarkably made in Suffolk, where 
I almost feared to go. At Ipswich, when the Quarterly Meeting 
was over, I think for a time I partook of perfect peace ; my re- 
joicing was, I may say, in the Lord. It W6is well worth suffering, 
only to taste of such a brook by the way. At Fakefield, we had a 
highly valuable and edifying visit to my much loved brother and 
sister Cunningham ; although their religious path is certainly 
in many respects, very different to my dear sister Elizabeth Fry's 
and mine, yet it appeared, as if it pleased the great Head of the 
Church, in no common degree to bless our intercourse. Christian 
love breaking down all partita* on- walls ; — we were sweetly refreshed 
together. We indeed, have but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
and one God over all, above all and in us all. I have for many 
years felt much liberality towards those who differ from myself; 
but I may say, with increased years and experience I know 
hardly any distinction, all one in Christ Those in my own 
family, who have gone to the Church, are so very near to me 
spiritually. After our visit to Fakefield, we went to Earlbam 
and met with a cordial reception ; but I think that we were all in 
a low place. My arrival at home was clouded by a party, to which 
my children were invited and rather wished to go. We had some 
pains about it — ^my path is a very peculiar one, and as to bring- 
ing my family up consistent Friends, a most difficult one. My 

1880.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 67 

huBband not going band in band witb me in some of these things, 
my children^ in no common degree^ disliking the cross of the 
minor testimonies of Friends^, and from deeply sorrowful circum- 
stances, often having had their faith in them tried, also their 
being exposed unavoidably, to much association with those, who 
do not see these things needful, renders it out of my power to 
press my own opinions beyond a certain point. I believe it best 
and most expedient for them in small things and great, to be 
Friends ; it had to me been a blessed path, and my belief is that 
it would be so to them, if conscientiously walked in, but it is not 
I, who can give them grace to do it, and if their not walking 
more consistently brings reproach upon me, even amongst those 
nearest to me — ^I must bear it. I cannot deny that much as I 
love the principle — earnestly, as I desire to uphold it, bitter 
experience has proved to me, that Friends do rest too much on 
externals ; and that valuable, indeed jewels of the first water, as 
are many amongst them, yet there are also serious evils in our 
Society and amongst its members. Evils which often make my 
heart mourn, and have led me earnestly to desire, that we might 
dwell less on externals, and more on the spiritual work ; then I 
believe that we should be as a people less in bonds, and partake 
more of the glorious liberty of the children of God. My desire 
is, only to do what is for the real good of my children, and for 
the good of the cause I love, and leave myself altogether out of 
the question, whether it bring me into evil report or good report. 
I have often been brought by these things, especially of late, into 
deep conflict of spirit, and out of the very depths can only cry, 
Lord, help and guide me ! and give us not over to the will of 
our spiritual enemies. 

Sixth Month, 7th, — I bad a difficult path to tread during the 
Yearly Meeting. I did not of course receive Friends, but went as I 
was kindly asked, to various houses. I could not but at times na« 
turally feel it, after having for so many years delighted to entertain 
my friends, and those whom I believe to be disciples of Christ, and 
now in considerable degree to be deprived of it fiut after relating 
my sorrows, I must say, that through the tender mercy of my 
God, I have many blessings, and what is more, at times such 
a sweet feeling of peace, that I am enabled to hope and trust, that 

F 2 

<58 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1880. 

through the anboandeii and unmerited mercy of God in Christ 
Jesus, my husband, my children, and myself will eventually be 
made partakers of that salvation that comes by Christ The 
state of our Society, as it appeared in the Yearly Meeting was 
very satisfactory, and really very comforting to me ; so much less 
stress laid upon little things, more upon matters of greater im- 
portance, so much unity, good-will, and what I felt, Christian 
liberty amongst us — love appeared truly to abound, to my real 
refreshment. I am certainly a thorough Friend, and have in- 
expressible unity with the principle, but I also see room for 
real improvement amongst us ; may it take place : I want ]ess 
love of money, less judging others, less tattling, less dependence 
upon external appearance. I want to see more fruit of the Spirit 
in all things, more devotion of heart, more spirit of prayer, more 
real cultivation of mind, more enlargement of heart towards 
all ; more tenderness towards delinquents, and above all, more 
of the rest, peace, and liberty of the children of God ! 

I lately paid an interesting visit to the Duchess of Glouces- 
ter. Our British Society Meeting has been well got through. 
There is much yet doing in this cause ; Oh ! for a right and 
diligent, and persevering spirit in it, and may the grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ be with all those who are engaged in it. 

The accounts received at this Meeting from various Com- 
mittees for visiting female prisoners in Great Britain, were very 

'* Liverpool, Sixth itfofiM, 5M, 1830. 

''The Ladies Committee who visit the House of Correction at 
Eirkdale, near Liverpool, beg Elizabeth Fry^s acceptance of a 
counterpane worked by the female prisoners, and trimmed with a 
fringe of their making. This memorial of a class of her unhappy 
fellow-creatures, so eminently benefited and tenderly felt for 
by Elizabeth Fry, will, the Committee believe, be peculiarly 
grateful to her, as well as being a proof of their own affectionate 

" Signed, on behalf of the Committee, by 

** Rebecca Chorley, Secretary.*' 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 69 

A counterpane, elaborately embroidered, accompanied tbis 

From Hamburgh, Elizabeth Fry received an application that 
a copy of her likeness might be engraved for an Almanac pub- 
lished by Beyerink, entitled, *' For that which is Beautiful and 

With this was sent to her a translation of some lines inserted 
in the " Almanac for the Beautiful and Good." 

" 1880. — Though faithful to her duty, as a wife and mother, 
into the night of the prison Elizabeth Fry brings the radiance of 
love — brings comfort to the sufferer, dries the tears of repentance, 
and causes a ray of hope to descend into the heart of the sinner. 
She teaches her that has strayed, again to find the path of 
virtue, comes as an angel of God into the abode of crime, and 
preserves for Jesu's kingdom that which appeared to be lost. 
Is not this, indeed, what may be called, loving our neighbour 
more than ones self?" 

'* Leenwaarden, September, 1629." 

From Berlin, Elizabeth Fry had received letters from the 
Countess Von der Groeben, giving encouraging details of the 
results of Ladies visiting Prisons ; and there, and at Potsdam 
also, of the establishment of places of refuge for such liberated 
prisoners, as seemed anxious for amendment. 

The effect of kindness and patient instruction even on the 
most abandoned characters, is beautifully exemplified in a letter 
from Madam Potemkin nee Galitzin, addressed to Mrs. Fry, 
from St. Petersburg. 

" Gastiletta pr^s de Petersbourg, 12 Juin, 1 830. 

" En entrant dans la soci^te des Prisons, Madame, mon coeur 
avait regarde comme un de ses devoirs les plus doux d'entrer en 
relation avec un fitre, qui a 6l6 d'une si heureuse influence dans 


son pays et a sotre BOci6t6 des prisons^ et qui est depuis tant 
d'ann^es, Fange consolateur des malbeureux confi^s a ses soins. 

" Aujourd'huiy Madame^ que trois ann^es viennent de s'6couler 
depuis le jour ouj'ai 6t6 associ^e au sort des malheureux, je 
viens, avec le m^me sentiment de confiance et d'affection chreti- 
ennes, vous exposer Tetat des choses telles que je les laisse en ce 
moment, ou des circonstances de famille me forcent k quitter 
Petersbouig pour m^^tablir & la campagne. 

'* Nos prisons, 6tablies a Tinstar des yotres, Madame, offrent 
Taspeot le plus satisfaisant quant k Tordre et au bien-^tre qui y 
rdgnent. Tout oe qui peut I^gitimement s accorder avec r6tat 
de la recluse et Tadoucir, y est employ^. Les mesures s^vdres 
et les chambres obscures n*ont pas 6t6 employees deux fois oeite 
ann^e, a notre grande satisfaction. Le nombre des prisonnidres 
a diminu6 de beaucoup k partir des ann^es pr^cSdentes. Nous 
n'y avons plus tu les m^mes individus qui souvent, dans le 
oourant de Tannic, se retrouvaient en prison. D'apr^ cea r6- 
sultats, j'en augure une amelioration bien sensible dans r6tat 
moral de nos prisonni^res. Leur attachement pour la Surveil* 
lante, nomm^e par le comite, la soumission^ et lesprit d'ordre et 
de docilit^ qui se maintient parmi elles, nous encouragent k per- 
66v6rer dans un but ou le Seigneur est notre seule esp^rance. 

" Les prisonni^res qui savent lire, en profitent pour faire la 
lecture aux autres ; et c'est dans un s6jour de r6clusion qu'on 
peut surtout apprecier le bonheur d'avoir re9u I'^ducation pre- 
miere, et de pouYoir venir avec un bon livre au secours de sa 
mis^re et de sa solitude. Mon experience m'a d^montre ce 
bienfait plus encore en prison que partout ailleurs : car, les mau- 
vais livres 6tant prohib^s, et le choix des lectures se bomant 
uniquement a la parole deDieu,celle8 qui s'en occupent, Madame, 
y puisent des consolations nouvelles, et un gout pour la lecture 
s^rieuse qui nagu^res leur 6tait tout-^-fait ^trangdre. J'ai eu la 
consolation de voir une prisonnidre, dont le depart pour laSiberie 
etait retards par uue maladie, se nourrir avec avidit^ de la parole 
de Dieu, lire avec une foi veritable et un coeur contrit les souf- 
frances de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ, et puiser dans ces souf- 
irances la force de supporter ses maux, etla douce resignation que 
donne Tcsperance d une vie future. Sa resignation contrastait 

1880.] OP ELIZABETH FRY. 71 

fort avec le sort d'ane de ees compagnes, qui, plus ignorante 
qu^elle, no pouvait se soumettre a son avenir, et qui se tordait 
les mains de d^sespoir. 

" VoicijMadame, en peu de mots T^tat present de notre Prison 
de ville. Esp^rons que le Seigneur daignera de plus en plus 
bteir le z^le et les oharitables soins des Dames qui composent 
notre petit comit6. Toutes^ Madame, sont d^vou6es de coeur 
it Tceuvre dn Seigneur, et la regardent comme le plus cher et le 
plus sacr6 devoir de leur vie. Je me suis s6paree de mes chores 
compagnes avec tons les regrets qu^inspire leur charite; maisje 
m'en s^pare aveo oonfiance et emportant la conviction, qu'il n'y 
en a pas une qui ne remplisse mieux ma tache, et aveo plus de 
z^le que je ne I'ai fait. Car, je vous parlerai en chr^tienne, 
Madame : je n'^tais pas digne de pr6sider une-Soci^t^, dont la 
charit6 ^tait I'unique bien ; mais mon coeur 6tait k leur suite, et 
d^sirait faire comme elles. 

*^ Adieu, Madame ; je n'ai pas le bonheur de vous connaitre et 
ponrtant je vous aime, parceque je sais que vous aimez Gelui, que 
nous devons seul aimer^ et qui reclame notre cceur tout entier. 

" Tatiaka Potemkin." 

Woodford, Eighth Month, 14^A. — ^Last evening, a Bible 
Meeting was held here, my brother Samuel in the Chair ; seeing 
my beloved sister and her lovely family all there, swimming in 
the current of full apparent prosperity, spiritually and tempo- 
rally, brought feelingly home to my mind days that are past, 
when I used to delight to take my family upon similar occasions, 
in some degree, I believe, to manifest my love to the cause of 
EQm whom I most desire to serve. 

Not one week had passed over> from the time of this entry 
being made in the journal, before a heavy blow fell, where 
prosperity had been so apparent. The only brother of Mrs. 
Samuel Gumey being called to endure the bitter affliction of 
losing his wife. 

Dctgenham, Eighth Month, S/i«{.— Last First-day fortnight. 


I was suddenly sent for to my much loved and highly esteemed 
friend Lucy Sheppard. She had been very ill, however she 
appeared nearly recovered, but was taken with extreme sinkings, 
and from one of these she did not revive as usual. My beloved 
sister Elizabeth Gumey was with her, and being alarmed, sent 
for me. I had a deeply ajOfecdng scene to witness, no less than 
the sudden and unexpected death of this dear friend : her hus- 
band leaning over her — her poor children — and our dear sister 
in almost an agony of grief. I think so affecting a death-bed 
scene I never witnessed, where there was the inexpressible con- 
solation of believing, that the departed one was really ready. 
She was in the very prime of her day, in every sense of the 
word ; in the meridian of her power and usefulness, a person of 
good understanding, uncommon disposition, and all sanctified 
by grace. I believe that she not only knew, but loved her Lord, 
and through the assistance of His grace, appeared to me in no 
common degree to be fulfilling the relative duties as wife, 
mother, mistress, daughter, sister and friend, and to the poor 
particularly. — Indeed, I feel our loss to be very serious^ and 
very great, and that it should strongly stimulate us who remain 
to seek to be ready, and whilst we live, to fill our right places, 
and perform in love, meekness, gentleness and humility, all our 
relative duties. May this affiction be sanctified to all parties! 
and may the blessing of the Most High rest upon those most 

My dear Gumey has been to pay a visit to France with his 
tutor, which proved a very interesting one ; he received great 
kindness from many French persons, particularly my valued 
friends the Delesserts ; it brought me into communication with 
them, and I have felt much sweet unity of spirit with them. 
What matters it to what nation or sect we belong, if we love the 
Lord in sincerity, and our neighbours as ourselves ? Since my 
dearest boy left France, there has been a most awful time there, 
through the arbitrary and imprudent conduct of King Charles 
the 10th. The people have risen — there has been a dreadful 
battle between the opposite parties in the streets of Paris, and 
the King has fled. I felt the mercy of having my boy safely at 
home, but I may truly say, afllicted for the French. War in all 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 73 

forms is awiiil aod dreadful; but civil war worse than all^ as to 
its present effect, and future consequences. 

Eighth Month. — ^In bringing up our children, it is my solid 
judgment that a real attachment is not a thing to be lightly 
esteemed, and when young persons of a sober mind are come to 
an age of discretion, it requires very great care, how any undue 
restraint is laid upon them, in these most important matri- 
monial engagements ; we are all so short sighted about them, 
that the parties themselves should after all be principally their 
own judges in it. Therefore, unless I see insurmountable ob^ 
jeotions, I believe duty dictates leaving our children much at 
liberty in these matters. May a gracious and kind Providence 
direct them aright. 

Upton, iUh. — I felt it right yesterday, to lay before the 
Monthly Meeting, a view that I have had of attending the 
Quarterly Meeting of Sussex and some of its particular Meetings. 
My sister Elizabeth Fry felt disposed to join me. It appeared 
to meet with rather unusual unity, therefore we are likely to go 
forward in it. 

Tenth Month, 12M.— We, (my sister E. F., my brother 
Samuel Gumey, and myself,) returned home from our journey 
on Seventh day evening, after being out a week and two days. 
We were in the first place outwardly cared for by our dear 
friend Joseph Foster, who is truly a helper, spiritually as well as 
naturally; he accompanied us to Horsham, where, as usual 
under such circumstances, I felt ready to query, why I was there, 
and fears got hold of me. Friends received us with much kind- 
ness and apparent openness. 

At Brighton, Elizabeth Fry attended the meeting for Friends 
on the Sunday morning, and in the evening held a Public 
Meeting for persons of different persuasions. She had at 
the Pavilion an interview with the Countess Brownlow, and 
through her communicated a message of serious import to Queen 


My prayer for the King and Queen was, that a blessing might 
rest upon them ; that they might be strengthened by the Spirit 
of God to do His will, and live to His glory, (or to that purpose); 
then for the Queen, I felt the great importance of her situation, 
that she was indeed like a city set upon a hill, amongst women ; 
and my desire for her was, that her light might so shine before 
men, diat they, seeing her good works might glorify our Father 
who is in heaven. I expressed my desire that, for the good of 
the community, she might promote the education of the poor, the 
general distribution of the scriptures, and the keeping the Sabbath 
seriously, by discouraging parties, &c. &c«, on that day amongst 
the higher ranks, as I was sure the tendency of them was very 
injurious to the lower classes, and the community at large. 
Then I touched on the anti-slavery subject, and the abolition 
of capital punishment, and presented for the Queen, my brother 
Joseph's Essays, also his Peculiarities of Friends, and my little 
book on visiting Prisons. 

On Fourth-day morning, after several calls and attending a 
Bible Meeting, we dined with some Friends very agreeably, and 
in the evening went to our kind friends the Elliots, who invited 
about seventy persons to meet us on account of the District 
Society. It was truly encouraging to me, to hear what wonders 
it had done for that place. We had a delightful meeting, a great 
variety of Christians present, and so much good-will and unity 
felt, that it comforted my heart. At its close, our dear and 
valued friends Charles Simeon and Joseph Hughes gave us 
some sweet religious counsel ; I felt the power such, that I could 
not help following them, and found that " out of the Ailness of 
the heart the mouth speaketh*' — giving glory to the Lord. As 
far as I can see, how much more marked a blessing has attended 
my benevolent labours for public good, than any other labours 
of love that I have been enabled to perform in my own house, 
or amongst my own people. 

On Fifth- day, several of the higher classes were invited to 
Meeting, and to my own feelings, a remarkable time we surely 
had; it appeared as if we were over-shadowed by the love and 
mercy of God our Saviour. The ministry flowed in beautiful 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 75 

hannony, I deeply felt the want of local prayer being offered, 
bat I did not see it my place apon our Meeting assembling toge- 
ther, when, to my inexpressible relief, John Bickman powerfully 
and beautifully offered up thanksgiving and prayer, which ap- 
peared to arise as incense and as an acceptable sacrifiock After 
a time of silence, I rose with this text : '^ There are diversities 
of gifts, but the same spirit ; differences of administration, but 
the same Lord ; diversities of operations, but it is the same God 
who worketh all in all." In a way that it never did before, the 
subject opened to my view whilst speaking; how did I see and 
endeavour to express the lively bond of union existing in the 
Christian Church, and that the humbling tendering influence of 
the love and power of Christ, must lead us not to condemn our 
neighbours but to love and cover all with charity. My sister 
E. Fry was rather closely and differently led, and I had to end 
the Meeting by praying for the King, Queen^ and all their sub* 
jects every where; for the advancement of that day, when the 
knowledge of God and His glory would cover the earth as the 
waters cover the sea ; for those countries in Europe that are in 
a disturbed state, and that these shakings might eventually be 
for good. After a most solemn feeling of union the Meeting 
broke up. We dined at our dear friends the Elliots, where were 
Charles Simeon, Henry Elliot, (valuable clergymen,) and others. 
A pleasant, sweet, refreshing time we had ; I think I never feel 
so able to rejoice in the Lord, as when nnited with real Chris^ 
tians of different denominations. We went that night to Chi- 
chester, and slept at Maria Hack's, and were much interested 
by her and her family, some of whom have joined the Church 
of England, but they appeared to us truly valuable and serious, 
and we were much pleased with our visit. 

I have been thus full in the account of this journey, because 
it is I think well, in this way, to leave some memorial of the 
tender dealings of my gracious Lord and Master with me, when 
engaged in His service. 

Upton, Eleventh Month, Srd. — ^We returned home yesterday 
from Bury Hill, where my brother Samuel and myself went on 
Seventh day, in consequence of the death of my dear uncle 
Barclay, whose funeral we attended the preceding Sixth day, 



when thirteen of his children and children-in-law attended. It 
was to me very a£fecting, following the remains of this dear 
uncle to the grave, who was such a kind generous friend, and 
helper to me. It is very striking to see one generation so nearly 
gone ; so many of us, now entering the evening of our day, 
and our children and children's children coming up after us. 
Life thus passing away, ** as a tale that is told." 

Twelfth Months 1th, — ^May I be enabled so to give an account 
of the various dealings of the Almighty with me and mine, that 
it may be useful to some, at least to my most beloved children 
and children's children. I have to begin with rather a melancholy 
tale: — My beloved children, Foster and Richenda Beynolds, lost 
their sweet baby upon the 4th of last month, after a few days 
severe illness. Death is awful and affecting, come as it may ! 
and this I truly felt, when seeing the sweet babe in its cofSn, 
still retaining its beautiful colour. I could not but feel the 
uncertainty of all our possessions, yet the comfort, that death 
had only entered our family and taken one for whom we could 
feel no fear for the future. At her grave, the desire was very 
strong within me, that we might all become like little children, 
fit to enter the kingdom of God, being washed and made white 
in the blood of the Lamb. Since then, my dear nephew Harry 
Buxton has been called hence. His end appeared in no com- 
mon degree peace, if not joy in the Lord. He was about seven- 
teen years of age— a remarkable instance of the care and reli- 
gious instruction of parents being blessed ; he was greatly pro- 
tected through life, from any evil influences, and more carefully 
and diligently instructed by his dear mother, particularly in all 
religious truth. He was a child, who in no common degree ap- 
peared to be kept from evil, and live in the fear and love of the 
Lord ; he was cheerful, industrious, clever, very agreeable, and 
of a sweet person --a very deep trial it is to his dear parents to 
lose him« . Still I feel, as if I could give up all my sons to be 
in such a state, but I maybe mistaken in this, and perhaps my 
Lord may yet be pleased, to raise them up to His service here 
below, which would be even a greater blessing, than having them 
taken in the morning of the day. I think the way in which the 
children of my sisters turn out, proves the efficacy of much 

1831.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 77 

religioas instruction, and not too much religious restraint. It 
certainly is a very serious thing, to put upon young persons any 
crosses in their religious course, that Christ does not call them to 
bear ! 
First Month, 1 1 th. — ^When dressing, last First day fortnight, 

A came in to tell me, that my dear and valued uncle Joseph 

Gumey had suddenly dropped down dead at his house at the 
Grove, near Norwich, my aunt only with him at the time. It 
exceedingly affected me, for he was very dear to me, and more 
Uke a father than any one living ; he was one in whom the re« 
ligions life was beautifully manifested, more particularly in his 
humility, in his cheerfulness and in his obedience. He was a 
lively minister of the gospel, a valuable and a delightful man, 
and his loss is indeed very great to those nearest to him as well 
as to many others. I had a painful struggle to know whether 
I ought to go to his funeral or not. However, I decided to go, 
in which I felt peace, and then could leave it all comfortably. 
I have seldom of late felt more discouraged from a deep sense 
of the evil of my own heart, than when I first arrived at Earl- 
ham. There are times, when with my brothers and sisters 
particularly, the contrast of my circumstances with theirs pains 
me ; the mode of my feeling these things oppressed me. I 
walked alone through some beautiful parts of Earlham, and 
how did it remind me of days that are past ! The sun shone 
brightly, and hardly a tree, a walk, or a view, but brought inter- 
esting remembrances before me ; how many gone ! how many 
changes ! and then how far was I ready for my great change ? 
It was New Year*s Day ; little did I expect to keep it there. I 
returned home, wrote to my husband and children, and poured 
out a little of my heart to them. I went to the Grove — ^felt 
my much-loved uncle being really gone — all changed there. I 
went to Norwich to call on a few sick, &c. ; the place the same, 
but again how changed to me ! However, as my dearest family 
as^mbled, I became more comfortable. 

She wrote to her family from Earlham. 


First MoiUhUt^lSZl. 
My dearest Hasband and Children, 

I have withdrawn into my own room for a little quiet and re- 
tirement^ and my attention has been much turned towards you. 
I have just returned from a solitary walk about this beautiful 
place, the sun shining upon it, so much of it bearing the same 
aspect as in my childish days, and circumstances so greatly 
changed ; my feelings were greatly affected. How many gone 
that used to delight in its beauties, and rejoice together in no 
common bond of love. Surely the passing scene of this life could 
hardly be more feelingly brought home to the heart. Then I was 
led to look at my family, and oh ! what love, what tender desire, 
what inexpressible travail of soul was and is excited for you all, 
that amidst all chamges, (and you have already known many) you 
may each for yourself have a real substantial hold of that, which 
can never be changed and will live through every storm, even 
death itself. On Second-day, I went with my brother Buxton 
and Prisoilla to North Bepps, and paid a very interesting visit to 
my dearest sister. I was truly comforted and edified by my visit 
to them; religious principle appeared very present to help and 
sustain them ; nothing could exceed their kindness to me, it 
cheered me on the way, and helped me. Indeed, I may say, that 
the stream so rose on First-day, and Second- day, and the healing 
power was so near, that I experienced a little what it is to have 
''beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment 
of praise for the spirit of heavinesa.*' 

First'day, First Month. — I desire to remember a few of the 
principal events and some of the mercies and deliverances of 
the last year— an important one in the political world, — the 
French revolution, and its consequence in other countries, and 
in our own in measure* I think, I unusually see the hand of 
Providence in some of these things. I never remember my prayers 
to have been more raised by any public event, than on behalf of 
the French, during their revolution. Their conduct in it has 
given me great comfort, because it shows a wonderful advance- 
ment, at least in Christian practice, since the last revolution. I 

1881.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 79 

feel still deeply interested about the French, and have a hope 
that a great and good work is going on amongst them. I have a 
hope also that the general stirring amongst the European nations 
is for good, and I have the same hope respecting our own coun- 
try. I see that it is in rather an unsettled state, yet, as I also 
see that many things want a remedy, and as the process of fer- 
mentation must be passed through before aliquor can be purified, 
so, at times with nations — such a process, though painful whilst 
it lasts ends in the good of the people. May it prove so with 
us, and with other nations, and may all these turnings and over- 
turnings advance the coming of that blessed day, when the 
" earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters 
cover the sea." 

My interest in the cause of prisons remains strong, and my 
zeal unabated; though it is curious to observe how much less is 
felt about it by the public generally. How little it would answer 
in these important duties, to be much affected by the good or 
bad opinion of man. Through all, we should endeavour to go 
steadily forward looking neither to the right hand nor to the 
left, with the eye fixed upon that Power which can alone bless 
our labours, and enable us to carry on these works of charity to 
the good of others, our own peace, and His praise. 

The excitement occasioned by Mrs. Fry's first visits to New- 
gate, the strangeness of ladies visiting prisons, the astonishment 
of the public mind at finding the sin engendered and the misery 
permitted, within the prison walls of christian and enlightened 
England, had indeed passed ; but a steady, resolute spirit of 
improvement was making its way, and men from all classes and 
all parties^ were coming over and ranking themselves amongst 
the labourers^ or at least the well-wishers to progressive improve- 

Sir Bobert Peel had been for years grappling with the diffi- 
culties of the criminal code respecting forgery, and had, during 
the last Sessions, presented to Parliament his acts for con- 
solidating its various sanguinary enactments. The subject 


had become one of general interest ; and after many discus* 
sions, a majority of the House of Commons voted for the 
abolition of the punishment of death, in all cases of forgery. 
These clauses were restored in the Lords, notwithstanding a 
petition signed by a thousand bankers, supporting the vote of 
the Commons. The effect, practically, however, of this 
assertion of public opinion was, that the extreme sentence 
of the law in cases of forgery was not again carried into exe- 

Thus, the work was advancing — ^but mach remained to be 
done. He who set fire to a stack of bean stalks in an outlaying 
field was still to lose his life, whilst he who burnt a helpless 
family in their beds, could have no greater punishment awarded 
him ; again^ the half-starved peasant, who carried home the 
sheep he found fallen and bruised in a neighbouring ditch, was 
to endure the same fate as the man who might waylay the 
farmer on his return from market, despoil him of his well- 
earned gains, and then to prevent detection, leave him lifeless 
— weltering in his blood by the road side. 

The Prison Discipline Society continued its exertions. The 
greater number of county prisons were either rebuilt or remo- 
delled, and classification and occupation introduced. Amongst 
female prisoners, officers of their own sex were becoming increas- 
ingly general. 

Many of the Borough gaols and Scotch prisons continued, 
however, in their former state of neglect, wretchedness, and pro- 
miscuous intercourse amongst the prisoners, but there were ex« 
ceptions^ as for instance at Derby and Leicester, where the Bo- 
rough magistrates purchased the old County prisons after the 
removal of the prisoners to the admirable new County gaols 
erected there. At Penzance, a new town prison was built ; at 
Barnstaple^ the old one had been rebuilt. A new gaol was 
erected at Norwich. The Yarmouth prison remained unaltered 

V J^ ^BIBl 

1881.] OF ELIZABSTH FRY. 81 

in cells, and yards, and hired management, bat under the teach- 
ing of Sarah Martin, and her devoted labours of love, wonderful 
results were produced, and an admirable lesson taught to her 
country-women, of what may be ^ected by kindness, persever- 
ance and discretion. 

VOL. II. o 



1831—1833, Journey to Lynn— Letter from Elp— Attenda the Kent 
Quarterly Meeting — Interview with the Duchesi of Kent and the 
Princew Victoria— Yearly Meeting— Interview with Queen Adelaide, 
and aome of the Royal Family — Leave-taking on board the Mary 
Female Convict Ship — Dagenham— Public Meeting in that aeighbour- 
bood — Journey with her buabind — Ilfracombe — Hiatary of Samoel 
Marehall— Death-bed of a converted Jew — Death of Mra. Ssiah 
Fry — Opinions on choice in Marriage — Cholera — Examination before 
Committee of Uoute of Commona— Yearly Meeting — Ladies' British 
Society Meeting— Attends Half- Yearly Meeting in Walei— Croues to 
Ireland— Marriage of a Son— Marriage of a Daughter — Visit to Nor- 
folk — Yearly Meeting— Family assembled at Upton. 

The l&st day of January, brotight Mrs. Fry accounts of the 
severe illneBB of one of her daughters, vtaA the following morn- 
ing saw her, through most inclemenl weatber, setting forth to 
go to her. 

1831.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 83 


Ely, Second Month, Ist. 

My dearest Hannah, 

Here I am shut up at the Inn at Ely, unable to go on. It was 
with some difficulty we arrived here, from the snow, and when 
we reached this place we found that the way to Lynn was quite 
obstructed, and thatnoperson had come from thence to-day. But 
now I must tell you a little about our journey ; there was one 
Lynn gentleman, and two young men, no doubt students ; at first 
we were all flat and said little, but after awhile we entered into 
very interesting, and rather intellectual conversation, upon some 
important subjects. I found the Lynn gentleman knew me and 
called me by my name. I tried to make the conversation useful. 
We talked of the state of the Established Church, and much 
belonging to it, in England and Ireland, tithes, &c. &c., then 
we went to prophecyj then to theatres, and so on. At last, I 
felt free enough to give the young men each a text book, with 
which they appeared to be much pleased. My dear nephews 
met me at the Inn, at Cambridge ; they were most kind. Upon 
my arrival here, the coachman, the outside passengers, and one 
of the owners of the horses, came to consult my wishes as to 
what to do, but when a medical man who had been out, told 
us that six miles from hence, the roads were impassable and 
reallv dangerous, there appeared to be no doubt for us, but to 
remain quietly where we were. They were all very kind and 
attentive to me, and so are the landlord, landlady, and servants. 
I believed it right to ask my fellow-passengers to breakfast ; the 
outside passengers proved to be two very interesting clergymen, 
related to the Styleman family. We had a solemn reading toge- 
ther with part of the family here, and all felt (I believe) what a 
sweet bond Christians have with each other, and how truly they 
are friends to each other. 
The coach is now come in from Lynn ; therefore, I hope to 

proceed there safely- 
Farewell, in much near and dear love, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

G 2 


Upton, Second Month, 12M. — ^I returned last eyeoing from 
Earlham with my dear brother Joseph, having been suddenly 
oalled into Norfolk, in consequence of my dearest Bachel's alarm- 
ing illness. I heard of it late on Second-day week» and set off 
to her on the Third-day morning : the snow so great, I was 
stopped on the road, and slept at Ely. Upon my arrival at Lynn 
the next day, I found my child going on favourably. The 
pleasure is great of having with my children the double tie, not 
only of modier and children, but a friendship formed upon its 
own grounds. I certainly think, that in common degree my 
children feel me their familiar friend. 

TlUrd Month, 19/A. — ^I went on Second-day to attend the 
Kent Quarterly Meeting, accompanied by my dear sister Eliza* 
beth Fry and Joseph Foster. I was much engaged from Meet- 
ing to Meeting, laboured to encourage the low, the poor and 
the sorrowful; to lead to practical religion, and to shake 
from all outward dependencies, and to show that our principles 
and testimonies of a peculiar nature should not be maintained 
simply as a regulation amongst us, but unto the Lord, and in 
deep humility, in the true Christian spirit, particularly as to 
tithes^ war^ &c. I felt much peace afterwards, and in going 
from house to house, breaking, I trust, a little bread spiritually, 
and giving thanks. It appeared very seasonable though long 
delayed, as I have had it on my mind many months, but 
hitherto have been prevented by various things, yet this ap- 
peared to be the right time, and 1 take the lesson home, 
quietly to wait for the openings of Providence, particularly 
in all religious services, and not to attempt to plan them too 
much myself. 

The kindness of Friends was great, and I received much real 
encouragement from them ; some from the humble ones, that did 
my heart good* Indeed I cannot but acknowledge, in humiliation 
of spirit, however any may reason on these things, and however 
strange that women should be sent out to preach the gospel, yet 
I have in these services partaken of joy and peace, that I think 
I have never felt in the same degree in any other. 

dOM. — ^Yesterday, I felt delicate in health and flat in spirits ; 
however, I attendedour large Quarterly Meeting, and keptiedlence. 


188 J.] OF EUZABETH FBY. 85 

perbiqps nnduly bo, in onr Women's Meeting. I felt (as I often 
do from numerous calls) driven two ways, whether to go to 
Devonshire Street, to see my dear brother Buxton, who I ap- 
prehended to be under much discouragement in bringing for- 
ward his slavery question that night in the House of Commons, 
or to attend the adjournment of the Quarterly Meeting ; how- 
ever, I made up my mind to go to Devonshire Street I went, 
greatly exhausted, — ^my cough poorly, die wind cold, — and in 
walking and going in the stage, in my infirmity I was ready to 
query, why I had been permitted to lose my carriage, who so 
often wanted it, whilst others who appeared to have less call, 
were so much indulged. 

Fourth Month, 16/A. — Since I last wrote, very deep sorrow 
has been our portion in the illness of my dear nephew, John 

6 ; my nights have been truly sufiforing ; very deep has 

been the exercise of mind on his account Oh, dearest Lord 
Ood I grant, that before this dear child goes hence, he may be 
fitted, through the blood of his Saviour, for a place in glory. 

20M.— I haveseldom witnessed earthly prosperity moreclouded 
for a season^ than by this illness in the family of my beloved 
brother and sister. Where the sun appeared to shine so very 
uncommonly—health, riches, houses, lands, in abundance ; chil- 
dren amiable and ^weet— indeed, in going to their house, I have 
been ready to tremble, because it is not in the general ordering of 
Providence that such a fall cup should continue — and what a 
change-— what an inexpressible trial, what a cloud over the pic- 
luxe ; however. He who can dispel the darkest clouds, and quiet 
the heaviest storms, saw meet to arise in His own Almighty 
power, and manifest His mercy and love, by granting us deii- 
veranoe from our great distress. I was reminded of these words 
on his account, ''I have seen his ways, and will heal him, and 
restore comforts unto him and his mourners." 

Fifth Month, 14/A. — About three weeks ago, I paid a very 
sati^u^tory visit to the Duchess of Kent, and her very pleasing 
danghter, the Princess Victoria. William Allen went with me. 
We took some books, on the subject of slavery, with the hope of 
influencing the young princess in that important cause. We were 
received with much kindness and cordiality, and I felt my way 


open to express, not only my desire that the best blessing might 
rest upon them, but that the young princess might follow the 
example of our blessed Lord, that as she -^ grew in stature she 
might grow in favour with God and man." I also ventured to 
remind her of King Josiah, who began to reign at eight years old 
and did that which was right in the sight of the Lord turning 
neither to the right hand nor to the left, which seemed to be well 
received. Since that, I thought it right to send the Duke of 
Gloucester my brother Joseph's work on the Sabbath, and rather 
a serious letter, and had a very valuable answer from him full of 
feeling. I have an invitation to visit the Duchess of Gloucester 
next Fourth-day ; may good result to them, and no harm to 
myself, but I feel these openings rather a weighty responsibility, 
and desire to be faithful, not forward. I had long felt an inclina- 
tion to see the young princess, and endeavour to throw a little 
weight in the right scale, seeing the very important place that 
she is likely to fill. I was much pleased with her, and think her 
a sweet, lovely and hopeful child. 

The Yearly Meeting begins next week ; I am rather low in 
the prospect, having no house to receive my dear friends in 
London, continues to be a pain to me. I desire to attend it in 
all humility, looking to my Lord, and not unto man; I desire to 
be kept in the unity of those with whom I am in religious com- 
munion, for I am one with them in principle ; but we must for- 
bear with each other in love, and endeavour through every trial 
of it, *^ to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace." 
Be pleased, oh Lord ! to be near to Thy most unworthy servant, 
defend her with Thine own armour from the various shafts of the 
adversary, keep her safely in Thy pavilion from the strife of 
tongues. If Thou see meet to call her into Thy service, be a 
light unto her feet^ and a lamp unto her path. 

Sixth Month, Srd. — The Yearly Meeting concluded this day 
week. I was highly comforted by the good spirit manifested in it 
by numbers. I think I never was so much satisfied by the ground 
taken by Friends, leading us to maintain what we consider our 
testimonies upon a scriptural and Christian ground, rather than 
because our forefathers maintained them. My opinion is, that 
nothing is so likely to cause our Society to remain a living and 

1831.3 OF ELIZABETH FRY. 87 

spiritual body, as its being willing /(? stand open to improvement; 
because, it is to be supposed that as the Church generally emerges 
out of the dark state it was brought into, its light will shine 
brighter and brighter, and we, as a part of it, shall partake of 
this dispensation. My belief is, that neither individuals nor 
collectiYe bodies should stand stillin grace, but their light should 
shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. My dearest 
brother Joseph had a valuable Meeting for the youth, fiirther to 
instruct them in Friends' principles, which delighted me ; he 
was so clear, so sound, so perfectly scriptural and Christian, and 
so truly in the spirit of charity and sound liberality, not laxity* 

26tA. — ^I must give an account of the British Society Meeting. 
It was^ I trust, well got through, and I feel the way in which its 
objects prosper cause for humble thankfulness. Surely the re* 
suit of our labour has hitherto been beyond my most sanguine 
expectation, as the improved state of our prisons, female con- 
vict ships, and the convicts in New South Wales. I desire to 
feel this blessing and unmerited mercy towards us, and those 
poor creatures, as I ought, in humility and true thankAilness of 
heart. The day before yesterday, I had a very satisfactory in« 
terview vrith the Queen and several of the Boyal Family, in ra- 
ther a remarkable manner. There was a sale on account of the 
Hospital Ship in the Biver, in which I was interested; and 
bearing that the Queen was to be there, whom 1 wished to see, 
I went ; but was so much discouraged when I arrived, by the 
gaiety of the occasion, that I should have turned back, bad not 
my sister Catherine made me persevere. We saw the Queen and 
her party, and quickly passed through the gay scene. When we 
got out, we found ourselves with a valuable fiiend of mine 
Captain Young, in a quiet airy place, at the head of the stair* 
case ; we were told by him, that the Queen would go down that 
way, and we should have an excellent view of her. We there- 
fore waited until some of the royal family came down ; their 
carriages not being ready they withdrew into a private room, 
where Captain YouDg admitted us; the Duchess of Gloucester 
met me with her usual kindness, and presentedme to the Duchess 
of Cumberland. The Princess sister to the Queen, Prince 
George of Cumberland and Prince George of Cambridge were 

88 HEMOIB OF TH£ LIFE [1881. 

there with them. The Daohees of Gloaoeater soon withdrew, 
and the Qaeen's sister and I had rather a foil conTereation to- 
gether with the Daohees of Oomberland and Frinoe Greorge. 
Then oame the Dake of Sussex and the Princess of Hesse 
Homborg ; the Doke appeared pleased to see me, and we had a 
good deal of oonversation, the Duke said he would present me 
to the Queen, who socm oame into the room, with the Princess 
Augusta, whom I knew, he did so in the handsomest manner, 
and the Queen paid me very kind and marked attention* I had 
some couYersation with the Queen, almost entirdy on benevo- 
lent objects. I expressed my pleasure in seang the Boyal 
Family so much intetested in these things ; my belief that it 
did much good, and that being engaged in them brought peace 
and blessing. I was enabled to keep to my simple mode of speech 
as I belieYc right, and yet to show them CTery respect and poUte 
attention. I did not enter religious subjects with any of them, 
though I trust the bearing of my conYeisation was that way. 
We spoke with the Princess Elizabeth, of Friends, of the love 
her Mher Qeorge III. had for them, his visit toour great-grand' 
father Barclay, my meeting Queen Charlotte in the city and 
many other things. My dearest sister Catherine's simple bold- 
ness certainly got me into the room, and made me go through 
the thing ; her company was deligfatfol, helpful and strength- 
ening. It was a very singular opening, thus to meet those, some 
of whom I so much wanted to see— it is curious, but for days I 
bad it on my mind to endeavour to see the Queen, and by night 
and day seriously had weighed it, kst my motives should not 
be right, but when I remembered, that from not having been 
presented to her, I could never on any point communiqate with 
her in person, I felt that if Acre should be an opportunity to 
put myself in her way, I had better do it. It was striking, how 
the whole thing wss opened for me, I may say providentially ; 
for already I believe some good has been done by seeing one of 
the party, and I look upon it as a very important event in my 
public objects for the good of others. Afterwards, I felt as I 
mostly do, after any thing of this kind, rath^ anxious, and ex- 
tremely fearful for myself, how far it was safe for me thus to be 
cast among the great of this world, how far it was even right to 

1881.] OF BLIZABBTH FRY. 80 

put myself in the way of it, and how fiir others would jadge me 
for it ; howerer, the next day, my mind was much quieted^ my 
fears muob allayed, and my present sober view is» that it was a 
lemaxkable opening, and my desire is, that it may please the 
Most High to bless it that good may result fix>m it. I lately have 
had a deeply interesting visit to a female oonvict-ship, sur- 
rounded as I am at such times by poor sailors, and convicts, it 
is impoieible not to feel the contrast of the Qircumstances in which 
I am placed. The last time I was in the ship Mary, there was 
such a scene round me — parting firom them, probably for ever. 
So many tears were shed, so much feeling displayed — and 
almost all present the low and the poor. Then, within a few days 
to be in such a scene of gaiety, though the object in view was 
good, surrounded by royalty and the great of this earth. The 
contrast was striking and instructive. I ought surely to profit 
from the uncommon variety that I see, and the wonderful 
ehanges that I have experienced in being raised up, and cast 
down. Oh ! may it not prove in vain for myself and others. 

At our last Monthly Meeting, I proposed to Friends to hold 
a Public Meeting at Maldon in Essex, and some among the 
lower classes around Barking and Dagenham. This is a weighty 
service ; may the Lord be with me in it, to my own help, and the 
comfort and real edification of those I am thrown with, and may 
my beloved family partake of it. 

Dagenham, Seventh Month, 6th. — ^I have now before me, 
some deeply weighty family matters respecting my children. May 
the Lord in His tender mercy, be pleased to direct me in my 
conduct towards them ; keeping me on the one hand from giv- 
ing them undue liberty, and on the other from using any unne* 
cessary restraint. May I be enabled truly^ faithfully, and hum^ 
bly to do my duty towards them. Oh Lord! be Thou my helper 
and their helper, my guide and their guide, my defence and 
their defence, and whatsoever is right for them bring to pass ; 
whatsoever wrong, prevent by Thy power and Thy providence ! 
Amen ! 

Eighth Month, Ut. — ^Last evening we finished our Public 
Meetings in bams. I passed a humbling night — even in our 
acts of obedience and devotion, how evident is the mixture of 


sin and infirmity (at least so it appears to me) and we need to 
look to the great offering for sin and for iniquity, to bear even 
these transactions for us. I apprehend, that all would not nn< 
derstand me, hut many who are much engaged in what we call 
works of righteousness, will understand the reason, that in the 
Jewish dispensation ihere was an offering made for the iniquity 
of their Holy Things. Humiliation is my portion, though I 
may also say peace, in thus having given up to a service much 
against my inclination, and I hope, thankfulness for the mea* 
sure of power at times granted in them* 

Notwithstanding many family cares, and the weighty objects 
in which she was engaged, the summer of this year, which was 
passed at Dagenham, proved a very happy one. The two cot- 
tages were fully peopled ; the larger one inhabited by Mr. and 
Mrs. Fry, and as many of their home party as it could be made 
to contain, the smaller cottage was lent to a married daughter, 
and received the overflowings from the other house. The first 
burst of the calamity in 1828 had passed away, the younger 
members of the family had been transplanted sufficiently early, to 
take root at Upton Lane ; this was never the case with their 
parents, or the other children, but Dagenham was not new to 
them, and though the arrangements were different, yet no charm 
was lost by that. Pleasant it was, to listen firom the larger 
boat, especially appropriated to their mother (and bearing her 
name) in the quiet of a summer s evening, to the joyous voices 
of the younger members of the party borne from the other 
boats, as they rose and fell in cadence, singing the burthen of 
some old song to the dipping of their oars. The gentlemen 
generally spent the morning in London, but about the time when 
the heat of a summer day is beginning to abate, the ladies and 
children looked for their return. One of the little watchers 
would announce that the boat sent to meet them was in sight, 
and then the expectant party poured out of their cottages. 


1831.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 91 

Foremost in the group and conspicnous from her stature, she 
might he seen — whose smile was ever ready to greet them, her 
gentle voice to hid them welcome. An unhroken hand, they 
met in love, ahounding in hope, with life before most of them, 
coloured by the prismatic hues of youthful fancy; even she, 
who had suffered so much, and encountered so many disap* 
pointments would catch their tone, and join with delight in the 
feelings of the party and the scene around her. 

Dagenham^ Eighth Month, 2ith, — Upon my return home to 
Dagenham this day week, in the pony chair, with little Edmund 
Gumey, there was a severe thunder storm the greater part of the 
way, but I felt quite easy to persevere through it. But when I 
arrived at the Chequers Inn, I thought another storm was coming, 
and went in. We had been there but a few minutes, when we 
saw a bright flash of lightning, followed instantaneously by a 
tremendous clap of thunder, upon being asked whether I was 
alarmed, I said that I certainly was and did not doubt that an 
accident had happened near to us. My dear husband who was in 
it, arrived safely, but in a few minutes, a young man was carried 
in dead, struck with the lightning in a field close by. I felt our 
escape — ^yet still more the awful situation of the young man, who 
was a sad character ; he had been at the Meeting at Beacontree 
Heath. This awful event produced a very serious effect in the 
neighbourhood, so much so, that we believed it right to invite all 
the relations of the young man (a bad set) and the other young 
men of the neighbourhood to meet us in the little Methodist 
Meeting House, which ended in one more rather large Public 
Meeting. The event and circumstances altogether made it very 
solemn, it appeared to set a seal to what had passed before in our 
other Meetings. My belief is, they have had a stirring effect in 
this neighbourhood, but they have been very humbling to me ; 
the whole event of this young man's awful death has much con- 
firmed me in the belief, that our concern was a right one, and 
tended to prepare the minds of the people to profit by such a 
lesson. My dear brother and sister Buxton and their Friscilla 
were with as at many of our Meetings. 

9% MEMOIR OF THB UFB [1831. 

fl7th. — We are just about leaving this place. I have endea- 
voured to promote the moral and religious good of the people 
since the Meetings, by establishing libraries of tracts and books 
at different places, and my belief is, that my humble labours 
have not been in yain^ nor I trust will they be. I have felt so 
strikingly the manner in which the kindness and love of the 
neighbourhood has been shown to me, afbor thus publidy preach- 
ing amongst them, and as a poor frail woman advocating boldly 
the cause of Christ; I expected rather to be despised, whereas, it 
is apparently just the reverse. The clergyman and his wife 
almost loading us with kindness, the farmers and their wives very 
kind and attentive, the poor the same; I felt how sweet it is to be 
on good terms with all — one day drinking tea at the parsonage, 
abounding with plate, elegancies, and luxuries, the next day at 
the humble Methodist shoemaker*s, they having procured a little 
fresh butter, that I might take tea under their roof; the contrast 
was great, but I can indeed see the same kind Lord over all, 
rich to all, and filling the hearts of His servants of very differ- 
ent desczipUons, with love to each other. 

In the autumn, Mrs. Fry accompanied her husband into some 
of the South* Western Counties. 

Sand Rock Hotel, Tenth Months 9th. — This is the place in 
the Isle of Wight, where my most beloved sisters Bachel and 
Prisdlla spent a wint^. I may truly say, since coming to this 
beautiful and interesting spot, my heart has been much tendered, 
in remembering those so inexpressibly dear, feeling deeply, that 
their places here know them no more ; it has revived a very 
strong feeling respecting the past. Their course finished, mine 
not yet fully run ; and as I am deeply sensible that I cannot keep 
alive my own soul, oh may He, who remains to be oar light and 
our life, keep me alive unto Himself, until He may fit me, by His 
own Almighty power and unmerited mercy, to enter a new life 
with all His saints in glory. 

Barnstaple, 23rd. — ^First-day morning. — ^My distress is great 
this morning, owing to the steam-packet, with our dearest son 
Gumey, not arriving as we expected last evening. I have passed 


1881.] OF ELIZABETH FB7. 9S 

a conflioting night ; my husband is gone to Ilfracombe, in hopes 
of hearing something of the packet, and seeing after onr dear 
boy, if he arrives, I stayed, because I thought that duty pointed 
out attending the little Meeting here, but I feel nervous, afflicted, 
and desolate. I believe it weU, to be now and then brought 
to these trials of faith and of patience— may I not say, like the 
disciples formerly, " help Lord or I perish ;" may my experience 
be this day, that I cried unto the Lord in my trouble, and He 
delivered me out of my distresses. Oh, gracious Lord ! quiet 
my troubled mind, increase my hope, trust, and full reliance 
upon Thee, npon Thy wisdom. Thy love, and Thy mercy, both 
as it respects myself and my most dear children, particularly 
this beloved boy — give me faith to do Thy will this day, and 
even to prove a helper to those amongst whom my lot may be 
east, and if Thou seest meet, give me help from trouble, for vain 
is the lielp of man in these extremities. 

Linton, 27th. — ^I heard before I went to Meeting (at Barn- 
staple), that the people of Ilfracombe were not much alarmed for 
the packet. How far my mind was influenced by this I cannot 
say, but I was favoured with a sweet calm in Meeting, and was 
enabled, I trust faithfully, to attend to the openings of duty there, 
to my own relief and peace, and I hope to the comfort and edifi* 
cation of those present. I had hardly entered the Friend's house 
afterwards, when the glad tidings came of my dearest Qumey's 
safe arrival. I have not for some time felt so much joy, I might 
almost say, that my heart rejoiced and leaped for joy; and I was 
enabled not only in heart, but on sitting down to dinner with 
my friends, to return thanks to Him, who in His tender mercy, 
granted me this deliverance. 

Shortly after this anxiety, when at Ilfracombe, a woman asked 
me if I diould'like to see a poor man, who was wrecked, and 
had had a very wonderful escape, the night before Gumey was on 
the Sea; of course I assented, and Gumey, the woman and I, set 
off to see him. When we arrived at his cottage, we found a very 
fine, rather tall young man, who appeared to have been much 
bruised, shaken, and wounded, with a nice looking young woman 
his wife; the house very clean, and a few books — but one parti- 
cularly struck our attention — a Bible^ with an inscription upon it 


in gilt letters, to this effect, " In commemoration of the coura- 
geous conduct of Samuel Marshall, in saving the lives of two 
women (who had been out on a Sunday party, a third was 
drowned) off the pier at Ilfracombe." It appeared by the short 
history of this young man, that he had firom his great courage, 
good swimming, and kindness to others, been at different times ihe 
means of saving eight lives at least ; he had gone out to ships 
in danger, near Ilfracombe, where, from the rooky nature of the 
coast, there often are shipwrecks. His own simple story about 
himself, was as follows : — ^He was fishing in a small boat with 
two other men; about twelve o'clock at night, a sudden squall or 
land wind blew from between the hills, he called out to his com- 
panions, " we are lost ;" the boat capsized, they, poor fellows, 
prayed for mercy and sank. Marshall knowing his great power of 
swimming, would not give himself up, but caught hold of an oar, 
which proved to be a good one, nearly new ; and although he 
knew that he was a mile from the shore, and the sea in conse- 
quence of this land wind very boisterous, he felt it right at least 
to make the effort to reach land. He soon found that with ail 
his clothes on, it would be impossible, but how to take them off 
was the difficulty ; his presence of mind appears to have been 
wonderful, he first got off his jacket, then his trowsers with 
extreme difficulty, because they became entangled in his feet, but 
by a violent effort he succeeded ; he then found he could not 
well get rid of his shirt, nor swim with it on. He was driven 
to great extremity, his shirt being a new stout cotton one — ^he 
therefore once more made a violent effort, and tore it down in 
front, but the hem was so strong, that he there stopped, this he 
put to his mouth and bit it through ; he then swam on until 
he nearly reached the shore, where the breakers ran so high that 
he lost his oar, once more, he almost entirely gave up hopes, 
but resolved on one last effort, and foand himself thrown upon 
a rook very seriously braised ; he climbed beyond the reach of 
the water, and laid himself down, cold, hungry and exhausted, 
either to perish or to rest. He told me that, it being quite 
dark, he could not tell where he was cast ashore, but he was 
fully sensible that it must bd where the rocky high cliffs could 
be only here and there climbed by man^his anxiety was con- 

1881.] OF ELIZABETH FEY. 95 

sequently great, till day dawned, when he saw some sheep 
feeding up the cliff side. He was sure that wherever sheep 
could go» he ooold climh. As his poor feet were sadly cat, he 
took his stockings, (which he still had on) and bound them 
round his feet with his garters ; with this exception, he ascended 
the rough cliff naked, his exhaustion and fatigue great indeed. 
After walking awhile, he arrived at a farm-house ; the farmer 
took him for a lunatic, and at first spoke to him sharply, but 
soon finding his real case, he took him in, and treated him with 
the utmost hospitality. The fiurmer's wife prepared him a bed. 
I now stop my narrative to say, that from my conversation with 
Samuel Marshall, I took him to be a man actuated by religious 
principles, but not possessing an enlightened understanding on 
these subjects, one who endeavoured to do, as far as he knew it, 
his duty, "which he had so remarkably shown in risking his own 
life, to save the lives of others, particularly in the instance of 
the women, who were poor and unable to remunerate him. I 
was strongly reminded in hearing of his deliverance of these 
words of Scripture, " with the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself 
merciful/* The poor man said, also, that he prayed constantly 
when the salt water was not in his mouth, which showed on the 
one hand, his value for prayer, and on the other, his ignorance 
in supposing that when he could not speak, he would not be 
equally beard by Him, who knoweth the most secret desire of 
the heart. However, as I doubt not his prayers were offered in 
sincerity, they appear to have been accepted and answered. He 
was carried home to his sorrowful wife, who had heard of the 
boat being lost, and did not know that her husband was saved. 

The motlier of one of the other men, I found in the deepest 
distress, almost out of her mind. I tried to pour a little balm 
into her deep wounds, by endeavouring to lead her to look to 
Him, who can alone heal and help in our greatest trials. 

Upton Lane, Eleventh Month, 16M.-— Ifelt greatly helped in 
the quiet performance of my duties yesterday up to a certain time, 
when, I believe, I gave way a little to natural infirmity about a 
trifle, and found how soon a cloud may be brought over the best 
principle, and what care and watchfulness is needed ; and if 
there be the leaatfall, how necessary immediately to have recourse 

96 MBMOIB OF THE LIFfi [1881. 

to the justifying principle of faiih, that no farther separation 
take place from good. I folly believe, that onr spiiitoal oiemy 
remains the aooaser of the brethren, and endeavoors, when he 
sees those, who desive to serve the Lord give way, even in a 
larifle, to take advantage of it to diseonrage them, and fiirther to 
insinuate himself into their hearts. It is I believe one of the 
most important points in the Ohristian life, if we find ourselves 
tripping in thought, word, or deed, immediately to fly to the 
fountain that is set open for the unclean, that we may at once 
be cleansed, and obtain peace with God, through our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ Oh ! for a little help this day, to oome 
to the living fountain, that I may be fitted for my Master's ser- 
vice, and enter it with a quiet mind. Lord let it be so. 

Twelfth Month, ZOih. — ^I am once more favoured, after being 
far firom well, with a renewal of health and power, to enter my 
usual engagements, public and private. Yest^ay, I went to 
town, — ^first attended the Newgate Committee, then, the British 
Society, which was very encouraging to me ; there were many 
present, of different denominations of Christians, and a sweet 
feeling of love and unity pervaded the whole. Elizabeth Dud- 
ley spoke in a lively manner, and I had to pray. There is sttU 
much ground for encouragement in the prison cause, I believe 
a seed is sown in it, that will grow and flourish, I trust, when 
some of us are laid low. It is a work that brings with it a peou* 
liar feeling of blessing and peace ; may the Most High oondnue 
to prosper it ! Afterwards I went to Clapham to visit a poor 
dying converted Jew, who had sent a letter to beg me to go and 
see him ; my visit was highly interesting. I often wish for the 
pen of a ready writer, and the pencil of an artist^ to picture 
some of the scenes that I am brought into. A man of a pleas* 
ing countenance, greatly emaciated, lying on a little white bed, 
all clean and in order, Ins Bible by his side, and animated 
almost beyond description at seeing me ; he kissed my hand, 
the tears came into his eyes, his poor foce flushed, and he was 
ready almost to raise himself out of his bed. I sat down, and 
tried to quiet him, and by degrees succeeded. We had a very 
interesting conversation ; he had been in the practice of fre- 
quently attending my readings at Newgate, apparently with 

1831.] OP ELIZABETH FRY. 97 

great attention ; latterly, I had not seen him, and was ready to 
suppose, that like many others, his zeal was of short duration, 
but I lately heard that he had been ill. He is one of those Jews, 
who have felt perfectly liberated from keeping any part of the 
Law of Moses, which some other converted Jews, yet consider 
themselves bound to observe. I found that when he used to 
come so often to Newgate, he was a man of good moral cha- 
racter, seeking the truth. But to go on with my story — ^in our 
conversation, he said, that he felt great peace, no fear of death, 
and a foil reliance upon his Saviour for salvation ; he said that 
his visits to Newgate had been to him beyond going to any 
church — ^indeed, I little knew how much was going on in his 
heart He requested me to read a Psalm that I had read one 
day in Newgate, the 107th. This I did, and he appeared deeply 
to feel it, particularly as my dear friends and I made our little 
remarks in Ghristiaa freedom as we went along, truly, I believe 
(as Friends say) in the life. The poor Jew prayed very strik* 
ingly ; I followed him, and returned thanks ; what a solemn, 
uniting time it was ! The poor Jew said, '* God is a spirit, 
and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in 
truth," as if he felt the sprituality of the Christian adminis- 
tration. His countenance lightened with apparent joy, when 
he expressed his nndoubted belief that he should soon enter 
the kingdom, and that I should, before long, follow him ; then 
he gave me his blessing, and took leave in much tenderness, 
showing every mark he could of gratitude and love. He did 
not accept any gift of money, saying, that he wanted no good 
thing, as he was most kindly provided for by serious persons in 
the neighbourhood. 

I arrived at home, about eight o'clock, peaceful, after my 
day'*s work, but humbled, because of the great imperfection even 
in what may be called our works of righteousness, and the need 
even in these, of pardon for the evil, that may have crept in, 
through the sacrifice that atoneth for all sin, even for the ini* 
quity of our Holy Things.* 

* After about two or three weeks, I recei?ed an account of the peaceful 
end of this poor Jew. 

VOL. [I. H 


But a few days remained to the close of the jeu, filled as 
it had been, by incessant occupation and mnob bodily fatigue : 
but even in that short time, another call was to be made upon 
her time and feelings. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Fry her sister-in-law, had continued to reside 
at Plashet, in a cottage which she had built on a part of the 
property many years before. With her lived an elder cousin, 
Mrs. Sarah Fry. She was one of kindly cheerful nature ; the 
children, the poor, but especially any one in a scrape or diffi- 
culty, or a little in disgrace with the rest of the world, were 
sure to share her peculiar protection and kindness. Their plea- 
sant pretty residence was a happy retreat to the tired and inva- 
lided — in so much peace and quiet did they pursue the even 
tenor of their way. In peace and calm emphatically, was the 
journey of one of them now about to terminate. 

Last Third day, I went to Plashet Cottage to see my dear 
sister Elizabeth Fry, and my cousin Sarah Fry, both of them 
ill in bed with severe colds. Dear cousin Sarah was full of 
lively conversation, I much enjoyed her company, and waiting 
on them both, and left them tolerably comfortable, but on 
Fourth day morning I was sent for in great haste, understand- 
ing that dear cousin Sarah was much more ilL When my 
husband and I arrived at the cottage, we found her dead. It 
was a considerable shock, and very affecting, still not without 
strong consolation on her account, for my belief is, that she 
was one of the retired, humble devoted believers in and followers 
of the Lamb, that she was indeed one of his redeemed ones, 
ready to depart and be with Him for ever. It was particularly 
Bweet to observe the work of grace appear to increase with her 
years, and her light to shine brighter and brighter, as her out- 
ward powers declined. This always strikes me as a sure mark 
of living faith, because it is natural, as infinnities of body in- 
crease, for infirmity of mind and temper to increase also, but 
it was very different with her ; the gentle and sweet, cheerful 

1882.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 99 

and lamblike spmt, appewed to abound more and more as her 
years increased. I coold hardly help desiring; if ready, to be 
&yonred with saoh a translation from time to eternity. My 
dear sister is yery nnwell, but maoh supported under tliis trial ; 
she says, that she has been shielded as on every side, and 
though nnworthy of it, wonderfully upheld. This was one of 
those scenes I long to have pictured — ^the sweet appearance of 
dear Sarah Fry's remains lying by dear Elizabeth's side, who 
looked so wonderfully quiet and supported, though so very 
ilL It really was no common sight, the living and the dead thus 

Fir^t Month,{ind, 188S.-^IthinkI have seldom entered ayear 
with more feeling of weight than this. As the clock was striking 
twelve, the last year closing and this beginning, I found myself 
on my knees by my bed-side, looking up to him who had carried 
me and mine through the last year, and could only really be our 
Helper in this. We have had the subject of marriage much before 
us this last year, it has brought us to some test of our feelings 
and principles respecting it. That it is highly desirable and 
important to have young persons settle in marriage particularly 
young men, I cannot doubt, and that it is one of the most likely 
means of their preservation, religiously, morally and temporally. 
Moreover, it is highly desirable, to settle with one of the same 
religious views, habits and education, as themselves, more parti« 
cularly for those, who have been brought up as Friends, because 
their mode of education is peculiar; but, if any young persons 
upon arriving at an age of discretion, do not feel themselves 
redly attached to our peculiar views and habits, then, I think 
their parents have no right to use undue influence with them, aa 
to the connexions they may incline to form, provided they be 
with persons of religious lives and conversation. I am of opinion, 
that parents are apt to exercise too much authority upon the 
subject of marriage, and that there would be more really happy 
unions, if young persons w^e more lefk to their own feelings 
and discretion. Marriage id too much treated like a business 
concern, and love, that essential ingredient, too little respected 
in it. I disapprove the rule of our Society, that disowns persons 

H 2 

100 MEMOIH OF THE LIFK [188^. 

for allowing a child to marry one not a Friend — it is a most 
undue and unchristian restraint, as fiar as I can judge of it. 

I see and feel the present to be a stirring time in our family, 
and in our country also. The cholera is an anxious thing ; the 
stir about the Reform Bill, the general spirit of insubordination 
amongst people, and the clashing amongst the highly professing 
in the religious world, I consider also to be serious; but I do 
not take the violent alarm that some do, as to the state of the 
times, or as to any very great event being about to take place. 
Some are of opinion, that the second coming of our blessed 
Lord is just at hand. As we are sure at all events, that He will 
soon come to us individually, may we above all things seek to 
be found ready for that day. 

Upton, Second Month, 2l8t. — ^We have lately been brought 
to feel very seriously the approach of the cholera to our own 
borders, as it is said to have been as near as Limehouse. I have 
not generally felt any agitating fear, but rather the weight of the 
thing, and desirous that it should prove a stimulus to seek more 
diligently after eternal things, and to be ready spiritually for 
whatever may await us ; and outwardly to use all proper precau- 
tions. I have desired earnestly, that we should do our very 
utmost to protect our poor neighbours, by administering to their 
many wants. This led me to make some efforts with some of our 
women Friends, also with some other kind and influential people, 
and although perhaps thought by some a busybody in it, yet 
more has been already accomplished, than I could have looked for. 
The poor are likely to be really helped and cared for. In such 
works of charity, I always desire to be preserved from a forward 
spirit, or an over active one, yet on the other hand, when I feel 
any thing laid upon me, as I did in this instance, I feel much 
bound to work in it, even through some discouragement and oppo- 
sition; I mosUy find in such cases, that way has been made for 
me, as if He, who called me to the work was indeed with me in 
it. I was too poorly to go to our Monthly Mcj^ting to-day, 
which I do not much regret, as our dearest son Joseph was to 
send in his resignation of membership ; I so much feel it, that I 
think perhaps, I am better away. I believe he has done what 
he now thinks best; there I leave it, and though I certainly have 

1832.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 101 

much felt his leaving a Society, I so dearly love, the principles 
of which I so much value, yet no outward names are in reality 
of much importance in my view, nor do I think very much of 
membership with any outward sect or body of Christians — my 
feeling is, that if we are but living members of the Church of 
Christ, this is the only membership essential to salvation. Be- 
longing to any particular body of Christians has, I see, its dis- 
advantages, as well as advantages, it often brings into the 
bondage of man, rather than being purely and simply bound to 
the law of Christ; though I am fully sensible of its many com- 
forts, advantages and privileges. Earnestly do I desire for 
this dear child, that his Lord may make his way clear before 
him, that he may be truly here a member of the militant Church 
of Christ, and hereafter of His Church triumphant. 

Third Month, fllst, — ^To day is proclaimed "a fast- day" on 
account of the cholera ; it is one of those occasions, in the obser- 
vance of which we must each follow our own consciences. If 
the government of a country could make a people keep a day 
really holy unto the Lord, in real fasting, penitence and prayer, 
much good would result, but this, no government can do, and 
I fear that the present will rather be made a day of lightness 
and recreation. However, those who do keep it seriously, I 
trust will be blessed in so doing, and their prayers answered, 
and that this awful disease may be (if right for us) checked in 
its progress. 

I rather feel having to go before the Committee of the House 
of Commons, on the subject of prisons. May any good to this 
important cause be done by it, and may I be helped to do my 
part with simplicity, as unto God, and not unto man ! 

The object of this Committee, was to ascertain the best mode 
of Secondary Punishment, so as to be the most effectual in re- 
pressing crime. The points Mrs. Fry earnestly insisted upon 
were these : — 

Tbe expediency of having matrons, and only female officers 
in female prisons, and as much as possible in convict-ships 

102 MEMOIR OF THS LIFE [1883^ 

The neoeasity of employment, and the advantage of its being 

suited to the sex, at all events mth those least hardened, or 
who show symptoms of amendment. 

The importance of separation, especially at night 

The good to be derived from compulsory instruction, where 
prisoners are unable to read. 

That solitude does not prepare women for returning to social 
and domestic life, or tend so much to real improvement, as 
careflilly arranged intercourse during pert of the day with one 
another, under the closest superintendence and inspection, con- 
stant occupation, and solitude at night. 

The value of the visits of ladies to prisons, as a check upon 
the matron and female officers, and an incentive to good con- 
duct among the prisoners ; but on this point her own evidence 
may be adduced. 

Every matron should live upon the spot, and be able to inspect 
them closely by night and by day, and when iheace are sufficient 
female prisoners to require it, female officers should be appointed, 
and a male turnkey never permitted to go into the women's 
apartments ; I am convinced, when a prison is properly managed, 
it is unnecessary, because, by firm and gentle management, the 
most refractory may be controlled by their own sex. But here I 
must put in a word respecting ladies visiting. I find a remark- 
able difference depending upon whether female officers are super- 
intended by ladies or not I can tell, almost as soon as I go into 
the prison, whether they are or not, from the general appearance, 
both of the women and their officers. One reason is, that many 
of the latter are not very sup^or women, not very high, either 
in principle or habit, and are liable to be contaminated ; they 
soon get familiar with the prisoners, and cease to excite the 
respect due to their office, whereas, where ladies go in once or 
twice, or three times in a week, the effect produced is decided. 
Their attendance keeps the female officers in their places, makes 
them attend to their duty, and has a constant ii^uence <m the 
minds of the prisoners themselves ; in short, I may say, after 

1882.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 103 

sixteen years' experienoe^ that the resalt of ladies of principle and 
lespectahility superintending the female officers in prisons and 
the prisoners themselves, has far exceeded my most sanguine 
expectations. In no instance have I more clearly seen the 
beneficial effects of ladies visiting and superintending prisoners, 
than on board the convict-ships. I have witnessed the alter- 
ations since ladies have vidted them constantly in the river. I 
heard formerly of the most dreadftil iniquity, confusion, and 
frequently great distress ; latterly I have seen a very wonderful 
improvement in their conduct. And on the voyage, I have most 
valuable certificates to show the difference of their condition on 
their arrival in the colony. I can produce, if necessary, extracts 
from letters. Samuel Marsden, who has been chaplain there a 
good many years, says, it is quite a different thing ; that they 
used to come in the most filthy, abominable state, hardly fit for 
any thing, now they arrive in good order, in a totally different 
situation, and I have heard the same thing firom oth^s. General 
Darling's wife, a very valuable lady, has adopted the same 
system there ; she has visited the prison at Paramatta, and the 
same thing respecting the officers is felt there^ as it is here. 
On the continent of Europe, in various parts — Petersburg, 
Greneva, Turin, Berne and Basle, and some other places — there 
are corresponding societies, and the result is the same in every 
part. In Berlin^ they are doing wonders, I hear a most satis- 
factory account ; and in Petersburg, where, from the barbarous 
state of the people, it was said it could not be done, the conduct 
of the prisoners has been perfectly astonishing, and an entire 
change has been produced. 

Upton Lane, Sixth Month, &rd. — ^We have just concluded 
the Yearly Meeting. It has been in some respects a marked 
one, and I hope an instructive one. We had much advice, par- 
ticularly from one Friend, upon the subject of Christian fiiith ; 
holding up much more decidedly to our view, the doctrine of 
the Atonement, showing, that our actuating motive in all things 
must be fiGuth in Him who suffered for us, and love for Him 
who first loved us. In this I quite agree, but I felt with her, 
as well aa with some othero, that they strain the point of all our 

104 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1882. 

minor testimonies being kept to« as a necessary proof of this 
love. I fully believe, tbat many of us are called thus to prove 
our love ; but I also believe there are some, if not many amongst 
us, to whom this does not apply, and that we cannot, therefore > 
lay down the rule for others* I had to speak decidedly twice 
in the Meetings ; once in the first Meeting, acknowledging the 
loving-kindness and tender mercy of our Ood as manifested to 
us during the year that was passed, and what an inducement it 
should be to love and faithfulness. This appeared greatly to 
relieve and comfort many minds, for they freely spoke to me 
about it afterwards. I had particularly to make allusion to the 
cholera not having made further devastations amongst us. I 
had in another Meeting in a similar way to return thanks, and 
pray for us, as a Society, and for the Universal Church. I also 
had from a deep feeling of duty, to express my thankfulness, 
that the Christian standard had been upheld amongst us, so 
much encouragement given to read the scriptures, and attend to 
their holy precepts ; but I felt a fear, whether the influence of 
the Holy Spirit, as our guide, had been quite enough dwelt upon, 
which, as a fundamental part of our principles, I trusted we 
should ever maintain. I also expressed my desire, that the fruits 
of the Spirit should be more manifest amongst us, not only in 
our peculiar testimonies, but in the subjection of our tempers 
and wills, which I thought to be much wanted, fearing that some 
maintained our testimonies, more from expediency than principle, 
which produced great inconsistency of conduct I then added 
my earnest hope, that individually and collectively, we should 
stand open to improvement, making this our prayer : " That 
which I see not, teach Thou me f that we should be willing to 
be taught of God immediately and instrumentally^ that our light 
might shine brighter and brighter to the perfect day. 

9th. — I yesterday was f&voured to get through the British 
Society Meeting. It was to me a very serious occasion ; our 
different reports were highly satisfactory and encouraging; but 
I felt it laid upon me to speak so decidedly on some points, that 
I could not fully enjoy it. Aflter the British Society report was 
read, I first endeavoured to show the extreme importance of the 
work in which we were engaged, and the best means of producing 


the desired effect, of refonning the oriminal ; but vhat most 
deeply impressed me was, considering the awfiil extent of existing 
orime> and the suffering and sorrow produced by it — ^how far the 
conduct of the higher classes may influence that of the lower, 
and tend in many ways to the increase of evil, by ladies not 
setting a religious example to their servants, nor instructing 
them in the right way ; by not keeping the Sabbath strictly, — 
by very late hours, and attending public places, — ^by vanity in 
dress, and by hurrying mantua-makers and milliners, and so 
causing them to oppress and overwork their young women, — 
by not paying their bills themselves, or through some confi- 
dential person, but trusting them to young or untried servants, 
thus leading to dishonesty on their parts, or that of the trades- 
people, — ^by allowing their maid-servants or char-women to 
begin to wash at unseasonable hours, and consequently to re- 
quire ardent spirits to support them. Then I represented how 
much they might do to promote good and discourage evil, by 
educating the poor religiously in infant and other schools, by 
watching over girls after they leave schools, until placed in ser- 
vice, and by providing for them suitable religious, instructive 
and entertaining books ; also, by forming libraries in hospitals, 
and workhouses, and by preventing the introduction of irre- 
ligious and light books. I also urged the establishment of 
district societies. These things I had forcibly and freely to 
express, showing the blessing of promoting good and the woe 
of encouraging evil. 

Seventh Montlh li^th. — I have just parted from my dear son 
Oumey, for a sojourn on the Continent, with three of bis young 
friends, and their tutor. It has been a subject of serious feeling 
giving him up, but there has appeared no other opening so suit- 
able for him. This has arisen in a very satisfactory manner, and 
as far as I can judge from his character, it appears the most 
likely means for his improvement; there are remarkable advan- 
tages likely to attend them, from my serious friends abroad 
being interested for them. I have been enabled, in faith, to 
commit him to the keeping of our Heavenly Father. In His 
mercy do I hope, above all, that He may keep him from evil, 
and if conustent with His holy will, bring him back again in 

106 MEMOIB OF THB LIFE [1832* 

peaoe and safety. Ghraoioiifl Lord ! grant for Thine own sako 
that it may be so, and that this beloved child may so grow in 
graoe» that he may be enabled to resist the temptations that are 
in the world. My prayers have also been raised for the other 
dear children, particularly ^-— > whom I have felt muoh for, 
and taken much pains in reading with him and Gamey in the 
morning, — ^may it take deep root in their hearts. 

To the gentleman who accompanied her son and his yonng 
companions, she presented a written sketch of her wishes and 
opinions. Some of these hints, are as follow :-^ 

Never allow the boys to be out alone in the evening ; nor to 
attend any public place of amusement with any person, how- 
ever pressing they may be. I advise, thy seeing that they 
never talk when going to bed, but retire quietly after reading a 
portion of the holy scriptures. In the morning, that they be as 
quiet as possible, and learn their scripture texts, whilst dressing. 
I recommend the party accepting all suitable invitations from 
German families, as an important means of improving thdr 
general knowledge, as well as their German. It must be remem* 
bered that no study is equal to that of mankind, and nothing so 
likely to enlarge the mind as society with the good and the culti- 
vated of every nation. I advise their taste for our best poets 
being encouraged, by occasionally learning some by heart, and 
reading it aloud. Also, their being led particularly to observe 
and admire all the productions of nature, and to study geology, 
&;c. &c., as far as their time will admit of it. 

Above all things, and far beyond every other consideration, 
mayst thou be enabled to teach them, that the first and great 
object of life is, to seek the kingdom of God and to do His will. 

Upton Lane, 19M. — ^I have been brought veiy low on 
account of one of my dear children, who has since her retnm 
home had a serious cough, united with great prostration of 
strength, so as to excite our anxiety as to what it may end in; 
besides this, the very important affair of last year is again 

1882.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 107 

hangmg oyer ber. I deeply feel il, hi more than I like to 
acknowledge to myself, or others, and am at times brought into 
deep confliot of spirit before the Lord. I must seek to have no 
vill about bet, much as I long naturally for her restoration; but, 
rather most earnestly pray, that, whatever our heavenly Father 
may do with her> He may keep her His own, that she may be a 
member of His militant church on earth, or of His triumphant 
ehnrch in heaven ; and oh ! may He be pleased to make the way 
dear for her and fof all, that will conduce to peace here and 
hi^piness hereafter. Notwithstanding this weighty cloud, I 
believed it right to walk by faith, not by sight, and propose to 
my Monthly Meeting, to attend the Half Tear's Meeting in 
Wales, next month, and ask also liberty for such other services 
as Truth might lead into ; but I can hardly say how mpch it 
cost me. 

Before leaving home for this journey, during which, she visited 
parts of Ireland, Elizabeth Fry, communicated her intention 
of visiting some of the county Gaols, to the Under Secretary 
of State, S. March Philips, Esq., and her wish to make arrange- 
mente by which ladies might be allowed to attend to the female 
prisoners confined in them. She received on this occasion, 
a highly gratifying communication, with permission to make 
its contente known, dated Home Office, August 10th, 1832, 
assuring her, that — ** Lord Melbourne was fully sensible of the 
good which had been done by herself, and the ladies connected 
witb her in many of the prisons ; and of the great benefite 
derived firom their ezertionB, by the female transports; and that 
his Lordship was anxious, that as far as it could be done, the 
Visiting Magistrates should favourably entertain and second her 
benevolent intentions.'' 

Nimihlfonih, IS^A.— We returned home from ourjoumey 
last Sixth-day evening, having been absent just five weeks. We 
visited several places in the south of Ireland, a good many 
in Wales, and some in England. I think I never rememb^ 


108 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1882. 

taking a journey in which it was more frequently sealed to my 
own mind, that we were in our right places ; through much 
difficulty, our way was opened to go> and to continue out. 
Though T believe we have scripture authority for it — still further 
confirmed, by the internal evidence of the power of the Spirit, 
and its external results, — ^yet, I am obliged to walk by faith 
rather than sight, in going about as a woman in the work of the 
ministry ; it is to my nature a great humiliation, and I often 
feel it to be '* foolishness," particularly in large Public Meet- 
ings, before entering upon the service; but generally, when 
engaged in the ministry, I find such an unction, and so much 
opening upon Christian doctrine and practice, that after a 
Meeting, I mostly say in my heart, ''It is the Lord's doing, 
and marvellous in our eyes." Such was often the case in this 
journey. I felt^ amongst Friends in Ireland, as if my service 
was to lead them from all external dependence, either on their 
membership in the Society, their high profession or their pe- 
culiar testimonies, and to show, that these things are only good 
as they spring from simple Christian faith and practice, and 
avail nothing, unless the heart be really changed and cleansed 
from sin, though I believed that these things would follow as 
the result to those who fill the important place in the church, 
that in my opinion, Friends are called to occupy. Above every- 
thing else, I endeavoured to lead all to the grand foundation of 
Christian faith and practice. My dear sister was much led in 
the same line of ministry. 

On some occasions, I felt a far greater openness than others, 
I believe, in places, there was rather a jealousy over me, I appre* 
bend that my believing it right, as much as possible, to avoid 
mysticism in my mode of expression, is not fully understood by 
all Friends ; I desire to be sound, simple, and clear, and not to 
clothe anything in a mysterious garb, even if with individuals it 
might give it more weight. The unfeigned kindness shown me 
by several persons can never be forgotten by me. 

We visited many Prisons, and had cause for deep humble 
thankfulness and rejoicing, to see how much has been done in 
this cause, and the e£fect of some of our labours when last in 
Ireland : it is marvellous to myself, how it has pleased my Lord 

1832.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 109 

and Master to bless some of my unworthy labours. Now for the 
narrative of the journey : — ^We set off under outward discou- 
ragement^ more particularly two of my children being very un- 
well^ but my dearest brother Samuel going with me, was a great 
support, though T also felt the weight of taking him from his 
family. We set off in his carriage, a very pleasant open one, 
my sister Elizabeth Fry, my niece Sarah Gumey, Samuel, and 
myself, the day fine, with all outward comforts and indulgences 
— the Lord surely doth provide. We visited Cirencester on 
First-day, Gloucester on Second*day, and so on to Brecon ; 
taking Meetings, Prisons, &c., forming Committees as we went 
in our way to Milford. There we had a most interesting time. 
Crossing to Ireland, we all rather dreaded the weather being 
stormy, and we much feared being ill ; however, by delaying 
one day, we had a delightful voyage, and also a very satisfac- 
tory Meeting with the poor and the sailors, near Milford. We 
met with a kind reception in Ireland ; I think I never felt more 
in my right place, there appeared an indescribable evidence of 
it. Now and then, a feeling of almost unmixed peace. Our 
visit to Cork was highly interesting ; we were frequently in the 
neighbourhood of cholera, and at times I felt fearftil about it, 
but generally was raised above it ; the weather was mostly fine, 
and much of the country that we went through, lovely, so that 
the journey was not without outward refreshment to me. We 
saw grievous evils remaining in some Prisons, which we trust 
that our visit may remedy, by bringing them to notice. At Gar- 
low, I had a deeply-interesting, and for a time, afiSicting season, 
hearing that my dearest Hannah had broken a blood-vessel on 
the lungs, happily, the account did not arrive till a week after it 
had happened, and with it came a second account much more 
&voarable. I was, in mercy, favoured with a trustful, hopeful 
spirit ; happily, too, our steps were turned homewards. The 
letters became more and more comfortable^ so that we were 
enabled to remain in Dublin the frill time, to perform what we 
believed to be our various calls of duty in that very important 
and interesting place. We had a delightfril passage from Dub- 
lin to Wales, of five hours and a half; wind and all in our 
favour, and a very satisfactory journey home. 

no MEtfOIR OF THB LITB [1832. 

Mrs. Fry returned^ strengthened andrefreahad hj this jonniej. 
Matters of great import awaited her retnm^ in the approaching 
maniages of two of her children. Her son William was now, 
almost for the first time^ about to quit his parents^ dwelling. His 
mother subsequently beheld his advance in the Christian life — 
from year to year she marked his exemplary fulfiment of all the 
relations of husband, son, fother, master, friend, and liyed long 
enough to see " the place that had known him, know him no 
more." With her whole heart could she then acknowledge, that 
God had led him, although by paths that she knew not, and by 
ways that she had not seen. 

It is proposed* that my dear son William's marriage should 
take place in little more than a week. I cannot help feeling 
deeply giving him up. To have this dear child married, and not 
be able to be with him, is very affecting to me. With three chil- 
dren likely to marry out of the Society, and the life of one of 
them very uncertain, I have much, very much to feel ; but re- 
specting her and all of my children, if they do but get to the 
kingdom, I may be thankful ! and shaU I hold them back ?— -* 
My desires are unutterable, my prayers frequent and fervent, to 
be directed amidst all my difficulties, to do that which is right, 
— first in the sight of Ood, then in the view of my family, and 
lastly in that of the Society to which I belong. 

Daffenham, Tenth Month, SrA — Here am I sitting in soli- 
tude, keeping silence before the Lord ; on the wedding day of 
my beloved son William.* As I could not consoientioudy attend 
the marriage, I believed it right to withdraw for the day. Words 
appear very inadequate to express the earnestness— the depth of 
my supplications for him and for his — that the blessing of the 
Most High may rest upon them. I was yesterday enabled, when 
with him and his sisters alone, to pour forth my soul in prayer 
for him, and read such portions of scripture as I thought would 
be for his good and comfort; he was low, and so we were all, but 
as the day advanced, we brightened, and as dear William himself 

* October 3rd.— William Storrs Fry married Julia Sally, eldest daughter 
of Sir John Hewry Selly, Bart. 


said, th^re appeared a spirit of good oyer us. I stayed with him 
almost all day, and went in the evening with him to Ham House, 
where their kindness was almost unbounded. We then went to 
our dear friends the Felly's, where I had a warm reception ; 
they very sweetly bear with my scruples, for it must appear odd, 
yery odd to them, my not feeling it right to attend the wedding 
of such a son — ^but my heart is full of love to them. Though I 
do not see as they see, I most deeply feel that all who truly love 
Him are one in Christ, yet the more simple and spiritual, the 
administration of religion, the more I believe we are enabled to 
abide in Him, therefore I feel zealous, perhaps too much so, to 
have my children thorough Friends; but of this I now see little 
or no hope, though I expect many of them to be serious in ano- 
ther line, and fully believe, that my striving and labours have 
been blessed, in leading them to a love of holiness and true 
righteousness, and beyond all of their Saviour. We concluded 
the evening in quietness, and strange to say, I slept well and 
peacefully. This morning, we almost all assembled before 
breakfast, with one or two valuable dependants and William 
Champion Streatfeild with us ; I was enabled to exhort ear- 
nestly, and to pray fervently, not only for the beloved couple, 
but all the children^ and those who were to be, or were already 
united to them, and for their children ; for ourselves, house- 
hold, &c. It was a very solemn time, and I humbly trust that 
the presence of the Lord was with us. I desired also to return 
thanks for this dear son in giving him up from my care, that he 
had been so much preserved from the evil which is in the world, 
that he had ever displayed such near love to me and to all of 
ns, and had been so good a son to us. There is much to be 
thankful for respecting him, and though it has been a great dis- 
appointment his not marrying a Friend, yet there is also much 
to value in this connexion. I have a secret hope it may prove 
in the ordering of a kind Providence for his good. As for my- 
self, I sit solitary in many things, but I thought to-day (from 
this wedding bringing these things home to me.) — Have I not 
my Lord as my friend, and my comforter ? and is He not as a 
husband to all the members of His church ? and am I not often 
satisfied and refreshed by His love ? I may indeed say I am — 
so that I am ready to trust, that the great and curious overturn- 

112 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1832. 

ingsthat my family have met^th, will in the end work for 
good, through the love and unmerited mercy of Qod in Christ 
Jesus ; and that we may more and more all become one in Him ! 

A month afterwards, another child was married. Mrs. Fry 
considered that the case of a daughter was different to that of 
a son, and the weddiiig taking place at her own house, that it 
was for her to remain at home. 

Upton Lane^ Eleventh Month, 6th. — ^Last Fourth-day, the 
3 1st of the Tenth Month, my dearest Hannah was married to 
William Champion Streatfeild. The morning was bright, the 
different families collected, — of course I was not present at the 
ceremony. The bride and bridegroom went to Ham House to 
take leave of their dear party ; they then came home, and we 
soon sat down to breakfast, about thirty in number. There ap- 
peared a serious and yet cheerful feeling over us. I felt prayer 
for them, but saw no opportunity vocally to express it. As we 
arose to leave the table, William Streatfeild the vicar of East 
Ham, returned thanks for the blessings received ; when, quite 
unexpectedly to myself, there was such a solemn silence, as if 
all were arrested, that I was enabled vocally to ask a blessing 
upon them, and to pray that the Most High would keep them 
and bless them, cause His face to shine upon them, and be gra- 
cious unto them, lift up the light of His countenance upon 
them, and give them peace ; and through His unbounded love, 
and unlimited mercy in Christ Jesus, that He would grant them 
enough of the fatness of the earth, and so cause the dew of 
heaven to descend upon them^ that they might be fruitful to His 
praise, and live to His glory, and be His in time, and His to 
all eternity. After a short further pause, we withdrew, walked 
in the garden, or rested, until they left us. The tears often 
flowed from my eyes in parting firom this beloved child. 

The little band at Upton Lane was now greatly diminished. 
Mr. and Mrs. Fry, with the two daughters who remained at 
home, sought, after these events, the refreshment of a visit to 

1882.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 113 

their relatives in Norfolk. They first went to Lowestoft, and 
remained some days at the vioarage ; there Mrs. Fry saw the 
schools just established, united in the cottage-readings, and 
entered warmly into the various interests of the place. Her sister, 
Mrs. Cunningham, wrote at the time her own impressions of this 

"November 22nd. — ^We have had the treat and great ad- 
vantage of a visit from our dearest sister. She was encouraged 
to come and assist us in the formation of our District Society, 
which, in this large place, we find to be essential for the right 
working of the parish. We are most thankful for the assist- 
ance of our dear sister (our brother and two of our nieces ac- 
companied her) ; it is almost like having an angel visitor, so 
fiill of loveliness and grace is she. On Sunday, my dearest 
sister being at Pakefield with the Friends, induced my remain- 
ing all day there. She drank tea with me, at the Hawtreys. 
Mr. Hawtrey and she had some animated and delightful con- 
yersation, before we went down to the lecture in the school- 
room ; my sister accompanied us there, and some of the other 
friends joined us. After the usual singing and prayer, Mr. 
Hawtrey read very impressively the latter part of the third of 
Ephesians; we then had sileuce, after which she arose, and 
beautifully addressed the meeting, on the necessity of domestic 
and private religion, and enlarged a good deal on the duty, 
spirit, and manner, in which scripture should be read and 
studied, it would not do to hear it only in public service. After 
the powerful outward means which had been granted to the 
people of Pakefield, how were they called upon, to examine^ 
and digest for themselves, the written word of God. Then, in 
a full and beautiful prayer, she seemed to bring the blessing 
of heaven upon us. I hardly know any scriptural treat so 
great, as uniting with her in prayer ! it is such a heavenly song 
— so spiritual — so elevating, enjoying glimpses, as it were, of 
the eternal world ! Oh ! may we long retain the power and the 
blessing of it ! Her last short address was very impressive, 
that we should not come short of our rank in righteousness ; 



that we should follow our oracified Bedeemer, in humility^ meek- 
ness, and self-denial, that we should walk worthy of our very 
high calling, &xu Mr. Hawtrey ended with a very feeling prayer, 
and after taking an affectionate leave of the people, I drove our 
beloved sister home. On Monday, we were all in movement, in 
preparation for our District Society Meeting ; this was held at 
our house, and well attended. Our dear sister displayed much 
of her tact and power, and gave us the greatest assistance ; how 
marvellously gifted she is i Through her influence, all parties 
were brought together, and the District Society begun under 
most favourable auspices, the town was divided, and every 
arrangement made, according to her advice. Our meeting was 
highly satisfactory, and promised the most favourable results, 
every one seemed williug to yield to her wisdom and eloquence. 
What a power of communicating good she possesses ! what a 
faithful steward in that which is committed to her 1 A very in- 
teresting party dined with us, which increased much in the even- 
ing. After the reading, our dearest sister prayed most beautifully 
to our comfort and edification. On Tuesday, we went off to 
breakfast with the Hawtreys. As usual, we met with a warm 
reception, and had a cheerful, pleasant talking breakfast with 
them; the family service afterwards was peculiarly edifying. 
Mr. Hawtrey read the fourteenth of John ; our dearest sister's 
address to the children, and to the parents, and then to Mr. 
Hawtrey, as a minister, was most touching and edifying. 
Surely these times do leave a peculiar savour, which is not to be 
forgotten ; adding to the precious seasons which are foretastes 
of heaven. Her mind appears to me in more lively exercise, 
and more gifted than ever, rich both in grace and gifts. She 
is indeed beloved of the Lord, and dwells in safety by Him. 
Aft^r this she paid visits to the Friends, and we did not return 
till towards the latter end of the morning ; the evening was oocu- 
pied'by the Committee for the District Society. Wednesday was 
a full day, my sister and I walked about most of the morning, 
visiting the schools, making calls, &c. &o. Nothing can be more 
benevolent and beautiful than her spirit, overflowing with love 
and tenderness. Our dinner-party was not very large, but cheer- 
ful and pleasant ; the first part of the evening was necessarily 

1882.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 115 

deyoted to the agreeable, after whioh^ my little society of 
women, and several others^ assembled in the parlour, my beloved 
sister went to them, and gave them a little sketch of her New- 
gate histories. We afterwards all removed into thedrawing>room^ 
and had a beautiful meeting, very suited to the subject we had 
been upon. My husband took the Prodigal Son as the subject 
for reading, which my sister applied to herself, and to all of us> 
as being led as penitents to return to our Father's house, and oh i 
the display of mercy, and of goodness, and long suffering, in the 
exquisite character of the Qod of Israel. The prayer at the con- 
clusion was as usual, as like an air from heaven. Our large 
party then broke up in much love. On Thursday, our beloved 
sister left us, after again enjoying prayer together, and com- 
mending each other affectionately to the care and keeping of 
the good Shepherd of Israel/* 

They then went to Earlham — that home of the past I after- 
wards to North Repps Hall. The all-absorbing subject of 
Slavery was occupying Mr. Buxton's mind. It was to her most 
interesting, to listen to his details of the struggle of the preceding 
Sessions of Parliament, one replete with importance to this vast 
question, now approaching the crisis of its fate. All but alone, 
and nearly single-handed in the House, he had brought forward 
a measure for emancipation, in opposition to the wishes of Go- 
vernment, at a cost of effort and self-sacrifice little known to 
lookers on in generaL 

Her stay at NorUi Bepps Cottage delighted her ; she visited 
the schools, met the hardy fishermen of that boisterous coast, in 
the school-rooms at Overstrand and Trimmingham, and partook, 
as no common privilege, of social intercourse with the inmates 
of that lovely retreat. Their journey concluded with visits to 
Buncton and Lynn. The different administrations which they 
had seen were very striking to her, and particularly cheering, 
under the circumstances of her own family* To a sister she 

wrote soon after her return home. 

I fi 

116 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1883. 

I ttdnk of your dear party with mach interest; and feel the 
sweet remembrance of having been with you^ I hope that I 
received profit^ as well as pleasure^ from it ; indeed, I think our 
journey was an instructive one in many ways. My desire is^ as 
i go along, to take a leaf out of every one's book ; and surely at 
Lowestoft, Earlham, North Bepps, Lynn, and Buncton, I might 
do it. It is well to see the truth through different mediums ; for 
however the colour of the glass that we see it through may vary, 
the truth itself remains the same, and beholding it of many hues, 
may be the means of throwing fresh light on diverse parts of 
it. How does the knowledge of others often make ns think 
little of ourselves ! at least I find it so, and am much humbled 
in most of your houses. 

Upton Lane, First Month, 28th, 1883. — ^It has been a serious 
time to the country, the cholera prevailing nearly throughout 
England and Ireland* We were frequently where it was on our 
journey, but were favoured to escape unhurt. A great stir in 
the elections for the new Beform Parliament. Joseph Pease, a 
Friend, admitted ; this opens a new door for our Society — to what 
it will lead is doubtful. A war for a short time with Holland. 
Much stirring in the world generally, religiously and politically 
<— great variety of sentiments. Notwithstanding all these things, 
it appears to me, that the kingdom of God is spreading its pure^ 
blessed, and peaceable influence, and that the partition walls 
that have been built up between Christians generally, are break- 
ing down. The suppression of Slavery — the diminution of 
Capital Punishment — the improvement in Prisons, and the state 
of the poor prisoners — the spread of the Scriptures, also of the 
Gospel to distant lands — the increase of education and know-* 
ledge generally, and many other such things, are truly encou- 
raging. I do thankfully believe that there is a great and 
glorious work going on, promoting the advancement of that 
day, when the knowledge of God, and His glory, wiU cover the 
earth as the waters cover the sea. For Thine own name's sake, 
gracious Lord, hasten this day, when all flesh may see and re- 
joice in Thy salvation ! 

Fourth Month, I2th. — One of my near relations has died sud- 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 117 

denly — my coaain Martha B . I can hardly think why it 

should have spread such an influence over me^ as our spirits 
were not particularly united here ; but it may be so^ for £rom 
my own experience I am much inclined to believe in the 
communion of spirits, both with those here, and those de- 
parted. I think it by no means impossible, that those who 
remain a little longer to maintain the warfare, may sympathise 
in spirit with those who have entered into their rest, and whose 
warfare is accomplished. With my dearest and most beloved 
sister Rachel, I have thought she has been as a ministering 
spirit to me, and like one formerly, that her mantle has in 
degree descended upon me, for I certainly have in some respects, 
ever since that period, been under rather a different influence, 
and have had diflTerent views and feelings. It may be only the 
eSeot of her blessed example in life, and at last in death. I 
desire neither to indulge imagination nor superstition on reli- 
gious subjects ; but some of these private views can harm no 
one, and are a comfort to myself, and what is more, I think I 
have scripture authority for them. 

Sixth Month, 6th. — ^Yesterday, we finished the Yearly Meet- 
ing, as far as women have to do with it. I think, as it respects the 
Society, it has been an important time ; there is much stirring 
amongst Friends, arising from a considerable number taking 
apparently a much higher evangelical ground, than has generally 
been taken by the Society, bordering, I apprehend in a few, on 
Calvinism. This has caused strong alarm to some, far beyond 
I believe what is needful, so great, however, as to produce some- 
thing of two sets amongst us, and at times an uncomfortable 
feeling. Still harmony has prevailed, and through all, real Gos- 
pel Truth appears to me to be spreading amongst us. 

Seventh Month, lOth. — ^We have been favoured the last two 
days, to have all our fifteen children around us, and the day 
before yesterday, we had all to dine at our table, and our nine 
grandchildren afterwards at dessert, our dearest sister Catherine 
Gumey, the only other person present at table — (excepting our 
sister Elizabeth Fry and Bebecca Sturges, for a short time), it 
was a deeply interesting, and to me touching, as well as pleasing 
sight. It is remarkable, their none fully seeing religious truth 

118 MEMOIR OF THB LIFE [1883. 

with me, yet I cannot repine, if T may but see real marks of 
the Christian life. Outwardly, through all our difficulties, I 
could not but feel how all have been provided for, and a liberal 
table spread before us. The married children all provided for, 
some abundantly — ^the grandchildren generally bringing up so 
well, is a great cause of thankfulness — I could not rejoice or give 
thanks as I desired, at our many unmerited mercies, but I felt 
bowed in spirit under a sense of them* We had a cheerful 
dinner, Bachel, the only one really out of health at this time ; 
but she enjoyed herself. After dinner, we walked a little about, 
then had tea. After tea, we read the lOSrd Fsahn, and I spoke 
to my children, earnestly impressing upon them the importance, 
now most of them were no longer under our restraint, that they 
might be conformed to the will of God, and be faithful stewards 
of His manifold gifts, so that if we went by different ways, we 
might in the end meet, where there will be no partition walls, 
no different ways, but all love, joy, peace, and union of view, 
and of conduct — ^I blessed them, and most earnestly prayed for 
all — we then separated in much near love. 

183d.] OF ELIZABETH FfiY. 119 


1833, 1834. Sojoam in Jersey— Visits to Guernsey, Sark and Herm — 
Objects in these Islands — Recall to England— Death of a nephew — 
Nurses one of her daughters in severe illness — Letters to three of her 
dauf^hters — Return to Upton Lane— Marriage of a son — ^Attends the 
Meetings in Dorset and Hants — Grosses to the Isle of Wight — Fresh 
Water— Coast-Guard Stations there— Visit to a Convict Ship — ^A walk 
in the Plashet grounds — Intercourse with Members of Government — 
Coast-Guard Libraries — Convict Ships — Journey into Scotland — 
Prisons there — ^Brighton District Society. 

At tliis period, in consequence of the marriages which had 
taken place, and other circomstaaces, the press of interests and 
engagements had become greater than the family could bear. A 
long absence from home appeared the best resource, and after 
some deliberation, the Island of Jersey was selected as the place 
of retreat. Its lovely scenery and fine air ajffbrded strong induce- 
ments ; augmented by the interest attached to the pecuUar Ian- 
gQ&ge> government, and internal regulations of the Channel 
Islands, that only remnant of Norman ducal power, still united 
with England. Some of the party preceded the rest, to prepare 
for their mother s reception with the second detachment They 
had a long and stormy passage, and their first encounter with the 
rocky approach to the island, firom a boisterous sea in the ob- 
scurity of twiUght, gave an unfavourable impression of the na- 
vigation, which their letters conveyed home. Mrs. Fry naturally 
dreaded the sea, so that after receiving their accounte, she felt 
peculiarly alive to the mercy and indulgence of a tranquil voyage. 

120 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1883. 

She arrived in the morDing — the lovely bay of St. Aubin'ssmooth, 
full and blue — the rocks mostly covered by the tide — the ver- 
dant island before her smiling in sunshine. A profusion of 
flowers and fruit ornamented the breakfast table that awaited her 
in ''Caledonia Cottage," which had been engaged and prepared 
for their residence, and charmed with the beauties that sur- 
rounded them, they could hardly believe the discomforts that 
had attended the arrival of the first party. They were supplied 
with a few excellent letters of introduction amongst the island 
families, with some of whom friendships were formed, which 
lasted till the close of her life. The circumstances by which she 
was surrounded, were very congenial to her. The beauty of the 
scenery, the luxuriance of the productions, the prosperity of the 
inhabitants, the refinement and intellectual cultivation of the 
upper classes, combined with simplicity of habit and in many in- 
stances with true piety and active benevolence, rendered the 
period of her residence in Jersey one of peculiar refreshment 
and pleasure. With her husband and children, and a few of her 
intimate firiends, she would often spend the day in the remote 
parts of the island, amongst the secluded and romantic bays of 
its northern coast. The little party would picnic in the open 
air, or, as was then a very common practice, in one of the 
empty rooms of the small barracks scattered round the coast; 
left under the care of some invalided soldier and his family. On 
these occasions, the tract bag was never forgotten— whilst the 
rest of the party were sketching or walking, she would visit the 
cottagers, and making herself as well understood as their an- 
tique Norman dialect permitted, would give her little French 
books, and offer the kind word of sympathy or exhortation. 
Alive to the beautiful, especially to the picturesque, and with her 
quick eye for the droll, the peculiarities of the Jersey Cottage 
and its inmates were all observed and enjoyed by her; the fire of 
y rack (sea- weed) burning on the hearth, with a large kettle sus- 


pended over it, in wbioh the soape k la graisse, or potage, was 
preparing for the family repast ; the knitting of the women from 
the wool of their own sheep, occasionally with the fleeces of one 
or two black ones intermingled to produce the desired grey tint' 
the dairy, and their far-famed cows tethered in picturesque little 
enclosures ; orchards rich in fruit, and gardens painted apd per- 
fumed by the carnation, picotee, hydrangia, and many brilliant 
flowers that so peculiarly flourish there. Amidst these scenes, 
the summer passed away, but higher and more important objects 
were not unheeded. There was in the island, a little band of 
persons, in very humble life, who professed the principles of 
Friends, one or two only however being members of the Society. 
They assembled for worship on the Sunday morning, in the cot- 
tage of Jean Benaud, an old patriarch residing on the sea shore, 
about a mile from the town of St. HeUers. There was a quaint 
old-fashioned effect about the low large room in which they as- 
sembled, whilst from large bundles of herbs suspended from the 
beams to dry, a flower or a leaf would occasionally drop upon 
those sitting below. 

The appearance of the congregation was in keeping with the 
apartment, seated on planks, supported by temporary props. An 
antique foui^post bedstead stood in one comer; when the mistress 
of the house died, which occurred during their sojourn in Jersey, 
she was there laid out, a circumstance which did not prevent the 
Meeting assembling as usual, the drawn curtains screening the 
corpse from view. High-backed chairs were prepared for the 
seniors of the assembly, the younger members of Mrs. Fry's 
family appropriating to themselves the window seat. The no- 
velty of the occasion was increased, by the English ministry 
having to be interpreted to render it comprehensible to the 
greater part of the hearers. 

Nor were the Afternoon Meetings much less peculiar. They 
also were held at a private house, situated in the suburbs of the 

122 MEHOIB OF THE UFE [1833. 

town ; but the heat in-doon being considerable, the congrega* 
tion not unfrequently moved to the small walled garden, and 
sat beneath the shade of some ever-greens. This, however, was 
found practically so inconvenient, that a room in the town was 
engaged for the purpose, and properly fitted up. There, until 
Elizabeth Fry left the island, large congregations assembled, 
including many of the gentry and principal inhabitants ; these 
meetings were exceedingly solemn and instructive. In this im- 
portant service, she was greatly helped by the company of her 
sister-in-law, Elizabeth Fry, with her friend and companion, 
Bebecca Sturges. Philanthropic objects also presented them- 
selves to her notice, especially the state of the Hospital, including 
the Workhouse and Lunatic Asylum, and the Prison. Acts of 
the British Parliament have no power in the Channel Islands, 
as part of the ancient Duchy of Normandy, they are governed by 
their own laws and customs. To explain these would involve 
an historical and antiquarian discussion, out of place in a work 
like the present. It is sufficient here to bring forward the result, 
that none of the recent improvements in Prison Discipline had 
been effected in Jersey. After repeatedly visiting the Prison, 
and communicating with the authorities— she believed it the 
best course to have a letter which she had addressed to them, 
printed for circulation. 

To THE Authorities of the Island of Jersey, who have 
THE Direction and Management of the Prison and 

Having been requested by a number of persons of influence 
and respectability in this Island, to make known to the com- 
petent authorities my views on the subject of your Prison and 
Hospital : I have decided on the present method of doing so, as 


1883.] OF ELIZABBTH PRY. 128 

the most easy to myself, and the most likely to be accarately 
nnderstood ; and I tmst yon will excase me, if the interest I 
feel in the unfortmiate inhabitants of those, and similar institu- 
tions, should induce me to take the Uberty of offering some 
strong and deoided observations on their condition and manage- 

Our protracted residence in this beautiful and interesting 
Island, has afforded me a full opportunity of observing the manner 
in which the defective system pursued in the management of the 
Prison, appears to operate upon its inmates; and I feel it to be 
my duty to represent to you the effects, which my experience 
has taught me, must necessarily result from its operation ; as 
being nothing less than a gradual but certain demoralization of 
the lower, and some of the middling classes of society ; and the 
increase rather than the diminution of crime. 

I shall begin by remarking, that the great and leading ob** 
jects of Prison Discipline are in a very material degree over- 

Allow me to state, that the proper purpose which confine- 
ment in a prison is intended to accomplish — ^is not merely safe 
custody, but a suitable, and (if the imprisonment be just) a 
decided, but well and legally defined measure of punishment, of 
a nature tending to deter others firom the commission of similar 
offences, and to produce salutary reform in the prisoners them- 
selves ; of these objects the only one noticeable by an observer 
in your prison, is (with the single exception of cases of solitary 
confinement) that of the safe custody of the person* 

In order to attain the salutary penal effect of imprisonment, 
together with the reformation of offenders, and to prevent the 
contamination of association and example, I beg to observe, 
that in addition to the restraint and confinement of a prison, the 
foUowing objects are necessary, viz: — 

I. A ftdl sufficiency of employment, proportioned to the age, 
sex, health, and ability of the offender. 

II. As much wholesome privation of those comforts and en- 
joyments, which they might be able to obtain when at liberty, 
as is compatible, with the preservation of their health and 

124 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1883. 

III. A proper isystem of clasaificatioti ; consisting, in the 
first place, of a total separation of the men from the women, 
(which latter oaght always to he under the superintendence of 
one of their own sex) and next, a complete separation of 
debtors from criminals, and of the tried from the untried, (and 
were your prisoners numerous) of great criminals from misde- 
meanants ; but in the present case, it might suffice to separate 
any very bad offenders from the rest, and except at stated times, 
and under the constant observation of the Gaoler, or Turnkey, 
no visitors whatever should be admitted to the tried criminals, 
but in cases of special emergency. 

lY. A fixed and suitable dietary for criminals, under the 
management of a Gaol Committee, who ought to contract regu- 
larly for the articles of food ; and in no case should the pri- 
soner be allowed to supply himself, or be fanned out to the 
Gaoler, or to any other person whatsoever. 

y. An absolute and total prohibition of spirits, wine, and all 
fermented liquors, with a penalty for its infringement, except 
when especially ordered by the medical attendant, (or a mode- 
rate portion of beer or cider might be allowed daily to those 
who work hard, or are not strong in their bodily health) — ^also 
a prohibition of cards, and all other gaming. 

YI. A suitable prison-dress, with sufficiently marked distinc- 
tion, which has been found by experience to have a humbling 
and beneficial efiect on the mind of the prisoners generally. 

YII* A complete code of rules and regulations, for the direc- 
tion and government of the Gaoler and other officers of the 
prison, of the nature of those contained in an Act of Parlia- 
ment, lately passed in England for the Government of Gaols, 
4th Geo. lY., cap. 64. 

Yin. A law or regulation, that should be imperative on Yisit- 
ing Magistrates, or Gaol Committees, regularly and frequently 
to visit the prison, and minutely to investigate the details of its 

IX. And lastly, but of primary importance, the due and stated 
performance of Divine service, and regular religious and other 
instruction of the prisoners ; every criminal who stands in need 
of it, being taught to read and write. 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH TRY. 125 

By the system at present pursued, nearly all the above regu - 
lations and restraints are wholly omitted. 

The criminals, instead of being kept to employment, are con- 
stantly idle. 

Indulgences of nearly every description, and money may be 
introduced to those who can procure them. 

Prisoners of all descriptions are mixed up together, or at any 
rate allowed frequent intercourse, male and female, criminal and 
debtor, the hardened offender with the unpractised youth ; and 
all of them (with the exception of the cases of solitary confine- 
ment alluded to) exposed to communication with the public 
through the grating. 

And in addition to these serious evils, your Gaoler is only 
remunerated according to the numbers his prison contains, and 
the quantity of spirits, wine, and other fermented liquors sold 
to the prisoners; consequently, however conscientious the indi- 
vidual may be, it necessarily involves his own personal interest 
to make the prison agreeable to its inmates, that their stay may 
be prolonged, and others induced to come in ; and my obser- 
vation has led me to conclude, that this circumstance powerfully 
operates in increasing the number of your prisoners, and the 
duration of their stay. 

I wish to add, that after having carefully examined the build- 
ing and the ground appertaining to it, I am of opinion that these 
crying evils might be obviated, and the needful improvements 
introduced, and a House of Correction (which I consider indis- 
pensable) superadded to the present Prison, without any very 
considerable expense, especially with the assistance of a person 
firom the Prison Discipline Society of London : and further, that 
if the Oaoler and his wife received a moderate salary for their 
attention to the male and female prisoners, it would not prove 
more expensive than upon the present plan, more especially if 
coupled with productive labour on the part of the prisoners, and 
that it would essentially contribute to its improvement 

I am well aware that your island is not subject to the Acts of 
the British Legislature ; but as the important improvements in 
Prison Discipline, which have taken place of latter years in the 
dominions under its control, are the productions of men of large 

126 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1883. 

experience^ and have also been Babstandally introduced into the 
most enlightened European States, and the United States of 
America ; I trust you ^11 not object to adopt the progresdye 
wisdom of the ago, from whateYer quarter suggestions may 
arise, and I have therefore taken the liberty of appending some 
abstracts from Acts of Parliament of the 4th George IV., cap. 
64, and others, on the subject of Prison Begulations, and which 
bear upon most of the points to which I have adverted. 

I am, &c., &c., 

Elizabeth Frt. 

The fiinds devoted to the support of the Jersey Prison being 
wholly insufficient for that purpose, rendered it impossible to 
carry out any plan for classification and instruction. It was a 
case in which nothing could be done efiectually, without a com- 
plete renovation of the existing system. It became, with Mrs. 
Fry, an object of continued interest and exertion, though years 
elapsed, and she again twice crossed to Jersey, before the desired 
ends were accomplished. 

The Hospital was an institution of mixed character, intended 
not only for the sick and for accident cases, but it served also 
as a place of confinement for persons guilty of small offences, 
or wilfully idle or disorderly. 

The building was being at this time enlarged, with a view to 
classifying its inmates. In this institution she urged the neces- 
sity of — 

I. An entire separation of men and women, both in house 
and yard, &c. 

U. A subdivision of each sex into classes. First, the sick ; 
secondly^ the aged and infirm; thirdly, the children; and 
fourthly, those who are confined for idleness or small offences ; 
the latter description to be allowed no intercourse with the other 
inmates, not to have the same comforts and indulgences, as this 
class of persons being admitted for vagrancy or crime has a 
great tendency to degrade the character of the institution, in the 



eyes of the honest and praiseworthy poor, who are admitted 
here for causes for which they are in no way hlameable, and to 
render the most deserving objects in necessity^ unwillingto avail 
themselves of the benefits of the charity. 

A woman having become pregnant in the prison, was after- 
wards, on her discharge, sent on this account, as a punishment, 
to the hoffpital, and as she tried to escape from this new imprison- 
ment, she was compelled to wear a chain and a heavy log by night 
and by day for several weeks. No instance can more forcibly 
prove the absolute necessity of improvement in both establish- 

The Treasurer and Master of the Hospital have endeavoured 
to improve the state of the lunatic cells ; but they are only 
suitable for violent, incurable, or outrageous patients. Upon 
this point, an entirely different arrangement and mode of treat- 
ment is indispensable. It is a lamentable fact, that in this en- 
lightened age, there can exist a Christian country, possessing 
so many advantages, and containing a population of nearly 
forty thousand persons, in which there is no public provision 
for the treatment and cure of persons labouring under that 
most melancholy and humiliating visitation of Divine Provi- 
dence, mental aberration, whatever their sex or condition, other 
than cells suited only for the worst of condemned criminals. 

Mrs. Fry took great pains in establishing a District Society 
at St. Heliers. A gentleman of high standing and importance 
in the island, thus bears testimony to the results of her exer- 
tions : — 

" I can only affirm, with perfect truth, that your dear mother's 
visits to Jersey were blessed, as a means of incalculable good* 
It was through her peculiar talent and persevering exertions, 
that a District Society was formed in St Heliers. Mr. John 
Hammond and Mr. Charles Le Quesne very ably seconded her 
views, in connexion with this matter. 

The Island of Jersey , Seventh Month, 30M. — ^We arrived 
here last Seventh day, after a most beautiftd and favoured voyage, 

128 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

which I felt an answer to prayer^ and a mark of Providential care 
towards us. I had a very great deal to accomplish before I left 
home^ but was enabled to leave all in peace ; and now I desire 
as far as it is permitted me to rest in the Lord^ at the same time 
being open to any service I may be rightly called into ; and in 
faith to do what my hands may find to do. There are a few 
interesting Jersey Friends^ but I find the difficulty of commu- 
nicating with them on account of the language ; I endeavour to 
do my best, and look to Him who can bless my feeble labours. 

I think the island and country delightful ; I never saw so little 
poverty, no beggars whatever, which is to me a real relief. Few 
amongst the inhabitants appear to be in high life ; but as far as 
I have seen, all appear to be well off. I expect my sister Eliza- 
beth and Bebecca Sturges soon to join us, which I trust may 
prove right for them, for us, and for the people here. May it 
please my gracious and merciful Lord God, to bless us in this 
place, preserving us from doing harm, and enabling us to do 
that which is right and acceptable in His sight, and what may 
be for the real good of the people. 

Eighth Months Iflth. — We feel much at home in this lovely 
island, and in rather a remarkable manner, our way opens in the 
hearts of those amongst whom we are residing. A very extensive 
field of service appears before us in many ways. To try and 
thoroughly attend to the prisoners — to try to correct evils in the 
hospital — ^to assist in various ways the Friends and those who 
attend Meeting — ^to visit several in Christian love, and try to 
draw them nearer together — oh ! gracious Lord God, grant Thy 
poor unworthy servant the help of Thy Spirit, to do Thy will, 
and let not her labour be in vain in Thee, her Lord and her God ; 
but through Thy unmerited mercy in Christ Jesus, grant that 
her way may be made ver^f clear before her, and ability given 
her to walk in it, to Thy praise^ her own peace, and the real 
edification of those among whom her lot may be cast. Amen ! 


1888.] of elizabeth fry. 129 

to a daughter and son-in-law preparing to leave 

England for Madeira. 

Eighth Month, 25th, 1833. 
My much loved Children, 

I folly expect one more opportunity of writing to you, before 
you leave England, but as our communications are now likely to 
be very seldom, I mean to take every opportunity to pour out my 
heart to you. I am, I hope, thankful to say, though truly and 
deeply touching to me, peaceful and satisfied about your proposed 
very important step. I remember Cecil's remark, " we are to 
follow and not to force Providence," and as far as we can tell, the 
openings of Providence for you appear to be, quietly, hoper 
fblly, and trustfully to go forward in your proposed plans. I live 
much under the feeling that we are poor impotent creatures, that 
we cannot save each other spiritually or naturally ; and though 
nothing I believe can in feeling exceed a mother's love or lively 
desire to serve her children, yet how little can she do ! in short 
nothing, but as she is helped from above to do it, and the same 
power that can help her, can also work with or without His 
instruments ; this I most sensibly feel, therefore to Him, who 
is the keeper of His dependant ones, (which I believe you are) I 
entirely commit you, body, soul, and spirit. May He *' do more 
abundantly for you than we can either think or ask !" I desire 
for you, amidst the ups and downs, the storms and calms, the 
joys and sorrows that may attend your course, that your hearts 
may be fixed trusting in God. It is most important to seek for 
this fixedness of spirit, which sustains in trouble and sanctifies 
our enjoyments. I have sufiered from too deeply and acutely 
feeling things, and from much undue fearfulness — I wish my 
children to guard against these weaknesses, and to live more 
constantly in the quiet and trustful spirit. You must expect 
some little trials and difficulties in the voyage, but I trust they 
will not be great. Pray try to be of use to the crew, have 
tracts, testaments and psalters, to be got at for them, it might 
be of real use to the men, and a nice object of interest for you. 

vol. II. K 

130 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

That grace, mercy and peace may be with you both, is the 
earnest desire and prayer of your most loving mother^ 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Jersey y Ninth Month, 10/A. — I have much enjoyed and valued 
the pleasant retreat we have here. I desire in deep gratitude to 
acknowledge the renewed capacity to delight in the wonderful 
works of God. The scenery, and feeling fully at liberty to spend 
part of many days in the enjoyment of this beautiful country 
and weather, with my beloved husband and children^ has been 
very sweet to me ! What has not religion been to me ! how 
wonderful in its operation. None but He, who knows the heart, 
can tell. Surely it has brought me into some deep humiliations ; 
but how has it raised me up ! healed my at times wounded spirit, 
given me power to enjoy my blessings in what 1 believe an unusual 
degree, and wonderfully sustained me under deep tribulations. To 
me, it is anything but bondage, since it has brought me into a 
delightful freedom, although I had narrow places to pass through 
before my boundaries were thus enlarged ; so that from experir 
ence, I wish to be very tender over those still in bonds. 

Since this time of rest on first arriving, my way has remarkably 
opened to a tide of service of various kinds^ as a minister of the 
gospel, and in philanthropic concerns. The prison, hospital, and 
the formation of a District Society, take up much of my atten- 
tion, and visiting religiously the families who attend the Friend's 
meeting. I have very much felt the weight of these meetings, 
duty alone, and what I believe to be the help of the Spirit 
could carry me through such services, for which I am so totally 
unfit and unworthy. My dear sister and Bebecca Sturges have 
lately been with, and I have valued their company. 

Letter to her Brother Joseph John Gurney, occasioned 

BY hearing of the DEATH OF HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW MrS. 


Jersey, Ninth Month, Sth, 1833. 
My dearest Joseph, 

I received thy deeply interesting letter to-day, which has pro- 
duced in my mind much mixture of feeling ; for deaths in its 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 131 

most mitigated form, is awfal^ and to oar natural feelings very 
tonching. But on the othet hand, to have the warfare of those 
l^e love accomplished, the good fight fought, and a membership 
hi the church militant changed for one in the church triumphant, 
brings such a feeling of peace and thankfulness, that it heals the 
wounds. Amidst much engagement, t have dwelt with ydu to- 
day in spirit, and not only felt for you, but I have also been in 
measure afflicted at the loss of the pool* female convicts ifi the 
'' Amphitrite," on the French coast — a hundred atid twenty 
women, several of whom we knew in Newgate, besides many 
children— it has brought death very home to us ! 

I am glad that dear Rachel Fowler thodght of the poor French, 
for whom I feel much interested, and if attention is pdd to her 
wish, which I doubt not it will be, I think that it would be better 
than sending the whole Bible, to give something to Captain Ba^in 
for printing certain parts of the Testament, to be distributed as 
tracts. There is H fine field for service in many ways i how 
sweet for us one day to labour together in it, if permitted. I 
feel myself so very weak, that if any good is ever done, it will 
be only by Him, who out of weakness can make strong. Our 
party are generally well and comfortable ; we deeply feel about 
the absent, our nephew dear Sam Hoare, our own Bachel, and 
Champion and Hannah ; but we can only commit them to the 
Everlasting Keeper of His people, whose tender mercies are 
over all His works. The danger of the sea has been painfblly 
brought home to us here, many vessels having been in distress 
with these high winds. 

I am, with Aeta love to all, particularly our dearest Mary, 

Thy tenderly attached sister, 

Elizabeth Frv. 

Captain fiazih, td wholn allusidn is made in the pfreceding 
letter, commanded the *' Ariadne" steamer, Which crossed from 
Sonthampton to Guernsey and Jersey, and during the snmmer 
months tised to proceed theitoe to* St. Malo's and Granville. 

He was a hardy Jersey sailor, an experienced pilot, and a 

devoted Christian; he had a missionary spirit, and without 

t 2 


abandoning his calling, or changing those circumstanoes in which 
he was placed, he strove to occupy with the talent committed to 
him, and to turn opportunities to account. Ue distributed 
Bibles, Testaments, and tracts, in those French ports which he 
visited : nor was he satisfied with this, he established both at 
St. Malo and Granville, a sort of meeting for religious instruc- 
tion, reading the Bible, singing and prayer, and when a minister 
was present for preaching also. These meetings were attended 
by numbers at Granville ; the functionaries and soldiers were 
often present ; occasionally the superior officers. The demand 
for books was curiously great — ^multitudes would watch for the 
vessel, to go on board and ask for them ; and oftefl) before the 
passengers and luggage could be cleared out, the quarter-deck 
was crowded with applicants. 

These details greatly interested Elizabeth Fry. Captain 
Bazin, in the intervals of his voyages, often came to '' Caledonia 
Cottage " to confer with her, and exceedingly confirmed the in* 
terest she long had felt in the religious state of France, and her 
wish to return home by that route. She had mentioned it in 
a letter to her brother Joseph John Gumey, who was staying at 
Melksham. He read it aloud in the sick chamber of his mother- 
in-law Mrs. Fowler, a devotedly Christian woman, of lovely 
and enlarged character, and a valuable minister among Friends. 
The subject occupied her dying thoughts. After her family 
had been for some time sitting silently by her bed, supposing 
that the slumber of death was upon her, and that she would 
speak to them no more, she suddenly roused, and seemed as 
though she had yet something to communicate. On going 
quite close, they could just hear her twice repeat the name of 
the vessel " Ariadne ;" one of them caught her meaning, and 
said, *' Money to buy Bibles.'' She faintly repeated, *' Money 
to buy Bibles," fell back into an apparently unconscious state, 
and spoke no more* 

1833.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. J 33 

The thirty pounds which her family sent for the purpose were 
of the utmost consequence at that time, in enabling Captain 
Bazin to circulate the Holy Bible» in whole or in parts, where 
the demand was so great and the power of meeting it so small. 
After some weeks in Jersey, the party crossed to Guernsey^ they 
remained there about a fortnight, received with the hospitality of 
the " olden time ;" Mr. and Mrs. Fry at Miss Le Marchants, 
their daughters at Castle Carey, and Mrs. Elizabeth Fry and her 
companion at the house of a Friend, named Edmund Bichards* 
The islands of Guernsey and Jersey have separate and indepen- 
dent legislative assemblies, and differ in some minor points of 
law. Mrs. Fry's time was divided between social enjoyments, 
objects of benevolence, and above all devotedly caring and 
labouring for the good of others. She visited the Prison, and 
found, that since the death of Sir William Eeppel, the last Go- 
vernor, it had been supported by the Board of Treasury out of 
the revenue of that island, formerly appropriated to the Gover- 
nor, a portion of which was always expended on the maintenance 
of the prisoners, and the same proportion was still expended 
for the same object by the Treasury. — The building such, that 
debtors and criminals easily and freely conversed with each 
other, and the internal arrangement of the building bad in 
almost every respect. Tried and untried prisoners, as well as 
those convicted of almost every degree of offence, freely associ- 
ating together, and even when sentenced to solitary confinement, 
too frequently placed in one small cell for want of room. — The 
gaoler, having little remuneration, except the profit to be ob- 
tained out of ninepence a day, allowed for the support of each 
prisoner, and upon the sale of wine and spirits to the prisoners; 
the latter checked in measure by an order limiting criminals to 
two wine glasses of spirits a day, besides other liquors. — No 
employment, nor any chaplain or religious service ; no instruc* 
tion, except that, occasionally given by any charitable person 



134 MEMOIR OF THB LIFE [1833. 

who might visit the prison. In shorty she found the whole 
system entirely defective^ tending continaally to promote and 
increase orime among its inmates^ which in a small island like 
Ouerpsey was severely to be felt, counteracting the efforts of the 
upper classes for the general good of the community. The 
Hospital she considered in excellent order, though in a few 
minor points capable of som&^improyement. 

One most important work she accomplished in that island—; 
establishing the St. Peter s Fort Provident an4 District Society, 
It is spoken of at the present time in Guernsey, as being ** a 
real blessing to the poor of the community, not only in having 
administered to their temporal wants in siojoiess or accidents;, 
but also in having greatly improved their domestic comforts 
and moral character, by inculcating frugal and temperate 

From Guernsey, Mrs. Fry crossed to Bark. This singular 
island lays between Guernsey and Jersey, and is seen on the 
horizon from both; though rarely communicated with, from 
the latter island, being distant twenty miles, and extremely diffir 
cult of access. The best approacl;, is by crossing the channel 
called the Great Bussell, from Guernsey, nine miles in breadth. 
Sark is a rock, precipitous on all sides, about three miles long, 
by one and a-half wide. It is divided into great and little Sarl^, 
by a very curious natural bridge of rock, about eighty yards in 
length, in breadth not exceeding four or five Jb^t; it is very steep 
on one side, but on the other absolutely perpendicular. They 
went in an open sailingboat, but as they approached its rocl^y 
shore, perceived no inlet, nor any indication of ascent to the 
lofty table land. A small jetty, from a natural projection> formed 
a little basin, where they landed, amidst impending rocks; it was 
not till they were on the narrow shelf of pebbly beach, that they 
perceived what appeared to be the mouth of a cavern, there a cart 
was waiting, and in it were placed two high'^backed chairs, this 


1888.] OF BLIZABETH FRY. 185 

was the carriage to convey the ladies. The cavern gradually 
narrowed and at length the party emerged through a ravine on 
the plain. A lodging had been engaged for them at a farm- 
house. The island consists of a level plain, intersected with 
valleys^ well cultivated ; there are woods, cottages, small gardens 
and orchards, fields dotted with cattle, and a village collected 
around the Manor House, Sark is a dependency of Guernsey, 
but the legislative power is vested in the Hereditary Lord of 
Sark, and his forty tenants ; a curious remnant of feudal tenure. 
They stayed three or four days there ; they also visited Herm, 
an islet between Guernsey and Sark, nearly four miles in cir- 
cumference, but the population very small. 

Jersey y Tenth Months 12M. — Since I last wrote, I have visited 
the islands of Guernsey, Sark, and Herm, accompanied by my 
husband, and part of the time by my sister and Rebecca 
Sturges ; my children with us when in Guernsey, and my kind 
and valued servant, C. Golder. It has been a full tide of en- 
gagements, with here and there, by the way, a little rest and 
recreation, although but little. I have deeply and weightily felt 
two very large Public Meetings in Guernsey, one by invitation, 
one not In both of them I think we were much helped to 
express our concern towards the people; but holding such 
Meetings, goes to the very extent of what I apprehend women 
are called to in public service. I view it very differently from 
ministering in their own assemblies, and I have often thought it 
rather too lightly entered into ; although at times, I believe it is 
MtUed for. X feel peculiarly bound, when I do hold these great 
and important meetings, simply to preach the gospel and its 
practice, more particularly the importance of the unity of all 
members of the Church of Christ, of every denomination. This 
I have much to press upon in these islands. In the small island 
of Sark, with about five hundred inhabitants, they are quite 
divided religiously, about half of them Methodists, and half 
members of the Church of England. They will hardly speak to 
each other. I tried to use influence, and trust it may not be in 


vain. In the island of Herm, there is neither school nor place 
of worship ; hut there appears to be there, a most providential 
opening for forming a school, — a young lady willing to live on 
this desolate island, and devote herself to educating the poor. 
May the Lord he with her, and hless her in this undertaking ! 
bur visit appeared to make way for this opening. In Guernsey, 
I think some grievous evils are likely to be remedied in the 
prison, in time ; I have also recommended some alterations in 
the hospital, which is a very large and important institution. 
A District Society will he probably established^ I trust to the 
great benefit of the poor. 

fl6th. — On Seventh-day evening, in the midst of a very largd 
party, our letters arrived ; some from our dearest Hannah, of a 
very touching nature ; she had suffered so extremely on her 
voyage (to Madeira) as to bring on her confinement on board 
ship* Her child died, and her sufferings appear to have been 
extreme. The whole account was exceedingly affecting to me. 
Sut I desire to look above the agency of man, to Him, without 
whom not a sparrow falls to the ground, who orders all things 
in love, as well as in wisdom. My trust must be complete, my 
reliance entire, my hope continual. Lord, as all my springs are 
in Thee, I pray Thee daily, hourly, minutely, increase and renew 
my faith, patience, reliance, and hope, that I never cast away 
my confidence, but that my soul may follow hard after Thee> 
even unto the end. 

The time had now arrived to break up the pleasant Jersey 
party. The accounts from England were very anxious. Several 
of her children required her attention ; one of her daughters was 
dangerously ill, and her beloved sister, Mrs. Hoare, had just 
closed the eyes of her eldest son. To divide the party, renounce 
the route through France, and take the long sea-passage, with 
only her maid and her little boy, was not decided upon without 
great conflict. The season had been peculiarly stormy, and 
'several vessels had been lost in the Channel; amongst others the 
** Amphi trite." Many of the poor creatures in her were personally 

1838.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 137 

known to Mrs. Fry, although she had never been on board that 
ill-fated vessel. The Times newspaper contained, however, a 
istatement, said to have been made by one of the sailors named 
Owen, in a letter addressed to the editor of that journal, 
dated Boulogne-sur-Mer, October 7th. Dr. Whately, in his 
letter to Earl Grey on '^ Transportation," Appendix (No. 4,) 
fiipeaking of the '^ Amphitnte," mentions this sailor's statement, 
and adds, — 

** There is one passage, which I hesitated to publish, from 
the fear that it might wound the most excellent lady mentioned 
in it; not for her own sake, for ingratitude can wound her only, 
as an indication of failure in her benevolent attempts at the cul* 
tare of virtuous feelings, but for the sake of the unhappy beings 
whom habitual vice has steeled against such cares as hers." 

The passage in the sailor Owen's statement, to which the 
extract from the letter refers, is as follows; after giving a 
shocking account of the depraved habits of the prisoner women, 
and of the absence of all attempts to restrain or bring them 
under discipline, on the part of the surgeon-superintendent^ 
this passage occurs :— ^ 

** There was no divine service on board. Each woman had a 
Bible given her at Woolwich by Mrs. Fry and two other Quaker 
ladies ; most of them could read and write. Those from New- 
gate had been taught in the school there. Mrs. Fry and the 
other ladies came on board at Woolwich four or five times, and 
read prayers." 

In reply to inquiries, as to the previous life and habits of the 
women, the sum of Owen's answers were as follows: 

" Forty of the women were from Newgate — ^most of them were 
very young." 

*' Those who had been longest in Newgate were the worst." 


It was Owen'^s place, as boatswain, to sling the chain for Mrs. 
Fry and the other ladies when they came on board. He "heard 
the Newgate girls wish she might fall overboard and he 
drowned.* It is startling to find circumstances such as these, 
asserted on authority, apparently unquestionable ; to be not only 
incorrect, but wholly unfounded. 

At this time the Jersey post had become quite irregular, from 
the packets being detained by weather. The feeling of confine- 
ment in a small island, to those unaccustomed to it, and on the 
eve of departure, was so uncomfortable, that, sad as it was to 
separate, it was almost a relief, when the two parties found 
themselves fairly embarked in the different directions they had 

No date, — Before I left Jersey very serious accounts came of 
our dearest Bachel; of such a nature were they, last First-day, 
just before an important Public Meeting ; that it became neces- 
sary for me to decide to return home direct, and not by France, 
with my husband and daughters. I felt greatly afflicted, and 
earnestly prayed that I might be permitted to see my tenderly 
beloved child again. I was brought into a state of deep conflict, 
walking about the room, weeping bitterly, and hardly knowing 
how to go to the Meeting appointed at the Hospital, for the 
poor there, and the public generally ; however, I went, and 
power was present to calm my troubled spirit, and enable me to 
preach the Gospel to the poor, the sinners, and the afiUcted. It 
was a very solemn parting with the people of the island ; but* 
through mercy, I felt so clearly in my right place, and such a 
blessed calm came over me, in spite of myself, that undue 
fuixiety was taken away. I passed a calm night, and was 
enabled to commit my dear child and my all, to Him who can 
do all things for us. The next day I had many little matters to 
finish off, and to take leave. On Third-day morning, after a 
short solemn time in prayer, my husband set off for France with 
my daughters, and I, with my maid and my little boy, for 

1888.] 0? ELIZABBTH FRY. ISd 

Lynn, Eleventh Month, 12M. — ^Asrelatedinmy last journal^ 
J left Jersey in the steam-boat for Southampton. Partings with 
many beloved friends there^ I felt much. It is a place and 
people in which I have taken great interest; I also felt the un- 
certainty of the prospect before me» and in what state I should 
find my beloved child. X was much cast down, the wind rather 
high, and evidently rising. My maid and child quickly became 
ill, as did even our little dog. The passengers, one after another, 
almost all, in the same state. The day gloomy, only now and 
then a ray of sun3hipe to enliven us. I remained, through 
mercy, quite well. We stopped at Guernsey, where I found, to 
iny encouragement, some of my objects really prospering, and I 
was much pleased to hear that the School was established in 
the island of Herm. We dined whilst in the harbour there. 
Afterwards the weather became so boisterous, my ool^ so indif- 
ferent, and my poor boy so ill, that I remained in the cabin tho 
whole evening, and a low time it was ; fears got hold of me 
that I should never see Bache} again alive ; but on the othei 
hand I knew that I had a merciful Lord to deal with, who heard 
Tuy prayers, ]mew my weakness, and \ believed would not permit 
so overwhelming an affliction to overtake me. I desired humbly 
und patiently to trust. I felt the seriousnes? of our situation 
in the high wind, but was enabled entirely to leave it to Himi 
who orders all things well. We arrived at Southampton the 
next morning ; I was much cast down and overdone, and during 
the journey to liOndon, I had almost an inexpressible feeling of 
fatigue. I found rather a better account from Lynn, to my un^ 
speak&ble relief. 

^rom the accounts continuing better, Mrs. Fry was for a day 
or two able to remain in the neighbourhood of London. One 
day she spent at Hampstead, with her sister Mrs. Hoare ; en« 
tering into the depth of her bereavement, and that of her 
widowed daughter-in-law — but cheered by the greatness of their 

Then she pursued her way to Lynn, where her presence was 
greatly needed; for six weeks she remained devoted to her 

]40 MEMOIR Of THE LIFE [1888. 

daughter, and to that devotion, guided by singular skill, was 
apparently to he attributed her child's gradual restoration to 
health. From Lynn, she wrote to her youngest daughter, then 
just entering life, to greet her on her return home. 

Lynn, Eleventh Month 9th, 1833. 
My dearest Louisa, 
I feel inclined to write thee a few lines of salutation on thy 
return home. Thy sister and thyself have very important places 
to fill, although they may differ; and as I have, told her my 
mind, I mean to do the same to thee — remember these words, 
*' be sober, be vigilant," At thy important age much depends 
on not letting the mind out, if I may so express myself: it is a 
period of life when this is natural — various prospects in life may 
float before the view ; but how infinitely important to know the 
heart to be staid upon God, and to find it, meat and drink to be 
doing His will — ^how important to attend to present duties ; this 
is the best preparation for the future, whatever that future may 
be. I see that much devolves on thee ; thou hast not only to 
look to thy own soul, but younger ones are looking up to thee, 
whom, I believe, thou mayst be the means of winning to Christ. 

Thy friendship with the family I trust will be of use to 

thee ; but on no account let imagination wander upon it ; this 
will do thee harm, and on the contrary, I wish thee to profit 
by it. 

Farewell dearest Louisa, 

In much tender love« 

E. F. 

To the daughter she had been so long nursing, she wrote con- 
tinually, for some time after her return home, offering the wisest 
counsel, as to the conduct both of body and mind. Amongst 
other things, she says, in one of her letters : — 

The better accounts of thee are certainly very encouraging, 
and set me more at rest about thee, still, my beloved child, I feel 
thou needest my sympathy and prayers ; there is much to feel. 

1833.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 14>l 

even if it pleases Providenoe quite to raise thee up again ; there 
is much to go through. I have often found, in recovering from 
long and severe illness, and entering life again, that our enemies 
spiritually are yet lively and strong, and even, we may say, after 
the '' Beast has had a deadly wound, it still lives ;" I know this 
has been my experience. Though thou thinkest I feel with the 
Psalmist about long life, yet I am deeply sensible of the conflicts 
and temptations it involves ; still, if we are through grace en- 
abled to live to a great and good purpose, and to promote the 
welfare of our fellow-mortals, it is well to have such an oppor- 
tunity granted to us, of proving our faith and our love towards 
our Lord and Saviour. Mayst thou, my much-loved child, be 
raised up for this blessed purpose. 

Her advice, under differing circumstances, was very discrimi- 
nating. To another daughter she wrote : — 

I feel in the first place, earnestly desirous that thou shouldest 
think as little as possible of thy nervous feelings. I know how 
extremely painful they are, but experience has taught me, the 
less I think of them the better. It is most important to look 
upon them as much as possible like the toothache — that it must 
be endured while it lasts, but is not dangerous in its nature. As 
for the discoloured view, the imagination may at the time give 
to things, nothing is more important than to set it down as a 
clear and fixed thing in the mind, that whilst this nervousness 
lasts it is not sound, and must not be believed or taken heed to. 
I would not have thee discouraged at this return of it. I believe 
I never had death brought home very closely, without being 
brought into a low nervous state, it is after all, so awful; though 
I increasingly see, that this is real weakness, and that those who 
are believers in the Lord Jesus, however unworthy, need not fear 
it, as through EUm, its plague and sting will be done away. But 
it is folly in one sense to look ahead, we have enough to do to 
seek for help and grace for the present time to do our present 
days work. When the day comes that we have to give up 'Hhis 
mortal life^*' we may and ought humbly to trusty that through 

l42 M£MOtR OF THK LIFK [1833. 

the unmerited mercy and love of our Lord, His grace will be 
found su£Scient for us. I observe, for my great encouragement, 
that what we call nervousness often proves no common blessing, 
if made a right use of, and not given way to. It so wonderfolly 
humbles, prevents the creature glorying, and makes willing to do 
any thing to come to that peace, which quiets every storm. Thy 
uncles and aunts have nearly all been striking instances of this : 
and I believe, hard, very hard as it is to bear, it is a baptism to 
fit for a fulness of joy and glory rarely partaken of; but it in no 
common degree calls for patience. I always think both David 
and Paul largely partook of this sort of humbliug experience. 
Therefore my dear child, if tried this way, possess thy soul in 
patience, and look upon it as a suitablei though bitter medicine^ 
prescribed by the Physician of value to promote thy health and 
cure. Louisa is to add ; therefore I must in the most near love 
say farewell. 

I am thy most tenderly attached mother, 

Elizabeth Fbt. 

Upton Lane, Twelfth Month,flSlh. — In my own Church, when 
at home, I have been rather unusually active, and in the present 
stirring and unsettled state of things had to take the quieting 
and hopeful side. I now feel as if the clouds rather over- 
shadowed me ; but I desire to have my heart fixed, trusting in 
the Lord, that in due time the Sun of Bighteousness will arise 
with healing on His wings. My dear son Joseph is likely to be 
married on the 1st of next year. Oh! may the Lord be with him 
in it : it has been a subject that has very greatly occupied my 
heart and mind lately. My brother Joseph has been labouring 
amongst us in the (xospel, with wonderful brightness; this t feel 
a deep cause for thankfulness. Ah I for a heart, a spirit, and a 
power more fully and more abundantly to praise the Lord for 
his goodness, and to show forth His marvellous works to the 
children of men ! 

SUt. — The last day of this year ! I much feel these epochs i 
time going so fast Peace and quietness are my portion this 
morning. I have cause for thankfulness and a good deal of 
encouragement; I have certainly had many proo6 that my Lord 

1833.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 148 

has been near to me and mine during the last year^ and helped 
ns in many ways. 

Third Months 2nd, 1 834.— First-day . I only to-day beard of 
my unworthy labours being greatly blessed in the Island of 
Guernsey ; and lately the same firom Jersey and France* Not 
80 much individual instances of reformation, as the various plans 
for the religious^ moral and temporal good of the poor, &c., 
&C.J really prospering. I have also in my home circle^ my 
dearest son Joseph and his valuable wife living here, to my 
great comfort. Surely, several of my children are drawing near 
to good. 

FourthMonih^ 1st. — ^I am likely to leave home to-day for re- 
ligious service in Dorset and Hants. Oh Lord ! I pray Thee be 
with me and anoint me for Thy work, that it may be fiilly to 
Thy praise» the edification'of those I go amongst^ and to my own 
help and peace ; and be pleased to keep my children and family 
during my absence. Grant this, dearest Lord^ for Thine own 
name sake. Amen. 

12/A. — ^I returned yesterday from my expedition, which I may 
thankfully say^ proved very satisfactory. 

She was accompanied on this journey by her friend William 
Forster^ and her nieces, Priscilla Buxton and Friscilla Gumey. 
Her aunt's address and manners on that occasion, and the im- 
pressions made upon her own mind, are admirably described by 
one of them ; being at the time in very deUcate health, she was, 
perhaps, the more sensitively alive to her aunt's peculiar powers 
of soothing — 

** There was no weakness or trouble of mind or body, which 
might not safely be unveiled to her. Whatever various or oppo- 
site views, feelings, or wishes, might be confided to her, all came 
out again tinged with her own loving, hoping spirit. Bitterness 
of every kind died, when entrusted to her, it never re-appeared. 
The most favourable construction possible was always put upon 
every transaction. No doubt her failing lay this way ; but did it 
not ^vo her and her example a wonderful influence ? Was it 

141 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

not the very secrel of her power with the wretched and degraded 
prisoners ? She always could see hope for every one ; 
she invariably found or made some point of light The most 
abandoned must have felt, she did not despair for them, either 
for this world or another, and this it was that made her 

" At Southampton, time and opportuninity were rather unex- 
pectedly a£forded for an excursion to the Isle of Wight. I think 
she undertook it chiefly for the sake of pleasing Priscilla Gurney 
and myself; but it had important consequences. We travelled 
round by Shanklin, Bonchurch, and the Undercli£P. She was 
zealous as we, in the enjoyment of the scenery and the wild 
flowers ; but the next day, on reaching Freshwater, she was 
fatigued, and remained to rest, whilst we went to see Alum 
Bay. On our return, we were told she had walked out, and we 
soon received a message desiring us to join her at the Coast 
Guard Station. We found her in her element ; pleased and 
giving pleasure to a large group, who were assembled around 
her. She entered with the greatest sympathy into their some- 
what dreary position, inquired into their resources for education 
for their children, and religious improvement for themselves, — 
found them much in want of books ; and from this visit ori- 
ginated that great undertaking, of providing libraries for ail the 
Coast Guard Stations in Great Britain — an undertaking full of 
difficulties, but in which her perseverance never relaxed, till it 
was accomplished. 

From the long low inn upon the beach at Freshwater, when 
you look from the beautiful sea, the rauge of cliff's beyond, and 
the two lonely rocks in the foreground, you see nothing, but a 
few fishers* cottages and the dark gloomy-looking Preventive 
Service buildings beyond them^ just where the hills which en- 
close the little bay begin their ascent. It was very early in the 
year ; before the great metropolitan hive had thrown off its end- 
less swarms of summer travellers. Something of gloominess and 

desolation rested on the place — ^her companions had left her, and 



she sat and pondered the condition of the inmates of the dwell- 
ings before her. It was at Brighton, in 1824, that the idea 
first suggested itself to her mind, of the great need there was 
for supplying this class of men with employment, that would 
at once occupy the long intervals of time left to their own dis- 
posal, and famish them with subjects for thought, during the 
weary hours of lonely watching, that they must of necessity 
pass. She knew idleness to be a fruitful source of ill, and that 
the human mind preying upon itself, becomes inert, if not 
vicious. Circumstances had precluded her making any general 
or systematic exertions to remedy this evil, yet it rested upon 
her thoughts. She waited long to see her way clearly, and 
to be convinced that the duty was laid upon her, but no sooner 
had the conviction arrived, than she set herself vigorously to 
the work. 

The experience of life had taught her, that He, who rules as 
a God of Providence, directs as a God of Grace — that with duty 
comes opportunity, and that with outward circumstances, the 
inward call is sure to harmonise, where man desires to act only 
in conformity to his Master's will, and to occupy with the talents 
given him to use. 

Upton, Fourth Mouthy 12/A. — At Portsmouth, we paid nn 
interesting visit to the Haslar Hospital, the Hulks Hospital Ship, 
and some prisons ; we also paid a delightful little visit to the 
Isle of Wight. I felt more able to enjoy the great beauties of 
nature, firom having been owned by my Lord and Master, in my 
reUgiotts services. What a relish does true religion give for our 
temporal as well as spiritual blessings! I have still much to feel 
respecting the offer of marriage made to my dear Louisa. It is a 
very serious thing, my children thus leaving Friends, and I have 
my great fears, that in so doing, they are leaving that which 
would be a blessing and preservation to them. At the same time, 
I see there is no respect of persons with God ; nor in reality is 
there the difference some would make out in the different admi* 


146 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1834. 

nistrations of religion, if there be but a true, sincere love of our 
Lord, and endeavour to serve Him. What is above all to mei 
I have felt peace in it rather peculiarly — still, we at present are 
exceedingly feeling the weight of the affair ; it is also a consi- 
derable pain to me to go through the discipline of the Society 
respecting it — but in bearing it patiently and humbly, I may in 
that way be enabled to preach Christ. Lord be it so — ^Help me 
Thyself through all these rather intricate paths, and make a 
way for thy servant in all these things ; that she may do right 
in thy sight, and not offend even the weakest of her brethren 
and sisters in religious connexion with herself — ^Help, Lord, or 
we perish ! 

2lst. — Yesterday (First-day) I attended Meeting, rather 
oppressed in body and mind. Ministered to by dear Elizabeth 
Dudley, but had such heaviness of body as to hinder spiritual 
revival. In the afternoon I went, accompanied by Elizabeth 
Dudley, Rebecca Sturges, and some others, to visit the female 
convict ship ; the sun shone brightly, the day delightful, the 
poor women rejoiced to see us, but my spirit was in heaviness, 
from the difficulty of leaving my family, even for a few hours, 
on that day. It was a fine sight to see about one hundred and 
fifty poor female convicts, and- some sailors^ standing, sitting, 
and leaning round us, whilst we read the scriptures to them. I 
spoke to them, and Elizabeth Dudley prayed. Surely to wit- 
ness the solemn effect, the tears rolling down many cheeks, we 
must acknowledge it to be the Lord's doing ; still I felt flat, 
though the others thought it a very satisfactory time, but in the 
evening I became more revived and comforted and thankful that 
it has pleased the Lord to send me to the pooroutcasts, although 
at times feeling as if I went more as a machine moved by 
springs than in the lively state I desire ; but at other times it 
is different, and there is much sense of light, life, love and 
power. To-day I expect to go to the Duchess of Gloucester, 
and amongst some of the high in this life. May the Lord be 
with me, that my intercourse with these^ may not be in vain in 
Him. I feel it no light responsibility, having the door so open 
with the Government of our country and those filling high 
places, I am often surprised to find how much so ; and yet the 

1834.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 147 

Lord only knows the depth of my humiliations, and how it has 
been out of the depths, that I have been raised up for these 
services. At the Admiralty, I have lately had important re- 
quests granted ; at the Home Office, they are always ready to 
attend to what T ask ; and at the Colonial Office, I expect that 
they will soon make some alterations in the arrangements for 
the female convicts in New South Wales. 

Who has thus turned the hearts of those in authority ? surely 
it is the Lord. May He give me wisdom and sound discretion 
rightly to use the influence He has given me. Be near to Thy 
servant this day, gracious Lord, in every place, and so help her 
by Thy Spirit, that she may do Thy will and not bow to man, 
but alone to Thee her God, doing all to Thy glory. We made seve- 
ral other calls, and dined at my brother Buxton's, where we met 
some gentlemen. I felt, as I mostly do after such days, fearful 
and anxious, lest I had done any discredit to the vocation 
wherewith I am called, or in any degree, in my own heart or 
conduct towards God, done amiss. It caused me rather a watch- 
ful, fearful night. I see it much easier, and in many respects 
safer in the religious life, to be quiet and much at home ; yet I 
also feel that in a more general association there are great ad- 
vantages, enlarging our spiritual borders, and removing our 
prejudices ; and if we are really enabled to stand our ground as 
Christians, in the meekness of wisdom, and so adorn the doc- 
trine of God our Saviour, it may be the means of promoting 
the good of others. 

fiAth. — We dined at Lord Bexley s, and met Captain Mangles 
the great traveller, several clergymen and others. I desired to 
maintain the watch, but the company of serious intellectual and 
refined persons^ is apt to draw me a good deal forth in convert 
sation and mind, and often leads me to many fears afterwards, 
lest there should imperceptibly be any thing of showing off, and 
being exalted by man ; but I may truly say, inwardly, I mostly 
feel reduced and humbled after such times, and fearful, lest I 
should have a cloud over me, so as to hinder my near commu- 
nion with my Lord. A few words in the Proverbs rather encou- 
raged me : ** Beproofs of instruction are the way of life,"--- 
(Proverbs 6th chapter 23rd verse ) I see it w«ll to be reproved ; 

L 2 

148 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1884. 

may I profit by it ! I often fear for mystlf, lest I am forsaking 
my first love, or becoming lax, because I certainly feel far more 
liberty than I used to do, in uniting with others in their 
prayers, grace^ &c.,&c.,andle8sin bonds generally — ^in short my 
borders are greatly enlarged ; may this arise, not from my love 
becoming cold, but from experiencing the service of my Lord 
to be already to me, in measure, perfect freedom. Oh dearest 
Lord ! make manifest in Thy own light, if this be in me laxity, 
that I may be reproved and amend my ways ; if, on the contrary, 
it be the liberty wherewith Thou hast made me free, cause me in 
Thine own power, firmly and fixedly to stand in it, even if some 
of my fellow-mortals, whom I love and esteem, appear to remain 
under a different dispensation. 

A few days ago I visited Plashet — it was almost too much for 
my natural spirits. When I saw our weedy walks, that once were 
made and kept up so neatly — our summer-houses falling down, 
—our beautiful wild flowers, that I had cultivated with so much 
care, and no one to admire them ^the place that had cost us so 
much, and been at times so enjoyed by us, the birth-place of so 
many of my children, the scene of so many deep and near in- 
terests — the tears trickled down my face, and I felt ready to 
enumerate my sorrows, and say, " Why is this ?'* But I felt 
the check within, and desired and endeavoured to look on the 
bright side of the picture, and acknowledge the tender and un- 
merited mercy of my God, in Christ Jesus. Mine has been, I 
fully believe, a very unusual course in many particulars ; in 
some things known, in some hidden from the eye of man. Oh ! 
may all end in good and blessing. 

Fifth Month, 6th. — Yesterday was the Sabbath. I can hardly 
say how deeply I feel these days as they come, first, as it re- 
spects the ministry of the word. It wholly resting on two or 
three women in our rather large assembly, is an exercise of my 
faith, and a real trial to my natural feelings ; then to believe, 
as I do, that some of our congregation are in an unregenerate 
state, how must their silent meetings be passed ? And for the 
babes in Christ I have great fears, inasmuch as true, solemn, 
silent worship, is a very high administration of spiritual worship. 
J frequently fear for such, that more external aid is wanted^ 

1834.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 149 

though I see not how it is to be given. I also feel the want of 
each one openly nniting in some external act of worship, for 
there is mach in taking an absolute part in what is doing, to 
feel a full interest in it, but I see not with our views (in which 
I unite) how this can be remedied. Then for myself, as a 
minister of the Gospel, 1 desire to be very faithful, and give the 
portion of meat in due season to the household ; but even here, 
deep humiliation is my portion, in its appearing, that though I 
preach to others, I cannot manage my own — my children, one 
aflter another, leaving a Society and principles that I love, value, 
and try to build up. My Lord only knows the exercise of my 
spirit on those days. Then for my home hours, not having space 
as we had at Flashet, in which my boys can recreate in the way 
I consider advisable, during part of this day ; now, I have 
anxiously to watch where they go, and what they are about, so 
that I am not often favoured to know the Sabbath a delight, or 
day of rest ; yet through all these things, and my too anxious 
nature, help is wonderfully granted to me. I find the spring 
within that helps, keeps, revives, sustains, and heals, but I feel 
that I am bound to seek, and to pray not to be so exquisitely 

Sixth Month, lOth. — Since I last wrote, I have got through 
the Yearly Meeting, which I attended nearly throughout. There 
appeared to me much more apparent love and unity than last 
year, still it is a serious and shaking time, and some of the 
Leaders of our Tribes think they differ in some points of doc- 
trine ; but I believe it is more in word than in reality, and as 
they love the Lord Jesus, if they have wandered a little, they 
will be brought back. I was a good deal engaged, having to 
take a quiet view, neither on one side nor the other, but seeing 
the good of both, but I have a very great fear of ever being too 
forward, a thing I very much dislike and disapprove. May my 
Lord preserve me from it. 

I was favoured to get well through the British Society Meet- 
ing, and could not but return thanks that our Holy Head had 
so blessed this work. With respect to my dear Louisa's engage- 
ment of marriage, I have apprehended that the hand of the 
Lord is in it, and oh ! saith my soul, may it prove so. The 

150 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1834. 

pain of her leaving our Society^ and the steps attending it, have 
hegun to the wounding of my spirit ; for though I do not set 
much value on outward membership in any visible churob, yet 
it has its pains, at times great pains to me, and I am ready to 
say, in my heart. How is it ? When I have one after another 
of my family thus brought before our Meeting, it has its trials 
and humiliations. It would be to me a pleasanter, and I think 
a more satisfactory thing, if the discipline of our Society had 
not so much of the inquisitorial in it, and did not interfere in 
some things that I believe no religious body has a right to take 
a part in ; it leads, I think, to undesirable results Though I 
approve persons being disowned for marrying out of our Society, 
I had rather the act of marriage in itself forfeited member- 

Seventh Month, %\8t, — ^I have been very busy trying to ob- 
tain libraries for all the Ooast Guard Stations, and have had to 
see men in authority, who received me in a way that was sur* 
prising to myself: at the Custom House by Lord Allhorp, as 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, also, about the District Society 
concerns at Brighton, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the 
Bishop of Chichester, Lord Chichester, &c., &c. These things 
might probably exalt, had I not deep inward humiliations. I 
forgot also to add, that Lord Melbourne, as Home Secretary, 
and Spring Bice, as Secretary of the Colonies, received me lately 
in the handomest manner, respecting our British Society con- 

Her objects at this time were almost overwhelming, even to 
her — indefatigable and earnest as she was. 

Her desire was, to extend the plan of libraries to all the Coast 
Guard Stations in the United Kingdom ; but the project was 
vast, there being about five hundred of these, divided into 
twenty-four districts, and comprising upwards of 2 1,000 persons, 
including the wives and children of the men. 

The estimated expense was considerable. Mrs. Fry proposed 
that £1,000 should be raised by private subscription, and £500 

1884.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 151 

wouldy she hoped, be granted by GoverDment, for the advantage 
of 80 numerous and useful a body of its servants. Lord Althorp, 
then Chancellor of the Exchequer, received her proposal fa- 
vourably, but considered his continuance in office too uncertain 
to undertake it, although he promised to recommend it to his 

Her communications with Lord Melbourne were upon subjects 
connected with the Ladies' British Society, chiefly that of trans- 
portation, female convicts on board ship, and their treatment 
upon arriving in the colony. 

Nothing could be more courteous than her reception, or that 
of her friends, in an after interview with Mr. Young, Lord Mel- 
bourne's private secretary. These ladies strongly recommended 
that there should be a D6p6t for female prisoners, where they 
might be instructed, before being sent abroad, much on the plan 
that is now pursued at the Millbank Penitentiary. Mr. Spring 
Rice (Lord Monteagle), in the Colonial Office, gave Mrs. Fry 
and her companions, the Honourable Mrs. Upcher and Miss 
Fraser, a kind and patient hearing. 

Lord Melbourne granted another interview, when the subject 
of matrons for convict ships was discussed with him. The first 
matron who undertook that office, with the joint sanction of 
Government and the Ladies' British Society, was Mrs. Saunders, 
the wife of a missionary, who went out in the " George Hibbert." 
Her passage was paid by Gt)vemment, but she suffered so much 
from sickness, that her own exertions were continually impeded. 
Mr. Saunders supplied her place, as far as it was possible to do 
so, and very satisfactory were the results. They cannot be 
better described than by extracts furnished by Miss Fraser, from 
the books of the Convict Ship Committee, held September 12th, 


The * George Hibbert ' convict ship embarked one hundred 

152 xMEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1884. 

and fifty female conviots, and forty-one children ; also> nine 
free women, and twenty-three of their children. It was visited 
four times hy members of the Convict Ship Committee, and the 
usual articles distributed. The ship was found to be much 
crowded, and serious inconveniences were felt, and were to be 
apprehended during the voyage, from this circumstance. It is 
however to be noticed, with thankfulness, that both the cap- 
tain and surgeon-superintendent appeared to be peculiarly well 
qualified for the offices to which they were appointed. We have 
also to state, that a lady (who, with her husband, a missionary, 
had been accustomed to visit Newgate) had a free passage 
granted her in this ship, with the understanding, that they 
should assist in the superintendence and religious instruction 
of the convicts. 

" Mr. Saunders writes on the 26th : — ' Two services last 
Sunday. I have seen great improvement in the women, arising, 
I believe, from the ladies' reading, and the remarks of the 
surgeon on the use of bad expressions. Our present rule is, to 
read the scriptures, and pray with one half of the prisoners one 
evening, the other half next evening. I believe soon, I shall be 
able to have morning service and school every day. 

'* ' December 12th. — ^The Convict Ship Committee have the 
satisfaction of laying before the British Society, some most interest- 
ing accounts from the ' George Hibbert,' written by the Bev. J. 
Saunders, to his brother : — Sunday : Church service at half past 
ten and two o'clock. — Sermon after each service. The remainder 
of the week : ten to twelve, children's schools. We have four 
school-mistresses, and two give me great pleasure. Two to three 
o'clock, adult schools, twenty-four scholars, the same school-mis- 
tresses. Three to four o'clock writing school, two classes, twelve 
scholars each day ; but I have not yet hit upon the right method 
for the writing school, the women are eager to learn, but I cannot, 
as yet, put them in the right way. When I have set the schools 
at half-past ten o'clock, I meet a Bible class of about twenty, they 
are chiefly Scotch girls, and it gratifies me to see their attention. 
At a quarter past eleven o'clocki another Bible class of fourteen ; 
this contains better readers, and persons of more intelligence, and 
gives me great pleasure. Monday and Thursday are washing 

1884.] OF ELIZABETH FRY, 153 

days, and the Bible classes are intermitted : rainy weather will of 
ooarse interfere, as all these services are on deck. The church 
and the schools are on the poop, the Bible classes on the quar- 
ter-deck ; but in the evening, when the women are mustered, I 
go between decks, into each of the two prisons, separately read 
the scriptures, and pray, always concluding vrith the Lord's 
Prayer, because that is famih'ar to all.' 

9 99 

How marvellous a change within twenty years ! True, that 
much was only external : for the heart of man is not touched by 
outward order and observances. True, most sorrowfully true — 
that many restrained for a time, by circumstances and regulations, 
would return, when at liberty to do so, to their former depravity. 
But yet to those who desired better things, to those of the fe- 
male sex, who, although they had fallen, were not utterly cast 
down ; who, guilty perhaps of thefk or robbing an employer, were 
not utterly lost and degraded, there was now offered hope and 
encouragement, the decencies of life were preserved, propriety and 
industry could be maintained, and even some advance might be 
made towards restoration. Character mightoncemorebeeamed, 
integrity and industry practised, and the opportunity given, to 
prove that sin was repented of, and amendment of life desired 
and chosen. Of course much depended upon the Surgeon Superin- 
tendent, and upon the Matron, when that appointment became 
general, but some good was effected, and much absolute evil was 
spared. Nor were these advantages confined to the voyage. 

hen arrived at their destination, a ticket of good conduct was 
given to such of the women, whose behaviour had deserved it, by 
the Surgeon Superintendent, which almost insured their obtain- 
ing a good situation in service, and for all, there was a shelter ; 
the horrors described by Mr. Marsden, in 1819, no longer 
existed. The factory of Paramatta, at least afforded an asylum, 
overlooked by the Governor, and regularly visited by the venera« 
ble Chaplain. 

164 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1834, 

Upion, Seventh Mouthy 2!)th. — ^To-morrow I expect to set off 
on a journey into Scotland. I have taken an affecting leave of 
my family, praying, that we might again (if the vvill of Grod) be 
refreshed together, and my way has satisfactorily opened to go. 

Her husband, and two daughters preceded her, and awaited 
her coming at Bimam Inn, near Dunkeld. 

She arrived there on the 5th of August, and after giving her 
a few days' rest from her journey, the party set off for Loch Tay, 
taking a most delightful route by the Braes and town of Aber- 
feldy, so famed in Scottish song ; up Loch Tay to Kenmore, a 
village at that end of the Loch, where the river Tay, a deep, 
clear, rapid sweeping current flows out of it. At Eenmore, they 
enjoyed a quiet Sunday, and tolerable Highland accommodation. 
In the evening, anxious to turn the day to some good account, 
Mrs. Fry invited the servants of the inn, to attend the reading 
she intended to have with her own family. Some ladies were 
polite enough to offer the use of their sitting room, as it was more 
roomy, a large congregation of barefooted chamber-maids, and 
blue-bonnetted hostlers, assembled. She read part of her 
brother Joseph John Gumey s letter to a Friend, on the 
Evidences of Christianity ; the people were very attentive, and 
anxious each to possess a copy, that they might read the 
remainder of the book themselves. The next day, some game- 
keepers who came to the inn requested a similar gift^ having 
heard from the people there, all that had taken place. 

By Loch Tay, Eighth Month, 9th, First-day — Not having a 
Meeting to go to, and not believing it right for me to attend 
any other place of worship, I desire to spend a time in solemn 
searching of heart before the Lord, and may I be enabled to hold 
communion with Him in spirit. On the morning of the 1st, 
the day appointed for the liberation of all the slaves in the British 
dominions, and on which my dear niece, Priscilla Buxton was to 

1834.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 155 

be maxried^ I poured forth my soul in deep supplication before 
my heavenly Father, on behalf of the poor slaves, that a quiet 
spirit might be granted them — that their spiritual bonds might 
also be broken — that the liberty prepared for the children of 
God might be their portion. I also prayed for my beloved 
niece and her companion in life, that the Lord would be with 
them, keep them, and bless them. My son Gumey, accompanied 
me from Newcastle, and we arrived at Dunkeld on the 5th, 
where we met my husband and daughters. I ought thankfully 
to remember how my way has been made, where I could hardly 
see any opening to join them ; how difficulties have vanished, 
and how a kind Providence has been with me, and provided for 
me, and brought me to these dear ones ; may I be edified and 
refreshed by beholding the wonderful and beautiful works of 
God, and may I rightly attend to such little services as may 
open towards others. Lord be with me, and help me by Thy 
Spirit, to perform all my duties to Thy praise* I pray Thee be 
very near to us all ; protect us by Thy providential care over us, 
and above all, further visit us by Thy love, power, and Spirit. 
Oh Lord! turn us, and we shall be turned; help us, and we 
shall be helped; keep us, and we shall be kept Amen. 

On Monday, the 19th, the weeping climate seemed to forbid 
their progress, and the mountains were enveloped in clouds; but 
departing when the rain ceased, they had a fine drive along the 
banks of Loch Tay to Killin. The clouds rose considerably, and 
the mountains seen to great advantage — heavy masses rolling 
over them, sometimes resting on them, sometimes leaving them 
bare, with Ben Lawers towering magnificently over all. At 
Killin, the troubles of real highland travelling began. The inn 
was small and full, and Mrs. Fry and her party were obliged to 
take up their abode in a cottage, in some little humble bed- 
rooms, without a sitting room ; the highland mistress and her 
family carding and spinning wool in the kitchen. Notwithstand- 
ing the want of accommodation, the party remained over the 
next day to enjoy the romantic scenery of this spot, especiaUy 

156 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1884. 

where the river Dockhart, broad, rapid, and roaiing along its 
headlong and resistless coarse, rushes round two rocky islets, 
and under a long bridge, to where it falls into the Loch. Whilst 
the gentlemen were fishing, Mrs. Fry and her daughters ram- 
bled with delight through this wild highland scenery. From 
Eillin, the parly proceeded to Mrs. Stewart s famous inn, near 
Loch Katrine. The inn was fuller than usual, but accommo- 
dation having been secured beforehand, they found comfortable 
apartments ready ; but they had not them long to themselves^ 
for as travellers arrived, weary and hungry, for whom there was 
no room in the inn, Mrs. Fry could not resist sheltering them 
for a time. Just at the close of the day, a party of ladies drove 
up, extremely fatigued, and dreading the danger of the roads in 
the darkness of night ; the entreaties for admission were heard 
from without, they were invited to share their sitting-room, and 
with their maid passed the night on its floor. These traits of 
character may be considered trifles, but trifles in daily life often 
tell more than greater things. 

Edinburgh^ Eighth Month, 28M. — I left my dearest husband 
and two daughters in the Highlands, to accompany my boy on 
his way to England, and above all, to attend the Meetings, see 
the Friends, and visit the prisons here. I came under the belief 
that duty called me to do so. We experienced some danger in 
our journey, from an accident in a steam-boat, but the Lord 
protected us. I feel it to be a fearful thing to be here ; there 
are many ministers besides me. Lord, be near to Thy servant, 
who is here without one relation or companion, and has left all, 
for what she apprehends to be the call of duty. Guide, guard, 
and keep her, qualify her for Thine own service, of whatever 
kind it may be, to Thine own glory ; keep her eye very single 
to Thyself and the direction of Thy Spirit. 

Tarbet, by Loch Lomond, Ninth Month, 14M. — ^I have been 
more than a week returned to my husband and children, and 
have had, during that time, the real comfort of having Andrew 

1884] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 157 

Johnston and my beloyed niece Priscilla with as. They returned 
with me from Glasgow. In Edinburgh, I had much to be 
thankful for, in the help granted to me in such religious sor- 
vices, as I believe I was called into, in Meetings, families, and 
institutions. I had a very solemn religious time in the Gaol 
and large Befuge, also a shorter one in the Bridewell and 
another Befuge. The hearts of many appeared to be peculiarly 
opened towards me, and entire strangers wonderfully ministered 
to my wants, and upheld my hands, particularly the Mackenzie 
family. Our dear iriends who knew me before were abundantly 
kind to me. May the Lord, in His love and mercy, reward them 
for all their great kindness to me His very unworthy servant ; 
and may He still soften and enlarge their hearts towards me, 
until the work that He gives me to do amongst them be accom- 
plished. I find a field for much important service for the poor, 
and to make more arrangements for the ladies who visit the 
prisons. I desire, and earnestly pray to be preserved from an 
over-active spirit in these things ; and on the other hand, faith- 
fally, diligently, humbly, and watchfully, to do whatever my 
Lord gives me to do, that may be to His glory, or the good of 
my fellow-creatures. 

We have passed through very lovely country ; but the sun 
has not shone much upon us, and the atmosphere of my mind 
has partaken of the same hue, which is not so pleasant as more 
lively colouring over the mind, but I am ready to think more 
profitable, and perhaps more likely to qualify me for the weighty 
duties before me. 

From Loch Katrine the party passed to Ballooh, and Luss, 
and thence to Inverary and Loch Awe, from which place Mrs. 
Fry returned (her son with her) to Edinburgh. Whilst on the 
banks of Loch Awe, the party spent a few days at Inistrinich, 
under the hospitable roof of K. M. Mac Allister, Esq , enjoying 
the beauties of that fine district, and on their return, they passed 
a Sunday there. In the evening, Mrs. Fry had a solemn reading 
with a large party of guests and the assembled household. It 
was her invariable practice on this journey, even at the inns, to 


invite the servants to attend their Sabbath evening readings, 
and many of the visitors frequently joined them. 

The party having re-assembled at Oban, with the addition of 
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Johnston, remained quietly a few days, 
and then retraced their steps through Dumbarton and Glasgow 
to Edinburgh, where Mrs. Fry was again received with the most 
affectionate kindness by her friends. Her time and energies 
being devoted to the completion of those objects begun on her 
former visit. 

But whilst many institutions of value directly or indirectly 
owe their existence to her exertions — and she sowed the seed 
of many a noble tree — she did not omit the smallest opportunity 
of benefiting others. Her s was a constant endeavour to leave 
some savour of good on all with whom she had any communi- 
cation. The chambermaid and the waiter received the word of 
kindness and counsel, and a little tract or text book to impress 
it upon their memories. The postilion at the carriage window, 
or the cotter at the road side met with appropriate notice, and 
this mingled with the most unaffected enjoyment of the country, 
and spirit in all the incidents of travelling. 

The result of her observations on the state of the Scotch 
Prisons, she forwarded to the proper authorities after her re- 
turn home. 

A Prison Discipline Society, at this period established in 
Edinburgh, composed of many gentlemen of position and in- 
fluence, was carrying on its important work, in spreading in- 
formation, and leading to more general interest on the subject. 
With them Mrs. Fry held much communication, and letters 
passed between her and the indefatigable secretary^ Dr. Greville, 
on different matters connected with prisons ; his enlarged and 
Christian view of the subject being very congenial to her. 

Mrs. Fry's remarks addressed to the authorities, include 

many of the topics so continually urged by her. 


1834.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 169 

The care of women, beiug intrasted to women. 

Employment of some nature for all. 

More instruction to be given, and that not only for the sake 
of the thing learned, but for the good effect of change of oc- 
cupation, both for body and mind. 

Proper books to be furnished to those who can read. 

A uniform prison dress. 

A proper and sufficient dietary — the purchase of food, or re- 
ceiving it from friends, to be absolutely prohibited. 

Water for all purposes, to be thrown up, on every floor. 
Officers to sleep close to the prisoners. 

Arrangements for worship and instruction on the Sabbath* 

She was also becoming anxious on questions then occupying 
much attention. — The solitary and silent systems ; imported from 
America, where in many respects, and under the closest and most 
careful inspection they appeared well to answer, but which were 
to her feelings both liable to grievous abuses. She was always 
slow in forming decided opinions, and even more so in express - 
ing them; but on these points she became very clear, as to their 
uses and their dangers, and at a later period she believed it her 
duty very strongly to express her fears on the subject. 

After her return from Scotland, Mrs. Fry resumed her visits 
to Newgate. At that time, she went once a week regularly. On 
a few rare occasions, she did not confine her ministrations to 
the female prisoners. Her faithful coadjutors and valued friends, 
Mrs. (now Lady) Pirie, and Miss Fraser, were her frequent 
companions. The journal of the latter lady contains many en- 
tries of interest, which, most kindly, she has furnished for the 
present work: amongst others — 

" November 29th, 1884. —I spent an interesting time in New- 
gate, Mrs. Fry and I were there together for several hours. She 

160 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1834. 

went with me to the cells^ and read to the men just sentenced to 

"Amongst them^ there were two brothers, convicted,! believe, 
of housebreaking. The youngest was drawn into tbe commission 
of the crime by the elder brother. James, tbe youngest, could 
not read ; be was married to a very pleasing looking young 
woman, and had two children. 

*' I recollect Mrs. Fry told the poor men who could not read, 
that if they would try to learn whilst they were in Newgate, she 
would give those who succeeded, each a Bible. James took very 
great pains, and before he left the prison to be transported (which 
the whole of the men were, five in number) he could read very 
tolerably. On the 8th of January following, Mrs. Fry again 
went with me to the cells. James then read the 7th chapter of 
St Matthew's gospel and received his Bible. He became a valu- 
able servant to the gentleman, to whom he was assigned in New 
South Wales, and his wife, who had been assisted by LadyPirie 
and some friends of hers, in obtaining needle-work,wa8 sent with 
her children to him. It was a pleasing circumstance, that his 
master, as a reward for his good conduct, sent an order for a sum 
of money to defray the expenses of the voyage, in order that the 
family of this poor young man might join him. The letter with 
this order arrived after the wife and children were on their way. 
So remarkably favoured was this poor convict and his &mily, 
through the goodness of the all-seeing Father of mankind, that 
it is most probable his sojourn in Newgate was overruled for the 
good of himself and family, both spiritually and temporally* 
It was indeed a remarkable instance of the benefit of prison 

Tenth Month, 1th. — I have had a note from the Secretary 
of the Colonies to say, that all our propositions for improving 
the arrangements for the convicts are forwarded to the Govern- 
ment in New South Wales. At the Home Office, they are for- 
warding my recommendations about Scotland. 

After recording the birth of another grandchild, the first of 
a now numerous family, the journal contains the following 
remark : — 

J 884.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 161 

I feel it cause for deep and bumble thankfulness to see the 
happiness of my son and his wife ; I feel it also a fresh proof 
in the important step of marriage^ bow well it is for young per- 
sons to choose for themselves^ provided there is no insurmount- 
able objection. Indeed, I have unusually felt comfort in my 
beloved children of late — ^beginning to partake of that enjoyment 
in them that I have all along hoped would one day be mine. 
May I be encouraged^ with a thankful heart, to persevere in 
training up my younger ones in the Lord, and to trust for them, 
when walking in the slippery paths of youth — not to be too 
anxious about them ; but earnestly seeking for help, strength, 
and direction in doing my duty towards them, there commit it. 

I have been unusually discouraged the last day or two, by 

and taking a very decided part in things appertaining to 

our school at East Ham, and in our Newgate Committee. I 
have not felt them tender over me and my views, which were 
rather different to theirs ; I felt a little roughly handled, but as 
I firmly believe they did not mean it, and as I attribute it much 

to the warm zeal of dear ^—^ , I have truly desired to take 

all in a humble Christian spirit; I mean to seek to be doubly 
and unusually kind to those who have hurt me, and admit no 

other than kind constructions upon all they have done. 

cast reflections upon me for my " incorrigible love of the 

Church," as she told me she considered it. 

I find in most things in the religious Society I belong to— in 
charities— in education — I am so much disposed, from inclina- 
tion and early habit, to take enlarged liberal ground, that per- 
haps watchfulness is needed, lest Christian liberty degenerate 
into laxity ; but, oh ! the love, the enlargement I feel towards 
all, at times, inexpressible — the deep unutterable sense I have 
of the largeness of the foundation^ the fulness and real fireedom 
of the Gospel, how it brings glad tidings to all who love the 
Lord and His righteousness, how it breaks down partition walls, 
how it unlooses heavy chains, and unlocks prison doors, how it 
enables us even to bear with the prejudices of our fellow-mor- 
tals, and yield to them, if in so doing we do not hurt our own 
consciences. For my poor self, how do I desire, that however 
slack in the view of my fellow-mortals, I may not be slack in 

VOL. n. - u 

162 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1884. 

the sight of the Lord. How I fear for myself, lest I should get 
from under His cross, or in any way forsake my first love. Oh ! 
gracious Lord, be Thou my Judge and my Lawgiver ; examine 
and prove me. Be pleased ever to preserve that freedom which 
is of Thee — let me he in bondage to no mortal ; but, whatever 
is not of Thee, manifeet TJmw it, that it may come under the 
restraint of Thy cross. And if it be Thy will, keep me, I ptay 
Thee, in the unity of those who love Thee, and whom I love ; 
or, if, for my humiliation. Thou seest meet they should in some 
things set me at naught, let me ever rest satisfied in Thee and 
Thy love. Amen. 

Twelfth Months 26th. — I returned from Brighton the day 
before yesterday, having felt a drawing of love to visit the 
Friends there, and to attend to the difficulties of the District 
Society. I went quite alone, and yet not alone, because I believe 
my Master was with me. I quite hope and trust the valuable 
District Society will be continued. I had about a hundred guests 
to meet me. We read the 90th Psalm, and I felt called to pray 
for them and the Society. Afterwards I strongly pressed the 
importance of Christians of di£ferent denominations working 
together in unity of spirit, also of diligence in the work, and 
the care of all the districts. I advised a diminution of tlie pre- 
mium on deposits. I also saw some of their leading gentlemen, 
and I think an ear was opened to hear what I had to say. It is 
a weighty responsibility, the opening our Heavenly Father has 
given me with di£ferent classes of persons — oh ! for grace to 
make a simple right use of it. I returned home well satisfied, 
though, by remaining a little longer, I might have accomplished 

At the close of this year, — in public matters, I look upon 
Slavery being abolished, as an unspeakable blessing ; Capital 
Punishment much lessened, I also think cause for thankfulness ; 
and that in the Prisons it has pleased my Gracious Master yet 
to bless our unworthy labours of love. I have also had very 
satisfactory accounts of the District Society formed in Jersey ; 
and I trust the Scotch Gentlemen and Ladies' Societies will 
prove the means of good. Oh! for a thankful heart, for 
being in any degree enabled to be useful to our fellow-crea- 

1834.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 168 

tures. I have yet many things stirring, and what a favour to 
have health granted me, thus far to attend to these important 
duties; and I am informed, that though quite a new party is now 
in power, the members of Government are still ready to listen 
to my requests. 

M 2 


1 834-^36. Death of the Duke of Gloucester— Letter to the Princess 
Sophia of Gloucester — Coast Guard Libraries— Examination before 
Committee of the House of Lords —Goes to Lynn — Marriage of her 
youngest daughter— Journey along the southern coast of England — 
Crosses to Jersey and Guernsey— Libraries for packets at Falmouth — 
Libraries for Shepherds of Salisbury Plain — Death of a sister-in-law — 
Accounts of Jersey prison— Goes to Earlham — Religious visit to Sussex, 
Kent, &c., Hastings, Sheemess — Marriage of a niece — ^Visit to Dublin 
— Female prison, &c. — National schools — Conclusion of seamen's libra- 
ries—Jersey prison — Illness of a sister — Hesitation — ^Unpleasant voyage 
to Guernsey. 

The close of the year 1834 was marked by the death of the 
Duke of Gloucester. He had been highly esteemed by Eliza- 
beth Fry, from the time when quartered at Norwich, in the 
latter part of the last century His Boyal Highness was amongst 
the few, who addressed words of friendly caution and sound 
advice to the young and motherless sisters at Earlham. To the 
Princess Sophia of Gloucester, she wrote upon the occasion — 

Upton Lane, Twelfth Month, IZth, 1834. 
My dear Friend, 

I hope thou wilt not feel it an intrusion, my expressing my 
sympathy with thee in the death of the Duke of Gloucester. 
To lose a dear and only brother is no small trial, and for a 
while makes the world appear very desolate. But I trust, that 
having thy pleasant pictures marred in this life, may be one 
means of opening brighter prospects in the life to come, and of 
having thy treasure increased in the heavenly inheritance. 

The Duchess of Gloucester kindly commissioned a lady to 
write to me, who gave me a very comforting account of the state 
of the Duke's mind. I feel it cause for much thankfulness that 


be was so sustained through faith in his Lord and Saviour, and 
we may humhly trust through. His merits, saved with an ever- 
lasting salvation. It would he very pleasant to me to hear how 
thy health and spirits are, after so great a shock, and I propose 
inquiring at Blackheath, where I rather expect to he next week ; 
or if thou wouldest have the kindness to request one of thy ladies 
in waiting to write me a few lines, I should he much ohliged. 

I hope that my dear and valued friend, the Duchess of 
Gloucester, is as well as we can expect after her deep affliction. 

With desires for thy present and everlasting welfare, 

I remain, thy attached and ohliged friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Upton Lane, First Month, 27th, 1836.— I yesterday went, 
by appointment, to visit the Duchess of Gloucester, after the 
death of the Duke. She gave a highly interesting account of his 
death. He appeared to depart in the full hope of a Christian. 
This T felt satisfactory and comforting, after having traced him 
from his youth up, and seen his conduct, and known his prin^ 
ciples when a young man. I observe how gently the Lord deals 
with His people, and how, under the most varied circumstances. 
He visits all, and how He bears with those that fear Him. It 
appeared to me that the Duke desired to act up to the light 
received, and his faith was strong in his Saviour, which proved 
^is stronghold in the day of trouble. 

Second Month, Qth. — The way appears opening with our pre- 
sent Ministers, to obtain libraries for all the Coast Guard 
Stations, a matter I have long had at heart. My desire is, to 
do all these thiugs with a single eye to the glory of God, and 
the welfare of my fellow-mortals, and if they succeed, to pray 
that He, who alone can bless and increase, may prosper the work 
of my unworthy hands, and that I may ever wholly give the 
glory to EQm to whom it is due, even my Lord and my God. 

26th, — The affairs of our Society cause me real anxiety and 
pain, and reconcile me in measure to so many of my children 
leaving Friends. Though it is painful and humbling, in my 
own Meeting, my children's names being on the books only for 
disownment, yet I deeply feel my Lord is still with me and mine, 


and my trast is, that He is working in a ^' mysterious way His 
wonders to perform" amongst us. I have a very strong sense of 
His mercy and pity towards us, and the wonderful loving kind- 
ness already shown us in heights and in depths^ in riches and 
in poverty, in strength, and in weakness. 

Third Month, Id/A. — ^I returned yesterday from my expedition 
with my dear brother Samuel. I find much satisfaction and 
true peace, in now and then giving a portion of my time and 
strength to the service of my ovm Society; it is useful to myself, 
and in no service does the presence of my Lord and Master 
appear to be more evidently round about me. Upon going to 
the Custom House, on my return, I found Grovemment at las^ 
had granted my request, and given £500 for libraries for the 
Coast Guard Stations; this I think cause for thankfulness, and 
my desire is, that the measure may be blessed by the Lord. 

The beneficial efifects of the libraries introduced through her 
influence into the Naval Hospitals at Haslar and Plymouth, 
and the testimony borne to their utility by Sir William Burnett, 
the highest medical authority in the navy, had confirmed her 
desire to extend this advantage to all the Coast Guard Stations, 
without further delay. It was brought under the notice of Sir 
Bobert Peel, then first Lord of the Treasury, by means of a 
letter addressed by Mrs. Fry to his brother Lawrence Peel, 
Esquire, who had already ably seconded her views in the Brighton 
District Society. This application met with the approbation of 
Sir Bobert Peel, by whom it was referred to Sir Thomas Free- 
mantle — from him an assurance was received, that there existed 
a strong disposition on the part of the Board of Treasury to 
give efiect to this object, and that as soon as the proposed plan 
was matured it should receive all the assistance in his power. 

Captain Bowles, B.N., at that time Comptroller of the Coast 
Guard, gave the project his cordial support. Captain Sir Edward 
Parry united with Mrs. Fry in this movement, and under such 
powerful patronage it rapidly advanced. A formal application 

1885.] OF KLIZABRTH FRY. 167 

was made to the Treasury for a sum of money for this purpose, 
and the result was, the grant of £500. Large private sub- 
scriptions had still to be sought, and were obtained, chiefly 
through Mrs. Fry's influence. The details of the arrangement 
were almost entirely her own, and curiously adapted to meet 
the requirings of those she desired to benefit, having made her- 
self mistress of the subject, and of the nature of the service, 
with surprising rapidity and exactitude. 

Besides subscriptions in money, many liberal donations of 
books were received from some of the most eminent booksellers, 
which, with the grants from the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge, the Beligious Tract Society, and other similar insti- 
tutions, amounted in value to upwards of a thousand pounds. 

The selection of the libraries was a work of considerable diffi- 
culty, demanding much caution, and examiners were appointed 
to decide on suitable books for this important purpose. The 
gentlemen selected were the Bev. John W. Cunningham, Cap- 
tain Sir W. E. Parry, and Captain Bowles. 

The libraries, for the Stations alone, amounted in all to 25,896 
volumes. Fifty-two different works were prepared for each 
Station, whilst a still larger and more important collection was 
to be attached to every one of the seventy- four districts, in order 
to afford the needful variety and change. The packages of books, 
the greater part carriage-free, were dispatched ia the course of 
the summer from the Custom House, in Government vessels,[to 
their different destinations. But all this was not done without 
much fatigue and exertion, many wearisome journeys to London, 
and a great deal of writing, though in the latter she was much 
helped by Mr. Timpson, a dissenting minister, who undertook 
the office of Secretary, and proved an efficient and useful agent 
to herself and those gentlemen who acted with her. 

On the 22nd of May, Mrs. Fry was ordered to attend the 
Select Committee of the House of Lords, appointed to inquire 

168 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1835. 

into the present state of the seyeral Gaols and Houses of Gorreo- 
tion in England and Wales. She was accompanied by Mrs. 
Pryor, Mrs. Pirie (Lady Pirie) and Miss Fraser, who were like- 
wise to he examined. Sir T. Fowell Buxton was with Mrs. Fry. 
The ladies were conducted by him to an ante-room, where they 
found the Duke of Richmond and Lord Suffield ; the Duke of 
Sutherland came in shortly afterwards. The Duke of Richmond, 
as Chairman of the Goinmittee, presided ; Mr. Gumey, the 
short-hand writer, was seated at the comer of the table, and 
Mrs. Fry, Mrs. Pryor, Mrs. Pirie, and Miss Fraser, at the right 
hand of the Duke. There might be from twelve to fifteen 
noblemen present. 

An eye-witness writes : — 

" Never, I should think, was the calm dignity of her character 
more conspicuous. Whatever her inward feelings might have 
been, nothing like excitement wasvisiblein her manner — ^nothing 
hurried in her language. Perfectly self-possessed, her speech 
flowed melodiously, her ideas were clearly expressed, and if 
another thought possessed her, besides that of delivering her 
opinions faithfully and judiciously on the subjects brought 
before her, it was, that she might speak a word for her Lord and 
Master in that noble company." 

Perhaps the heads of a little strip of paper, prepared by her 
to assist her memory, will prove the best guide to those subjects 
she the most earnestly desired to press upon her auditors. 

Notes for examination before Gommittee of the 

House of Lords. 

General state of female prisons. — ^Want of more instruction. 
— ^Ladies visiting in female prisons.— Objections to instruction 
being given privately and alone to women, even by chaplains or 
ministers of their owd persuasion. 

The Tread-Mill — injurious for women, under many circum- 

1885.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 169 

Stances of health and constitation — often destructiTe to the 
health of men, when too prolonged upon a meagre diet — unfit- 
ting for labour afterwards/ Matrons, to be efficient, must be of 
character and weight Gaoler's daughter of sixteen, as in one 
instance in Wales, acting in that capacity. 

The state of most Borough prisons — ^instance, a woman alone, 
for a considerable time in one prison, never seeing any of her 
sex, in the power and under the care of men. 

Equality in labour and diet in different prisons, though the 
kind of diet must depend upon the local habits. Great need of 
Government Inspectors in English and Scotch prisons, the plan 
answering so well in Ireland. Chaplains, for general daily in- 
struction, and the services of the Sabbath. 

Convict ships— dil&culdes about choosing matrons — women 
more competent to judge of the qualifications of their own sex 
than men. 

Sut far beyond all other topics, did she urge the vast impor- 
tance of scriptural instruction for these poor fallen ones. Warmed 
by her subject, with her voice a little raised, and a look of solemn 
earnestness she went on to say, aft;er replying to one of the ques- 
tions addressed to her — 

I believe the effect of religious and other instruction is hardly 
to be calculated on**and I may further say, that notwithstanding 
the high estimation and reverence in which I held the Holy 
Scriptures before I went to the prisons, as believing them to be 
written by inspiration of God, and therefore calculated to produce 
the greatest good, I have seen (in reading the scriptures to those 
women) such a power attending them, and such an effect on the 
minds of the most reprobate, as I could not have conceived. If 
any one wants a confirmation of the truth of Christianity, let 
him go and read the scriptures in prisons to poor sinners ; you 
there see, how the gospel is exactly adapted to the fallen condi- 
tion of man. It has strongly confirmed my faith, and I feel it 
to be the bounden duty of the Government and the country, 
that those truths should be administered in the manner most 
likely to conduce to the real reformation of the prisoner} you 

170 MBMOIB OF THB UFB [1885. 

then go to the root of die matter — ^for though severe punishment 
may in a measure deter them and others from crime, it does not 
amend the character and change the heart, but if you have 
altered the principles of the individuals they are not only de- 
terred from crime, because of the fear of punishment, but they 
go out and set a bright example to others. 

The quiet self-possession with which she delivered her opi- 
nions, won confidence and consideration, even, where they failed 
to convince; and she had the satisfaction to believe, that some 
points of importance were forwarded by the information she 

The varying forms of the kaleidoscope, change not more ra- 
pidly than the scenes in the life of Elizabeth Fry. 

On the 22nd of May, she went before the Committee of the 
House of Lords; on the 28th, she went into Norfolk, to be with 
her daughter, and on the 29th, announces the birth of a little 
grandson. She returned home on the 2nd of June; and on the 
10th, in the retirement of her morning room, within sound of 
the burst of bells that announced the event, we find her before 
the Lord in prayer, during the celebration of the marriage of 
her youngest daughter Louisa, to Baymond, second son of Sir 
John Henry Pelly, Bart. 

Upton, Sixth Month, 10/A.<^Alone in my little room, my 
whole family gone to Church to the wedding. I feel solitary, but 
I believe my Lord is with me. Oh gracious Lord ! at this 
moment be with my child ; pour out Thy Spirit upon h^, that 
she may not only make solemn covenant with her husband, but 
with her God. Help her to keep these covenants, be with, help, 
and bless her and hers. Grant enough of this world s goods, 
but above all, far above all, grant them durable riches and righ- 
teousness; that joy and peace, which the world can neither give 
nor take away. Not that I am worthy, to ask for these blessingB, 
but I ask them for the sake of Him, who is our rigbtousness ; 

1885.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 171 

and through whom, Thoa showest Thy tender mercy towards ns. 
Amen^ and Amen. 

13M. — I can hardly express what the desire and prayer of 
my heart was on the wedding-day, that it might he rightly spent^ 
and that a blessing might he with us, and all our mercies, 
rememhered and acknowledged. I think this was a good deal 
the case ; they returned from Church, soon after I wrote in my 
little room, the party appeared cheerful, peaceful and sober- 
minded ; the dear grand-children, maoy of them with us, looking 
truly lovely, they had their wedding meal, a sweet group round 
a table with some other children. We sat down about fifty at 
our table, we had fifteen of our children, my sister Catherine, 
and my sister Buxton, the bridegroom's family, and a few of 
our dear and valued friends. I have seldom seen a more lovely 
party, or apparently in a sweeter spirit ; really quite a deiightftil 
and beautiful sight. I felt that I could not let the party separ 
rate^ without some expression of my deep feeling, my pleasure, 
and satisfaction in our table being so surrounded ; my gratifi- 
cation at the interest shown for the bride and bridegroom, and 
ourselves — and my desire, that this fresh union with our friends 
and neighbours might be blessed indeed to us all ; then my 
prayer for our dear young people, that they might walk with a 
perfect and upright heart before the Lord, that theymight be of 
good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and that the God 
of love might be with them even unto the end. I also ex* 
pressed, that I had remembered in my prayers, those members of 
the family that were afar ofiF — that grace, mercy and peace might 
be with them ! We then broke up, and wandered a little about 
until our dear bride and bridegroom left us. After which, our 
party dispersed, but an uncommon feeling of love, sweetness, 
peace, and blessing appeared to me to rest upon us, for which 
as a token for good, I desire, very humbly and reverentially to 
return thanks. 

Some important afifairs requiring her husband's p^sonal 
attention in the south of England, Mrs. Fry and their remain- 
ing daughter accompanied him ; it appeared a desirable oppor- 
tunity for seeing the Commanders of the different Coast Guard 


172 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1885. 

districts, through which they would pass, and endeavonriDg to 
stimulate them, with the officers and men under their command, 
to a proper application of the books they were about to receive. 
This proved, however, almost needless, for in nearly every 
instance, these gentlemen warmly seconded her views, and ap- 
proved of the plan. Her suggestions were received by them 
with the utmost attention and politeness, and greatly did the 
intercourse with the Coast Guard officers add to the interest 
of this agreeable journey, along the whole southern coast of 
England, from the Forelands to the Land's End. 

She almost always visited the Stations, and conversed with 
those she found there ; frequently the officers would follow her 
to the inn for further communication. At Portsmouth, she visited 
Haslar Hospital, speaking kind and pitying words to the sick 
and deranged. Admiral Garrett and his family paid her the 
most hospitable attention ; with Miss Garrett she visited the 
Penitentiary at Portsea. While they went over the house, the 
unfortunate inmates were assembled in the parlour, where they 
were all standing, when Mrs. Fry, and the party with her re- 
turned to the room. Miss Garrett describes Mrs. Fry, as '' sitting 
down, laying her bonnet on the table, and making some inquiries 
as to the arrangements of the place, and the conduct of the 
young women there. Two were pointed out to her as being pe- 
culiarly refractory and hardened — without noticing this, she 
addressed some words of exhortation and advice to all, but 
when she arose to go away, she went up to these two and ex- 
tending her hand to each of them, said, in a tone and manner 
quite indescribable, but so touching : — ' I trust I shall hear 
better things of thee.' The hearts that had been proof against 
the words of reproach and exhortation, softened at the words of 
hope and kindness, and both burst into tears." 

The travellers made a three days^ tour of the Isle of Wight ; 
but at Gowes Mrs. Fry separated from her husband and daugh- 

1835.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 173 

ter, believing it her duty to cross to Jersey, in the hope of effect- 
ing something towards remedying the crying evils which still 
existed in the prison there. She was accompanied by a young 
Friend from London, who had kindly agreed to go with her ; 
they went in the'' Ariadne/' Captain Bazin^s steam vessel. They 
had a rough passage, but a warm reception at D'Hautree, Co- 
lonel (now General) Touzel's. By him and his family were they 
treated, not merely with hospitality, but with true Christian fel- 
lowship, as " beloved for their works' sake." 

She had many interviews with persons in authority, but to 
little immediate purpose. Her desire was, that such buildings 
should be added to the prison, as should render it a House of 
Correction, and make it possible to enforce classification and 
needful discipline; but great difficulty existed from many per- 
plexing questions between the States of the Island and its Go- 
vernor, Field Marshall Viscount Beresford, as to who was to 
pay the expenses that would be entailed. She found the Dis- 
trict Society flourishing, and a committee of ladies visiting the 

On her return, she spent a few days in Guernsey, the prison 
was in the same deplorable state in which she had seen it two 
years before. Thence she crossed to Weymouth^ where she 
rejoined her party, who were rejoiced to welcome her again in 
safety. She was laden with fruits and flowers, the rich produce 
of those fertile islands. Among other treasures, she bore with 
her an enormous bunch of carnations and picotees of every 
colour, scarlet, yellow and bizarre. 

They were some days at Plymouth. Occasional intervals of 
rest, with the addition of sunshine and fine scenery, were thank- 
fully received by her. She prized the varied beauties in the 
material world, not alone as in themselves good and pleasant, 
but as types and emblems of the beautiful and good in the 

174 MEMOIB OF THE LIFE [188&. 

spiritual creation, and above all, in the spirit of Heber, she 
could appropriate his language — 

" If thus Thy meaner works an hk ! 
If thoe Thy bounties gild the span 
Of ruined earth, and sinful man. 
How glorious must the mansion be. 
Where Thy redeemed shall dwell with Thee4" 

There was one day she often referred to with pleasure, when, 
with the Coast Guard Captain of the District, in his cuttter, 
they visited some of the Stations, crossing Cawsand Bay, and 
landing at a romantic spot, where one of them is placed. At 
the Breakwater, on their return, they were met by several naval 
officers, their cutters or yachts, meanwhile, sailing about that 
beautiful harbour. 

The contrasts of her life were great. This was rather a fresh 
variety — ^walking up and down the Breakwater, with her daugh- 
ter, surrounded by naval officers of various ranks and different 
ages, but the one great aim of her life not forgotten. The con- 
versation between the Quakeress and those sons of storm 
and strife, was of benefiting seamen, raining their moral condi- 
tion, and the best methods of inculcating habits of piety and 

At Falmouth, they were warmly welcomed by Mr. and Mrs* 
George Croker Fox, and by every member of that family. Mrs. 
George Croker Fox, and Mrs. Bobert Were Fox, were amongst 
her oldest friends : their mother Mrs. Barclay, was sister to h^ 
father. In childhood and .youth, the intercourse was frequent 
and delightful between the two groups of sisters, seven in each 
family, alike left motherless in early life. 

Here she heard much of the packets continually sailing from 
that port ; she wished to have libraries for them also. In this. 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 175 

she was seconded by Captain Clayell, B.N., of the " Astrea" 
flag-8hip» and by many of the commanders of the packets^ and 
their families. Grants from the Societies^ and private subscrip- 
tions were raised, the Beligions Tract Society gave their publica- 
tions at half-price, and the Christian Knowledge Society pre- 
sented books to the amount of ten pounds* These vessels were 
supplied with Bibles, Testaments^ and Prayer-books, by Govern- 
ment. The library books were placed as a d6p6t at the office of 
Captain Clavell ; each packet, when she sailed, took out a box 
containing thirty books, changed from time to time, so as to 
produce constant variety. The gratitude of the men was great, 
and the co-operation of their officers hearty — of fifty-one pounds, 
that this arrangement cost, twenty pounds were subscribed by 
them. A few months afterwards, from one of Captain Clavell's 
family was received a communication, dated Falmouth, January 
27th, 1886 :— 

" I am sure you will be glad to hear our library is getting on 
with much success. The men appear more anxious than ever to 
read. * i^ I cannot tell you bow much we all feel indebted 
to you for your great kindness, and benevolent exertions ; but 
particularly our poor sailors." 

A second letter, of a later date, stated — 

'' I have delightful accounts from all the packets ; the men 
reaDy beg for the books. I wish I could show you a box just 
returned from sea, the books well thumbed, a proof, I should 
think, of their being read." 

The writer of these letters was not the only person engaged ; 
Lieutenant Jennings of the '^Tyrean," was amongst the 
warmest and earliest promoters of the plan, and so were the Fox 

Accompanied by some of their relatives, the travellers pro- 


ceeded, passing through the wild stem features of the Cornish 
coast, to Penzance and the Land*s«£nd. The state of the 
lunatics at Penzance was very grievous. Elizabeth Fry could 
not permit such evils to remain without some endeavour to 
remedy them. She soon afterwards heard from a friend that 
'' the comforts of the poor lunatics at Penzance are likely to be 
increased. A wall is now building round a part of the garden, 
which is made expressly for them to walk in, and I hope die 
internal arrangements are also improved." 

A few days were passed among the romantic beauties of 
North Devon. Thence they turned their steps homwards; but 
at Amesbury she paused long enough to make arrangements 
for a library being established for the use of the shepherds 
of Salisbury Plain. An excellent individual, approved by 
the clergyman and Sir Edward and Lady Antrobns, under- 
took the care of the books, and their circulation. After a few 
months' trial of the plan, he wrote to Mrs. Fry 

'* Forty-five books are in constant circulation with the addi- 
tional magazines. More than fifty poor people read them with 
attention, return them with thanks, and desire the loan of more, 
frequently observing, they think it a very kind thing indeed, 
that they should be furnished with so many good books, free of 
all cost, so entertaining and instructive, these long winter 

From the different officers of the Coast Guard Stations^ she 

received letters that gladdened her heart; but far too numerous 

for insertion here, and to select would be most difficult, as all 

breathe the same spirit, and express their cordial approbation of 

the plan, and the pleasure felt by the men and their families. 

But something beyond pleasure was desired by her, with whom 

the idea originated, that advantage and edification should 

accrue, to those who read. The seed she sowed has in truth 


1885.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 177 

wonderfully flourished, and now it is, that the fruits may be 
discerned If those, who visit our coasts for plea&ure or duty, 
would make their way into the low-hrowed preventive houses so 
continually recurring, in some apartment, frequently the room 
where the arms are kept, they may see three or four shelves 
against the wall^ filled with well kept, but evidently well read 
books. Let them enter into a little conversation, with the 
intelligent looking man^ decently dressed, who sits reading, after 
a long watch^ and they will find, whether or not these books are 
appreciated ; or let them address a few words to the wife, and 
bear her estimate of their value. Exceptions of course there 
are, and degrees in the estimate put upon the opportunity for 
improvement, but the former are few, and the amount of inte- 
rest and pleasure afforded by the books far beyond any thing 
that was anticipated, even by the most sanguine supporters of 
the plan. 

Upton, Tenth Month, 13M. — I returned home yesterday with 
my dear husband, from a very affecting and unexpected visit 
into Norfolk, in consequence of the severe illness and death, of 
my beloved sister Mary Gumey, my brother Joseph's amiable, 
devoted, and superior wife. She was in the prime of her day, 
only thirty-two years of age, a spiritually minded and lively 
minister, a very intellectual person, and highly cultivated, gene- 
rous, and remarkably cheerful, a wonderful helper to my brother, 
adapted to his wants. When I heard how ill she was, I could 
hardly believe she would die, she had such an apparent call 
here below, but our ways are not the Lord's ways, nor our 
thoughts His thoughts. He took her, thus early to Himself, 
but we apprehend, as the shock of com fiilly ripe. Our dearest 
Joseph^s resignation and patience are great indeed, and his even 
cheerful acquiescence to the will of his God is instructive. The 
funeral was deeply affecting. After dinner we had an extraor- 
dinary time. Our dear brother Francis Cunningham prayed — 
his dear Bichenda spoke. Joseph in the most striking manner 
enlarged on the character of the departed, on his loss, and hi^ 


178 MVMOIB OF THB LIFE [1885. 

consolation, the day went on and ended well, in a reading with 
the poor neighboars; but words fail me, to tell of the solemn, 
holy, loving feeling over us. Oh ! what a blessing is family 
unity in the Lord — ^my children who were present, and many 
others were deeply and powerfully impressed. May it be last- 
ing — ^may the same spirit that has so remarkably rested upon 
us, rest on them, the same love, the same peace, the same unity 
of spirit, the same freeness of spiritual communication. Such 
a day is almost like being raised above the things of this world; 
all appeared sanctified, all bless^, even the very beauties of the 
place. How did I feel called upon to entreat, and to warn, how 
did I seek to bear testimony to the very truth — and how did 
dearest Joseph in his affliction beseech all to come to Christ, for 

23rrf. — Since my return home, I have had very satisfactory 
letters from the island of Jersey, saying that great alterations 
and improvements are taking place in the Hospital. The Prison 
Committee have also acted upon many of my suggestions, I am 
now in communication with Lord Beresford^ the Governor of 
the Island, in the hope of accomplishing an entire alteration in 
the prison, new buildings, &c. &o. 

In our home prison cause, it is really marvellous to me to 
observe the openings of Providence, in die good effected by the 
members of the Ladies' British Society. I feel rather bound to 
record these things — ^not by way of boasting, but as a proof that 
all comes from the Lord, who blesses in the labour, and who 
strengthens for the work. 

Eleventh Month, 26M. — ^After a beautifol drive over the 
Forest, to see Robert Barclay and his children, after their heavy 
loss ; I incline to express a little of the feelings of my heart. I 
have in my drive, admired the various works of creation. I have 
felt in missing dear Elizabeth Barclay at Knotts Green — how 
many are departed &om amongst us — how much we have in our 
circle, seen, felt and known. I have observed the marvellous 
changes and various deliverances, and how some tenderly-be- 
loved departed ones have been very gently dealt with, provided 
for in time, and we believe redeemed, so as to be prepared for 
eternity; and when I looked at the various difficulties, temporal 

18d6.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 179 

and spiritnal, that some amongst us have passed through, the 
low places they have been brought into> and then again raised 
up ; provided for naturally, their sins, as we humbly believe, 
forgiven and blotted out, through the Saviour, and snatched as 
brands from the burning — my conclusion was, not to be too 
anxious, not to be too fearful, but to have my heart more fixed, 
trusting in God. 

Twelfth Month, liih, — ^I returned last evening from a visit 
to my dear brother Joseph, who was so very low and unwell, 
that I was unexpectedly sent for ; my visit was interesting, and 
I trust satisfactory. 

To her youngest daughter, who was ill during this absence, 
she wrote. 

Earlham, Twelfth Month, 1th. 
I have thought of thee with much tender interest since we 
parted, and have felt being separated from thee in thy present 
delicate state of health. In thinking of thee yesterday, it 
occurred to me, that this text would eventually apply to thy 
condition : " I was brought low and He comforted me ; return 
unto thy rest, oh my soul! for the Lord hath dealt bountifully 
with thee." I believe it to be needful for us to be brought low, 
to know what it is to be really helped of the Lord. I wish for 
thee and for myself, and for all of us, to have our hearts fixed* 
trusting to the Lord. There is nothing like committing our- 
selves, and our ways, and our all, to Him, who is our Helper, 
and who orders every thing for us, in wisdom, love and mercy. 
I have not been very well since my arrival here, but I do not 
feel uncomfortable, and expect soon to be better. I long to 
return to you all again, although I hope this little turn out is a 
right one. I hope, my love, if a little better, that thou wilt get 
into the air in the garden. 

I am, thy tenderly attached mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Upton Laney First Month. — I have had a hope that the last 
year has, notwithstanding all our short comings, drawn some 

N 2 

180 M£MOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

near to God; but may we all remember, that we cannot stand 
still in our religions coarse, and if we do not go forward, there 
is very great danger of going backward. I have felt unusually 
bound to encourage all my most tenderly beloved Deonily, to a 
full and entire surrender of themselves, to the service of the best 
of Masters, to be willing to be taught of Him, by His Holy 
Spirit, through the Scriptures, and through the dealings of our 
Heavenly Father towards us. I want all my children to partake 
of the same delightful spiritual union that we have partaken of, 
as a family, that they may be each other's joy in the Lord. I 
think there is much in the observation of Rogers — " It is a rare 
thing for any man, so to use prosperity, as to have his heart 
drawn by it nearer to God. Therefore we have need in that 
state, to watch diligently, and labour to walk humbly/' I de- 
sire in our intercourse with each other, that we should increas" 
ingly partake, not only of temporal enjoyments, but also of 
intellectual pleasures, and above all, of spiritual communion, 
which gives so lively a relish to all the gifts of God. As to 
outward religious caUings, at present, there appears some 
diversity amongst us ; sweet as it would be to me, to have some 
led in the same path as myself, yet I may in truth say, my first 
desire is, that my dearest children may seek to be of God, in 
Christ Jesus, (as it is easier to join ourselves to a sect than to 
be joined to Christ) and may know their Lord's will respecting 
them, may seek to be conformed to it, may be iiilly persuaded in 
their own minds, and then hold fast, very fast, that which is 
good; that here, they each may fill their ranks in righteousness, 
as followers of a crucified Lord, and eventually through Him, 
be saved with an everlasting salvation. Amen. 

During the commencement of this year, Mrs. Fry encountered 

some annoyance, not to say pain, firom the animadversions of the 

newly-appointed Prison Inspectors, on the state of Newgate. 

She had long strenuously urged the necessity of appointing 

Prison Inspectors for Great Britain, having seen the advantage 

accruing to the prisons in Ireland from their superintendence. 

At the close of the preceding year, the Rev. Whitworih 


1836.] OF BUZABETH FRY. 181 

Russell and William Crawford, Esquire, were appointed Prison 
Inspectors to the Home District; Captain Williams to the 
Eastern; and Dr. Bisset Hawkins to the Southern. Mr. 
Frederick Hill was named Inspector for ScoUand. Mr. Russell 
and Mr. Crawford commenced a searching investigation into 
the state of Newgate. Having studied the suhject of Prison 
Discipline, with the advantage of personal inquiry, on the part 
of Mr. Crawford, in his visit to America^ and personal expe- 
rience, on that of Mr. Russell, whilst Chaplain of the Millbank 
Penitentiary, they saw, without making fair allowauce^ the un- 
avoidable defects existing in Newgate. Mrs. Fry had always 
herself represented Newgate, as a most defective prison, allowing 
no room for proper classification or arrrangement. She had 
never approved, as a permanent system, the admission of Visi- 
tors to the Readings there on Friday ; but during the infancy of 
the question of Prison Reform, whilst public interest had still to 
be aroused, she believed it a useful and allowable means towards 
a desired end. 

The Inspectors appear altogether to have overlooked the fact, 
that this was done for the purpose of making known how much 
might be accomplished by kindness and moral influence, without 
authoritative enactments^ rather than to gratify any morbid 
curiosity on the part of the visitors, or love of display on that of 
the ladies. 

It is not now worth while to dwell on what was deemed dis- 
courteous or unkind at the time^ or the means adopted to 
rectify the inaccuracies which appeared in the First Official 
Report of the Inspectors. The differences between them soon 
died away, and on subsequent occasions, the ladies felt them- 
selves under obligation to these gentlemen for the attention 
paid to their requests on behalf of the Transports. The reader 
may judge from the perusal of the following letter from 
Mr. Russell, how completely their minds were freed from all 


182 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

misapprehension of the motives or condact of the Ladies' 

Letter from the Rev. Whitworth Russell to the 
Secretary ot the Ladies* Convict Ship Committee. 

''26, Comberland Street, 14M Jvhfy 1843. 
My dear Madam, 
As there was no Board of the Inspectors of the Millbank 
Prison until yesterday afternoon, your very valuable and inter- 
estiug letter could not sooner be brought under their notice. I 
am commissioned by them to convey to you their best thanks, 
and to assure you, how much they desire to promote the objects 
to which your letter refers, and to carry out the many excellent 
suggestions it contains. I am going to-day to make inquiries 
of the different departments, in order to ascertain what has been 
done with reference to the fitments of the Woodbridge, and 
the clothing of the convicts who are to go out in her. I 
am almost afraid we shall not be able to alter the existing 
arrangements, so as to bring them to bear on the Woodbridge ; 
we shall, however^ try what can be effected. 

" We shall not only be anxious to communicate to Mrs. Fry 
any arrangements we may succeed in making, but shall also be 
glad to benefit by her advice and experience. As, however, Mr. 
Crawford is now absent at Parkhurst, and does not return until 
the afternoon of Monday next^ the interview proposed for that 
day must necessarily be postponed. When our arrangements 
are more matured, we will ask Mrs. ' Fry to fix any time for an 
interview which may be convenient to her. We also beg to 
offer our thanks to the ladies of the Convict Ship Committee, 
for their kind co-operation in a work, for which they have already 
done so much, and in which they will prove such valuable 
assistants. Let me again thank you, my dear madam, and be 
assured, we shall gladly receive any communication you may be 
so good as to make to us. 

'' I am, my dear Madam, 

•' Yours very faithfoUy, 

"Whitworth Bussell." 

1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 183 

Thus, through a measure of evil report, and through many 
diCBculties^ did Mrs. Fry pursue her way ; but her aim being 
singly to serve Him whose service she had deliberately ohosen, 
wherever and however that service might lead her, she could not 
be " greatly moved." She dealt with Him who " looketh not at 
the outward appearance" but at *' the heart." It was from within 
that she nought -consolation, and there she found the Reward of 
peace, for her heart was " fixed, trusting in the Lord." From 
His hands she received success with gratitude — checks or 
impediments, she knew, were equally of His sending, and to be 
alike received with thanksgiving. 

Upton Lane, Second Month, 16M. Yesterday, I had the 
real satisfaction of meeting our Coast Guard Library Committee; 
Government gave us jSSOO ; and Captain Bowles, who was pre- 
sent (the Comptroller of the Customs, or head of all the Coast 
Guard Stations) gave £20 ; through which grants, we paid for 
all the books bought for our District Libraries, about 20,000 
volumes ; we gave our secretary, T. Timpson, a present of £50, 
and had £10 over. When I remember the many difficulties I 
had to encounter in it, first, at the Custom House, the weari* 
some walks to the top of that great building to see Captain 
Bowles, my protracted correspondence with various members of 
the Government, many committees, besides some rebufis and 
humiliations to go through, I think hardly any public engage- 
ment has occupied so much of my time ; but, now, thanks to 
my Holy Head, and merciful Helper, I think my part in it is 
finished. I desire to be very watchful how I put my hand to 
any other firesh public work, for I see much care needful, lest 
my attention should be too much turned firom my own heart, my 
own family, or even my duties to the religious community to 
which I belong, but on the other hand, if ever called again by 
my Lord, into fresh service of this kind, may I be enabled, 
promptly, diligently and faithftdly to attend to it. 

At this time, Mrs. Fry had the gratification of making the 

184 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

acquaintanoe of Miss Anley^* then about to proceed to Aastralia, 
to reside for a time with her consiD, Mrs. Damaresq. This lady 
entered warmly into Mrs. Fry's views ; the observations she 
made daring her sojourn in that distant land are highly inte- 
resting^ though the picture she draws is very sorrowful^ of the 
almost unavoidable crime and misery existing there. 

Colonel Dumaresq, had as many as one hundred prisoners in 
his employ, and it was his aim in every way to promote their 
moral and religious welfare, but his difficulties^ though great, 
could not have equalled those of his predecessor Sir W. Edward 
Parry, who, with his lady, spent some years at Port Stephen, 
devoted not more to the secular interests of the company he so 
effectively served^ than to the good of the wretched convict 
population around him. 

Upton Lane, Second Month, 26tA. — On the Sdrd instant, I 
thought it right to lay before my Monthly Meeting, my belief, 
that it was my duty to have some religious services in Sussex, 
Kent, and my own Quarterly Meeting. I can hardly express 
the sweetness and peacefulness I felt, in making this small 
sacrifice, to what I believe to be, the call of duty. The near 
unity and sympathy expressed with me by my friends, was also 
very encouraging and comforting. My dearest brother Samuel 
offering to take this expedition, was quite a help and comfort. 

Third Month, ISth. — I returned from my journey on Sixth- 
day last, having been out a week. I felt low, in fact, almost ill 
with the serious weight of the prospect of the Public Meetings. 
The first Meeting I wished to have, was at Hastings, the second 
at Bye ; a curious interesting place, towards which I had felt 
much attracted in my last journey. We found a meeting-house 
there. Grover Eemp, a valuable young minister joined me at 
my request, which was a great satisfaction to me. 

At Hastings, several of the Coast Guard men and officers 
were at the Meeting. I had many proofs of the use and value 

* Authoress of the ''Prisoners of Australia," '* Miriam,'' and other 

1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 185 

of the libraries sent to tbem, to my comfort and satisfaction ; 
proving it not to have been labour '' in vain in tbe Lord." 
Beal kindness^ almost affection^ as well as gratitude was shown 
to me^ by several of the men and officers and their families. 
We hope a Bible Society will be formed at Bye in consequence 
of our visit, and a Prison Society at Dover. But to come to 
one of the most interesting parts of our expedition^ we went to 
Sheemess^ to visit the women and children in the ships in 
ordinary. Captain Kennedy had them collected at my request; 
it was a fine sights in a large man-of-war^ instead of bloodshed 
and fightings, to see many naval officers, two chaplains, sailors, 
soldiers, ladies^ numbers of women and children, all met to hear 
what two Quakers had to say, more particularly a woman, and 
to listen to any advice given by them. We examined the 
children, as to their knowledge, then gave them advice, after- 
wards we addressed their parents, and lastly, those present 
generally — ^we were received with great cordiality by Captain 
Kennedy, and his wife. 

2Srd. — I laid before our Monthly Meeting on Third-day, my 
belief of its being my duty to go to Ireland, and take Liverpool 
and Manchester in the way. I had the unity of my friends*-! 
say in my heart — unless Thy presence go with me, take me not 
up hence. May my Lord answer this prayer in His tender 

Fourth Month, 12/A.— My beloved niece Catherine Gumey 
is to be married this morning, to my dear nephew Edward 
North Buxton* My prayers have been offered up on their 
behalf, may the Lord be with them, bless them, keep, prosper 
and increase them ! 

14 /A. — Just about leaving home for Ireland — oh dearest 
Lord! bless I entreat Thee this act of faith, to my family, my* 
self, and those amongst whom I go, and be, I most humbly 
pray Thee, my Keeper their Keeper, my Helper their Helper, 
my Strength their Strength, my Joy and Peace and their Joy 
and Peace, Amen ! Grant this for Thine own name sake, oh ! 
most gracious Lord God, cause also, that we may meet again, 
in love, joy, peace, and safety. 


186 MEMOIR OP Tflfi LIF£ [1836. 

The motives of Elizabeth Fry for undertaking this jonmey 
were two*fo1d. To attend the Meetings of Friends in Lanca- 
shire^ and he present at the Dublin Yearly Meeting ; and to 
visit the prisons at Dublin, and make a renewed effort for their 
amendment. She cared especially for the large female prison* 
in Grange Gorman Lane^ then in contemplation, she had long 
earnestly wished to see a prison devoted to women. This being 
the first in the kingdom, it was likely to prove a sort of model, 
should the example be followed in other places, she therefore 
considered it of great importance, that the arrangements should 
be as complete and effective as possible. Lord Mulgrave (Mar- 
quis of Normanby) the Lord Lieutenant, she bad reason to 
believe was anxious to carry out, a wise, and yet merciful system 
of prison discipline. Mr. Spring Bice (Lord Monteagle) kindly 
furnished her with a letter of introduction to him, but in a note 
to herself, assures her that any introduction to that nobleman 
was unnecessary, which indeed she found verified, for the atten- 
tion Lord Normanby gave to her suggestions, was not greater 
than bis personal kindness and courtesy to herself and her 
friends, during their stay in Ireland. 

The Grange Gorman Lane prison was completed early in 1837. 
After the lapse of ten years, it is thus mentioned in Major 
Cottingham's Report. Appendix to Twenty-fifth Report of In- 
spectors-General of Prisons in Ireland. 

"Visited, February 18th, 1847. — Although I made my annual 
inspection of this prison on the 18th February, 1847, as a date 
upon which to form my report, yet I have had very many oppor- 
tunities of seeing it during the past and former years, in my 
duties connected with my superintendence of the convict depart- 
ment. The visitor may see many changes in the faces and per- 
sons of the prisoners, but no surprise can ever find a difference 
in the high and superior order with which this prison is con- 
ducted. The Matron, Mrs. Rawlins, upon whom the entire re- 

1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 187 

sponsibility of the interior management devolveB, was selected 
some years since, and sent over to this coutitry by the benevolent 
and philanthropic Mrs. Fry, whose exertions in the- cause of 
female prison reformation, were extended to all parts of the 
British Empire ; and who, although lately summoned to the 
presence of her Divine Master, has nowhere left a more valuable 
instance of her sound judgment, and high discriminating powers, 
than in the selection of Mrs. Bawlins to be placed at the head of 
this experimental prison, occupied alone by females ; and so 
successful has the experiment been, that I understand several 
other prisons solely for females^ have lately been opened in 
Scotland, and even in Australia. In this prison is to be seen 
an uninterrupted system of reformatory discipline in every 
class, such as is to be found in no other prison, that I am 
aware off." 

The following extracts are &om a letter, written by the Matron^ 
Mrs. Bawlins, dated September 1st, 1847. 

^'It is perhaps needless for me to tell you, that Mrs. Fry had 
long wished to have the trial made of an exclusively female pri- 
son. That Mrs. Fry's plan has completely succeeded, every au- 
thority, both city and government, have bom ample and unqua- 
lified testimony, but I regret to say, she never personally saw 
the fruit of her labour, not having visited Ireland since my resi- 
dence here, but to her wise, judicious, and maternal counsel 
(under Providence) I entirely ascribe the emccess that has at- 
tended our exertions. I never took any material step at the 
commencement, without consulting her, and at her own request, 
at least every week, I wrote an account of my movements; and 
many obstacles that at first arose, she settled in her own quiet 
way by her influence with the government." 

There was another subject which occupied Mrs. Fry's atten- 
tion in Ireland, the state of the National Schools there; she 
visited some and obtaiaed minute reports of the state of many 
others. To effect this, she requested her ftiend James Doyle, 

188 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

who afterwards was examined before a committee of the House of 
Oommonsaponihesabject^ and another of her friends, to visit as 
many of these schools as they conveniently could, and to procure 
reports of others, which they could not personally inspect. 

They accordingly visited all the Schools (as far as they could 

ascertain) under that system in the city and neighbourhood of 

Dublin, and some in the neighbourhood of Cork. From other 

parts of the country they received reports from creditable 


It appeared that in Dublin and the South of Ireland, there 
were in all S8 schools, containing 4400 children — 79 only of 
whom were Protestants. 
Of the above — 

9 were attached to Boman Catholic Chapels, 
8 on Chapel Premises, 
1 on Nunnery ditto, 
8 conducted by Monks, 
12 unattached. 

In Belfast were two schools containing 800 children, of 
whom (in one) were 875 Protestants. 

In most of the schools they found the'scripture lessons recom- 
mended by the Board, but in very few instances, had they the 
appearance of having been read except in the Belfast School, 
where the Protestants were numerous. In all the other schools 
were found the Boman Catholic Catechism, and other books in- 
culcating Boman Catholic doctrines, and in most of them they 
were daily taught. After hearing these details but one conclu- 
sion could be formed, that the schools were falling rapidly under 
the power of the Boman Catholic priesthood, and that instead 
of affording Scriptural instruction generally they gave but a 
fresh opportunity for inculcating the spirit of Popery. Even 
the Bible lessons so strongly recommended by the Commis* 
i^ioners were in most cases very little used, and then without 

1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 189 

the children being told fitom whence they were taken, or led to 
reyerence the Bible as the word of God. It was not Mrs. Fry*s 
wish to take a prominent part in any thing which she did not 
consider as an absolute duty, encumbent upon herself to perform. 
She communicated, upon her return to England, her observa* 
tions to Lord Morpeth, but it was through her brother-in-law» 
Mr. Buxton, that she endeavoured, to bring forward the dangers 
which she detected, in the working of the system. That she was 
most liberal, almost too liberal, no one who knew her will deny; 
but this very liberality caused her to disapprove of the expendi* 
ture of public money in the support of schools, professedly in* 
tended for the good of alU and to favour no sect or party; but 
in point of fact, excluding by their practical arrangements and 
internal government, the children of pious Protestants, and 
the superintendence of pious Protestant ministers, of every 

Upon, Lane, Fifth Month, 13/A.— I returned home safely 
yesterday afternoon. I think I never had so happy and so 
prosperous an arrival — ^I wept with joy ; the stream appears to 
be turned for a while, my tears have often flowed for sorrow, and 
now my beloved husband and children have caused them to flow 
for joy. I found not only all going on well, and having done 
so during my absence, but to please, comfort and surprise me, 
my dearest husband had had my rooms altered and made most 
comfortable, and my children had sent me nice presents to render 
them more complete. Their offerings of love quite gladdened 
my heart, though far too good for me ; I felt utterly unworthy 
of them, I may say peculiarly so. I have seldom returned home 
more sensible of the hidden evils of my heart. Circumstances 
have unusually made me feel this. I fully believe in this going 
out, much help has been granted me in various ways ; my un- 
derstanding has appeared to be enlightened more fully to see 
and comprehend gospel truth, and power has been given me to 
utter it boldly beyond what I could have supposed. The fear 
of man was much taken away in Ireland, when I had to tell 

100 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1836. 

them what I believed to be home trnths . I may say I 

am brought down under a yery deep feeling of utter unworthi- 
ness ; and earnestly desire and pray, that whatever of our la- 
bours have been acceptable in the sight of our heavenly Father, 
they may be truly blessed to many, and not be in vain in Him; 
and that whatever may have been in any way not according to 
His will^ that He would in His own power prevent any harm 
from it arising to others. 

The kindness shown us by James and Hannah Doyle, Eliza* 
beth Doyle, and their mother, is I think never to be forgotten, 
during our long stay with them ; also by our much valued 
friends Jonathan and Eliza Pirn, and many others dearly loved 
in the Lord. My desires and prayers are strong, that being re- 
turned home, I may profit by the deep experience of this expe- 
dition. May my holy Bedeemer cause me by His Spirit to walk 
very closely to Himself, keeping to the Truth in His Spirit, and 
by His power preserving me from impetuous zeal in holy things. 
In this Yearly Meeting, may very sound discretion be my portion. 
As for my home dtities, my longings are indescribable that I may 
perform them in deep humility, godliness, holy fear and love ; 
that I may be a preacher of righteousness in all things and in 
all ways. 

Sixth Month, 1 2M,(-Ftr«^-dayi»<7r«iii^).— We, yesterday, had 
our British Society Meeting, and it was striking to me to ob- 
serve, how much our various labours had been blessed, and to 
hear how many poor women from various parts have been in* 
duced to forsake their evil courses, and are now either leading 
good lives, or hc^ve died happy Christian deaths. 

1 8/A.— I have felt a good deal pressedin spirit, these last few days. 
The day before yesterday I counted twenty*nine persons who 
came here, on various accounts, principally to see me ; there are 
times, when the tide of life is almost overpowering. It makes me 
doubtful, as to our remaining much longer in this place, which, 
from its situation brings so many here. I have several things 
which rather weightily press me just now. I desire to lay my 
case before the Lord, trusting in Him, and casting myself and 
my whole care upon Him. Dearest Lord, help, supply all our 
needs, through the riches of Thy grace, in Christ Jesus ! Amen. 


1836.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 191 

I yesterday accompanied General Campbell, the Lieotenant- 
Oovemor of Jersey, to Lord John Russell, our Secretary of 
State, to settle the difficulties respecting the prison in that island. 
May our efforts be blessed. 

2Srd. — I much regret to say that last evening, I had an ac- 
count that my dearest sister Louisa ruptured a bloodvessel on the 
chest and is very poorly, she had a similar attack, last summer. 
She has in addition, ever since the loss of her son, three years 
ago, been much tried by nervous depression, so as to cast quite 
a cloud over her, still she is lively in spirit, walking humbly and 
watchfully before the Lord ; but I consider her affliction to be a 
heavy one, and one that claims in no common degree, our deep 
sympathy and prayers — ^may our Lord, heal, help and sustain 
her ! whether her course here be for a longer or shorter time i 

In June, Mrs. Fry had the gratification of receiving the printed 
Report of the Committee, acting under the sanction of His 
Majesty's Government, for furnishing the Coast Guard of the 
United Kingdom, with libraries of religious and instructive 
books; announcing the completion of the project with a short 
account of what had been effected. 

'' The committee, acting under the sanction of His Majesty's 
Government, for furnishing the Coast Guard of the United 
Kingdom with libraries of religious and instructive books, and 
also with school books for the families of the men employed on 
that service, having, by the blessing of Divine Providence, com- 
pleted that object, it becomes their pleasing duty to lay before 
the subscribers a Report of their proceedings. 

" In the commencement of this duty, it is proper gratefully to 
acknowledge, that the idea of furnishing these libraries first sug- 
gested itself to the benevolent mind of Mrs. Fry, whose active 
and charitable exertions on all occasions affecting the benefit of 
mankind are too well known, and too highly estimated, to need 
further remark on the present occasion, and who having pre- 
viously succeeded in inducing His Majesty's Government to 
establish libraries for the use of the patients in the naval hospi*- 

192 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

tals> was induced by the observatioiis she had made on the sub- 
ject, to endeavour to extend the same beneficial measure to the 
Coast Guard Service, and after several unsuccessful efforts, 
arising from the expense which it would occasion, a sum of 
JS500 was obtained in 1885, from the first lord of the treasury 
(Sir Bobert Peel) for this purpose, which munificent donation 
has since been followed by subscriptions from many charitable 
individuals, and grants from several public book societies, but 
as the whole of these funds were not sufficient to meet the object 
in view, the present chancellor of the exchequer (Mr. Spring 
Rice) kindly granted two further sums amounting together to 
£460 to effect its completion. 

" The means thus so liberally afforded, have enabled the com- 
mittee to provide and forward to the coast, 

498 Ldbraries for the Stations on shore, containing 26,896 vols. 

74 Ditto Districts 12,880 

48 Ditto Cmisers 1,867 

School books for the children of the crews of stations 6,464 
Pamphlets, Tracts, &c. 6,357 in Nos. 

Makmg a total of 62,464 vols. 

and thereby to furnish a body of deserving and useful men and 
their wives and families, (amounting to upwards of 21,000 per- 
sons, with the means of moral and religious instruction, as well 
as profitable amusement, most of whom, from their situation in 
life, have not the means of procuring such benefits from their 
own resources, and who in many instances, are so far removed 
from places of public worship and schools, as to prevent the pos- 
sibility of themselves or their families deriving advantage from 

This work was now accomplished ; and dismissed from her 
mind as a point gained, and a blessing granted. But the un- 
dertaking had been a very onerous one, in some respects the 
most remarkable ever accomplished by Elizabeth Fry. It 
had involved much bodily fatigue and moral effort It had 

1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 193 

bioaght her into contact with a great variety of persons and 
had subjected her to some trials and rebuffs in the outset, which 
with her shrinking and sensitive nature would only have been 
borne because she believed it her duty to persevere in the object 
she had in view. 

Her active exertions in behalf of the prisons of the United 
Kingdom generally, were drawing to a dose* She had been an 
eminent instrument, in calling attention to the subject — ^but 
attention was now fully aroused, and the Prison Inspectors were 
pursuing their scrutinies with great and good effect. 

Other matters, however, pressed upon her attention ; nothing 
so much as the state of the Prisons in Guernsey and Jersey; in 
the latter prison, the difficulties of remedying the existing evils 
appeared almost insurmountable. Dr. Bisset Hawkins had 
visited both these gaols, and carefully investigated their state ; 
he had also given his attention in Jersey to the points in dis- 
pute between the States and the Governor, Field-Marshal Lord 
Beresford. In his report to Lord John Bussell, he describes the 
prison as in the most neglected state, exhibiting almost every 
defect in arrangement, which a prison is capable of displaying, 
and suffering under the absence of many common essentials, such 
as '* clothing, suitable bedding, soap, washing, white-washing, 
while the keeper appears to be almost his own master, and is 
appointed by the Bailiff of the Island, although he derives his 
emoluments from the Governor," 

Dr. Hawkins recommended to have the question settled, of 
maintaining the prisoners, by an equal pordon being borne by 
the Governor and the States. He proposed that a House of 
Correction should be built on the grounds on which the present 
prison is situated, which affords ample space for the erection of 
such a building, without disturbing the already existing gaol. 
With respect to the expense of building it, he shows, that the 
Grant of King Charles the Second, by which the States are 


194 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

empowered to raise an Impot on Liqaors, expressly enjoins that 
Three Hundred Livres Toomois/' oat of the revenue so raised, 
shall be yearly employed for the erecting and building a con- 
venient House, and for and towards raising and maintaining of 
a Stock of Money, to be used for the setting to work, and or- 
derly governing of Poor and Idle People, the relief of decayed 
Tradesmen, and the Correction and Restraint of Vagabonds and 
Beggars within the said Isle." 

From this fund, he considers, that the States, by the payment 
of £1000 for two successive years, could, without difficulty, 
meet the expenses of erecting a building, in all respects suffi- 
cient for the required purpose. He recommended a Prison 
Board for the superintendence, not only of the work, but of the 
prison afterwards, to consist of the following five high func* 
tionaries of the Island ; namely the Lieutenant-Governor, the 
Bailiff, the two Law-officers of the Crown, and the Sheriff or 
Deputy Sheriff, (usually denominated Vicomte or Deputy 
Vicomte) the Secretary and Treasurer to be the Greffier of the 

Dr. Hawkins' propositions met with the concurrence of Lord 
John Bussell, who recommended their adoption to the States. 
By that body Lord John Bussell's communication was very fairly 
received, and the alterations they suggested were unimportant 
Mrs. Fry took a lively interest in the subject as it proceeded. 
She was urged by many of her island friends, again to go to 
Jersey, before the contemplated buildings were begun. 

Lord John Bussell had favoured her with an interview on 
the subject, and she had frequently communicated with Lord 
Beresford. On this, as on many other occasions, her knowledge 
of the subject, and her facihty in devising expedients, occasioned 
her not merely to be listened to with attention, but not unfre- 
quently her counsel to be sought And it is due to men of 
different parties, who successively guided the helm of State, to 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 195 

acknowledge, that her remarks were invariably reoeived with 
conrtesy, and where (as was generally the case)» the subject 
matter approved itself to their own judgments^ her advice as 
invariably followed. How mach of this was owing to her 
extreme caation in forming opinions^ and her nice discretion in 
bringing them forward, will be discerned by those, who whilst 
ihey read the history of her life, observe and comprehend her 
mental qualities. She considered that her presence might prove 
serviceable in Jersey ; she was earnest that the arrangements 
about to be made there should be as complete as possible, espe* 
cially for women. She wished again to inspect the Hospital, and 
to see the working of the District Society. Similar objects at- 
tracted her in Guernsey. She believed also, that it was her 
duty to visit the island of Aldemey, where hitherto she had not 

To her husband and daughter the idea of a renewed tarriance 
in Jersey was entirely agreeable — ^but in her heart, an impedi* 
ment existed, which occasioned her no little conflict, many 
doubts, and much distress, before she could determine upon the 
allotted path of duty. 

Her sister, Mrs. Samuel Hoare had never rallied firom the loss 
of her eldest son. She bowed in submission to the blow ; but 
never recovered the shock, and though she was enabled to per- 
severe in all her duties, with much true Christian cheerfulness, 
it was evident to those who loved her, that the serious injury 
her constitution had received, was slowly but surely undermin- 
ing the powers of life. Never, perhaps, had a son been more to 
his mother than her first-born son, had been to Mrs. Hoare — 
never the tie of affection or sympathy stronger. She had reared 
him with a firm, but most tender hand ; he had passed through 
the slippery paths of youth, and early manhood, singularly in- 
tact, and had distinguished himself at College, which he quitted 

with high credit, to enter with equal diligence a business-career 

o g 

196 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

with his father in London. He had only left the home of his 
parents, when united to one, as much their choice as his own. 
Blessed as husband and father with all outward prosperity, 
suddenly, the message came, *' Thou shalt die, and not live." 
He returned to his father s house, for a few weeks of deep illness 
and sedulous nursing; there, in perfect, acknowledged and 
most simple reliance on the wisdom and 'goodness of God his 
Saviour, in all His dealings with the children of men, he left his 
fiither s house, on earth, for the eternal home, prepared for him 
by his Father in heaven. 

At the time that Mrs. Fry was preparing to leave England, it 
became obvious that her sister was approaching that " country 
from whose bourn no traveller returns." There are many who 
believe that they '^ acknowledge God in aU their ways," trusting 
in Him, ''to direct their paths;" but there are not many who 
carry this belief into the practice of life, or are from experience, 
able to unite with Judge Hale in his assertion, that — 

" They who truly fear God, have a secret guidance from a 
higher wisdom than what is barely human, viz., the Spirit of 
Truth and Godliness — which doth really, though secretly, pre- 
vent and direct them. Any man that sincerely and truly fears 
Almighty God, and calls and relies upon him for his direction, 
has U as really as a sofi has the counsel and direction of his 
father ; and though the voice be not audible, nor discernible by 
sense, yet it is as real as if a man heard a voice saying, ' This is 
the way walk ye in it' 

'' Though this secret direction of Almighty God, is princi- 
pally seen in matters relating to the soul; yet it may also be 
found in the concerns of this life, which a good man that fears 
God and begging his direction, will very often if not at all 
times find. I can call my own experience to witness that even 
in the temporal concerns of my whole life, I have never been 
disappointed of the best direction, when I have, in humility and 
sincerity implored it." 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 197 

Elizabeth Fry was one of the few, who sought this guidance, 
and there probably lay the secret of her strength. She watched 
for opportunity, she waited for occasion, she listened for the 
Father's voice, but when heard, unhesitatingly pursued her way. 

She believed it her duty to go to Jersey, at any sacrifice of 
personal feeling, and this view was confirmed, by knowing that 
by her suffering sister she was not needed; every thing that love 
or skill could effect, being done for Mrs. Hoare, by her own 
family and her other sisters. Another circumstance tended to 
satisfy Mrs. Fry as to the rectitude of her decision, her sister- 
in-law Elizabeth Fry, then in very delicate health, having been 
advised again to visit the Channel Islands, where she had before 
derived much benefit from the mild sea air. She, with Mr. 
and Mrs. Fry, and their daughter, embarked at Southampton, on 
a calm fine evening, with every prospect of a favourable voyage, 
but these favourable appearances were not of long duration. 
About four o'clock in the morning, all on board were roused 
by the sudden stopping of the vessel. A dense fog had come on, 
when passing through the intricate passage between the Gaskets 
and the Island of Aldemey. They remained many hours en- 
tangled amongst rocks, with the fog so thick, that it was not 
always easy to see the length of the vessel; much apprehension 
was entertained by many on board, in which Mrs. Fry partook, 
though preserving her wonted calmness of demeanour. 

Happily, may it not be called providentially, there was as 
passenger in the steamer, the old Guernsey pilot who had 
brought Lord de Saumarez, and two frigates under his command, 
into Guernsey, in the presence of a superior French force, by 
piloting them through a passage, generally considered imprac- 
ticable. Of his advice and assistance, the Captain himself a 
skilful pilot, took advantage, and after a time of careful naviga- 
tion, the joyful tidings spread among the passengers, that the 
jeopardy was over, that they were through the channel, and 

198 MEMOIB OF THE LIFE [1836. 

onoe more in the open sea. The spirit of Mrs. Fry's mind was 
exemplified by her remark to her daughter, when as they ap- 
proached Guernsey the clouds drew np, the sun shone forth in 
brightness and the cheerful sounds of sabbath bells saluted 
their ears, " I have felt it very doubtful whether this was not 
to be for us the dawn of the eternal^ instead of the earthly 
Sabbath; I thought it rather the Church above, than the 
Ohurch below, we were to join to*day/' 

Jersey, Eighth Month, 6/A. — ^My husband and I have been 
here rather more than a week. I left home on Fourth-day, 
the 27th, accompanied by my dear sister Gumey, leaving my 
husband and the rest of the party to follow on Sixth-day, be- 
cause I believed it my duty to attend the Quarterly Meeting at 
Alton, in my way to Southampton. In tender mercy, I was 
permitted to part from my beloved family in peace, in love, and 
in good hope that our Heavenly Father would bless and protect 
them On Second-day, before leaving home, we had our dear 
children and grandchildren, for a sweet cheerful evening, 
drinking tea and having strawberries, in the garden, a little 
farewell frolic — ^it was a lovely sight. From Alton, I proceeded 
to Southampton, where we all met, and were favoured with a 
favourable passage till early in the morning, when so awful a 
fog came on, jnst as we were in the midst of the rocks, between 
Aldemey and Guernsey, that (he Captain and the crew appeared 
to be much alarmed. We all felt it very seriously, and I expe- 
rienced something of my own infirmity and fearful nature, still 
I was quiet, and I think trustful. It was delightful once more 
to see land, and to have the sun shine upon us. I can hardly 
express the feeling. We were detained about four hours in this 
fog. I must describe our arrival, the sun breaking out, show- 
ing us the Island of Guernsey, Herm and Sark. Castle Carey, 
the place of our destination, on the top of the hill, surrounded 
by trees, looking beautiful, we met with the most cordial recep. 
tion from our friends and their children — the place delightful — 
my room commanding the finest view of the sea and islands, 
our comforts abundant, far above our deserts. I had appro- 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 199 

hended^ previously to leaving home, tbat I should feel it a duty 
to visit the island of Aldemey, but I became discouraged) the 
danger of the sea having been so much brought home to me, 
and the passage being very difficult. But I found upon weigh- 
ing the subject, that I was not satisfied to omit it, and there- 
fore if a favourable opening occurred, resolved to make the 
effort, and to go on Fourth-day, the llth. We tried for a 
conveyance in vain, till the very morning, when we found a 
vessel going. The sun shone brilliantly, the wind fair; every 
thing prospered our setting off, and we appeared to have the 
unity of all our party. My beloved husband, Edmund 
Richards, Sophia Mourant, and myself. We had a very favour- 
able voyage, though these little sailing vessels are unpleasant 
to me, and give me an uncomfortable sensation. We arrived at 
this curious island, which is rocky, wild, not generally culti- 
vated, covered in parts with a carpet of lovely wild flowers, and 
scantily inhabited by an interesting people. No inn of course, 
but we had a very nice lodging, where we might truly say, we 
wanted for no real comfort, so the Lord doth provide. I was 
low and poorly, the first part of our visit ; but like the fog on 
the voyage, my cloudy state was suddenly dispersed, as from a 
ray of the Sun of Bighteousness. We held some meetings, we 
also formed a Ladies' Charity to visit the poor, we proposed 
sending a library, and Edmund Bichards formed a temperance 
society. We were received with great kindness, by num- 
bers of the people, and by Major Bainos the Governor, and 
his wife. We found no opportunity for our departure at the 
time we had proposed leaving Aldemey, and were literally 
confined there, until the end of the following week, when 
the way appeared to be as clear to return as it had been 
to go. A vessel to take us — the wind fair, and the sun 
bright. We arrived safely at Castle Carey, on the evening of 
the 24ih of the Seventh Month, and found good accounts from 
home, and fi'om the party who had preceded us to Jersey; thanks 
be to my Heavenly Father ! My too anxious and fearful mind 
having been disposed to much anxiety. I had not much public 
service in Guernsey. Meetings as usual on First-day. I went 
to see many families of Friends and others, and besides some of 

200 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1886. 

the poor, yisited the Hospital, and urged the great need of a 
LimatiG Asylnm. The evening before oar departure, I had a 
very solemn Public Meeting, vdth many interesting persons, 
afterwards several joined us at Castle Carey, where we had a 
time of much interest, pleasantly partaking of natural friendship ; 
afterwards we were read to by a clergyman, and then I had a 
very solemn occasion of thanksgiving and prayer, greatly doubt- 
ing my ever seeing most of their faces again. The next morn- 
ing, John and Matilda Carey, their children, the clergyman, and 
our friends the Biohards, all accompanied us to the shore, some 
went with us in a boat to the ship, which I entered in peace and 
comfort, under the belief, that I had been in my right allotment 
in that island, and Aldemey. We had a beautiful passage 
here, calm, and lovely weather, and had the blessing of finding 
the party well. 

Jersey y 19/A. — In this place I find much to occupy me, in the 
Hospital, the District Society, and in the Prisons. We receive 
much kind attention from the inhabitants of the island. I had 
much to say in a large District Society Meeting, yesterday — ^I 
hope usefully. I entered it prayerfully, but not enough so. I 
have enjoyed some delightful expeditions into the lovely country, 
where we have sometimes taken our cold dinner, and spent the 
day in the rocky bays. We have also joined two large parties 
of the same kind, which were pleasant to me ; my nature leads 
me to be social, and rather like general society, but I wish all to 
be done in the right spirit. Innocent recreation, I believe, is 
profitable as well as pleasant. Our Lord desired His servants to 
rest, and He evidently felt for them when they had hardly time 
to eat ; (6th chapter of Mark, dlst verse;) but this rest was after 
labour. I believe our recreations are right, as far as they fit 
us for our Master's service, and wrong if they enervate and dis- 
qualify us for it. I have deeply felt my sister Hoare's state. I 
may say in measure, I bear her burdens with her, — she has my 
frequent prayers, and my tears often rise in remembrance of her. 
My heart is also much at home, most tenderly interested for all 
my children, more particularly my boys. I think I have cause 
for much thankfrilness in the accounts from them. 

%^rd. — ^The letters on First-day brought us the affecting in- 


1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 201 

telUgenoe that my much-loved sister Hoare was worse ; her de- 
cline has been rapid the last week or two. My sister Gunning- 
ham wrote to me to beg me to set o£f to her directly ; this proved 
a stunning blow — ^the low estate of this tenderly beloved sister^ 
the difficulty of getting to her^ the doubts as to what I ought to 
do, the disappointment that we should again lose our time of 
refreshment and recreation in France, all upset me> as I say, 
stunned me. What could I do, but pray in this emergency to 
be helped and directed aright; that I might faithfully do my duty 
to all, and that my poor dear afflicted sister might be so helped 
immediately by her Lord Himself, that no other help might be 
really needful to her, yet the infirmity of my heart led me to 
pray also, that if right for us, I might see her again and be some 
little help and comfort to her in her last hours. 

Mrs. Hoare was to Mrs. Fry a beloved sister, a faithful and 
unfailing friend, and often a wise counsellor — she being a woman 
of a large and comprehensive mind, excellent in judgement, and 
of very uncommon cultivation. Besides, it was again a lessening 
of the band; another taken of the seven sisters, who had entered 
life together, and, as such, an event to affect and alter it, to 
those who were left. 

In the early days of Earlham, Louisa Gumey is described by 
one who shared with her their interests and pleasures, as *' a 
noble girl, and the most talented of any of them, possessing a 
fine understanding, great energy, and a taste for excellence, 
which produced a high stimulus in her pursuits, and success, 
for the most part, in all she undertook, but, in case of failure, 
an equal degree of disappointment and vexation, a heart warm 
and generous, a glowing disposition, very benevolent, active 
and effective in her habits ; rising early of her own accord, full 
of her own objects, and fond of kaming and cultivation of every 

As a mother nothing more need be said of her, than that the 

20^ MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1836. 

principles inculcated in her writings,"^ ehe carried out in daily 
practice^ enlarging and expanding as her children advanced in 

After the death of their son, Mr. Hoare s family removed to 
their residence at Cromer. Thence she wrote to Mrs. Fry — 

** How kind of you, my dearest sister, to write again so fully 
to us ! With your tender hand, never be afraid of touching us 
in our present low estate. You well know the secrets of real and 
deep grief — few have been taught like yourself to minister to the 
afflicted. I always feel a difficulty in describing our present 
state ; I do so long to be thankful, and enabled to acknowledge 
the mercies received, and the manifestions that have been vouch- 
safed to us, of the beauty and efficacy of grace received in 
humble faith and obedience I such simplicity of faith, humility, 
meekness, fortitude, and deep resignation of spirit as we were 
permitted to witness ! But the loss is indescribable ; and the 
conflict has been greater and sharper than I was prepared for. 
There is a natural sinking too, after strong and continued excite- 
ment, and I believe I am suffering from the shake to the nerves^ 
as well as the great trial to the feelings. How do we need, in 
the season of deep trial, to refrain our souls and keep them low ! 
to be made willing to suffer, till the time of revival and refresh- 
ment is ordered for us ! ' He will command His loving kind- 
ness in the day-time, and in the night His song shall be with 
me.' May this be our happy experience, and your dear RacheVs 
too, in her long sickness ! What an exercise of long suffering 
day after day ! But what a provision for us — ' Give us day by 
day our daily bread !* We must learn to live as little children, 
our eye continually fixed on our God and Saviour, seeking for 
nourishment from Him, and that precious anointing, which 
can heal our deepest wounds, and shed abroad in us the consol- 
ing and constraining love of Christ! Oh, for more of that 
love, to elevate and sanctify our natural affections, and gradu- 
ally to swallow up the sense of sorrow and mourning, in the 
view of the love and faithfulness of Him who hath promised 

* Hints on Early Education, and the Workhouse Boy. 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH 1*BY. ^08 

eternal life to all that believe in Him ! How I long to drink 
more deeply of this living stream ! for all oar fresh springs are 
in Him, and our times of monming and of joy in His hands." 

The accounts of Mrs. Hoare becoming rapidly worse, and 
Mrs. Fry's objects in the Channel Islands being accomplished^ 
she prepared for her departure. 

A Committee of Ladies was established for visiting the Hos- 
pital in Jersey, with the Lady of the Lieutenant-Governor 
General Campbell at its head. The District Society was 
increasing in usefulness, the new House of Correction was likely 
to be established on the best principles; and she had the 
comfort of knowing, that all these objects were left under the 
skilfid and efficient saperintendence of her kind friend Major- 
General Touzel, who had been with other Jersey gentlemen, 
faithful coadjutors in her various labours. Her visits to 
Aldemey and Guernsey had been accomplished to her own 

Jersey^ Eighth Month, 26th. — Since I last wrote, I have 
passed through much conflict — ^indeed I have been strongly 
drawn two ways. I now expect to cross to-morrow ; but some 
discouragement attends it. I am about going to a Public Meet- 
ing of importance, to finish, as I suppose, such services here. 
Be pleased, most gracious Lord, to be with me in this straitened 
place, help me through this service, by Thine own Spirit to 
glorify Thee ; edify, comfort, and help this people, and those 
dear to me. Show me, I pray Thee, for Thy dear Son's sake, 
thiB token for good in my low estate — and if it please Thee, 
make my way quite clear before me ; if I am called to my be- 
loved sister^ oh, dearest Lord, be Thyself with me, and all of us, 
that we may part in peace, love, and joy, in Thee. Amen. In 
Thy love and pity in Christ Jesus, hearken to my unworthy 

Upton Lancj Ninth Month, 18M. — I was favoured to get 
through this Meeting well. By the close of that day, I had 
very much concluded the various duties that I was called to 




204 MEMOIR OF THE UFE [1836. 

perform in that island. My danghter was better^ and the time 
to depart seemed come, though I minded haying to get up in 
the night, for we had to be in the vessel before four o'clock, am. 
When the morning came the wind was favourable, and we, not 
the worse for getting up so early. I felt peace, in going at that 
time, and not waiting for the next post, and prayed for preser- 
vation for us all. We then set off, found a comfortable small 
vessel, a good captain, rather a moderate sea, at first the 
weather doubtful ; but by degrees the day cleared, the sun shone 
upon us, and though the wind became high and the sea rough, 
yet it did not make us unwell, and we had altogether a pleasant 
and prosperous voyage. I left my sister Elizabeth Fry at 
WeymouA, and travelled on to London on First and Second- 
day, as in a case of this kind, I consider it allowable to travel on 
the Sabbath. I arrived atHampstead on Third-day morning the 
29th, and foimd my much-loved sister in a very affecting state; 
her malady, whatever it is, having made rapid advances. From 
extreme reduction, her mind appears unable to form more than 
one sentence at a time ; she therefore can express but little of 
her mind religiously, but, even in this very low tried state, we 
perceive her high Christian principle. No complaining, no ini- 
tation ; kind and grateful, yielding to our requests, whilst a 
word or two, now and then, show us her mind. When I said, 
*' How suffering illness is," and " what it is to suffer" — she 
added, *' to reign/' referring to the text, those who *' suffer with 
Christ will also reign with Him in glory." Being tried by pain, 
I expressed that " all was right" that was ordered for us ; she 
replied, "perfectly right." I was plunged into deep feeling and 
conflict on entering the scene, the transition being great from 
the one in Jersey, and my foolish, fearful, doubting mind was 
full of misgivings at having left my husband and daughter, and 
not going with them to France; but, thanks to my Heavenly 
Father, my spirit became gradually more at rest 

I had the inexpressible comfort of being permitted a few days 
with her, and she evidently liked my company. I particularly 
observed, how gently I was dealt with, by her reviving a little 
after I arrived, so that I had not the bitterness of her at once 
sinking. The afiUction was thus mitigated to me ; I was en- 


1886.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 205 

abled to show her some marks of my deep and true love, and to 
be with, and earnestly pray for her^ in the honr of death. I 
was helped to be some comfort to many of her family, and 
(utterly nnworthy as I know I am of it) I believe in my various 
ministrations, I was enabled to prove the power of the Spirit to 
qualify for his own work, and amongst them all, particularly 
with my dear nephew, who has just entered the Church, deeply 
to impress the necessity of the work of the Spirit being carried 
on in the heart; and of having Ohristian charity towards others 
of every denomination. My beloved sister Hoare's death has 
made a deep impression on me. I do not like to enter life or 
its cares, or to see many, or to be seen. I like to withdraw from 
the world, and to be very quiet. I have naturally much felt the 
event, though supported and comforted under it 

To HER Sister Mrs. Buxton, and her Family then 

IN Scotland. 

Upton Lane, Ninth Month, Uth, 1836. 

To the Dear Party at Bennyhill, 

The accounts of you and from you, have deeply interested me 
this morning. I desire, my tenderly beloved ones, to hand you 
a few words of encouragement, more particularly my dearest 
sister. I feel our loss a deep one indeed ; but I also see much 
wisdom, mercy and love in the heavy trial, — ^in the first place, as 
it respects herself. Her very susceptible mind was so acutely 
sensible of the trials of life, that her Lord saw she had had 
enough ; more might have overwhelmed her, therefore she was 
taken in the accepted time. I see also, that her many preserva- 
tions and deliverances, and her being kept as she was by the 
power of God, in soundness of faith through her sore conflicts, a 
cause for deep thankfulness, and then, to look upon her, really 
and fully at rest — ^in and with the Beloved of her soul, with her 
Lord, and also with the just made perfect — ^brings to my feel- 
ings, as well as to my mind, much rest, peace and refreshment 
on her behalf. Then I consider ourselves, and our great loss ; 
but I also see a something of gain, in her being taken in so 

20G BfEMOIR OF THE UF£ [1836. 

mnoh freshness, in the midst of her asefalness, it oauses her 
death to speak so loadly, the very vacancy makes it stimulating. 
I have not unfrequently observed Christians being called away 
in the midst of their laboors, much blessed to those who remain, 
in leading them to look more simply to Him, who can work with 
or without his instruments, in making them mora diligent, 
seeing that the Lord is at hand. Again, bj encouraging to pa- 
tience, hope, and trust, as we know not how soon the warfare 
may be accomplished with any of us; and further, the holy 
lively example of such, is so present with us, and so encouraging 
to strive to follow them, as they followed Ohrist. But after 
expressing so far, the bright side of the question, I know and 
feel the other but too well, to have one so tenderly beloved gone 
from our present view-— to see her place vacant — to miss her 
delightful influence and tender watchful care over all, is bitter, 
causing many a heaving of the heart I am very anxious for 
thee, dearest Hannah, that thou mayst be comforted ; remember 
all our time is short, and that it is well, to have some safely 
landed beyond the reach of every storm. 

Upton Lane, Ninth Month, 22ifrf.~On Third day, I dined 
with Joseph and Alice; thirteen of my children were there, 
and no one else. I have seldom enjoyed a visit anywhere more. 
We had a solemn reading and time of prayer, before we parted. 

To HBR DAtraHTER, Mrs. Francis Gresswell. 

Upton Lana, NnUh MmUh. 
My dearest Bachel, 
I fancy you arriving to«morrow from Oresswell, and I write 
for a letter; in my quiet home it would be a treat to hear from 
thee. I much value and enjoy the true kindness I receive from 
all my married children. I have lately daily dined with one of 
ihem ; it has made me think of thee, my loved child, and thy 
dear huBband,particularly when the other day at Joseph s, on his 
birthday, I sat surrounded by all the married pairs. I am much 
disposed to pay you a visit. I deeply £9el, in the loss of my 
beloved sister, the shortness of the time that I may be with 
you. No remaining duty has dwelt so much on my mind as my 
relative duties, that I may be enabled to minister to my beloved 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 207 

hnsband or children^ brothers or sisters, as they may want it 
either spiiitaally or temporally. May we all do our part faith- 
fully towards each other, seeing how little we know how soon 
we may part ! I have written to Harrow, to ask your dear Frank 
to come and see me ; I think it right he should do so after my 
long absence, I have requested him to ask Dr. Wordsworth to 
let him come on Seventh^day, to stay over the Sabbath. Our 
garden is lovely, and house pleasant; so our Heavenly Father 
deals very kindly with his unworthy servant. 

I am, 
Thy tenderly attached mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Tenth Month, 2nd, First»day. — On Second-day morning, 
when going into the Select Quarterly Meeting, with my brother 
Samuel, my son William came to tell us, that a serious accident 
had happened to my husband and daughter in Normandy. They 
had been thrown down a precipice, the carriage broken to 
pieces, and although they had experienced a very Providential 
deliverance, in iheir lives being spared, and no dangerous wound 
received, yet Katharine was so much hurt, and my dearest hus- 
band so much shaken, that they wished me to go to them im- 
mediately. I gave up the Quarterly Meeting of course, and set 
off with my much- loved son William to Dover, so as to cross 
by the first packet to France. I remembered my sorrow, and 
perhaps undue disappointment in not accompanying them to 
France. It seemed almost as if my Heavenly Father had heard 
my murmurings, as He heard the children of Israel in the 
Wilderness, and had taken me to France, when I did go — 
fl^ainst my inclination, alas ! I received it also as a lesson to 
have but one prayer and desire in all things, " that the Lord s 
will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." The accident was 
most serious ; such an escape, I think I never heard of, the 
carriage, in the first instance, fell with one horse (the driver and 
the other horse being separated firom them before) about four 
yards perpendicularly; then the carriage was dragged down 
about twenty-six yards more. The poor peasants came to 

208 BfElfOm OF TH£ LIFE [1836. 

assist^ and fetched the village doctor for the body, and the priest 
for the soul. 

ColaiB, Nmth Month, 26th, 1836. 
My dearest John, 
William and I reached Dover soon after twelve o'clock last 
evening. We were settled by one o'clock, and off about half- 
past seven this morning. Oar journey was an anxious one, 
until as the evening advanced, I became more quieted, and 
trustful that all was ordered for us in mercy and wisdom. We 
had a very favourable passage of three hours ; and to our great 
satis&ction, found your father looking for us on the quay. We 
found our dearest Kate exceedingly bruised and very grievously 
hurt altogether. Your dear father looks, I think, shaken and 
aged by all that he has gone through. Mary has been a very 
attentive nurse. She looks also jaded, but from her excessive 
fright, when they were going down the hill, she knelt down and 
put her head on Eatherine s lap, by which means her face was 
perfectly saved. And so I have at last touched French ground. 
William and I have not been idle ; we have already visited the 
Prison and Hospital. We hope it may please Providence, in 
tender mercy to permit us all to arrive at home next Seventh- 
day, probably by a packet that leaves this place that morning for 

Upton Lane, Tenth Month, i6th. — ^William and I went one 
day to St. Omer, and stayed till the next. We had a very in- 
teresting expedition ; his company was sweet to me. 

I was a good deal instructed as well as interested, in visiting 
the Boman Oatholic charities. The sacrifice that must be made 
to give up the whole life, as the Sisters of Charity do, to teach 
and bring up the poor children and attend to the sick in 
their hospitals is very exemplary ; and the slackness of 
some Protestants and coldness of too many led me to think, 
that whilst on the one hand the meritoriousness of good 
works may be unsoundly upheld by the Boman Catholics, 
yet, that it stimulates to much that is excellent, and a fear 


arose in my mind, that the trae doctrine that teaches that we 
have no merit in any thing that we do, is either so injudiciously 
represented, or so misunderstood, that in too many cases it 
leads to laxity as to sin, and a want of diligence in works of 
righteousness and true holiness. I was much interested in 
attending High Mass, but here I thought I saw something of 
the work of true religion under what appeared to me, the rubbish 
of superstition and show. But I also thought, that much of the 
same thing remained amongst Protestants. I long to see true 
religion in its purity and simplicity, spread more and more to 
the glory of God and the peace of men. 

Eleventh Month, 6tk, First-day. — It has pleased our 
Heavenly Father to permit much trial within the last two or 
three weeks. My dearest Sichenda has had a very serious, I 
may say dangerous illness, one of great suffering. This day 
week her medical attendants were much alarmed, and wished to 
have a third called in ; I deeply felt her state, but very earnestly 
desired to have no will in it, seeing I knew not what was bes^ 
for her. My prayer was most earnest for her salvation, that 
whenever taken hence she might be ready, being washed and 
made white in the blood of the everlasting covenant 

During Ghenda's illness, I had very affecting accounts from 
Lynn, of dearest Bachel : her little Willy and his nurse, all in 
the scarlet fever ; the little boy very dangerously ill. 

From amongst almost daily letters, written from the sick 
chamber of one daughter, to cheer and soothe the sorrow and 
sufferings of the other, the following extracts are taken : — 

Upton Lane, Eleventh Month, llth. 

The very affecting account from you is just arrived; to 
think of that lovely boy laid so prostrate I Still sweet babe it is 
good to remember *' that of such is the kingdom of Ood,** and 
the encouraging delightful idea that their angels or ministering 
spirits, are always before the face of our Ood* I am afraid of 
asking for his life, lest he should be contaminated in this evil 
world, but I can ask, if in the mercy of our Heavenly Father, 
He should see meet to keep him in the world, that He would 

VOL. ir. p 

210 MBMOIR OF THE LIFE [1836. 

preserve him from the evil ; and that should he be raised up, 
it may be for purposes of His own glory. Bat it is a trial in- 
deedy to flesh and blood — ^I have found it a bitter one, to see 
these little ones suffer— but as thy dear husband truly says, we 
must in all things learn to say, " not my will but Thine be 

Ekventh Momtk, 16th. 

Your time of trial has been a deep one, surely you must both 
have been deeply a£9icted to see the poor little one's sufferings. I 
have a sweet hope for these little ones, that the Lord oomforts 
and supports them by His Spirit in their afflictions, though 
their understandings may not be enlightened to know the hand 
that sustains, but that it is felt, though not known by them. 

Twelfth Montlh llt?u—l went to the Great Mill Bank Peni- 
tentiary, to meet a committee of gentlemen^ with some of our 
ladies afterwards ; and found, to our great satisfaction, that 
through the Secretary of State, Lord John BusseU^ our way was 
fully open to visit this prison, which we had long desired to do, 
but never before had gained access to it. Now I think, every 
criminal prison in London, is visited by us. I see much encou- 
ragement and cause for thankfulness, in our way thus continuing 
to be made in this work of Christian love. I went to Hampstead 
in the evening, truly affecting was it to find the real great loss 
in that dear family* I felt much love towards them, but did not 
see religiously or naturally, that I was very likely to be able to 
help them. 

We had a very interesting Quarterly Meeting yesterday, 

though the ministry of our dear friend — — , tried me 

much in parts, more particularly her applying to us as a people, 
those blessed hopes and promises, that I apprehend simply be- 
long to the members of the living Church of Christ, gathered 
out of all administrations and nations. I doubt not the living 
members of our body, from their first rise, have been in many 
instances bright and shining lights in their day, and have pecu- 
liarly had to uphold the simple pure spirituality of gospel truth ; 
but I see no authority for our supposing ourselves to be more 
of a chosen people, the select few^ than all who are redeemed by 

1836.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 21 J 

the blood of the Lamb, though I think our calling a high and 
important one, in the Militant Church of Christ. May our 
Holy Head establieh by His own power, all that is true and of 
Himself, amongst us, and entirely bring to nought all that is 
contrary to His will. This I eameetly desire, and may I not 
say pray for myself individu9lly> as well as others. 

SlsL — ^Late in the evening', alone, — ^I feel it rather a solemn 
close to this year, not a time of brightness though abounding 
with causes for thankfulness — ^wfaich I desire more deeply to feel. 
May my Lord grant for His dear Son's sake, that the Holy 
Spirit may more abundantly rest upon me and mine, as our 
Ouide, Sanctifier and Comforter. May I more faithfiiUy, watch- 
fuUy, and humbly perform all my duties to my Lord, my family, 
my friends, the church generally and the world, and to myself 
— in a£9ictions may my soul be possessed in patience and watch- 
fulness ! and may every day draw us nearer to God and His 
kingdom I 

p 2 


1837, 1838.— Earlham— Death of a BiBter-io-law— Death of Kmg Wimam 
IV. — Accompanies her brother Joseph John Gumey to Liverpool — 
Hifl departure for America — Paramatta Factory — Letter to her chOdren— 
Philanthropic evenings — Coalwhippers-- Letter — ^Viaits France — Letter 
from Abbeville — Sojourn at Paris — Prisons — Schools — Return through 
Normandy — District Society Meeting — Meeting at Westminster^ Jour- 
ney to Scotland — Visits to Friends, Solitary and Separate System — 
Return home— Renewed prospect of Visiting France — Family Meeting. 

Earlham, First Months 4th, 1837.T-It is rather striking to 
begin my new year here. The drawing of my mind led me this 
way, and I ventured to leave all, in faith, after offering many 
prayers for their help and preservation during my absence. My 
prayers have been expressed in public, in my family, and in 
private, upon entering this new year. There are cries from the 
depth of my heart, unutterable; but He who is my advocate with 
the Father, will, I tnist, availingly present them before the 
throne. I may say. Help, Lord, or I perish ! Grant through 
thy love, pity and grace, that I may know Thee always, in all 
places, and at all times, to be my Defence — ^my Help — my 
Counsellor. Enlighten my darkness, cause me, in all things, 
to choose the good and refuse the evil ; lighten mine eyes always 
lest I sleep the sleep of death, and Satan in any way blind 
mine eyes. Pour forth more fully, and more freely. Thy Spirit 
upon me, that I may be qualified for Thy work, in my family 
amongst my neighbours, in the church, and wherever Thou 
mayst call me. 

6th, — ^I am much struck, by observing in my spiritual course, 
how different are the lines we are led in, even those, who may 
be under the same outward administration. We observe in 
nature both animal and vegetable, there are different classes, 
orders, genera, and species ; so I think, I see it spiritually, as 


ibe flowers of one species differ a little in colour or size, so in 
the Church of Christ, those who may be said to be of one 
species^ differ in some small things, no two quite aUke. May 
these differences in no degree separate us from each other. 

Upton Lane, 26th. — My heart and mind haye been much 
occupied, by my brother Joseph writing to inform me, that he 
apprehends it will be his duty to go to America this year, upon 
religious service. The subject is deeply important and weighty, 
yet I desire to rejoice in his willingness to give up all for the 
service of his Lord. Though some fears have arisen from a sort 
pf floating apprehension I have had for many years, that I 
pught or might go with hiip, if ever he visited that land. Upon 
viewing it, as it respects myself, I believe I may truly say, I do 
not at present see any such opening. As far as I can see, 
ho/ne has my first call of duty, what the future may produce, I 
leave ; but as far as I know my own heart, I very earnestly desire 
to feel continually that I am not my own, but bought with a 
price, therefore I am my Lord's servant, and must do as I am 
bidden, even if the service called for, appear to me unreason- 
able. But I must further observe, that in condescending mercy, 
I have generally found in services really called for, there has 
been a ripeness, that may be compared to the fruit come to 
maturity. For this service for the present, I see no way. 

29th, — ^The present time of sickness and death is almost un- 
precedented. We hear of one or other continually. Two of 
our dear friends are taken. 

Second Month, llth. — ^Yesterday, when I went to town to 
visit Newgate, I was stopped by Foster Reynolds, saying, that 
he had sad tidings for me^which proved to be, that my be- 
loved sister Harriet was most suddenly taken, leaving eight 
young children and my poor dear,l&ther. Still, I trust ^ot 
" left," because surely his Lord will be near, to help him in^this 
very deep sorrow. Of course, we are brought very low by this 
fresh family affliction. Deeply do I desire, that it may be sanc- 
tified to us alL The same post brought yesterday, the account 
from my brother Joseph, that he had laid his concern to visit 
America before his Monthly Meeting. So one brother is called 

214 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1887. 

to do, the other to suffer ; — may our Lord's will be done, by and 
through them both. 

16th. — ^The funeral of my much loved sister takes place to- 
day. What a scene of unutterable sorrow at Runoton, where, 
a few days ago, all was in no common degree, joy, peace and 
great prosperity. Oh ! what occasions are these, where families 
meet togedier for the affecting and solemn purpose of commit- 
ting the remains of a beloved one to the silent grave ! 

May the Lord Himself lift up the light of His countenance 
upon them, bless them, and keep them in a sound mind and 
sound faith. Be pleased, oh gracious Lord t to help, pity, and 
comfort these afflicted ones this day. 

No event could be more startling or more touching than this. 
Lady Harriet Qumey had entered the fiaunily, when many of the 
elder members had reached the meridian of life. She had come, 
not alone to gladden her own domestic hearth, but to diffuse of 
her bright, loving, hopeful spirit amongst her husband's relatives. 
For fourteen years she had in an exemplary manner, fulfilled 
the duties of wife and mother, friend and mistress — 

'* A spirit, yet a woman too.'* 

Her brother-in-law, Mr. Buxton, wrote on the day of her 
funeral : — " In seeing her coffin committed to the vault, I could 
not but feel, that it contained all that remained of as much 
beauty and true loveliness of mind, body, and spirit, as we ever 
saw removed from this world !'* 

Upton Lane, Third Month, 12M. — ^I, yesterday, went to the 
Colonial Office to meet Sir Qeorge Grey, on subjects respecting 
New South Wales, and the state of the female convicts ; to the 
Irish Office, and saw Lord Morpeth respecting National Schools 
and Prisons, and then to the Home Office, about Jersey Prisons, 
Ac. In every one I met with a most cordial reception. So the 
Lord yet makes my way with those in power. 

Sixth Month.— The King died last Third-day, the 20th. Our 
young Queen was proclaimed yesterday. My prayers have arisen 


1687.] OF SUZABBTH FRY. 215 

for her, that our Heavenly Faiher would pour forth His Spirit 
upon her, guide her by His oouusel, and grant her that wisdom 
which is from above. I was with Lord —— ^yesterday, who told 
me, that she behaved with much feeling and remarkable pro- 
priety when meeting the Privy Counoil. She was supported by 
her unoles the new £ing of Hanover, and the Duke of Sussex. 
I have reoeived a long letter from the Duchess of , con- 
taining a very interesting account of her, and the death of the 
late King. 

25M. — ^Being wounded in spirit, the grasshopper becomes a 
burden, — still my causes for thankfulness much more abound* 
Yesterday, I went to my son John^s and saw his lawn, sprinkled 
over with my lovely grandchildren and their parents, so as to 
remind me of these words, '' The Lord shall increase you more 
and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord 
which made heaven and earth.'' — ^Psal* cxv. 14, 15. I believe 
that the blessing of the Lord is with us ; blessed be His most 
holy name, for this gracious and unmerited mercy ! 

Seventh Month, 20/A. — ^I returned home yesterday evening 
from Lowestoft, after having accompanied my brother Joseph to 
Liverpool, in his way to America* Our time at Earlham was 
very interesting ; I believe I was helpful to my brother in a large 
Meeting that he held, to take leave of the citizens of Norwich. 
It was a highly interesting occasion, and I trust edifying to many* 
I am very sorry to say, my mind has too much the habit of 
anxiety and fearfulness. I believe this little journey would have 
been much more useful to me, but from an almost constant cloud 
over me, from the fear of being wanted by some of my family. 
I think it would be better for myself and for them, if they did 
not always cling so closely round my heart, so as to become too 
much of a weight upon me. 

My beloved brother's leave-taking of Earlham and the family 
there, was very affecting ; still there was peace in it, and joy in 
the Lord, inasmuch as there is delight in doing what we believe 
to be His wilL Of this, I think we partook with him. We 
went from Earlham to Buncton, there we dined. Shall I ever 
dine with my three brothers again ? the Lord only knows — my 
heart was tendered in being with them. 

210 MEBfOIR OF THE LIFE [18d7« 

I rejoioe that I proceeded with Joseph^ for I did not before that 
feel that I had come at his mind, he had been so much engaged, 
but on the journey I did so very satisPactorily. Bamuel, Eliza- 
beth, Joseph and myself, thus had a time together, never to be 
forgotten. We had much interesting, conversation respecting 
things spiritual and things temporal, ourselves and our families. 
We proceeded to Manchester, where we met our dear Jonathan 
and Hannah Backhouse, their children, and Eliza P. Eirkbride; 
also, William Forster. We were a very united company. That 
evening, William Forster read the &4th chapter of Isaiah, ex- 
pressing his full belief, that our dearest Joseph would experience 
the promises contained in the last few verses. The next day we 
went to Liverpool, and spent much of the morning in his very 
comfortable ship ; we felt being in it, for it was very touching 
parting with one so tenderly beloved. We made things comfort- 
able for him, I attended to the books, and that a proper library 
should go out for the crew, passengers and steerage passengers. 
However occupied or interested, I desire never to forget any 
thing that may be of service to others. We had a delightful 
morning with Joseph, but the tears often rose to my eyes ; still, I 
desire to be thankful more than sorrowful, that I have a brother 
so fitted for his Lord's service, and willing to give up all for His 
name's sake. 

That evening again we had an interesting religious time in 
prayer. The next morning there was a solemn calm over ns — 
the day of parting was come. After breakfast we all assembled 
with some of our friends. We read the 4th of Philippians, our 
spirits were much bowed and broken, but the chapter en- 
couraged us to stand fast in the Lord, to help one another in 
Christ, even the women who laboured in the gospel, and, to be 
careful for nothing, for that the Lord would supply all our 

After her brother had ministered to them, and prayer had been 
offered, she isidds : — 

Soon afterwards we went to the ship. I saw the library ar- 
ranged with some others to help me ; then went and devoted my- 

1887.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 217 

self to my beloved brother, put sweet flowers in his cabin, whioh 
was made most comfortable for him. It was announced that the 
ship was going — ^we assembled in the ladies' cabin, I believe all 
wept William Forster said, the language had powerfhlly im- 
pressed him — " I will be with yon always^ even to the end of the 
world;** therefore we might trust our beloved ones to Him who 
had promised. I then knelt down with these words — " Now, Lord> 
what wait we for, our hope is in Thee,^' and entirely committed 
him and his companions in the ship, to the most holy and powerful 
keeping of Israel's Shepherd, that even the voyage might be 
blessed to him and to others. In short, our souls were poured 
forth before and unto the Lord, in deep prayer and supplication. 
Joseph almost sobbed, still a solemn quiet and peace reigned over 
us. I believe the Lord was with us, and owned us at this solemn 
time. We left the ship^ and walked by the side of the Pier until 
they were towed out, then we went away and wept bitterly— *but 
not the tears of deep sorrow, far from it ; how different to the 
grief for sin, or even disease^ or the perplexities of life. It ap- 
peared the Lord's doing, though long marvellous in my eyes, yet 
I now trust and believe it is His call, and therefore it is well, and 
there is more cause to rejoice than to mourn over it. We re* 
mained at Liverpool till Second-day morning ; went by the rail- 
road to Birmingham, meeting with an accident by the way which 
might have been serious, but we were preserved from harm. I 
became at last very poorly, and one morning nearly fainted. I 
was much sunk, and brought once more to feel my deep infirmity 
in illness or suffering. By the time we arrived at Lynn, I was 
too ill to go on to Earlham, and there remained to be most affec- 
tionately cared for by my beloved son and daughter, and their 
servants. I afterwards went to Earlham, and from thence to 
Lowestoft. I much valued my visits, only my foolish nature was 
too anxious, to enjoy them as I might have done, fancying I was 
wanted at home. We truly partook of the unity of the Spirit in 
the bond of peace. I am favoured on returning home, to find 
my children unusually well, and receive good accounts from my 
husband and sons on the Continent ; so that, once more it has 
pleased the Lord to permit me to rest as beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul ! 

218 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1887. 

Upton Lane, Eighih Month, 6th, — ^I am much oooapied about 
the great Female Prison in Ireland^ also the one at Paramatta. 
Oovemment is wonderfully kind^ and I believe much good likely 
to be done by the steps now being taken. 

The Factory at Paramatta, in the first instance was intended 
as a prison for women, and arranged for the reception of refractory 
as well as unassigned prisoners. It was well disciplined, and the 
inmates divided into three classes; a distinction being very 
properly made in the treatment of the different classes. Gradu- 
ally, the establishment, from mismanagement fell into great 
confusion ; so that from being a place of punishment, it had 
become a home and refuge for the idle and profligate, preferred 
by them to service and hard work. In the Factory they were 
fed and clothed, and lived in idleness amongst congenial com- 
panions, and having once incurred the disgrace of being sent 
there soon lost all sense of shame, and after being released, 
again offended, for the express purpose of returning thither. It 
was a great satisfaction to the ladies of the British Society, to 
learn, that a system so subversive of erery hope of moral im- 
provement had been altered. By the introduction of hard labour 
and strict discipline, the Factory was re-converted into a place 
of punishment, and other measures were in progress likely to 
conduce to the reformation of the prisoners. Sir Bichard Bourke 
endeavoured not only to reform the Factory arrangements, but 
to induce ladies suitable for the office, again to visit it. Immense 
advantage had accrued to the institution, from the regulations 
and occasional inspection of Lady Darling, supported by the 
authority of Sir Balph. Lord Glenelg and Sir George Grey 
paid the subject every attention, not meeting the case as one 
merely of business routine and political expediency, but with 
kindness of heart and real philanthropy they entered into 
details, and endeavoured to obtain information from every avail* 
able source. Mr. Glapham as Superintendent, and Mrs. Leach 

1887.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 219 

as Matron^ were sent out to take the eharge of the Factory, with 
full and minute directions for their own conduct, and sup- 
plied in England with every thing required for the occupation 
and instruction of its inmates, or furnished with orders for them 
on the Government stores there. 

About the time that some improvement appeared likely to 
take place amongst the wretched inmates of the Paramatta 
Factory, the long debated question of the Jersey Prison was 
brought to a close, by the accession of the States to the proposals 
of Lord John Russell ; and arrangements being entered into 
for commencing the building without further delay. Mrs. Fry 
never again visited Jersey, but she had the pleasure of cheering 
reports, from time to time, of the alterations effected there. 

Upton Lane, Eighth Month, I8M. — ^I have believed it right 
to have the poor invited, to attend the Evening Meeting at 
Ratcliff to-morrow. These are weighty engagements ; may the 
Holy Spirit be poured forth, for the comfort, help, and encou- 
ragement of the hearers, and to my own peace. 

Second-day, 20/A. — ^Yesterday, we were favoured to get well 
through the Meeting, the people were very attentive, and some 
appeared in tears. Christ was preached as the '' Way " to the 
Kingdom of Heaven, the sacrifice for our sins, and the healer of 
our wounds. He appeared to me to be exalted through the 
power of the Spirit. May I be faithful in every call of duty, 
trusting in Him who can qualify me by His own power. 

Ninth Month, 2nd. — Since this Meeting, the interest that 
others have taken with me in the poor of Batcliffe, has led us to 
look into their deplorable state. We have formed a com* 
mittee to visit them at their houses, see their state, provide a 
library for their use and probably an infant school. So one 
thing springs out of another ! 

Last Seventh-day, my brother and sister Gumey and I went 
to Crawley to attend the little Meeting at Ifield, to go to 
William Allen's, and to Linfield. My brother said, that any 
serious persons who liked to attend the Meeting might do so, 
and to our surprise, we found a large congregation of the 

220 MBMOIB OF TBB LIF£ [1887. 

labouring classes ; I should think nearly a hundred men in 
smock-frocks ; it ^as quite a sight. 1 felt low, empty, unworthy 
and stripped in spirit^ but my Lord helped me. We certainly 
had a solemn Meeting, the people were very attentive ; we also 
had a very satisfactory reading with the people at the inn* In 
the evening we attended another Meeting at Linfield, in which 
WilUam Allen very acceptably united. Other Friends were 
there. We also called upon some poor, sorrowful, destitute ones. 
This little excursion appeared blessed to our comfort, refresh- 
ment and peace, and I believe had the same effect on those 
whom we visited. I observe, with those who may think they 
differ in sentiment, there is nothing like bringing them to- 
gether ; how often it is then found, that the difference is more 
in expression than reality^ and that the spirit of love and 
charity breaks down the partition walls. 

I have for many months past, deeply felt the wish for more 
religious intercourse with my children, and more uniting with 
them upon important and interesting subjects. I have turned it 
in my mind again and again, and at last have proposed making 
the experiment, and meeting this evening — first, to consider 
different subjects of usefulness in charities, and then to close 
with serious reading and such religious communication as way 
may open for. 

Thou Lord only knowest the depth of my desire, for the ever- 
lasting welfare of my children. If it be Thy holy and blessed 
will, grant that we may be truly united to Thee, as members of 
Thy Militant Church on earth, and spiritually united amongst 
ourselves, as member^ of one body, each filling his different 
office, faithfully unto Thee. Grant that this little effort may be 
blessed to promote this end, and cause that in making it, wo may 
experience the sweet influence of Thy love shed abroad in each 
of our hearts, to our real help, comfort, edification and unity ! 

Upton Lane, Eiffhth Month, ISth, 1837. 

My dearest Children, 

Many of you know that for some time I have felt and expressed 
the want of our social intercourse at times leading to religious 

1887.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 221 

union and communion amongst us. It has pleased the Almighty 
to permit, that by iar the larger number of you, no longer walk 
\9ith me in my religious course. Except very occasionally, we 
do not meet together for the solemn purpose of worship, and upon 
some other points we do not see eye to eye^ and wliilst I feel 
deeply sensible thatnotwithstanding this diversity amongst us, we 
are truly united in our Holy Head, there are times when in my 
declining years, I seriously feel the loss of not having more of 
the spiritual help and encouragement of those, I have brought up 
and truly sought to nurture in the Lord. This has led me to 
many serious considerations, how the case may under present 
circumstances be in any way met. 

My conclusion is, that believing as we do in one Lord as 
our Saviour, one Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier, and one God and 
Father of us all, our points of union are surely strong, and if 
we are members of one living Church, and expect to be such 
for ever, we may profitably unite in some religious engagements 
here below. 

The world and the things of it occupy us much, and they are 
rapidly passing away — ^it would be well if we occasionally set 
apart a time for unitedly attending to the things of Eternity. I 
therefore propose that we try the following plan, if it answer, con- 
tinue it, if not, by no means feel bound to it. That our party in 
the first instance, should consist of no others than our children, 
and such grandchildren, as may be old enough to attend. That 
our object in meeting, be for the strengthening of our faith, for 
our advancement in a devoted, religious, and holy life, and for 
the object of promoting Christian love and fellowship. 

That we read the Scriptures unitedly, in an easy familiar 
manner, each being perfectly at liberty to make any remark or 
ask any question ; that it should be a time of religious instruc- 
tion by seeking to understand the mind of the Lord, for doctrine 
and practice in searching the Scriptures, and bringing ourselves 
and our deeds to the light, that it may be made manifest if they 
are wrought in God. That either before or after the Scriptures 
are read, we should consider how far we are really engaged for the 
good of our fellow-men, and what, as far as we can judge, most 
conduces to this object. All the members of this little com- 

222 MBMOIR OF THE LIFE [1837. 

munity are advised to communicate any thing they may have 
found useful or interesting in religious books, and to bxing for* 
ward any thing that is doing for the good of manldnd, in the 
world generally* 

I hope that thus meeting together may stimulate the family 
to more devotion of heart to the service of their Gk>d, at home 
and abroad to mind their different callings^ however varied ; and 
to be active in helping oth»». It is proposed that this meeting 
should take place once a month, at each house in rotation. 

I now have drawn some little outline of what I desire, and if 
any of you like to unite with me in making the experiment, it 
would be very gratifying to me, still, I hope that all will feel at 
liberty, to do as ihey think best themselves* 

I am indeed. 
Your nearly attached mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

The plan was tried and found to answer exceedingly well. 
Some of the collateral branches of the family afterwards joined 
these little reunions, they proved occasions of stimulus in " every 
good word and work.*" Some important good has resulted from 
the combined exertion consequent upon them, they continue to 
this day under the name o{" philanthropic evenings;*' and are 
always concluded by a scripture reading, and occasionally by 

One of the first subjects brought forward, was the condition 
of the Goalwhippers in the port of London. Lieutenant 
Arnold, of the Navy, had long advocated their cause, at great 
expense to himself, and at length applied to one of Mrs. Fry s 
sons to assist him in carrying forward a plan for their benefit 
In visiting the poor in Batcliffe, Mrs. Fry found the wives of 
some of these men, who were nominally in receipt of large 
wages, not only in a condition of abject poverty, but resorting 
to most undesirable means to obtain a living. Their husbands 
bringing home little or no money in consequence of the system 

1887.] OF ELIZABfiTH FRY. 228 

by which their oocupation was regulated. The Coalwhippers 
work in what are called gangs^ of nine men in each. They 
are remarkably athletic and their labour is very severe. 
They require baskets and tackle ; which in those days were the 
property of the publicans along the banks of the river Thames^ 
to whom the captains of the colliers applied when they 
wanted to discharge a cargo. The publicans let out the tackle 
to the coalwhippers, always giving the preference for employ- 
ment to those who owed them most money for beer. They 
supplied them whilst at work with enormous quantities of 
porter, and expected them to drink at other times also, by 
which means their wages fell entirely into the hands of the 
publicans, whilst their families at home were left in great dis- 
tress. The evil appeared so great that several of the gentle- 
men of Mrs. Fry's family exerted themselves and were at con- 
siderable expense to assist lieutenant Arnold in his benevolent 
views, until finding it impossible to accomplish by their object 
private means, three of them appeared as petitioners on behalf of 
the coalwhippers at the bar of the Common Council of the 
city, applications to the Government were also put in form. 
The result was a most favourable reception of the subject, and a 
Bill has since passed, by which the coalwhippers are registered, 
have a public office of their own, where their tackle is kept, 
and are completely emancipated from the thraldom of the pub- 
licans; rendering numerous families respectable and inde- 
pendent who before wanted the commonest comforts of life. 

This redress of their grievances excited in their minds a strong 
feeling of gratitude and attachment towards the Gt>vemment9 
as was evinced when hundreds of th^n desired to be enrolled as 
special constables during the period of the late excitements. 

Twelfth Month, 20^A. — I have laid before my Monthly Meet* 
ing my prospect of visiting France for a few weeks, and ob* 

224 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1838. 

tained the concurreDce of Friends. Oh ! for help, daily, hourly, 
— and may a sound mind, love and power be granted to me 
and to others, to our own peaee and the glory of God. 

First'dayy Afternoon^ 24^ih. — ^An accident about carriages 
keeps me from Meeting, which I much regret. The Morn- 
ing Meeting was solemn. After it, my certificate was read in 
our adjourned Monthly Meeting, which was exceedingly en 
oouraging to me, it expressed great unity with me as a minister, 
and much concurrence in my concern to go to France. It ap- 
peared to be signed by nearly the whole of the Meeting. 

To A NEAR Relative. 

North Repps Hall, First Month, 2nd, 1838. 

I have trusted that if right for thee, this year may bring thee 
some deliverances from thy trying and exercising states. At the 
same time we must not desire the fire to cease burning, until the 
dross is burnt up ; but we may ask, that it may never be heated so 
as to hurt the pure metal. I have a strong apprehension that all 
the ordeals thou hast lately had, are sent for a purpose, I am 
ready to believe to fit thee to receive more of the enduring riches 
of Christ, and not only so, but to fit thee to enrich, comfort and 
help others. I can assure thee that it is deeply interesting 
entering the new year with my only three remaining sisters. We 
much value and enjoy being together ; but we feel like a few 
remaining autumnal fruits, at the close of no common summer, of 
family love and unity. We had a very solemn time together this 
morning, in which our children and our children's children, with 
ourselves were remembered at the throne of grace. The day is 
very fine, and all looks bright. May happy accounts from home 
complete the brightness of the picture. 

Upton Lane, First Month, 6^A, 1888. — I yesterday returned 
from a visit to Norfolk. Before going there, I laid my concern 
to go to France, before our large Quarterly Meeting, and had 
the very groat encouragement of such a flow of unity, as I have 
seldom heard expressed upon any occasion. 


24/A. — ^I expect to leave home to*morrow for France. My 
spirit has been very much brought down before the Lord ; some 
causes of anxiety haye arisen, still in this my going out, love 
abounds in no common degree, and a portion of soul-sustaining 
peace underneath. These words comforted me this morning, 
2 Timothy i. 12. " I know whom I have believed, and am 
persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed 
unto Him against that day." I, therefore, in this going out^ 
commit myself and my all to my most blessed and holy Keeper, 
even to the Lord Grod of my salvation, my only hope of real 
help and defence, and of eternal glory. 

Mrs. Fry was accompanied in this journey, by her hueband, 
their friend Josiah Forster and Lydia Irving, the same young 
friend who had kindly gone with her to Jersey, in 1885. 

Abbeville, First M(mth, 2Bth. 

My dearest Children, and Brothers and Sisters, 

As I know your kind interest in all that concerns us, I go on 
whilst I can, with our journal letters myself. We left Boulogne 
yesterday morning, in a very comfortable French carriage after 
some dday in our departure, from various difficulties with lug- 
gage, we enjoyed our reading and conversation, until we arrived 
at Montreoil, where we were refreshed by a little bouillon, and 
then proceeded to this place ; but the cold was bitter, and neither 
French fires, nor tea, nor any other means proved sufficient to 
warm us. As the following morning advanced, my sense of 
mercy and peace was great. I remembered what some devoted 
Christian expressed, *' where the Grod of peace is, there is home." 
After breakfast we read as usual, then Josiah Forster went out ; 
but he could bear of no Proteetants nor of any place of worship 
for them ; nor of any place desirable for us to visit, excepting 
one hospital, one convent, and one prison. These we visited, 
after having bad a very solemn and sweet meeting in our own 
room. That text was feelingly brought to our minds, *' where 
two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the 
midst of them." 


226 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

I find my small knowledge of tfae language very valuable, I 
can read to the fiUe de ohambre, and in some degree convey my 
feelings and sentiments^ enough to produce sympathy and 
interest. In our visit to the prison^ convent and hospital, I 
found this the case. 

To go now to minor points : picture us, — our feet on some 
fleeces that we have found, generally wrapped up in cloaks, sur- 
rounded by screens, to keep off the air ; the wood fire at our feet. 
We have just finished an interesting reading in French, in the 
New Testament, with the landlady, her daughters and some of 
the servants of the hotel, they appeared very attentive, and much 

Farewell, my dearly beloved ones. May the Lord be with 
you, and keep you, and bless you ! 

Your tenderly attached, 

E. F. 

In Paris, comfortable and commodious apartments were pre- 
pared for them at the Hotel de Gastille, by the kind attention 
of M. Fran9ois Delessert. They arrived there very tired and 
very cold, on the SOth of January. The morning of the 31st 
was opened with solemn united prayer, offered for wisdom firom 
on High to direct, and strength to perform whatever might be 
called for at their hands. Then came a visit from Madame 
Fran9ois Delessert, two notes from Lord Granville, our Ambas- 
sador at Paris; a call at the Embassy, and in the evening the 
company of M. and Madame de Pressens^, the Secretary of the 
Bible Society. 
. In a letter to her children at home, Mrs. Fry not merely 
describes their rooms at the Hotel, and gives a plan of them, 
but sends a little sketch, drolly characteristic of the femme de 
chambre and the waiter. 

February 1st, they attended the small Friends' Meeting held 
in the Faubourg du Boule, and afterwards called on La Baronne 
Pelet de la Lozere. In her Mrs. Fry found a friend and sister 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 2^7 

in Christ. They then paid a visit to Count Montalivet, Minister 
of the Interior, hy whom they were most kindly received, and 
promised all needfdl admissions to the different prisons. 

Afterwards, at the Hotel, they received visits from the Duchess 
de Broglie and other ladies. The following day found Mrs. Fry 
oppressed and feverish, and evidently suffering fix>m the cold she 
had endured on her journey. Her new friends all displayed the 
liveliest sympathy, whilst Madame Felet, in particular, neglected 
no kindness or attention that could add to her comfort. 

The drd, though too unwell to go out, Mrs. Fry received in 
the evening M. de Metz, Conseiller de la Cour Boyale, and had 
the pleasure of much important conversation with him on the 
subject of Prisons, in which he was greatly interested* On the 
4th, she paid pleasant visits to Lady Granville and to Madame 
Pelet On Sunday, the day began with seeing a school con- 
ducted by M. de Pressens^, for two hundred children ; a most 
cheering and delightful sight. At twelve o'clock they attended 
the Friends' Meeting, there were assembled French, English, a 
Pole, and Americans. Among this motley group might be found 
Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, various Dis- 
senters, and Quakers. 

Monday, the 5th, they visited the St. Lazare Prison for 
women, containg nine hundred and fifty-two inmates, a very 
melancholy sight. An American lady invited the party to her 
house in the evening, where she received about fifty indivi- 
duals mostly English and American. The conversation turned 
upon the general state of society in Europe, but especially in 
France, and what would be the most likely means of benefit- 
ing its polished, refined, but dissipated and irreligious capital. 
The fearful writings of the day, " many too bad to read," were 
discussed, and what might be the root of a tree, the branches 
of which bore fruit of such deadly nature. There was present, 
on that occasion, a young medical student, who addressed him- 

Q 2 


self to Mrs. Fry on the fearful oontamination to which young 
men in his position were exposed — oo domeetic home to retire to, 
none of that indefinable bnt potent inflaenoe around them of 
public opinion^ in fiiyour of Tirtne and morality, their studies all 
tending to materialism, and to the lessening of that dependence 
upon an unseen superior Power, which lingers even in the 
unregenerate heart of man ; and, above all, litde or no op- 
portunity afforded them for the commonest religious advan- 
tage. This large gathering concluded by solemn exhortetion 
and prayer* 

On the 6th, accompanied by Madame Delessert, the travellers 
visited a French Protestant school, for two hundred children, on 
the British and Foreign system, admirably conducted by a valu- 
able committee of ladies. They dined at M. Pressensi s, where 
was a large party afterwards. Many of them active members 
of the Boci6t6 Evang^lique. Mrs. Fry entered deeply into 
their labours of love, and spoke of this occasion as very encou- 
raging to her, when she compared it with the state of things in 
France during her youth, and how unlikely it then seemed^ that 
such a dawn of better things would ever appear there. 

The 7tb, they received many gueste both morning and even- 
ing, and in the course of the day accompanied the Duchess 
de Broglie to the Prison des Jeunes D6tenus, a good new build- 
ing the inmates well ordered, but still capable of improvement 

The following day was occupied by attending their Meeting 
in the morning, and in the evening receiving a party of ladies 
to consider how they might, in the best manner, promote good 
in the city, in Prisons, Schools, District Societies, and similar 
objecte. The evening was finished by reading the 1 6th chapter 
of St. Luke. 

On the 9th, the Prison for men (La Force) was visited. 
A dinner at M. Pelet's, and a very large party there in the 

1838.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 229 

The 1 0th, they inspected the Military Prison at St Oermains 
which appeared to them to be upon the whole well conducted, 
and in tolerable order; books they found to be greatly wanted. 
Afterwards they saw the Central Prison at Poissy, but whilst 
they admired its good order, they considered it not sufficiently 
penal, too much like a large manufactory for different trades, 
instead of a place of punishment 

The following day — the Sabbath was indeed welcome, for its 
rest was gready needed by Elizabeth Fry. She desired that it 
might be free from company, and prove a season of refreshment, 
the press of people being so great and the subjects for conside- 
ration so many and so exceedingly important. The Meeting 
was not a very large one, in it their certificates were read. They 
appeared much to interest those who heard them, and opened 
the way for a little explanation of Friends' principles. There 
were a few callers in the evening, amongst others, a gentleman 
interested about prisons, who remained during their Scripture 
reading, at which some of the servants of the Hotel were also 

On the 12tb, they visited the Prison of the Conciergerie. 
There they saw the room where the unhappy Marie Antoinette 
was confined. They took tea at Mr. Tease's, successor to Mr. 
Newstead, the Methodist minister, and passed an interesting 
evening with a large party of his congregation. At this time 
and in her subsequent visits to France, Mrs. Fry's sympathies 
were mach drawn forth towards the French Methodists, who ap* 
peared to her to be an earnest and spiritual people. 

The next morning they went to some schools; one, an Infant 
School, was particularly attractive, the superintendents appear- 
ing well adapted for their important post ; money was given to 
purchase the little creatures each a bun, which highly delighted 
them, their happy faces showing how pleased they were. Also 
an Hospital, and the Enfans Trouv^s, were visited. Mrs. Fry's 

230 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1838. 

maternal experience^ led her to give some advice about the poor 
babies' dress^ that it might be less complicated, and afford them 
more liberty of movement. The nuns appeared kind. The 
Hospital they found very close^and wanting ventilation. In the 
evening to Mr. Lutteroth s^ where between fifty and sixty persons 
were present, a '^charming company/* ''many amongst them 
truly serious." 

On the 14th, another visit was paid to the Women's Prison 
of St. Lazare. There, after going over the building, the women 
were collected at Mrs. Fry's request, that a portion of Scripture 
might be read to them. She chose the parable of the prodigal 
son. It was beautiftilly read by a French lady, from the Roman 
Catholic Prayer Book. A pause ensued, then Mrs. Fry com- 
mented upon it, the same lady translated for her, sentence by 
sentence. It was exceedingly well done, losing little ornothing 
of its solemnity. The women were touched and impressed. She 
then asked them whether they would like ladies to visit them, 
read to them, and sympathize with them. The offer was eagerly 
accepted. " Oui, oui," '' Eb, moi, aussi !" came from all sides; 
nor was it only these poor outcasts, or those accompanying Mrs. 
Fry who wept, the jailor and turnkeys who had entered the room, 
contrary to her wishes, were so affected that tears ran down their 
cheeks. " Ellesne sont paspire que nous, ces pauvres femmes," 
(said an excellent lady for the first time brought into contact 
with such as these,) ** seulement les circonstances sont toutes 
pour nous, et toutes contres elles.*' 

This reading occasioned quite a sensation in Paris, for it had 
been said, that the wonderful effect of Mrs. Fry's readings in 
Newgate arose from her peculiar voice and manner, her skill in 
arresting the attention of her auditors, and her power to touch 
their hearts. She and others attributed it to the simple indwell- 
ing power of the word of God, and asserted that it would be 
found the same whatever national differences might exist, or by 

1838.] OF ELIZABETH PRY. 231 

whomsoever the inspired word might he presented. The result 
on this occasion was decisive. 

They saw on the 15th, a school for about forty-five Protest- 
ants^ many of them training for servants. To find attention paid 
to this class afforded them much satisfaction. In the evening, 
Mr. and Mrs. Fry dined at the English Embassy. Throughout 
their stay in Paris the kindness and attention of Lord and Lady 
Granville were unfailing. 

The next day, some more '' delightful schools" were inspected, 
and a prison for debtors. 

In the evening, the party for the promotion of philanthropic 
objects, which had been adjourned theprecedingweek,againmet; 
much interesting conversation took place. As on the previous 
evening, the party concluded with reading a portion of the Holy 
Scriptures, and solemn prayer. 

On the 17th, Mrs. Fry had an interview with the prison 
officers, and obtained much information respecting the state of 
St. Lazare Female Prison. Madame Pelet and Madame Jules 
Mallet intrepreting for her. They saw M. Toase on the subject 
of fitting up a room as a library for the benefit of English and 
American students, and in the evening they went to Mr. Baird*s, 
the American clergyman, to meet some of them, who are invited 
there every Saturday to read the Scriptures, &c., &c. A young 
Englishman present expressed himself strongly ; warning his 
cotemporaries, first, on the awful prevalence of taking the sacred 
name in vain, secondly, the desecration of the Sabbath, and 
thirdly, against the literature of modem France, poisoned as it 
is with infidelity and licentiousness. 

The 1 9th, was devoted by Mrs. Fry to writing observations 
on the prisons which she bad seen, to making some calls ; and 
in the evening receiving several gentlemen to consider and talk 
over prison subjects. 

232 * MSBfOIB OF THE LIFE [1888. 

On the 20thy they visited the Salp6tridre> an Hospital for the 
old, infirm, epileptic, idiotic and insane. The building stands 
on nine acres of ground, and the whole establishment occupies 
ninety-eight. There are five thousand inmates. They were 
exceedingly struck with the kindness manifested towards tbeok, 
particularly towards the insane, so much liberty being given 
them. Formerly, these unhappy creatures were chained and 
cruelly treated ; many of the inmates followed the party about, 
pleased at being noticed* One thing, however, occasioned real 
pain to the visitors amidst the good order which prevailed, the 
absence of all religious instruction. Proved, as it has long been, 
that this unfortunate class of persons are helped and soothed by 
the blessed promises of Scripture, and capable in many instances 
notwithstanding their mental infirmity, of feeling and appropri- 
ating the Christian's hope. 

A third visit was paid on the 21st to the St. Lazare, in com- 
pany with Lady Granville, Lady Gteorgiana FuUerton, and two 
other ladies. From what was witnessed in these visits, it was 
obvious, that great good would result from the regular attendance 
of a Ladies' Committee, though no easy matter to arrange it In 
the evening, went to M. De Metz s. Great had been the kind- 
ness of this gentleman and his brother-in4aw, M. Piron, in 
going about with them to the different prisons. 

On the 82nd, M. Berenger came to breakfast^ when the con- 
versation was almost entirely on subjects referring to prisons. 
The Friends' Meeting that morning was an important one, the 
ministry leading all to Christ, and many strangers and persons 
of different denominations being there. Afterwards, Mrs. Fry 
met several ladies at the Duchess de Broglie's, to consider the 
possibility of forming a Committee for visiting prisons. They 
dined at M. Bumpff 's. Minister of the Hanse Towns. The 
Duke Decazes was there, with whom Mr8« Fry had much con- 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 288 

versation^ the Duchess Deoazes, and the Duke and Duchess de 

The 2drd, they breakfasted atMr. Mark Wilk's at Passy, where 
they had the gratification of meeting M. David^ the sculptor. 
Afterwards they called on Madame Pelet and Madame de 
Pastoret, concluding the day by a dinner at the Duke de 

The following day they visited a convent, and some schools 
conducted by Sisters of Charity. Dined at M. Jules Mallet's, 
about twenty to dinner, and saw nearly a hundred in the even- 
ing ; a most interesting company — several hitherto unknown 

to them — ^many young people, which was " delightful'* to Mrs. 

On the 25th, was their last Meeting at Paris, a very large 
and solemn one it proved. 

The 26th was devoted to the discussion of prison subjects 
with the Prefect of Police. They dined at M. Dntrone's, the 
Deputy for Amiens. 

The 27th, they paid some important calls, and had a large 
Committee of Ladies to consider prison subjects, though there 
were too many present to eflfect much. The party that day dined 
with the veteran philanthropist, the Baron de Qerando. 

During the 28th they received many callers, paid leave-taking 
visits, and dined at the Duke Decazes*. 

The 2nd, was the day appointed for them to wait upon the 
King and Queen, and the Duchess of Orleans. They dined at 
M. de Salvandi's, Minister of Public Instruction, and were quite 
delighted in accompanying him to see a large library and room 
fitted up for the use of the middle classes. 

Their two last days in Paris were occupied by winding up 
their different objects, and preparing to depart 

The result of her observations on the state of the prisons, Mrs. 

Fry embodied in a latter addressed to the Prefect of Police, but 



as it contained little beyond her opinions so frequently stated, 
as to arrangements, classification, female officers for women, 
and instroction, it is not inserted here. 

She also addressed a memorial to the King, touching on the 
subject that so deeply occupied her thoughts, but beyond every 
other thing, urging a more extended circulation of the Holy 
Scriptures, and their free use in all public institutions in 

From St. Germains she wrote to her children. 

Third Month, 6th, 1836. 

We arrived here last evening, after quitting the most deeply 
interesting field of service, I think I was ever engaged in* My 
first feeling is, peace and true thankfulness for the extraordi- 
nary help granted to us ; my next feeling, an earnest desire to 
communicate to you, my most tenderly beloved children, and 
others nearest to me, the sense that I have of the kindness and 
goodness and mercy of my Heavenly Father, who has dealt so 
bountifdlly with me ; that it may lead all to serve Him fully, 
love Him more, and follow more simply the guidance of His 

I mean now to tell you a little of my reflections upon this im- 
portant period, the last month at Paris. Iwas at first very poorly, 
very low, and saw little opening for religious usefulness, tiiough 
some for charitable and benevolent objects. Soon my health 
revived, and we had full occupation in visiting prisons and other 
institutions, and saw many influential persons. This opened a 
door in various ways, for close communication with a deeply 
interesting variety of both philanthropic and religious people, 
and has thus introduced us into a more intimate acquaintance 
with the state of general society. Religiously, we find some, 
indeed we may say a great many, who appear much broken off 
firom the bonds of Roman Catholic superstition, but with it, I 
fear, have been ready to give up religion itself, though feeling 
the need of it for themselves and others. To these I think we 
have been helpful, by upholding religion in its simplicity, and 




most strongly expressing onr sense of the necessity of it, and 
that nothing can alter and improve the moral character^ or 
bring real peace, bat true Christian principles. To this we have 
very faithfuUy borne testimony, and most strongly encouraged 
all to promote a more free circulation of the Scriptures, parti- 
cularly the New Testament, and a more diligent reading of the 
Bible in institutions and families. I have, in private circles, 
introduced (frequently by describing what poor criminals wanted 
in prisons) the simple truths of the Gospel, illustrated some- 
times by interesting facts, respecting the conversion of some of 
these poor women prisoners, and have been thus enabled in 
numerous parties, to show the broad, clear, and simple way of 
salvation, through our Lord and Saviour, for all. It has been 
striking to me in our dinner visits, some of them splendid oc- 
casions, how curiously away has opened without the least form- 
ality, or even difficulty in conversation, to '* speak the truth in 
love," especially one day, as to how far balls and theatres were 
Christian and right ; the way in which Roman Catholic priests 
appeared to hinder the spread of the Gospel — the importance 
of circulating good books (this has been a very common sub- 
ject) and above all the New Testament. At our own Ambas* 
sador's Lord Granville's, several were in tears during the con- 
versation. I think our dinner visits have been an important 
part of our service, so much has been done by these com- 
munications after, and at them. In many instances, numbers 
have joined us in the evening, particularly the youth. With 
these, it has pleased my Heavenly Father to give me some in- 
fluence. Last First-day evening, I had a very large party of 
them to a reading, which appears to have given much satisfac- 
tion. It has been a most curious opening with persons of many 
nations. Many have lately flocked to our little Meetings ; I 
wonder how I could feel easy to go away from such a field of 
service, but I did, and therefore went. On Third -day, when we 
went to the King and Queen, and therefore coidd not attend our 
little week-day Meeting, they said eighty persons came to it who 
went away. I have found unusual help at these times, to speak 
the truth with power ; my belief is, that there are many un- 
settled and seeking minds in this country. 


236 MBMOIB OF THE LIFE [1688. 

We have'^had much intercourse with the Minister of Instroc- 
tion, and he gives me leave to send him a large number of books 
from England, to be translated into French. My fiill belief is, 
that many Testaments and valoable books will circulate in con- 
sequence of our visit. 

The efforts made to form a Ladies' Society, to visit the prisons 
of France, and particularly Paris, (whether they succeed or not) 
have been important. First, by my taking many ladies to visit 
the great Female Prison of St. Lazaie, and there reading, or 
having read, small portions of Scripture, and my few words 
through an interpreter, producing (far beyond what I could have 
expected) such a wonderful effect upon these poor sinneis. The 
glad tidings of the Grospel appeared to touch their hearts^ many 
wept exceedingly, and it was a fresh and striking proof of the 
power of the truth, when simply told. In the next place, the 
large number of ladies that have met at our house upon the 
subject) has afforded so remarkable an opportunity to express to 
them my views of salvation by Christ alone, of the unity that 
should exist amongst Ghristians, and must do so, if sanctified by 
the Spirit, and de^ly to impress the simplicity and spirituality of 
true religion. I think something important in the prison cause 
will eventually come out of it, but it will take time. 

We have had very large parties of English and Americans, 
and some French, at the houses of the Methodist minister, the 
American minister, and at another serious person's. Also we 
joined the French Wesleyan Methodists in their chapel, and 
had a precious meeting with them. Of the highly evangelical 
Episcopalians and Independents, we have had very large parties 
at diff<»ent houses. In all these, we have had solemn religious 
service. The Episcopalians have been brought into very close 
union with us. In our own house, we have had two large parties 
of a philanthropic and religious nature, attended by many. Lady 
Olivia Sparrow has often been quite a comfort to me; and 
many others I may say have proved true helpers, French and 
Americans, and more than these— -the Charge d'Affaires of the 
Hanse Towns and his wife, also Bussians and Swiss. The Greek 
Ambassador, Ooletti,* came to me for advice on some points in 

* Afterwards Prime Blinister to King Otho. 

i888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 237 

the slate of Greece, in which I helieve I shall he enahled to 

assist him. A Captain B thinks of having my sister Hoare's 

" Hints for the Lahoaring Glasses" translated, for the parents of 
the children who attend the schools upon the mountains in India. 
We have also seen many of the medical students, English and 
American, and are anxious to have some efforts made for their 
moral and religious good, in Paris, where so many come. 

Our visit to the King and the Queen was interesting ; hut 
Alas ! what in reality is rank ? The King I think in person like 
the late Iiord Torrington, the Queen a very agreeable and even 
interesting woman. I expressed my religious interest and con^ 
oem for them, which was well received, and we had much con- 
versation with the Queen and the Princess Adelaide, before the 
!King came into the Boom. We strongly expressed to the Queen 
our desire to have the Sabbath better kept, and the Scriptures 
more read. She is a sweet minded merciful woman* There 
were present Madame Adelaide, the King's sister, one of the 
young Princesses, and the Marchioness of Dolomieu, principal 
Lady of Honour to the Queen. 

We then proceeded to the Duchess of Orleans' ; there we 
had a delightful visit, the sweetest religious communication with 
her and other interesting conversation. We found her an un- 
common person — my belief is, that she is a very valuable young 

The Queen appeared much pleased with my Text-book ; and 
the Princess Adelaide said, she should keep it in her pocket and 
read it daily. Indeed no books have given the same pleasure as 
the Text-books> both in French and English. I think we have 
given away many hundreds of them, and next in number my 
sister Louisa's books on Education ; they delight the people ; 

also a great many of Joseph's Letter to Dr. A , of which we 

have a beautiful edition in French, and his Sabbath ; of these 
we expect to give many hundreds, and one or two other tracts, 
upon Christian Duties, and the Offices of the Holy Spirit. Our 
various books and tracts have had a very open reception, but we 
have been very careful when, where, and what to give ; although 
in some of the newspapers it was stated that I distributed con- 
troversial tracts, which is not true. 

238 MBMOIR OF THB LIFE [1888. 

I began in my letter to say what a variety we have seen, bat 
I did not say what deeply interesting and delightful persons we 
have met with; amongst the Protestants particularly, some first- 
rate ladies, who have been as sisters to me, so abundant in 
kindness and love. One has truly reminded me of my sister 
Bachel, in her person, her mind, and her excessive care over me; 
she has felt me, I believe, like her own. We have indeed in- 
creased our dear and near friends by this visit, much as it was 
in Jersey and Guernsey, only in far greater numbers. I think 
nothing could be more seasonable than our visit ; as it respected 
the prisons, and I believe the influence of our advice has been 
very decided, with many persons of consideration. The schools 
we have also attended to, and I have encouraged a more scrip- 
tural education ; some schools of great consequence, kept by 
serious Protestants in a district of Paris, much want help. 
There are seven hundred children, and we hear that the Head 
of the Police in that neighbourhood, says the people generally 
are improved in consequence. 

The want of the language, I have now and then much felt, 
but not very often, so many speak English well, and many 
understand it who cannot speak it Also I blunder out a little 

The entreaties for us to stop longer in Paris have been very 
great, but my inclination draws homeward ; I am a very great 
friend to not stopping too long in a place. And as I believed I 
saw a Uttle light upon our departure, we thought it best to leave 
all for the present, and go, if we even have, before many months 
more, to return for a short time. We have been a united, and 
often a cheerful little party. At times I have carried a great 
weight, never hardly having my home party out of mind for long 
together, however full and occupied. At other times our business 
has been so great, as almost to overwhelm us — callers almost 
innumerable, and most of them on important business, and out 
and in almost constantly ourselves, so that I have sometimes felt 
as if I could not long bear it, particularly when I could not 
obtain some rest in the afternoon. Through all I must say. He 
who I believe put me forth, has from season to season restored 
my soul and body, and helped me from hour to hour. This day 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 289 

week I sat down upon my chair and wept, but I was soon helped 
and revived. I long for every ohild^ brother, sister, and all near 
to me^ to be sensible how very near my Holy Helper has been 
to me, and yet I have exceedingly and deeply felt my utter un- 
worthiness and short coming, and that all is from the fulness and 
freeness of unmerited mercy and love, in Christ Jesus. I can 
hardly express the very near love I have felt for you all. My 
prayers very often have risen for you, and if any labour I have 
been engaged in has been accepted through the Beloved, may you 
my most tenderly beloved ones, partake of the blessing attendant 
upon it. My dearest husband has been a true helper; and 
Josiah Forster and Lydia Irving, very kind and useful com- 

I forgot to say, I think the few Friends in Paris have been 
greatly comforted and stimulated by our visit 

I end my account by saying, what I trust is true, " The Lord 
is my Shepherd, I shall not want." We are now quietly at St. 
Germains. We hear most interesting accounts of the state of 
Normandy, and have many letters of introduction to the places 
where we propose to go, if not wanted home, I shall be glad to 
go there. We propose being at Bouen to-morrow. 

I am. 
Your most tenderly attached, 

Elizabeth Fby. 

At Rouen they were much interested by meeting with a 
respectable woman in humble life, who had lived nurse fifteen 
years in a gentleman's family, a Boman Catholic but his wife a 
Protestant There she had been so much impressed by religious 
truths (though still a Boman Catholic herself) that she felt it 
her duty where she resided to circulate the Scriptures and reli- 
gious tracts. Her master told them, it was surprising the great in- 
fluence she had obtained in the neighbourhood. Mrs. Fry supplied 
her with six Testaments and a Bible, from the Bible Society Depot. 
From the same Society she obtained Testaments for the school 
in the prison, where the Testament was habitually read, but the 

240 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

supply very inadequate. This school was under the oare of the 
Abb^ (dossier, M. Du Hamel and other religious gentlemen, 
who themselves daily instructed the young prisoners. 

At Caen, they found some excellent and devoted Methodists 
amongst the French, and, that through the efforts of one young 
English lady, an orphan residing in a gentleman's family as 
governess — ^many copies of die Scriptures had been purchased ; 
and at the shop of a Boman Catholic, more than a hundred of 
de Sacy's Testaments sold since the beginning of the year. 

The Prison of Beaulieu near Caen they visited with much 
satisfaction, nearly a thousand prisoners were confined there ; 
they found it admirably regulated, and a serious Roman Catho- 
lic clergyman devoted to the good of those under his care. He 
gladly welcomed the gift of fifty Testaments. 

At Havre, the Ladies' Bible Society had sold during the 
former year four hundred and twenty-six Testaments, and thirty- 
three Bibles, and bad given to soldiers fifty Testaments, who 
were in the habit every evening of reading them to their com- 
rades in barracks. 

At Boulogne, they made arrangements for the sale of the 
Holy Scriptures, and took a lively interest in the District 
Society, thence crossed to Dover, and the following day Mrs. 
Fry had the comfort of finding herself again with her fiimily 
at home. 

The effect on her mind, of this her first introduction to France 
was very powerftd. She was greatly attracted by the life and 
facility of the French character; in a letter she speaks of them 
as ^' such a nation — such a numerous and superior people — 
filling such a place in the world — and Satan appearing in no 
common degree to be seeking to destroy them — first, by infi- 
delity and 80 called philosophy — secondly by superstition, and 
the priesthood rising with fresh power — thirdly, by an extreme 
love of the world and its pleasures — fourthly, by an unsettled. 


restless, and warlike spirit — ^yet under all this, a hidden power 
of good at work amongst them, many very extraordinary 
Christian characters, bright, sober, zealous Roman Catholics 
and Protestants, education increasing — the Holy Scriptures 
more read and valued, a general stirring to improve the prisons 
of France. The Government making fresh regulations for 
that purpose, but great fear of the priests prevailing, from the 
palace downwards — and they alas ! resisting all good wherever 
or however it may arise." 

Upton Lane, Fourth Month, filth. — ^Yesterday was the largest 
British Society Meeting I ever remember, partly collected to hear 
my account of our French journey, there must have been some 
hundreds of ladies present, many of them of rank. In the 
desire not to say too much, perhaps I said too little upon some 
points, although I do not feel condemned, yet I am ready to 
think if I had watched and prayed more, I should have done 
better— my prayers have arisen, that however imperfectly or 
unworthily sown, the seed scattered yesterday, may be so pros- 
pered by His own free power, life and grace, that it may bear a 
fidl crop to His praise ! 

Fifth Month, %th. — ^I have just had a serious faintness for a 
short time, at times I think I may be suddenly taken ofif in one 
of these attacks— they appear to have so much to do with the 
heart. If perfectly ready, by being washed and made clean in 
the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, then, I think that a 
rapid translation from time to eternity, may save much pain and 
sorrow* But all these things, I am disposed to leave wholly to 
the Lord, who has through His unutterable mercy, been remark- 
ably with me in life, and will I believe, be with me in death. So 
be it Lord Jesus, when Thou comest, even if it be quickly^ 
through Thine own merits receive me unto Thyself! 

20/A. — To-morrow I am fifty-eight, an advanced period of 
what I apprehend to be not a very common pilgrimage, I now 
very earnestly desire and pray that my Lord may guide me con- 
tinually, cause me to know more of the day of His power, that 
I may have my will subjected to his will. What He would, 



have me to do that may I do, where He would have me to go 
there may I go— -what He may call me to suffer for His name 
sake may I he willing to suffer. Further^ may He keep me 
from all false fears and imaginationSi and ever preserve me from 
putting my hand to any work, not called for hy Him, even if 
my fellow-creatures press me into it, as I think some are dis- 
posed to do ahout America. Be pleased to grant these my 
desires and prayers for Thine own Holy and Blessed name's 

Two days later on hearing of the death of Mrs. Clarke of 
Orimplesham Hall^ Norfolk, an old and valued friend with whom 
and her daughters, Mrs. Doyle and Mrs. James Doyle, she had 
so lately heen staying at Dubliu, receiving under their roof 
boundless hospitality, she thus addressed them : — 

Upton Lane^ Sixth MotUh^ Stk. 

My dear Friends, 
Dear E. B.'s letter is just arrived containing the account of 
the departure of your beloved mother, you are much to be felt 
for in efo great a loss, for she was a mother indeed to you, and 
a dear friend to many, I not only loved her but highly 
esteemed her also, she appeared to have about her much of the 
Israel indeed in whom is no guile, partaking of the blessed 
state of those whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose 
ains are covered, unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, 
and in whose spirit there is no guile. I should much like to 
be with you upon the affecting occasion of the frineral, but I 
do not see how I can properly leave all my concerns and duties 
at home ; but (I think) I shall be with you in mind. Fray 
write to me as soon as you eittier feel able, and tell me all 
about yourselves and particulars of your dear mother's bodily 

and mental state previous to her departure. 

j» * « # # # * 

Seventh Month, 6th. — ^This day I enter with much fear and 
trembling, as we are looking forward to a very important Meeting 
to be held at the Westminster Meeting House, at the request of 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 243 

Hannah Backhouse^ to which foragners of rank and our own 
nobility are invited. The weight is great — very great from yarioua 
cauBOB^ pardy from my fears and doubts as to women^s holding 
Fablic Meetings. 

14/A. — ^The Meeting was attended by many high in rank. 
Soon after we assembled^ William Allen spoke for some time, 
then I knelt down and felt mnch unction and power in prayer for 
the Queen. After Hannah Backhouse had spoken, in a lively, 
simple, powerful manner, preaching the truths of the gospel, 
several went out. I then rose^ first endeavouring to show that 
truth must not be despised, because it came through weak instru- 
ments. I mentioned, how Anna in the Temple spoke of our 
Lord to all who looked for redemption in Israel, how the women 
first told of our Lord's resurrection, and that their fello w-disciplos 
called it " idle tales.^ After thus showing that the Lord might 
see right to use weak instruments, I expressed my feelings towards 
those present. Firsts from Scripture, I showed that God is no 
respecter of persons, that from the palace to the very dungeon, I 
continually saw this. Then I showed, the important and respon- 
sible situation of those who fill high places in the world. Either 
they would be blessed themselves and be a blessing to others, as 
a city set on a hill, their light shining before men ; or they would 
be of the number of those, through whom, ofifences come, and 
therefore with the " curse of the Lord " resting on them. I 
showed them some of their peculiar temptations, in being clothedi 
in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day ; 
and warned them, seeking to lead them to Christ, and to eternal 
glory through Him. At the close, I had a few words to express 
in the way of exhortation, as to their example in their houses, 
amongst children and servants, reading the Holy Scriptures, 
family worship and other points. 

On the 12th of July, an event took place in her family, which 
afforded Mrs. Fry peculiar satisfaction, the marriage of her 
fourth son at Frankfort*sur-Maine, to the daughter of her 
valued friend. Dr. Pinkerton. 

But there was another and a very different subject weighing 


at this time heavily apon her mind, one which she tamed 
again and again before she dare dismiss it, and then, it was 
more that other calls of duty appeared immediately required 
of her, than that she deliberately abandoned the idea. Her 
brother Joseph John Gumey was pursuing his labours in 
America, as a minister of the Gospel ; and she doubted, 
whether it might not be her duty to cross the Atlantic, in 
order to join him for a time in his visits in the United States, 
and to accompany him to the West Indies. There were 
those who thought she ought to go ; but, on the other hand, 
she knew how entirely it would be against, not only the wishes, 
but the judgment of her own family. She had learned to trust 
very little to the opinions of any of her fellow-mortals, and these 
conflicting views only served to bring her in deeper dependence 
and more entire self-resignation, to the footstool of her great 
Master to learn His will, that she might fulfil it. Whilst she 
pondered these things, a strong conviction arose in her heart, that 
there was a present duty for her to fulfil — once more to visit 
Friends and their Meetings in North Britain, again to inspect 
the prisons there, and to communicate with the magistrates and 
men in authority, whilst the Bill was still pending, which had 
been brought before the House the proceeding Session of Par- 
liament, to improve prisons and prison discipline in Scotland. 

She laid this concern before her friends, and receiving the 
assurance of their unity, she left home the 11th of August, with 
her constant companion, her sister-in-law Elizabeth Fry, and her 
husband^s old and valued friend, John Sanderson. They stayed 
a night at Birmingham, and on the J 4th of August, arrived at 
Glen Bothay, in the vale of Bydal, where the kindest reception 
awaited them ; but the kindness of their host and hostess ceased 
not here. Elizabeth Fry*s onerous and multiplied objects requir- 
ing more assistance, William Ball, a minister amongst Friends, 
though not at the time travelling in that character, and peculiarly 

1838.] OF £LIZABBTH FRY. 245 

Buited for the undertaking, was prepared, upon her particular re- 
quest^ to leave that beautiful home and accompany them on their 
way. They left Glen Rothay on the 15th, Mrs. Ball going with 
them the two first stages. 

As Mrs. Fry's occupation and great fatigue made it almost 
impossible for her to write fully to her home party, or to keep 
a journal of their proceedings, Mr. Ball undertook both offices. 
He had never travelled with, or known her so intimately before, 
and his journal is interspersed with observations on her ob- 
jects and habits. From it, the account of this journey is chiefly 

*' After being kindly received at O. H. Head's, Bickerby Hall, 
we left Carlisle, posted four stages to Hawick, attended a Meet- 
ing that was appointed for that afternoon, in which our dear 
friends were enabled to ' labour in the. Gospel ;' went on two 
stages to Torsanoe Inn, where we slept. 

''On the 17th, left Torsance about nine o'clock; arrived 
at Edinburgh to dinner, at our dear aged friend Alexander 
Cruickshanks ; came on to Kinross to tea, and arrived at Perth 
in the evening. A fine drive this day ; the approach to Edin- 
burgh very striking, also tlie neighbourhood of Perth ; but the 
free course of interesting and profitable conversation on the part 
of our beloved friend, the chief charm of a charming journey. 
How instructive is her regard to the comfort and the feelings 
of others, even in little things ! 

'' 18th. — ^In the carriage about half past six o'clock. From 
Perth to Oupar Angus to breakfast, in the hope of being at 
Aberdeen, in time for the Meeting that is held the evening 
previous to the General Meeting of Friends of Scotland. At 
Forfar, visited the prison — ^it is in very bad order. Changed 
horses at Brechin, but did not allow ourselves time for dinner, 
which we took in the carriage. At Stonehaven, finding it vain 
any further to attempt to reach Aberdeen by six o'clock, we rested 
awhile, and had tea at a very pleasant inn. The drive from 
Stonehaven to Aberdeen over hills in view of the sea, is very 

246 MBMOm OF THK LIFE [1888. 

fUie. But we had no time to stop at Ury, (the seat of the 
Barclay family^) which is passed on this route. Arrived at 
Aberdeen at eight o'clock, and took up our abode at the Boyal 

*' These journeys are> I trusty not lost time ; we have two 
Scripture readings daily in the carriage, and much instructiYe 
conversation ; also, abundant time for that which is so important, 
the private reading of the Holy Scripture. Thid is very precious 
to dear Elizabeth Fry, and I have thought it a privilege to note 
her reverent ' marking and learning' of these sacred truths of 
divine inspiration. Often does she lay down the Book^ close her 
eyes, and wait upon Him, who hath the key of David to open and 
to seal the instruction of the sacred page. Truly, it helps to 
explain how her ' profiting appears unto all,' when she is thus 
diligent aad fervent, in ^meditating upon these things, and 
giving herself wholly to them*' " 

The first two days at Aberdeen were devoted to attending the 
Meetings, and visits to Friends. Amongst others, one to a very 
old and valued friend, John Wigham. He had been to her as 
*' a nursing father" in the early part of her religious course. 

'' It was much like the meeting and interchange of pazent and 
child, after long separation and many vicissitudes; and these last» 
as diey had affected our dear firiend in the interval, were freely 
spoken of by her, with that deep feeling, chastened into resig- 
nation, which so remarkably covers her subjected spirit, in rela*' 
tion to these affecting topics. 

'* Some of the sedous inhabitants, a olergymaa and odiers, 
oalled on us this evening. 

" 21^.— -An agreeable break&st^visit to Principal Jack, of 
Old Aberdeen GoUege, and his amiable family; wh^re we were 
privileged to partake both of fiiendly hoq^^itality and Christian 
fellowship. Visited the prison, in company with our friends 
A. and M. Wigham, the Provost, Sheriff, Town Clerk, and Bailiie 
Blackie. The Baillie is a valuable man, who has done a great 
deal for the improvement of the gaol, which Blizabeth Fry finds 

1886.] OF ELISABETH FRY. 247 

very materially mended ; in fact, in excellent order. The autho* 
rities here, are most anxious to facilitate Elizabeth Fry s in- 
specdon, and to forward her views, well knowing them to be 
the result of the enlarged observation, and long experience of 
a practical judicious mind> as well as of close and heartfelt in- 
terest in the subject: 

'' A meeting with the ladies of Aberdeen this evening at our 
Hotel, when prison matters were discussed, and things put in 
train for forming a regular association, ere we leave the city. 
Elizabeth Fry's capacity for various successive engagements, all 
of an important nature, is astonishing. Surely, it is because she 
dwells mentally in the ' quiet habitation,^ to which she con* 
tinually resorts, for the renewal of that calming influence of the 
Spirit, which purifies the heart, clears the understanding, and 
rectifies the judgment, bestowing upon the truly devoted fol- 
lower of the Lamb, ' the spirit of love and of power and of 
a sound mind.' She is both lovely and wonderful on close ac- 
quaintance; such energy, combined with meekness, and so 
much power with entire teachableness, are rarely found. 

" )22nd. — ^We went to Elinmuck — setting out quite early ; had 
much satisfaction in being among the Friends there, who seem 
a kind, serious, simple-hearted people. Betumed to Aberdeea 

'^ 28rd. — After a morning engagement^ we were occupied with 
the principal officers of the gaol who visited us, desiring to have 
some private conversation with Elizabeth Fry. Then came on 
the large meeting of ladies; nearly two hundred assembled. She 
had only meant to receive them in our drawing-room, but they 
flocked in to such degree, that a large assembly-room in our 
Hotel was got ready on the spur of the moment. There was 
much reading from reports, &c., as well as valuable communi- 
cation from Elizabeth Fry, to this interesting assembly. Her 
exodlent tact and remarkable fEusihty on these occasions, are 
admirable. A society was formed for the prisons of Aberdeen 
and its vicinity. The Countessof Enrol is Patroness ; the Lady 
of the Provost, Preddein^ ; very respectable persons take the 
other functions. The Provost, SherifT, and many other gentle* 
men were in attendance, but, to their evident disappointment. 

248 MEMOIR OF THE LITE [1838. 

were most politely dismissed by our dear Mend, wbo feels it 
important, as a woman, not to overstep the line whioh restricts 
her public addresses to those of her own sex, excepting only in 
the exercise of the spiritnal gift of the Ministry. 

'' Between the formation of the association^ and proceeding to 
select the various officers, Elizabeth Fry read a psalm, spoke 
very nicely upon it to the ladies, and was then engaged in 
prayer. This meeting satisfactorily over, we went, accompanied 
by a large party of gentlemen, magistrates, and others, and 
many ladies abo, to visit the Bridewell. A thorough inspec- 
tion was made, indeed this visit employed an hour and a-half ; 
all met afterwards in the Gommittee-room, to hear what Eliza- 
beth Fry had to remark upon the state of this large and impor- 
tant establishment ; she made an excellent address." 

Embodied afterwards in a letter, — 

To THE Provost and Magistrates of the City, and 
Sheriff Depute, and Sheriff Substitute of the County 
OF Aberdeen. 

On visiting the prison of your city, I had much sati8£EU)tion 
in observing the great improvement in the construction of the 
building, and the arrangement of the yards, since I was last at 
Aberdeen. The diet also is improved ; but I am of opinion, 
that the addition of a portion of animal food once a week, is 
very desirable, and likely to conduce to the preservation of the 
health of the prisoners. 

I observe, that the separate system is adopted for tried and 
untried prisoners, that attention is paid to their instruction, that 
some employment is provided for them ; and that, upon iheir 
dismissal from prison, they are allowed to partake of their 

It is satisfactory also, to learn, that a medical man and a 
chaplain attend the prisoners, but above all, that it is intended 
to appoint a female officer to have the oversight and care of the 
female prisoners. This arrangement is, under any circumstances, 
important, but peculiarly so when the prisoners are separately 
confined. There is an obvious impropriety, in women so circum- 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 249 

stancedy being under the sole care of men, both as it respects 
the prisoners and the persons who have the custody of them. 
The indelicacy and moral exposure are greats and have been 
found from experience, to lead to injurious consequences to both 
parties ; so much so, that by the last Prison Act, of George the 
Fourth, in England, no male ofiBcer, not even the Governor or 
Chaplain, is allowed to visit a female prisoner except in com- 
pany with a female ofiBcer. 

The appointment of women to the care of prisoners of their 
owa sex, would moreover prove an economical arrangement in- 
asmuch as the salaries of women are less than those of men, 
but one female turnkey will prove insufiBcient for the gaol. A 
Matron will be wanted to instruct the prisoners daily, and to 
have a constant superintendence over them ; and one female 
turnkey under her. They should both reside in the prison, and 
no male ofl&cer, except the Governor and Chaplain, should ever 
enter the women'^s side. The choice of these officers is of the 
utmost importance ; they should be women of good principles, 
should possess good sense and discretion, and combine gentle- 
ness with firmness. The system of separate confinement, 
although it has many advantages, requires great care in its 
administration, in order to make it productive of good effects 
on the mind of the prisoner, who should frequently be visited 
by serious judicious persons, to read the Scriptures, and care- 
fully mark and cherish any returning good impressions. This 
practice of regular visiting has been adopted in America, as 
well as our own country, with great advantage. 

The opinion that I had previously formed, as to the peculiar 
care required in applying this system, was confirmed by learning, 
on visiting your prison, that no less than two of the prisoners, 
now in confinement, had attempted self-destruction. 

With respect to untried prisoners, several months of separate 
confinement before trial and before conviction of any crime, is 
certainly severe discipline. These prisoners therefore, besides 
having the above-mentioned advantages, should be allowed to 
receive food from their friends, and occasionally to be visited 
by them. 

The introduction of a prison dress has my entire approbation. 

250 MBMOXR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

It tends to promote the comforts of the prisoners daring their 
confinement^ and they have the advantage of taking away their 
own clothes in an unimpaired state, when they are discharged. 
Without this provision, they firequently leave the prison in a 
most destitute condition. 

In the Bridewell of your city, I was much satisfied with the 
general order that prevails, and especially with the very desir- 
able provision of two cells for each prisoner. The want of 
female officers appears the great and important deficiency of this 

I beg to press on your attention, in conclusion, the great 
benefits that I believe will result to the female prisoners (and to 
the community at large) firom the visits of respectade and dis- 
creet ladies, who have formed themselves into a Society for this 
purpose, and who will be subject to regulations, which ?q11 be 
submitted to you for your approbation. The good that has 
been produced by similar associations in England, and also in 
some places in Scotland and Ireland, is so great and obvious, 
and so fully acknowledged by persons in authority, that I need 
not enlarge upon it ; but respectfully entreat you to extend to 
the ladies, who have undertaken this work of chanty in the city 
of Aberdeen, your kind assistance and patronage. 

I feel greatly obliged by the kind attentions which I have 

received from you in my visit to your city, for which be pleased 

to accept my thanks. 

I am, very sincerely. 

Your Friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

" On our return firom the Bridewell, the Shenfi", Dr. Dnar, 
Principle of Mareschal College, and another gentleman of influ- 
ence, came to attend at a private discussion of certain points, 
especially of the new Prison Bill for Scotland*" 

From Aberdeen, Mrs. Fry and her companions went to Ben- 
nie Hill, and remained for three days with Mr. Johnston and her 
niece. A large party of magistrates, lairds, and their ladies, 
met on Saturday at Bennie Bill, when prison subjects were 


1888.] OF ELIZABETH PAY. 251 

disoQSsed. The history of the Sonday must be told in Mr. 
Ball's own words :-* 

''First-day, )^th.<*-Oar little party sat together after the 
manner of Friends this morning. Dear Frisoilla Johnston joined 
ns. I felt afresh, that it is a priTilege to know that the worship 
of God is in spirit and in truth ; and may be rendered acceptable, 
wherever contrite hearts are reverently turned toward Him, in 
dependence on the mediation of His beloved Son, who is ever 
near to those, if only Hwo or three,' who are met to offer this 
worship in His name.*' # « # « Elizabeth Fry and her 
sister had desired to meet with the fishermen about Anstruther 
this evening ; but we were all taken by surprise on going down 
to the town, to find that this simple, religious gathering, turned 
out to be a very large and crowded Meeting. The room we had 
arranged for, not having proved nearly capable of containing the 
pec^le, they had flocked to a chapel near, the service of which 
(and of some others I believe) was put off to give place for a 
Public Meeting of Friends. We had expected to sit down with 
the poor fishermen in a much more private way. John Sander- 
son stated to the assemblage that we began with a pause of 
silence. Then Elizabeth Fry explained our views on worship, 
rather in the way of an affectionate introductory address. Her 
sister E. Fry bent the knee in prayer. After which, Elizabeth 
Fry was strengthened, in a very striking manner, to proclaim the 
glad tidings of the gospel of life and salvation — truly an 
awakening ministry ! Her sister followed, enlarging on the 
nature and firuits of true repentance ! — then Elizabeth Fry 
addressed the sea-fiiring men, most appropriately and feelingly, 
warned the sinners emphatically, and was afterwards engaged 
in fervent prayer. At the close of this memorable Meeting, 
Andrew Johnston briefly addressed this large assembly of his 
neighbours, acknowledging the kindness of the minister and 
attention of the people, and enforcing, with great seriousness, 
his desire, that the novelty of the occasion, might in no degree be 
suffered to divert solemn attention, from the infinite importance 
of the Grospel truths delivered." 

'' After primary attention to religious engagements among 

252 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

Friends in Edinburgh, on the 28th, 29tb> and 80th ; there was 
a party assembled to meet Elizabeth Fry, at the house of our 
valued and hospitable host, the late Alexander Gruikshank, on 
the evening of the dOth, when her conversation on the important 
subject of the condition and care of prisoners, greatly interested 
a large company, including some distinguished individuals and 
some foreigners. 

" 31 St. — Having arranged on our arrival, in concert with the 
active members of the Scottish Society, for a large meeting of 
ladies at the Boyal Hotel, it took place this day, Andrew and 
Priscilla Johnston having joined us the evening before It was 
a good and serviceable Meeting. The ladies of the Scotch Com- 
mittee proved their e£Bciency in conducting business, and deve- 
loping the state of prison flairs in their city, as well as their 
diligence in the details of self-denying exertion on behalf of 
the cause ; and the leading objects of this meeting, in extending 
the sphere of interest on behalf of poor prisoners, through the 
personal communications of Elizabeth Fry, among the ladies of 
Edinburgh, seemed to be fully obtained. 

"Afterwards, in company with Elizabeth Fry's much valued 
coadjutors, the sisters Mackenzie (of Seaforth), Eliza Fletcher, 
and others, we visited the Befhge ; also a house, where they 
think of establishing a Penitentiary, to see if it met Elizabeth 
Fry's ideas of the requisites for such an institution. There was 
an interesting reunion at the dinner-table of Lord Mackenzie 
at Belmont, this evening; where continued interchange of sen* 
timent upon the subjects so near to the heart of our devoted 
friend, was pursued and enjoyed. 

"Ninth Month, 1st — ^A party of about twenty, at a dkjiuner 
at Augusta Mackenzie's, where the same profitable conversation 
freely flowed. Elizabeth Fry opened out on the prison objects 
of her journey, very instructively, and was listened to with deep 
attention. Visited the Sessional Schools, among other engage- 
ments this morning; and Elizabeth Fry, with the sisters 
Makenzie, went to inspect the solitary wards of the prison, 
where no gentlemen are admitted. In the evening we received 
at the Royal Hotel, a number of gentlemen, magistrates, and 
others, when the new Scotch Prison Bill, in particular, and the 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 253 

general subjects of Prison Discipline and Beformation were 
folly disoossed." 

Mrs. Fry was at this time extremely anxions as to the extent 
to which Prison Discipline was carried in Scotland. She 
greatly feared the enforcement of solitary confinement, and felt 
it her dnty to make a sort of appeal against its possible abases. 

She had therefore invited this large number of influential 

gentlemen^ whose attention had been given to the subject, ma- 

gistrates, lawyers, members of the Prison Discipline Society, 

and others, to meet her on this occasion — an appalling audience 

— as they all sat round, to the number of fifty. She gently 

engaged in conversation with some, who were seated at the most 

distant part of the room, and, by degrees, fell into an account 

of her experience, and a full exposition of her mind on the 

As an abstract principle, she doubted the right of man to place 

a fellow-creature under circumstances of such misery, if his 
ofiences were not of a very heinous or aggravated nature. She 
could not believe that it was accordant with reason or religion, 
thus to isolate a being, intended for his great Creator for social 
]ife« unless necessary for the safety of the community at large ; 
nor did she consider continual solitude the best method of re- 
forming the ofiender. Very many hours, she thought, might 
be passed alone with advantage, and the night always ; but she 
reoognised a vast difference between useful and improving reflec- 
tion, and the imagination dwelling upon past guilt or prospective 
evil. Her conviction was, that with the greater number of 
criminals left to feed upon their own mental resources, the latter 
state of mind was highly probable, the former very unlikely. 
Confinement, that secluded from the vicious, but allowed of fre- 
quent intercourse with sober and well-conducted persons, would 
have been in her view perfect. But where could funds be 
obtained to raise the prison, or maintain its discipline on such 

254 KBliOTIt OF THS LIFB [1838. 

a system? Some inteiootirse for a few hours daily, among 
prisoners oarefdlly classed, diligently employed, judiciously in- 
structed, and under most Tigilant and unceasing superintendence, 
with the remaining hours of the twenty-four passed in separate, 
but not gloomy seclusion ; was in her opinion the best and the 
most likely method of benefiting the criminal, and thus eventually 
diminishing crime. She shrank from the abuses to which the 
solitary system is liable. How soon might the cell become an 
oubliette — ^how short the transition from kind and constant 
attention, to cruelty and neglect ; — how entirely the comfort, 
nay the existence of a prisoner, must depend upon his keeper s 
will; and what was human nature^ to be trusted with such re* 
sponsibility ? With an active magistracy, a zealous chaplain^ 
and careful medical attendant, aU might be well; but who 
could ensure the continuance of these advantages ? and were the 
activity and benevolence of the present day to pass away, why 
might not the slumber of indifference again cover the land ? 
Nor was this her only fear — **^ They may be building, though 
they little think it, dungeons for their children and their 
children's children, if times of religious persecution or political 
disturbance should return/' Cell within cell, as in some prisons, 
in others the light and air of heaven admitted through a crooked 
frinnel, but the glorious sun shut from their eyes; with no 
sound to reach them, and, — ^but a keeper withdrawn, or a wire 
broken, — ^no sound to be heard from them, however deep the 
need of assistance. 

'' On the evenings of the 2nd and the 8rd, large Public Meet- 
ings for religious worship were held; the former at Edinburgh, 
the latter at Leith, in which Elizabeth Fry was greatly strength- 
ened to declare the truths of the everlasting gospel of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ. Many calls were made on distin- 
guished persons, and some visits also received, on the Srd ; 
especially one from the late Dr. Abercrombie, which will long 
be remembered with interest. 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 265 

'< 4th. — ^We oame to the George Hotel, Glasgow, and on the 
6th and 6th, EUzabeih Fry and her sister were occupied in their 
religiouB engagements, amongst the Friends of that city. Onr 
yalued friends and most efficient helpers, the sisters Angasta 
and Helen Mackenzie, arrived to onr aid on the evening of the 
6th, and joined us at oar Hotel. The Lord Provost and other 
gentlemen visited Elizabeth Fry, and she went to the Bride- 
welL At seven o'clock the same evening, a large number of 
the ladies of Glasgow met at onr Hotel, a very crowded, but as 
usual interesting occasion. 

" 7th. — ^The whole party went to Greenock. Elizabeth Fry 
and the sisters Mackenzie had a very important meeting with the 
ladies of Greenock this morning ; about one hundred were as- 
sembled, and it proved highly satisfactory ; Elizabeth Fry and 
these experienced companions entered into many particulars in 
regard to the visiting of prisons, a subject generally that excited 
lively interest. She was also engaged strikingly in prayer, with, 
and for the large company of ladies thus met together. We 
visited the Greenock gaol, when the women were collected, who 
were very affectionately addressed by Flizabeth Fry ; we were glad 
to find this gaol a good one, and capable of much usefulness. 
A large Public Meeting for religious worship was held in the 
Seaman's Chapel this evening, it proved satisfactory, and was 
intensely crowded; the doctrine of the gospel was fully set forth, 
in the love and power of the truth, by our dear friend. An 
interruption by an advocate of the temperance movement, who 
embraced the occasion for speaking in favour of that cause, and 
was applauded by the throng, seemed to threaten the service of 
ihis Meeting. But Elizabeth Fry soon resumed, and the serious- 
ness and weight of her manner happily restored solemnity. 

" 8th. — Tnvited the landlord of our Greenock Hotel, and his 
wife, and servants, to our Scripture reading this morning. They 
eame in and we were favoured with an instructive season ; another 
large Meeting of the Greenock ladies afterwards, who seem 
thoroughly desirous to render their aid to the poor imprisoned 
ones, too often tied and bound also with the chains of sin ! 
Elizabeth Fry much interested^ in arranging to bring into com- 
munication with the Beligious Tract Society, a man who sells 

256 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

books to sailors on Greenock quay, and in visiting a large foctory 
on the hill, where the work people were assembled and addressed 
by her. Betumed to Glasgow, and visited the Bridewell the 
same day. The inspection there was truly satisfactory. It is 
an excellent institution. 

" 0th. — Our usual Meeting for worship at Glasgow this morn- 
ing, almost like a public one, so many of the inhabitants who 
were aware of Elizabeth Fry's presence, came in. We went to 
a very satisfectory Public Meeting for worship at Paisley, seven 
miles from Glasgow, this evening. 

" 10th. — ^The ladies large Glasgow Prison Meeting was held 
in the Friends' Meeting House, and an association was formed 
which we hope will work welL We received company this even- 
ing at our Hotel, some ladies as well as gentiemen of Glasgow, 
who were disposed to give their interest to our objects, — con- 
ducted as usual. The Scotch Prison Act and similar matters 

" 1 1 th. — Our party made a hasty visit to Paisley, and there 
inspected the gaol. Here the magistrates met us and showed 
every attention to facilitate Elizabeth Fry's inspection, as well 
as in listening to her suggestions, which she was requested to 
leave in writing." 

How sincerely these gentiemen desired to profit from her 
suggestions, was proved a few months later, when a local news- 
paper was sent to her, containing the following paragraph. 

"Prison Eeform. 

*' On Tuesday, the 1st, Janet Stewart of Glasgow was unani- 
mously appointed by a committee of the Commissioners, Matron 
of the Paisley gaol and Bridewell. The duties of this office are 
new in tiie prisons of Scotland. The object of the appointment 
is, to put the whole of the female prisoners exclusively under the 
charge of one of their own sex, who is to perform the duties over 
them of teacher, turnkey, gaoler, &c. In fact, they are not to 
be seen by any other person but the female keeper, unless it be 
by persons visiting the establishment, and as far as possible these 

J 888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 267 

yiBitors are to be exclusively females also. It was at the sngges* 
tion of Mrs. Fry» at her late visit, that this plan of appointing 
an instructress and keeper for the females of their own sex, who 
should he constantly beside them, was adopted ; and we have the 
pleasure of adding, that several of the other improvements which 
were then in contemplation, and which had been recommended 
by that lady and the Government Inspector, Mr. Hill, have now 
been carried into effect." 

From Glasgow by Carlisle, Penrith, and Patterdale, where 
meetings for worship were held, this united little band travelled 
on, till again at Glen Bothay. There, they passed a day of rest 
and refreshment. With Mr. Ball's account of it, must close the 
extracts from his narrative. 

" 1 5th. — ^A day of unwonted quiet. After writing and such 
restfiil avocations were done, Elizabeth Fry enjoyed a ramble 
into the mountain air of Loughrigg Fell, though she did not 
reach the summit. Amidst many secret exercises of soul, and so 
much laborious exertion for the temporal as well as spiritual 
good of others, our dear friend largely shares in the sweet ex- 
perience that " He giveth all things richly to enjoy." Her love 
of nature, from the mountain to the field-flower, is signal ; and 
admirably preserved through atmospheres unfavourable, in 
general, to the maintenance of a taste for simple and retired 
pleasures. Yet^ where the love of religious retirement is 
in lively exercise, probably such a taste is less endangered ; it 
harmonizes with that frame of spirit^ which seeks the valley 
where the dew remains. Precious indeed, is a childlike and 
watchful spirit, submissively eyeing the chief Shepherd, and 
waiting His leading." 

They attended some meetings appointed for them, in West- 
moreland and Lancashire. Mr. Ball accompanied them as far 
as Liverpool ; from whence Mrs. Fry and her sister returned 
immediately home: 

VOL. II. 8 

258 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1888. 

Upton, Ninth Mont/i,26th, — Wo arrived at home last Seventh, 
day, and to my great comfort I found all my family going on well 
and comfortably. I ventured to ask, or at least to desire, if my 
goings out were acceptable to the Lord, and if I were to be called 
to further, and perhaps still more weighty service, that I migh^ 
find the blessing of preservation extended to those most dear to 
me at home, as well as to myself in going. Through mercy, this 
sign has been rather unusually granted me. What can I render 
unto my Lord for His tender and unmerited mercies ? 

After leaving William Ball's (Glen Bothay), we spent First- 
day at Kendal. This meeting is in the most critical state, some 
of its most valuable members, young and old, leaving the So- 
ciety. I can hardly express how much I felt in attending it ; 
fears got hold of me ; however, I experienced much help. I 
had simply to preach the Gospel, until the close of the After- 
noon Meeting, when I believed it my duty to express my convic- 
tion, that we, as a Society, fill an important place in the Church 
of Christ; and having found it myself a blessed adminis- 
tration of the truth as it is in Jesus; I felt that where so many 
seeking minds were about leaving the Society, I was bound to 
bear my testimony to that which I believed to be true. We 
afterwards attended some very interesting Meetings at Lancaster, 
Yelland and Ulverston. These places had been long on my 
mind, I think at least ten years. So things rest with me, until 
I see the time come to work in them. 

Tenth Month 2Sth. — I have been a satisfactory visit with my 
husband, and partly accompanied by Peter Bedford and John 
Hodgskin, to Groyfield and Ificld. Our Meeting in Sussex was a 
very satisfactory one; and a reading we had die next morning 
at a cottage on a Common, belonging to a dear Friend, where 
we had been before* The libraries we established, appear to have 
been much read and valued. It is cause for much thankfulness, 

to find that our labour has not been in vain in the Lord. How 
sweet are His mercies! May all become His servants, saith my 

I have also left home accompanied by my beloved husband 
and my sister Elizabeth, to visit a few Meetings in Essex. 

Twelfth Month, 6/A.— This morning I felt deeply the serious- 

1888.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 850 

ness of laying before my Monthly Meeting, my belief that it may 
be my duty again to visit France and some other parts of the 
Continent of Europe. It is after much weighty consideration 
that I have come to the conclusion, that it is right to do this. I 
have long thought that this summer my course might be turned 
either to my dearest brother Joseph in America, or to the Conti- 
nent of Europe; after much weighing it, I havebelieved the latter 
to be the right opening for me. I laid my prospect before 
the Friends of our Monthly Meeting, this morning. Several 
Friends were there, not members of it We had a very solemn 
Meeting — for worship first. My sister and I returned our oer- 
tificates for visiting Scotland, and then I asked for one for 
Europe ; having very earnestly prayed for help, direction, and 
protection. When under a fresh feeling of its being right 
to do it, I simply informed Friends that I looked to paying 
a visit to Paris, then to the Friends in the South of France ; 
and should probably in returning visit some other parts of 
Europe. Much unity and sympathy were expressed with this 
prospect of religious duty, by our own members and those who 
visited us. There certainly appeared to be in no common degree, 
a seal set to this serious prospect of religious service. 

I now desire to leava lie to the further openings of Providence, 
as to when to go, who is to go with me, and where to go. I 
desire to leave it all to my most holy and gracious Head and 
High Priest, my All in All, my Lord and my God. Although 
I am very deeply sensible that it is only through the fulness and 
freeness of unmerited mercy, love and grace, that I dare call or 
feel my Lord thus to be my Head and my Helper. I may 
acknowledge in faith, my belief that through the help of the 
Holy Spirit, my Lord has been and is unto me *' Wonderful, 
Counsellor, the Mighty Ood, the Everlasting Father, and the 
Prince of Peace." 

28/A. — ^Yesterday, excepting our dear Frank and Bachel, all 
our beloved children dined with us. It really was to me a 
beautiful sight Sixteen round our table, happy in each other, 
a strong tie of love amidst the brothers and sisters ; and much 
united to us their father and mother. I felt the occasion serious 
as well as sweet, and very earnestly prayed to the Lord that I 

8 2 


might be very faithfal, if He called me to any religious service 
amongst them ; nvhether it were to pray for them, or speak to 
them of His goodness. When the cloth was removed after 
dinner, I believed it my duty to kneel down, and very fervendy 
to pray and to return thanks to my God, for all these most ten- 
derly beloved ones. Great help and deliverance has been granted 
to some of our circle ; the Lord has been very gracious, He has 
added to our number and not diminished them. I did from my 
heart return God thanks, earnestly asking in faith for a continue 
ance of His mercies ; more particularly, that our souls should 
be satisfied more abundantly with the unsearchable riches of 
Christ ; and that we might be still more closely united in our 
Heavenly Father s love. I asked the Lord that it might please 
Him to grant us peace and prosperity, through his tender mercy 
in Christ Jesus ; and that wherever we might be. His blessing 
might be with us ; and that when the end came^ it might crown 

After this solemn time, thirteen of the sweet, dear grand- 
children came in. We missed dearest Frank and Bachel, and 
their lovely group; but they were not forgotten by us. We 
passed an evening of uncommon enjoyment, cheerful yet sober, 
lively yet sensible of the blessing and peace of our Lord being 
with us. I seldom if ever remember so bright a family meeting, 
it reminded me of our Earlham days ; but I could not but feel 
it a blessing, when a mother as well as a father is spared to watch 
their family grow up and prosper, and to see and enjoy their 
children's children. 

When I remember all that I have passed through on their 
account ; above all the exquisite anxiety about their spiritual 
welfare, and now so far to see what the Lord has done for me 
and for them. What can I say ? What can I do ? ought I not 
to leave them all to His most holy keeping, and no longer ''toil 
and spin" so much for them? 


1839. — Sale at Crosby Hall for tbe Ladies' British Society -> Journey on 
the Continent — Paris — Letter to M. de Beranger — Solitary system — 
Lyons — Nismes — Avignon — Toulouse — The Pyrenees — Grenoble — 
Geneva — Zurich — Frankfort — Return home— Goes into Norfolk — Dif- 
ferent administrations in religion. 

First Monthy 12th. — ^I returned from Lynn last evening. I 
was a good deal with my1)eIoved sister Catherine^ who was there. 
Before parting, we had a deeply interesting time together, when 
the spirit of prayer was remarkably poured forth upon us. I 
prayed for them each separately, and believe that access was in 
mercy granted to the Throne of Grace. My dearest sister 
offered a solemn prayer for us before we rose from our knees. I 
felt, as I have often done, an earnest desire, that we may none 
be in spiritual bonds. I think Satan, in hardly any way mars 
the Lord's work more, than in putting persons in the stiff bonds 
of High Ghurchism. Ho attacks all professors in this way, 
and leads them to rest in their sectarianism, rather than their 
Christianity. I do not mean that this is the case with those I 
was amongst, but I see it a frightful bait, thrown out to all pro- 
fessors of all denominations. Few things I more earnestly 
desire, than unity in the Church of Christ, and that all partition 
walls may be broken down. Lord, hasten the coming of that 
day, for Thine own name's sake ! 

16 th, — I have had the pleasure and satisfaction of meeting at 
dinner, at my son Foster Beynolds', my beloved brother Gumey, 
three of my sons, one of his, and my nephew Edward Buxton, 
previous to attending a Bible Meeting. Surely it is a cause of 
deep thankfulness to have my children, and others so near and 
dear to me, engaged in so excellent a cause. I consider it to be 
an honour of which we are all unworthy, to promote in this or 
any other way, the knowledge of the everlasting Gospel. On 
Second-day, I laid my concern to go to France, before the 
Morning Meeting. I feel encouraged by all the testimonies from 

!262 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

the Lord's servants, and the real help and excellence of the ar- 
rangement, that we should thus, in such weighty and important 
duties, have the sanction of that section of the Church to which 
we belong. 

1 have received very encouraging accounts from Scotland as to 
the results of our last journey. Several refuges are likely to he 
formed, and women prisoners to be visited. The accounts from 
France have also been in many ways encouraging. My dear and 
valued Mend, the Duchess de Broglie, who died some little time 
ago, expressed that her faith had been strengthened by our visit. 
Many important alterations have taken place in the prisons ; 
the New Testament is now circulated in some of them, and the 
hospitals. So 1 may take courage, and return God thanks. 

There was one subject of anxiety pressing upon the mind of 
Elizabeth Fry, which she knew to be so important, that with all 
the preparations for her long journey, and arrangements to make 
for her family at home, she resolved to remove it if possible — 
the low state of the funds of the British Ladies' Society. 

Money was not only wanted in carrying on the Prison Visiting, 
to furnish employment in many cases, and to supply books and 
little rewards as encouragement for good behaviour ; but there 
were also to be assisted the valuable Befuges that had been 
established; one for little girls at Chelsea, and another for young 
women at Manor Hall, in the same place. There were, besides 
these demands, heavy and continual calls upon their funds, to 
meet the melancholy cases of liberated prisoners, or accused but 
destitute females, who could not be received into either of these 
institutions. Asub-committee had been formed, under the name 
of the Patronage Committee, and at this time was actively at 
work, to assist such cases; once a week the ladies met (and con- 
tinue to meet), to receive applications. Fearful details of misery 
and guilt are constantly brought before them— frequently may be 
seen a prison officer with some poor creature in her custody, (or 
voluntarily under her care,) come to implore shelter and oppor- 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 263 

tunity of existence, without living in sin. Besides this, the Con- 
vict Ships continued a heavy demand upon the funds of the 
British Society. Some expedient to meet these emergencies was 
become essential. Mrs. Fry had no taste for Bazaars and Repo- 
sitories; but, conducted in a sober quiet manner^ she did not 
believe them wrong ; under these circumstances, therefore, and 
after full consultation with her firiends and coadjutors, she de- 
termined upon having a sale for this purpose. 

There is an ancient building in the city of London, called 
Crosby Hall, still beautiful, though fallen into decay. It had 
become the property of a lady, desirous of restoring it ; she bad 
ahready begun the work, and willingly granted the use of it, as a 
means of carrying on some of the repairs. A few days, however^ 
before the sale was to take place, the needful preparations were 
found not even commenced. Twe rooms, formerly part of the 
ancient palace, absolutely necessary on this occasion were still a 
ruin. Skilful workmen were called in ; a magical change passed 
over the scene, the worm-eaten timbers were covered and floored, 
the arched windows through which the wind had howled, and the 
rain beaten three days before, were glazed, and where cobweb 
waved upon ruined walls, hangings were suspended, with at 
intervals armorial bearings, to enliven the whole. By the day 
of sale all things were ready to receive the public. 

Paris, Third Month, 17M.— Before leaving home, we were 
much occupied by a very large sale, for the British Society, held 
in Crosby Hall. I felt it an exercising time lest any should be 
exposed to temptation by it, wid I see that there are two sides to 
the question respecting these sales, as there is an exposure in 
them that may prove injurious to some. However, I think I saw 
in this instance many favourable results, and particukrly in the 
kind and capital help my children gave in it, and the way 
in which it occupied them. One day I had fifteen children, and 
several grandchildren helping me to sell. A sweet and Chris- 

264 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

tian spirit appeared to reign in the room: There were more than 
a thousand pounds obtained by it, clear of all expenses, which 
will be a great help to the British Society. The marks of kind- 
ness shown to me by numbers^ in the things sent to the sale, 
were very encouraging to me. My brothers and sisters, my 
nephews and nieces, were also very kind, in aiding me in many 

Previous to our departure^ I had the servants of our different 
families meet me at Meeting ; it proved quite a large number, 
almost filling our Meeting House. I believe it was a time of 
real edification and comfort to some who were there. 

Josiah Forster, an elder among Friends, accompanied Eliza- 
beth Fry on this journey. Her husband and a daughter were 
also with her ; her youngest son to join them at Paris. Diffi- 
culties attended their first starting, which gradually yielded, 
and they left home on the 1 1th of March. 

Scarcely had Mrs. Fry reached the Hotel at Boulogne, before 
so many came to seek her, that with difficulty she found time to 
breakfast or change her dress. She visited the prison, which was 
in a very deplorable state ; and in the evening received about 
forty at the Hotel, chiefly the ladies of a little district Society 
she had been instrumental in forming on her previous visit. The 
results of their labours were very satisfactory ; many of the poor 
French were subscribmg for, or buying New Testaments, as well 
as eagerly reading the tracts circulated amongst them. The state 
of the resident English poor was also considered as decidedly 
improved, Oirough this means. 

On retiring to her room at night, Mrs. Fry's maid could not 
refrain the expression of her astonishment, at the eagerness of the 
servants of the Hotel for Testaments, " The people here are 
craving Testaments Ma'am ;" it appeared that they lent them 
to their friends, who carried them into the country, where they 
were so eagerly read and re-read, that it was difficult for the 
rightful owners to regain possession of them. 

1889.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 266 

On tbe 14th^ en route to Abbeville, the party stopped at 
Samer for an hour, to give Mrs. Fry tbe opportunity of visiting 
a poor sick Englisbman in great afiUction. At Montreuil-sur- 
Mer, sbe gave a tract to a man wbilst cbanging borses ; tbe 
carriage was soon surrounded by people begging for books; it was 
curious to see tbeir energy to obtain them. Tbe same thing 
occurred at tbe Hotel at Abbeville, where those, to whom she bad 
given them on her previous visit, begged for more, and came 
creeping up to her apartment to prefer their request. Her Text- 
books, " Les petits livres de matin," were the decided favourites. 
In the morning, the people of tbe Hotel again gathered round 
her. The Sunday sbe had spent there on her former visit to 
Paris — the reading they had in the evening — the prayer she 
o£fered for them, had made a deep impression. They beguiled 
her into the kitchen, where she told them in broken French, 
which however they contrived to understand, a little of her wishes 
for them as to faith and practice ; then all would shake hands 
with her to the portly ** chef de cuisine." 

Paris, Third Month, ] tth. — Here we are once more in this 
most interesting city, after a favourable journey, and calm 
passage. Leaving home was very touching to our feelings ; I 
never saw my children feel a separation so much. 

I am not high in spirits on my arrival here. At Meeting, and 
in a time of prayer with some of my dear friends, I felt the 
springs very low, but I trust through the tender mercy of my 
Heavenly Father, they will rise by degrees. It was sweet on our 
arrival, to see some beautifiil flowers and other things all ready 
for us^ provided by our dear kind friends as marks of their 
love, particularly firom the Baroness Pelet, it cheered my heart ; 

sweet visits firom Sophia D and Emelie M , were also 

comforting. How earnestly do I desire and pray, that my Lord 
would clearly point out my work in this place ; that He would 
enable me by His own Power and Spirit, to perform it in sim- 
plicity to His praise, the good of others, and my own peace. 

Lord, regard Thy servant in her low estate, and if it be Thy 

266 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

holy will, give Bome token, by Thy presence. Spirit and Power, 
that Thou art with us ; and more abundantly fit and prepare for 
Thine own work, as Thoa hast often blessed and abundantly 
increased that which may appear small in the eyes of man» to the 
help of numbers : so, oh Lord ! bless, prosper, and increase the 
weak labours of Thy unworthy servant, to the good of numbers, 
and the promotion of Thy cause in this place ; where ^^ the world, 
the flesh, and the devil," appear so powerful. AnsWer this cry, I 
beseech Thee, and give Thy poor servant a quiet, patient, trustful 
spirit, only dependent upon the fresh pourings forth of Thy Spirit, 
and the incomings of Thy love. Amen. 

24/A. — In mercy my cry was heard. We went to our little 
Meeting, where were some seeking minds ; and to my own feelings, 
we were remarkably bound together by the presence of our Lord. 
I also may thankfully say, that I was enabled to preach the word 
and to pray. I &lt it an encouraging, edifying time, and an 
answer to prayer. Afier Meeting, we called at our Ambassador's, 
and met with a very cordial reception. In the evening, we went 
to an evangelical party which I was glad to be at, although I 
thought part of the service flat. I had a few words only to say. 

On Sixth-day, we visited a large French Methodists^ school ; 
it was a very encouraging sight : there were about a hundred 
children, who appeared well taught. I had a good deal of advice 
to give them and their parents, and felt peace in the service ; but 
the place was so exceedingly cold, that I left it with severe 
tooth-ache, which lasted all day, and brought me down in body 
and spirit. 

Having invited a large company for philanthropic and religious 
objects for the following evening, I felt anxious ; but when the 
time came, I was enabled, though the party was very large, to 
speak a little on the subject of Negro Slavery : Josiah Forster 
also expressed himself very agreeably upon the subject. We 
finished with a short, lively Scripture-reading, and to my own 
feelings, strength was in a remarkable manner given me in the 
needful time. 

The morning, I paid a most interesting visit to a Roman 
Catholic lady, — a young widow, — ^her little children, and her 
friend. I have seldom seen the Christian life more exemplified. 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 267 

So we see and ^* perceive that God is no respecter of persons ; 
but in every nation, he that feareth Bim, and worketh righteous- 
ness, is accepted with Him." — ^Acts x. 84, 85. 

Thus began this second sojourn in Paris : the same friends 
gathered round her, the same institutions were revisited, with 
some others which she had not seen before ; the same objects of 
interest occupied her attention. The mornings were thus spent; 
the evenings generally at the houses of their many kind friends, 
or in receiving guests at the Hotel. No one was more capable 
than Mrs. Fry of appreciating the enjoyment of social inter- 
course or society, such as these occasions afforded, but it was 
not from this motive she united in them. She considered it 
her duty to avail herself of the opportunities thus afforded, 
for the diffusion of knowledge on those subjects which had 
brought her to Paris, and the introduction of topics of a phi- 
lanthropic and religious character. 

Mrs* Fry bad not before visited the hospitals generally ; now 
she did so, accompanied by the Baron de Gerando. The enlarged 
religion and benevolence of this excellent old man was delightful 
to her : his being a member of the Boman Catholic Church in 
no way preventing their Christian unity. He was endeavouring 
to found a Penitentiary, or Magdalen, in Paris ; but complained 
that people are so easily influenced through their senses, that it 
was comparatively easy to induce them to feed the starving, 
clothe the naked, and administer to the sick; whilst moral 
reforms, the benefit of which are less immediately obvious^ but 
of such infinitely greater importance, are too often neglected. 

The first visit was to the Hospital of the H6tel Dieu, a vast 
pile built on either side of one of the branches of the Seine, over 
which is a communication by a covered bridge. It is an extremely 
ancient foundation, and contains 1260 beds, of which a hundred 
or a hundred and fifty, are placed in each of the immense wards. 
These, notwithstanding their size and the cleanliness of the beds. 

268 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1830. 

linen, and floors, were offensively close. The mortality in this 
hospital is at all times great : partly to be attributed to the 
severity of the accidents and other cases brought to the Hotel 
Dieu, but even more to the defective ventilation. This is proved 
by the singular fact, that the greatest number of deaths occur 
on the third or highest story, less on the second, and the fewest 
on the ground-floor. 

This hospital is under the care of a lay director, and nuns of 
the Order of St. Augustin ; there are forty of them divided 
between the Hotel Dieu and the Hospital of St. Louis. 

The Superior spoke feelingly of the trials to which they 
were exposed, in fulfilling their arduous and distasteful labours; 
that only as a duty to God could they endure it The nuns 
appeared very kind to the poor creatures under their care, but 
take no part in ministering to their mental necessities and 
religious state. 

The following day, accompanied by the Baron de Gerando 
and M. Valderuche, Mrs. Fry visited the Hospital of St. Louis, 
founded by Henri lY ., for plague, leprosy, and other contagious 
complaints. It was entirely built in his time, and contains all 
that was then considered necessary to prevent or check conta- 
gion ; it is now used for cases of cutaneous disease. The Hos- 
pital of St. Louis is a noble pile of buildings, placed amongst 
gardens, in the outskirts of the town. It encloses within itself, 
five large courts laid out in gardens ; the wards each containing 
as many beds as those in the H6tel Dieu, but being lofty, 
vaulted, and with the finest ventilation from a double tier of 
almost unnumbered windows, they were perfectly firesh and 
pleasant. The nuns said the rate of mortaUty was very small. 

A poor English maid-servant was amongst the sufferers ; she 
had been there for months, having been left by an English family 
with whom she had been travelling. She spoke of the kindness 
she had received in the Hospital as great. Her heart bounded 


at the sound of her native tongue ; nor was she left without 
arrangements for her future comfort. 

The establishment of baths of various descriptions is very com- 
plete^ and available for out-door as well as house patients. The 
appearance of the hospital was highly gratifying as to every out- 
ward arrangement, but not so as to any opportunity for moral and 
religious improvement. Before quitting the establishment, Mrs. 
Fry asked to see the Chaplain (L'Aumonier.) After some 
general discourse on the state of the institution, she addressed 
him on the subject of her concern for the souls of these poor 
people, the reply was, '' Nous avons les sacremens de VEglise,*' 
which closed the conversation; the priest accepting a Text Book, 
and parting from his visitors in a friendly manner* 

Two days aflberwards, the same party went to the Hospital 
des Enfans Trouves. This monument of St. Vincent de Paul 
is an affecting sight, from the miserable state of the vnretched 
infants, and the fearful mortality that prevails among them. 
Their sufferings must be greatly increased by the unnatural prac- 
tice of swaddling, from which thraldom they are only unloosed 
once in twelve hours, for any purpose ; the sound in the ward 
could be only compared to the fEunt and pitiful bleating of a 
flock of lambs. A lady who not unfrequently visited the insti- 
tution said, that she never remembered examining the long array 
of clean white cots that lined the walls, without finding one or 
more dead. In front of the fire was a sloping stage, on which 
was a mattress, and a row of these little creatures placed upon it 
to warm, and await their turn to be fed from the spoon by a 
nurse. After much persuasion, one that was crying piteously, 
was released from its swaddling bands, it stretched its little 
limbSj and ceased its wailings* Mrs. Fry pleaded so hard for 
them with the Superior, that their arms have since been released. 
The Sisters of Gharity professed to be desirous of doing justice to 
the children ; but the conduct of the whole institution wanted 

270 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

Vigour and deliveranoe, from the prejudices which consigns 
infancy to so much suffering and untimely death. 

The medical attendants were alive to the defects of the 
management, but professed themselves unable to effect any 
change in the old-established usages of the place. These 
appeared to Mrs. Fry and her party to be almost confounded in 
the minds of the Sisters, with the regulations of their religious 
order ; at all events, if not belonging to it, very naturally arising 
from the "invincible immobilit6" of monachism, as a strict 
Boman Catholic lady, but a keen observer of all around her, 
expressed it to Mrs. Fry many years before. 

If these infants survive the first few days, they are sent into 
the country to be nursed. There is also a sort of Orphan 
Asylum attached to the Enfans Trouv^s for children of all ages, 
but they are seldom there a month before removal into the 
country to be brought up by the ignorant peasants to whom 
they are consigned. 

Mrs. Fry saw at a glance, how vast an opportunity of national 
good was here lost; multitudes of children belonging to the 
State, and ignorant of any other parentage, would if properly 
trained and educated on scriptural principles, act as a leaven 
amongst the mass to raise the tone of good feeling and prin- 
ciple, and increase the attachment of the lower classes to their 
country and its institutions. 

From the Enfans Trouv6s they proceeded to the Hospice de 
la Matemit6, this building is full of recollections, being the 
Porte Boyale of Paris — now so changed ! The cells used For 
the patients still retain their cellular divisions, so that complete 
privacy is enjoyed by each poor woman, with all the convenience 
of wards. Mrs. Fry thought this, the best Lying-in Hospital 
she had ever seen; the Matron and the Superintendent ap- 
peared enlightened and intelligent, the whole condition of the 
place vigorous and sound. It is entirely under secular care. 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 271 

In this as in all the othor Paris hospitals, no tickets of ad- 
mission are required, a person has only to prove herself poor 
and ill, to he admitted as a patient. 

Third-day. — ^Visited an hospital, and dined at Lord William 
Bentinck's, I trast to some good purpose, hut I fear for myself 
in many ways on such occasions. 

Fifth-day. — ^Avery solemn Morning Meeting, numhers there, 
mosUy women, some ladies of rank, some very interesting per- 
sons, I was afresh enabled to pray and to minister. 

Her ministry on this occasion was wonderful, chiefly addressed 
to the afflicted, and seemed to find an echo in many hearts. She 
afterwards called on Madame Guizot, mother of the Minister; a 
charming old lady eighty years of age, taking charge of her 
three little grandchildren. 

Mrs. Fry again visited the St. Lazare prison. She found 
some improvements effected, and female officers introduced. 
Many of the prisoners knew her again, and seemed delighted to 
see her. In one ward (Salle) they told her that since her last 
visit, they had thought and talked so much of religion, that 
they had subscribed to purchase ^' Gelle-l^,** pointing to an 
image of the virgin placed against the wall. 

The St. Lazare Prison is only for women, and often contains 
1,200 at one time; to it is attached a sort of compulsory Lock 

She also saw La Boquette, or the prison for " Les Jeunes 
Detenus," a very fine establishment for boys. By the laws of 
France, a boy is not held responsible for his actions under six- 
teen years of age, and therefore if he commits a crime, he is 
detained and confined, but not sentenced. Fathers in France 
have the power of confining sons under this age. 

La Boquette is built upon the plan of a prison, and contains 
between five and six hundred inmates ; there is a regular school 

272 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

for their instmctionin reading, writing, and aritbmetio* Several 
of the classes were reading the New Testament, (De Sacy's 
translation). Each boy has a copy, and they may have the book 
to read if they wish it in their hours of recreation. There are 
various workshops where they learn trades. Of their earnings 
they receive one-third at the time, one-third when they leave 
the prison, the remaining third goes to the establishment. They 
have no other punishment than solitary confinement. The boys 
under " Correction Fatemelle" were in cells, where their educa- 
tion was carried vigorously forward, according to their rank in 
life, no other difference is permitted — ^the same litUe bed, table, 
chair, and shelves in each, and the same diet and costume. It 
was to Mrs. Fry's feelings a highly interesting and satisfactory 
establishment. Not so the prison of La Force, into which she 
ventured, and saw six hundred untried persons crowded toge- 
ther in a state of total idleness, vice and neglect, without even 
Sundays, or fite days, the service of the Roman Catholic Church 
being performed. 

About this time the party was joined by several of Mrs. Fry's 
family, it was highly interesting to them, thus to be together 
under such novel circumstances, and to be permitted for once 
to witness and partake in the scenes, incident to their beloved 
moiher^s labours in the cause of benevolence and religion. 

Fourth Month, 7th, First-day.'^One day we dined at our 
dear firiends the Mallets', where we met a large family party, and 
had much interesting conversation. There was a blessed feeling 
of the love of God over us ; I believe this service was called for, 
and was blessed to many present Last evening about a hun- 
dred persons spent the evening with us. The subject of prisons 
was brought forward, Newgate, &o., I endeavoured to show the 
state of prisons formerly, and many of their improvements. But 
above all, to inculcate Christian principle as the only sure 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 273 

means of improving practioe. I sought in every way, in the 
cases hrought forward^ to uphold the value of the Scriptures, 
and to show the hlessed results of faith and repentance. We 
finished by reading in a solemn manner the 16th of Luke, as the 
chapter so greatly blessed to poor prisoners* I made little com- 
ment, there was very great solemnity over us. There were 
Catholics and Protestants, and I believe some of the Greek 
Church. There were Greeks, lonians, Spaniards, a Pole, 
Itah'ans, Germans, English, Americans and French. Several 
of the English and French, persons of rank ; the Marquis de 
Brignolles Sardinian Minister, and Prince Gzartorinski. Thus 
this week has run away ! may it have been for the real good of 
others, and the glory of God. Most merciful God, I perfectly 
know that I am unworthy to present myself before Thee on the 
bended knee of my soul. But I come boldly to the throne of 
grace, through the merits of Thy dear Son, our Mediator with 
Thee our God. Grant Holy Father, that the iniquity of my 
holy things may be blotted out, and that in my efforts to serve 
Thee, and promote the cause of tnith and righteousness, my 
infirmities and the unworthiness of the instrument may not 
have cast a blemish on Thy truth. Grant also. Holy Father^ 
that the word spoken may through Thy blessing, comfort, 
strengthen and edify Thy followers, and be a means of bringing 
many to repentance and faith in Thy beloved Son Christ Jesus 
our Lord. Dearest Lord, be near to keep, to help, and direct all 
my steps, as I go on in this cause, for Thy glory, the good of 
others, and my own edification and peace. Permit Thy servant 
also to commend to Thy special keeping, all most near to her, 
left in her own land, and all everywhere, beloved by her, and 
for whom she travails in spirit, and spread the knowledge of 
Thyself, and of Thy Son, and Thy righteousness, through the 
Holy Spirit, everywhere on this earth. Amen ! 

Par 18, %UL — I feel that, under a lively sense of peace 
and rest of soul, I may record the mercies of the Lord this last 


Our First-day was very satisfactory, a large Meeting, five of 
our children with us. I now mention the events of the week 
without stating the days. 

VOL. 11. T 

274 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

I bad a very serious^ interesting, and intimate conversation 
with the Duchess of Orleans. 

I visited and attended to some prisons, formed a Ladies* So- 
ciety to visit the Protestants in prisons and hospitals, met a 
very influential company at dinner at Lord Granville's, much 
interesting conversation in the evening ; the same twice at Baron 
Pelet's, and we had an agreeable dinner at Lord William Ben- 
tinck's. I have paid some very interesting private calls, spent 
one morning with my children ; our great philanthropic even- 
ing largely attended, about a hundred and forty present. Josiah 
Forster gave a concentrated account of our former evenings, 
and added other things very agreeably. I strongly impressed 
upon them the extreme importance of the influence of the 
higher, on the lower classes of society, by their example and 
precept ; mentioned late hours, theatres and other evils. Then 
advised ; giving the poor. Christian education, reading the Holy 
Scriptures in their families, lending Libraries, District Societies 
and other objects : we finished with a very solemn Scripture 
reading, the greater part of the third chapter of Colossians, 
and 20th and 2l8t verses of the last chapter of the epistle to 
the Hebrews, " Now the God of peace that brought again ftom 
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you per- 
fect in every good work, to do His will, working in you that 
which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ ; to 
whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 

Previous to reading this, I had expressed some solemn part- 
ing truths, and our party broke up in much love and peace. 

May the Lord of the harvest Himself cause that some of 
these may be gathered into His gamer, and may He bless, pros- 
per, and increase the seed so unworthily scattered. 

On Fifth- day, we dined with some sweet, spiritual, and delight- 
ful people, the de Presens^s and de Valcours ; in the evening to 
Mark Wilkes', to meet a very large party of ministers from 
different parts of France, come to attend the Meetings of the 
various Societies. 

Fontainbleau, 28/A. — ^Tbe day before our departure from 
Paris we visited the Pref^t de Police^ took in our report of the 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 276 

state of the prisonB, and obtained leave for the Protestant ladies 
to visit the'Protestant prisoners ; we had much interesting con- 
versation. We have the great satisfaction of hearing, that a law 
is likely to pass for women prisoners throughout France, to be 
under the care of women. 

In the evening and during the day, numbers came to take 
leave of us ; a good many Greeks, who appeared to feel much 
interest in and for us, as if our labours with them had not been 
in vain. 

On parting with my beloved children, (to return to England,) 
I could not refrain from many tears. Our beloved friend Emilie 
Mallet joined us very early in the morning, also our kind friend 
John Sargent, our friend de Stranger, and one or two others. 
My soul was particularly humbled within me, and, before part* 
ing we assembled with our friends, and poured forth deep prayer 
and thanksgiving unto the Lord ; thanks for the help granted 
to us, and for the kindness shown us by our Christian friends, 
and the love and unity we have partaken of with them ; prayer 
that our labours might be blessed, and the seed scattered, pros- 
pered and increased, and that no reproach might have been 
brought by us upon the cause nearest to my heart ; earnestly 
did I ask a blessing upon our friends, ourselves, the tenderly 
beloved ones just parted from, and those at home. After this 
we took an affectionate leave of all, including our host, hostess, 
and the Hotel servants. 

Among other topics connected with penal legislation, the 
solitary or separate system was frequently debated in the con- 
versations at Paris. Mrs. Fry was continually called upon to 
give her opinion. M. de B6ranger and she discussed it fre- 
quently, and on leaving Paris she employed her husband to 
address to him the following letter : 

The subject of separate confinement is one presenting many 
difficulties, from the diversity of views taken by so many per- 
sons of talent and humanity ; and my wife has thought that I 
could not better convey her ideas than by simply stating the 

T 2 

276 MEMOIR OF THE LITE [1839. 

arguments that appear to her to bear with the most weight, 
favourably or unfavourably, on the question. 

The following she considers the most prominent reasons in 
favour of separate confinement: — 

First, — It prevents, with the most certainty, all contamina- 
tion from their fellow-prisoners. 

Secondly, — ^It prevents the formation of intimacy, or acquaint- 
ance, with persons who may prove highly injurious associates in 
future life. 

Thirdly, — ^It affords more opportunity for serious reflection, 
and should any become religiously disposed for prayer and medi- 
tation, and being much cut off from their fellow-mortals, it may 
lead to a greater dependence on God, and to having their hearts 
more devoted to Him. 

Fourthly y-^The privacy of the confinement may prevent that 
loss of character, in the estimation of the world, which is the 
general consequence of imprisonment, as now inflicted. 

The following reasons may, on the other hand, be strongly, 
adduced against the system being generally adopted :— 

In ihe first place, the extreme liability to its abuse, and to its 
being rendered an unduly severe punishment, or the reverse, 
according to the will or caprice^ partiality, dislike, or neglect, of 
the persons who have the management of them. 

Secondly^— The very great difficulty of obtaining a sufficiency, 
of either men or women officers, of that high and uprightprinciple, 
as by their impartiality and firmness, with proper kindness and 
due attention to the welfare of the prisoners, would be^^ persons 
to be entrusted with so weighty a charge. This opinion is 
strongly corroborated by that of the experienced Governor of 
the Great Central Prison of Beaulieu, also by the Governor of 
the House of Correction, in Cold-Bath Fields, in London. 

Thirdly, — Prisoners so confined are rendered almost irresis- 
tibly subject to the moral contamination of officers, which is the 
case only in a very limited degree, when allowed to associate daily 
with their fellow-prisoners. 

Fourthly, — ^Although, when the moral good of the community 
is concerned, expense ought to be a very secondary consideration, 
yet it ought not to be overlooked. The expense of providing 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 277 

proper cells^ and a sufficient number of properly qualified officers, 
for so large a number of prisoners, would be enormous ; and the 
difficulty, of so building as to prevent the communication of sound, 
very great, and its attainment uncertain, besides the liability of 
the prisoners not being able to make themselves heard, incase of 
necessity, arising from sudden illness or accident. 

Fifthly^ — ^Although for short periods, neither the powers of the 
mind nor body might suffer essentially, yet after a long and too 
solitary confinement, there is unquestionable danger for both. 
Too much silence is contrary to nature, and physically injurious 
both to the stomach and lungs ; and as regards the faculties, 
we are credibly informed of the fact, (in addition to what we 
have known at home,) that amongst the monks of La Trappe, 
few attained to the age of sixty years without having suffered, 
an absolute decay of their mental powers, and fallen into prema- 
ture childishness. 

Sixthly y — That whilst, on the one hand, it affords to the 
penitent an opportunity for salutary reflection, there is reason on 
the other hand to £8ar, that a large proportion of those who are 
confined in jails, are so deeply depraved, that when left to them- 
selves they would be more likely to consume their hours in 
ruminating over past crimes and exploits, and in devising and 
planning schemes for the commission of new o&es ;. the heart 
becomes more hardened, the character and temper more sullen 
and morose, and better prepared for fresh crimes upon their dis- 
missal from prison. 

The seventh and most weighty objection of all, is this, that as 
the vast majority of those who enter a prison, are likely to be 
returned into the bosom of society, it is a most important and 
paramount consideration, that as man is a social being, and not 
designed for a life of seclusion, such a system of prison discipline 
be adopted, as may best prepare those under its correction, for 
re-entering active life, and all its consequent exposures and temp- 
tations. This can never be effected in solitude or separation : 
it can only be achieved by such regulations, brought to bear upon 
every day prison life, as may most easily, and with the best 
chance of success, be afterwards carried out and realized in daily 
practice, upon their restoration to liberty. Of course, this view 


embraces all useful labour, and excludes such as (like the Tread- 
wheel) can in no way fieuiilitate the future means of an honest 

Having thus brielSy stated the reasons for and against the 
separate confinement of prisoners in the day-time, and the result 
of which is the conclusion, that it is inexpedient to bring it 
into general practice : I will endeavour to represent Mrs. Fry's 
opinion, as to the best line of conduct to be adopted towards 
untried prisoners, not only with a view to prevent the commis- 
sion of such offences, as would subject them to punishment, but 
fundamentally to improve their principles, and regulate their 
whole future conduct and life, which is the one grand point to 
keep in view. 

In this first place, fi*om the instant that any individual is 
placed under restraint, charged with the commission of an offence 
against the law, the grand preliminary object ought to be, to 
preserve, by every possible means, the morals of the person thus 
detained, from being deteriorated by the process; and that, at all 
events, the law itself should not become the instrument of the 
most cruel and fatal of all injustices, — that of demoralizing, by 
every species of exposure and contamination, the wretched being 
whom it sooner or later may have to consign, as the consequence 
of its own action, to infamy and punishment- 

A man, — a youth, perhaps, — ^is charged with a crime. He 
may be innocent, he may be a trembling beginner : his educa- 
tion, his previous habits, may have been good. He knows little 
of crime, and has few or no associates in it He is now turned 
loose into a den, amongst the most hardened criminals, and in 
one short month, all remaining scruples, all remaining tenderness 
of conscience, are gone too probably for ever. But it is not only 
one short month ; but in France, and in most English counties, 
it is many months' opportum'ty which is thus afforded to the 
profligate villain, to harden, to season, and to embue the mind 
of his unpractised victim, for re-entering society depraved, de-* 
based, and ripe for the commission of crimes, at which he would 
have shuddered, when the act of the law, by placing them in 
public detention, first exposed him to irretrievable degradation 
and ruin. 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 279 

But let us suppose the case of those, wholly innocent of the 
Climes laid to their charge, tbeyictims of false accusation, malice, 
or mistake. Suppose them, by the aid of religious and moral 
principle, to have withstood all the baneful influences to which a 
cruel and unjust law has exposed them ; and to go out of prison 
justly acquitted, and worthy to be replaced in the esteem and 
confidence of their fellow citizens. What follows ? why, they 
go forth blighted and blasted. Their involuntary association, 
with the companions the law has chosen for them, has for ever 
destroyed their characters ; they are shunned, and become the 
objects of most reasonable suspicion ; they have no means, no 
hope left, of gaining an honest living, — the law has effectually 
prevented that, —they are driven to dishonest, dishonourable, or 
violent means of obtaining a morsel of bread ; they are again 
arrested, and the same law that made them what they are, 
pours forth its heaviest judgments on the victims of its own 
injurious policy. 

Heartily, therefore, should every friend to humanity hail the 
day, when arrangements are made for the separate confinement 
of all untried prisoners, with liberty, daily to see some of their 
own firiends, to consult their legal advisers, to improve their own 
accommodation in their bedding or their diet, to be visited by 
such benevolent persons as may seek to promote their present 
and everlasting welfare; and, joined to this, every practicable 
arrangement made by the Gk)vemment of their country, for the 
shortest possible period, elapsing, previous to their trial, both for 
the good of the prisoners and its advantage to the country, by 
lessening essentially the prison-room required, and the many 
expenses attached to the confinement of prisoners. 

If found guilty on their trial, and if their first offence, Mrs. 
Fry's views are simple, and are given in her own words : — 

I believe nothing so likely to conduce to the real improvement 
of principle and conduct in delinquents, and to render them 
fit for a return to society, as a limited number of them being 
regularly instructed, and working together in small companies — 
say, firom ten to twenty — ^under faithful, constant, and strict 
inspection by day, and at night always sleeping in separate cells* 
The mode of instruction and its subjects, should be very simple. 

fl80 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889* 

and if possible, be rendered agreeable to them. The Scripture- 
readings, (and reading the Scriptures ought never to be omitted) 
should be short and well-selected, adapted to their generally dark 
and very ignorant state, and calculated to give them a taste for 
something superior to their former low and depraved habits. 
Books of a moral and religious tendency, that amuse whilst they 
instruct, are also very desirable, and especially so, in the cases of 
separate confinement I consider religious instruction, given in 
a kind and judicious spirit, the most powerful and efficacious 
means of deterring from crime, and inducing good conduct, re- 
sulting from improved principles. Some advantage may occa- 
sionally arise from this instruction being given privately; but it 
is more generally likely to be well received in companies, because, 
very close and cogent advice may be thus given, without danger 
of hurting individual feelings, as they receive the advice, without 
supposing it directed immediately to themselves. I consider^ 
also, that employment in companies, is more likely to be well 
and industriously performed, as there is a stimulus in trying who 
can do the best, and, who can do the most, in the shortest period 
of time. 

If, after the plan of being associated in small companies has 
been tried on any prisoner, he returns to undergo the penalty of 
a second condemnation, a more rigorous system had better be 
adopted* I think, they should then be confined separately, 
having instruction and employment, and a certain number of 
visits daily, from the officers of the prison, or persons allowed 
or appointed for this special purpose ; thus preventing the (now) 
old offender from associating with the novice in guilt, and suit- 
ably proportioning^e punishment to the offence. But it is 
necessary to add, that in no case should women be separately 
confined, unless placed under the care of officers of their own 
sex ; nor should any man, not even the Chaplain or Physician, 
be allowed to visit them under any pretext, unless accompanied 
by a female officer. — ^I remain, &c. 

Just before Mrs. Fry left Paris, she was informed that the 
Archbishop was annoyed at her proceedings, that he had expressed 
dissatisfaction at the alterations she had recommended in the SU 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 281 

Lazare Prison, and had gone so far as to speak with regret, if 
not displeasure, of the Baron de Gerando's haying aecompanied 
her in her visits to the hospitals. But the secret of the Archi- 
episcopal opposition lay not here — it was the more general 
knowledge of the Holy Scriptures which he dreaded. It was, that 
the reforms, Mrs..Fry recommended, were all hased upon Scrip- 
tural authority, that it was to those sacred writings she refeired 
for rules of actiye obligation, as the only source from whence to 
learn all that is due from man to man; and above all this, that 
she lost no opportunity in all companies, and on all occasions, 
where it could be done with propriety, to urge their perusal and 
general circulation* 

But whilst she did this, believing it to be an absolute duty, 
she had no tendency, where she deemed the great foundation of 
religious truth secure, to oppose the opinions of others, or in- 
troduce her own. 

The party left Paris on Saturday, the 27th of April, and pro- 
ceeded through Melun to Fontainbleau. Mrs. Fry was furnished 
with a letter from the Minister of the Interior, granting her, Mr. 
Forster, and her husband, permission to visit all the prisons in 
France. This important document was first made use of at 
Melun, and on this occasion, as on every succeeding one, Mrs. 
Fry was received with respect, and every facility a£forded her 
and her party, for inspecting the prisons. 

The Prison at Melun contained upwards of a thousand men, 
thirty of whom were Protestants, and visited by their own mi- 
nister, who supplied them with copies of the Scriptures ; but on 
inquiring of the Chaplain (VAumonier) whether the Boman Ca- 
tholics were allowed to possess the Bible, he evaded the ques- 
tion, by replying, '^ They have religious booka" 

An accident to the carriage detained the party for the night 
at Auxerre. During the afternoon, Mrs. Fry went to the prison. 

282 MEMOIR OF THB LIFS [1839. 

where she found that a benevolent woman in humble circom- 
stances, had for many years daily visited and read to the prison- 
ers, and still persevered in her work with vigour, although 
eighty years of age. — ^At Chalons-sur-Soane. The evening was 
occupied by a visit to an hospital under the care of nuns, 
which had the effect of comfort greater than ordinary. The 
beds having clean white curtains, and each patient a little table 
by his side. 

The next morning they embarked on the Soane before six in 
the morning, and had a delightful voyage to Lyons with the 
mountainous districts of Auvergne, and the Puis-de-Dome full 
in sight. The change of climate in steaming so rapidly south* 
wards was very remarkable — ^it was spring in the morning at 
Chalons, at Lyons in the afternoon it was summer. Many tracts 
were distributed among the passengers onboard the boat; some 
refused them, some returned them, but one man not only kept 
the '' Letter on the Evidences of Christianity" by J. J. Oumey, 
but insisted on Josiah Forster's acceptance of his wine flask ; 
an ancient and grotesque specimen of ohina which the donor 
considered of Sevre manufacture and upwards of two hundred 
years old. There did not appear to be the same desire for books 
as in the North of France ; partly arising from comparatively 
few of the people being taught to read* 

In Lyons, where they arrived on the 4th of May, many objects 
of interest presented themselves* In the Prison of La Perrache, 
they saw a hundred and thirty-two lads under the caxe of fifteen 
of the Brethren of St. Joseph. 

They also visited the Maison d'Arrfit or La Boanne, where 
they saw with pleasure, the beneficial effects of women being 
placed under the care of persons of their own sex; ten or 
twelve Sisters of St Joseph are here devoted to this work. 
Mrs. Fry expressed a few words, through an interpreter, ex* 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 288 

horting them to repentance and faiths and speaking of the joy 
in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, which appeared to 
touch them. 

They saw an institution under the care of the same Order 
of nuns, called La Solitude, where, as in the former instance^ 
they were pleased with the Superior. The women were out for 
recreation ; the young persons " at a simple dance, for their 
amusement." The building commands a very fine view, and 
extensive garden, and orchard attached to it. The inmates, 
about eighty in number, are either discharged prisoners, or va- 
grants ; they are employed in washing, spinning, &c. Some 
were being trained as novices, eventually to enter the Order. 
The whole effect was neat and orderly. With M. Cordes, the 
Protestant Pasteur and many members of his flock, their inter- 
course was valuable and encouraging. 

Avignon, Fifth Month, 9th. — We had no particular calls of 
duty until we arrived at Lyons, where there was a great press of 
engagements — ^prisons and refuges to inspect, besides many 
schools, of which I only had time to visit one — a woman's adult 
school. We had a large company of the poorer French Protest- 
ants on two different evenings, when we read with them. We 
also visited several of their houses; but it was more for serious 
conversation amongst them, than absolute religious engagement. 
We had one very important Meeting of influential people, in 
which I desired to speak the Truth in love. It was introduced 
by the Prison subject. I endeavoured to show, that change of 
heart could only be produced by Christian principles, as revealed 
to us in Holy Scripture, through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
This, I very boldly attested, and then strove to impress the im- 
portance of Christian example, and of religious duties being 
faithfully performed, both public and private. Then I entered 
upon useful societies, charities, and schools, with Christian 
instraction. We had much attention paid to us, much kindness 
shown to us, and I homUy trust, an impression made on many 
minds, and some humble valuable Christians comforted by our 

284 memoir of the life [1839. 

Letter from Elizabeth Fry. 

Nismes, Fifth Month, 12th, 1839. 
My much loved children, 

I have heen considering which is best, to write one full letter 
to you^ or several notes, and I am come to the conclusion, now 
we are so far from home, and have so much to do, that it is bet- 
ter to write to you collectively: We 

thankfully say, we feel peacefiil and in our right place, although 
separated from many so very dear to us. 

We paid a very interesting visit to Lyons, and found a good 
deal new in the Prisons and Befuges. An order of Catholics, 
called the Brethren and Sisters of St. Joseph, believe ittheir duty 
entirely, to take care of prisoners and criminals generally. 
They do not visit as we do, but take the entire part of turnkeys 
and prison-officers, and live with the prisoners night and day, 
constantly caring for them. I thought the effect on the female 
prisoners surprisingly good, as far as their influence extended. 
But the mixture of gross superstition is curious, the image of 
the Virgin dressed up in the finest manner, in their different 
wards. I feared, that their religion lay so much in form and 
ceremonies, that it led from heart work, and from that great 
change which would probably be produced, did these Sisters 
simply teach them Christianity. Their books appeared to be 
mostly about the Virgin ; not a sign of Scripture to be found 
in either prison or refuge. I felt it laid on me as a weighty, 
yet humbling duty, before I left Lyons, to invite Boman 
Catholics and Protestants, who had influence in the prisons, to 
come to our Hotel, and there, in Christian love, to tell them the 
truth to the best of my belief, as to the only real ground of 
reformation of heart, and the means likely to conduce to this 
end. It was the more fearful, as I had to be entirely interpreted 
for. My heart almost sank within me as the time approached. 
It was about three o'clock in the day, about sixty people came 
of the very influential Catholics and Protestants, and I was 
enabled, through a most excellent interpeter, to show them, that 
nothing but the pure simple truth, as revealed in Scripture, 
through the power of the Holy Spirit, could really enlighten 
the understanding or change the heart. My husband and 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 285 

Josiah Forster also, took a very usefdl and valuable part. Much 
satiB&otion was expressed. We afterwards dined at a gentle- 
man's, who lived in a lovely situation, on the top of a hill near 
Lyons. Our invitations began to flow in, and we should, I 
doubt not, had we stayed longer, soon have been in as great a 
current as at Paris, or greater. We met with some very inte* 
Testing, devoted Christian characters — a cousin of the Baroness 
Peletfs ahnost like herself, her notes and flowers coming in 
every morning. The last day was most fatiguing ; we had to 
rise soon after three in the morning for Avignon, to go a 
hundred and fifty miles down the Bhone. 

We have passed through the most delightful country I ever 
saw. Lyons, with the Bhone and Soane, is in its environs 
beautiful, and the passage from Lyons to Avignon really lovely; 
mountains in the distance (parts of the Alps,) their tops 
covered with snow ; vegetation in perfection, the flowers of 
spring and summer in bloom at once, grass just ready to be cut, 
barley in the ear, lilacs, laburnums, syringas, roses, pinks, car- 
nations, acacias in full bloom, yellow jessamine wild in the 
hedges. It is a sudden burst of the finest summer, combined 
with the freshness of spring. The olive groves, intermixed with 
abundant vineyards and mulberry groves, all beautiful from 
their freshness. The ancient buildings of Avignon, the ruins 
on the banks of the Bhone, the very fine and wonderful Boman 
remains of the aqueduct, called the Pont du Oard, really exceed 
description. This place also abounds in curious buildings. 
Here, or in the neighbourhood, we expect to remain some time. 

We find the poor Friends delighted to see us, and the Pro- 

testants give us a hearty welcome. All these interests do not 

prevent our hearts being with you, and I am longing to know 

all about you ........ 

I am. 

Tour most loving mother, 

E. F. 

At Avignon, Mrs. Fry *8 order to see the prison, did not avail 
with the gaoler, when first presented to him. The guard-room 
was reached, but no further was she permitted to enter. But in 


the evening, at the Hotel, the Pr6fet was aimotmced, with whom 
it was airanged to visit the prisons on the morrow. Mrs. Fry 
was accompanied hy him, the Mayor, the Procureur du Boi, and 
several gentlemen* The prison once formed a part of the Papal 
palace : it is only one of passage for nntried prisoners, or 
before removal to the Maisons Centrales. like all old prisons* 
especially those not originally intended for tibe purpose, it is ill 
adapted to its present use, but the rooms clean, large, and airy. 
Excellent cells, for separation by night, were in process of con- 
struction. In the work-room, every operation of picking old 
rope, was being carried on, carding, spinning, and weaving it, 
until it became a coarse strong wrapping-cloth, used to pack the 
madder grown in Provence for the English market* 

From Avignon, the party proceeded to Nismes. 

Nismes is perhaps more the centre of Protestantism, than 
any other place in France. There, Mrs. Fry made a longer tar- 
riance than usual. For a weels;, she remained exceedingly inte- 
rested by the various objects that presented themselves to her 
notice, and by the persons she met with. There exists at 
Nismes and in the neighbouring villages, a scattered body of 
people professing the principles of the Society of Friends. She 
and Mr. Forster visited with much interest all who resided at 
Nismes^ and attended their Meetings. This simple, but into* 
resting body of people are the descendants of the Camisards, who 
took refuge in the mountains of the Oevennes and fought vali- 
antly for their fedth, during the persecutions subsequent to 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Camisards were of 
the old stock of the Albigenses. The continual loss or impri- 
sonment of their ministers, induced their ministering one to 
the other. At the cessation of hostilities, many of them per- 
severed in a system, which, in the first instance, had resulted 
firom circumstances. Towards the close of the last century, a 
man, named Paul Codognan, formed the project of giving a 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH PRY. 287 

positive form to the belief and oustoms of this his little com- 
munity, and prepared a work, though yery imperfectly, on the 
subject. It was taken by one of the body to Holland, to be 
printed, and there he heard, for the first time, that in England 
and America there existed a people, who entertained many of 
the same opinions as himself. 

He proceeded to England, and became acquainted with the 
Society of Friends, to whom the existence of this little body of 
fellow-belieyers was thus made known. Since that period, but 
more especially of late years, the community at Congenies has 
become an object of much interest to Friends in England, and 
has been visited from time to time by ministers and other mem- 
bers of that Society. 

The Protestant pastor at Nismes, M. Frossard, with his lady 
were to Flizabeth Fry as providential helpers, such excellent 
interpreters, such true sympathizers ! Much kind attention was 
paid them by Dr. Pleindoux, who entertained them sumptuously, 
in his kindness of heart thus marking his welcome. After dinner, 
a still better entertainment awaited them, in interesting, impor- 
tant, and edifying conversation, amongst a large party of ex- 
cellent persons. Mrs. Fry took a lively interest in the great 
Maison Gentrale at Nismes, containing about one thousand two 
hundred prisoners. It is built on the site of the old citadel, 
from which, in the time of Louis XIV., the Protestants were 
attacked whilst holding their assemblies for divine worship. In 
her first visit, besides Mr.Forster, Mrs. Fry was accompanied by 
M. Frossard the Protestant chaplain, and M. Gastelnau the 
Surgeon of the prison. The men were employed in vast work- 
shops, in which silence was maintained. In passing through 
two or three of these, she expressed her interest for the prisoners, 
her pity for thmn, and her desire for their repentance and 
amendment of life. She particularly desired to see the Gachots. 

In the first were eight men> placed there as a punishment for 


288 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

exacting usary of their fellow-prisoners ; for instanoe, lending 
them a franc when they came out of the infirmary, or when, 
from any other cause, they were without money, and receiving 
eight sous weekly as interest This practice had existed to a 
great extent, and is one of the many evils resulting firom the 
cantine system. These men were discontented and clamorous, 
their appearance fierce and depraved, Five armed soldiers were 
introduced into the cell with the visitors, to protiect them from 
their violence. In the second cell, were eighteen men without 
employment Into this, the visitors requested to be admitted 
alone. In the third, which was entirely dark, were two placed for 
refractory conduct ; one was chained both hands and feet. Mrs. 
Fry said to them, that she had sometimes, when she had seen 
men thus circumstanced, pleaded for their liberation, on the 
promise of future good behaviour, if she believed their promise 
to be sincere. The fettered prisoner immediately volunteered 
this promise, and was promptly released. 

In this prison, besides the Boman Catholic chapel, served by 
the Aum6nier, who resides in the prison, there is a Protestant 
chapel, in which daily service is performed by a pastor of that 
faith. This is attended by any prisoner who desires it ; besides 
the professed Protestants, about a hundred among the Boman 
Catholics, firom preference^ worshipped there. On occasion of 
Mrs. Fry's second visit, she was accompanied by her family party, 
as well as some of her particular friends; the object being, to 
attend the religious service of the Protestant prisoners. The 
chapel was small, and the middle filled by depraved-looking 
men in their rough prison dress. At the top, in a semi-circle, 
sat the party of ladies and gentlemen, six or eight in number, 
with the Gbvemor (Directeur) and Protestant Chaplain. At the 
bottom of the room, and around the door, clustered the gens- 
d'arms and gardiens (turnkeys) in their smart, soldier-like 
costume, to the number of ten or fifteen. The service com- 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 289 

menoed with singing a hymn. Then M. Frossard read beauti- 
fully the 24th Psalm ; after which, Elizabeth Fry spoke to the 
audience in one of her most impressive strains — translated for 
her by M. Frossard, with such spirit and force, that it hardly 
lost in the change of language. She began in the most touch- 
ing tone of voice, on the conversion of poor Mary Magdalene, 
her loving much, because forgiven much, her washing her 
Lord's feet, her being with Him at His death, watching at His 
tomb, and permitted first to see Him after His resurrection. It 
was the strongest encouragement to the repentant sinner. She 
then turned and spoke in a strain of awful entreaty and solemn 
warning to the hardened and profane. The listening expres- 
sion of all countenances showed how deeply her words im- 
pressed them. Many tears were shed ; and she heard afterwards, 
that among these hardened men, a few instances of real repent- 
ance and amendment of life had occurred. On leaving the 
chapel and crossing a corridor, a gendarme brought two men 
out of a workroom to Mrs. Fry; they began to speak eagerly 
to her, one told her diat he should never lie down in his bed 
without praying for and blessing her, whilst the other echoed 
the sentiment. They were the two men fo!r whom, on her pre- 
vious visit, she had interceded, that they might be liberated 
from the dungebn. 

After that, she again visited the cells, accompanied by M. 
Frossard and a venerable grey-headed pasteur, one of the fathers of 
the French Protestant Church. They went without guard. The 
visit was interesting and satisfactory, and ended in a condign 
apology being offered by the culprits, and forgiveness granted by 
the governor ; though so desperate were these men, tiiat the 
governor of the prison had thought it prudent, unknown at the 
time to them or to the prisoners, to place soldiers in conceal- 
ment near. 

A few days afterwards, Mrs. Fry received this letter firom one 
of the prisoners : — 

VOL II. u 

200 MtMOIH OF THE LIFE [1839. 

^'Nismei, ie 19 Mai, 1839. 

" Ttr^8-hoDor6e Dame, 

'' La visile que yous avez bien voulae faire a de malheoreax 
prisonniers, a6t6 pour beaucoup de nous un grand sujet de conso- 
ladon. Les paroles, pleines de bienveillance et de bont6 que 
yous nous avez adress^es, se sont profond6ment gravies dans nos 

*' Nous sommes si peu accoutum^s k voir des personnes ^tran- 
ger^s et joaissant dune consideration si distingu^e, et en m6me 
temps, si bien m^rit^e, plaindre notre sort et nous ofiTrir des con- 
solations, que nous regrettons bien vivement de ne pouvoir sou- 
vent dtre honoris de votre visite. 

" Ah ! s'il vous 6tait possible, madame, de nous voir encore 
une fois, et d'assister dimanche prochain au service divin, vous 
nous combleriez de joie. Gar nous pensons que vos prieres, 
jointes aux notres, ne pourraient manquer d*£tre agr^ables k 
Dieu, et qu'il nous donnerait la force et le courage n^cessaires 
pour imiter notre Sauveur J^sus^Christ, qui s'est immol6 pour 
nous en supportant les plus afieux tourmens ayec patience, et 
en priant son F&re de pardonner a ceux qui le fiedsaient mourir. 

Daignez, honor^e Dame, 

Becevoir mes humbles respects, 
" Votre trds-ob^issant serviteur, 



Congenies was the next place visited by the travellers, it is a 
retired village, to the west of the road from Nismes to Mont- 
pellier ; about four leagues from the former place. The inha- 
bitants are almost all Friends ; a simple and serious people. 

To abandon hotels, towns and high- ways, and diverge amongst 
lanes and cross roads, to spend a fortnight in a country village in 
France, amongst its simple inhabitants, was an event not without 
its great interest, and even amusement. As it was considered 
necessary to take provisions, hampers well stocked with coffee, 
sugar, candles, &c., were piled upon the carriage, or the attendant 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. ^^1 

van, which was also the Congenies and Cordognan diligence* 
The country hecame less and less interesting, although well culti- 
vated, till a group of grey flat roofis in a little hollow amongst 
the hills, marked the first appeanmce of Gongenies. After pass- 
ing some distance through the village street, the carriage stopped 
at the door of a large, dull, prison-like house, the windows 
barred with iron and the door at one side up a flight of eight 
or ten steps. This was the house prepared for the reception of 
the travellers* A hall with no one single article of fomiture ; 
an ante-room containing a buffet, a flre-place, and a couple of 
chairs; and a saloon with white curtains to the windows, a 
table, and some rush- bottomed chairs — all these vaulted, white- 
washed, and floored with stone, formed the suite of reception 

Other rooms of the same character, commtmicated with the 
hall of entrance, from which ascended a dark, wide stone 
staircase, leading to suites of rambling comfortless chambers. 
Various needful articles were willingly supplied by the friendly 
peasants — spoons were lent by one, by another a bed-side carpet 
for Mrs. Fry. A second table, was arranged in the saloon, and 
after a day or two, a sort of homely comfort prevailed. The 
finest anchovies from the neighbouring Mediterranean, a cask of 
olives of the village produce, and sweet wine, made expressly at 
the last year's vintage, were prepared by these kind people. 

The hostess had good store of white household linen, and her 
kitchen was in high activity, though provisions were uncertain 
and had to beobtained from Galvisson. The Savoyard waiter,.who 
had accompanied them firom Nismes, superintended the cooking. 
The day*8 bill of fare, hung by him on a nail in the kitchen, was 
an inexhaustible source of amusement to the village women, who 
were perpetually gossiping with the hostess, and watching with 
curiosity the proceedings of her foreign inmates. There was one 
peculiarity in this manage, the usual operations of a scullery being 

u 2 

292 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

carried on ia the entrance hall 1 where an old woman and girl 
had established themselves, with a broken-down table and chair, 
perpetually flooding it, in process of cleansing all manner of pots 
and pans, iron and copper, and earthenware, red, yellow and 

The Friends, in Congenies and the neighbouring villages, 
appeared to be a respectablewell-conductedbody of people. Louis 
Majolier was a valuable minister amongst them. Accompanied by 
her friend Josiah Forster, Elizabeth Fry regularly attended their 
Meetings for worship and discipline, by which she became ex- 
ceedingly interested in their welfare. Their Meeting House 
was neat, and abundantly adequate to the needs of the congre- 
gation, she also visited them all in their families. 

The houses were mostly entered by cartgates, under an arch- 
way, into a court-yard, filled with dust and straw, with 
chickens and rabbits running about. On one side of this court 
or yard was the sitting-room, with a vine covered porch, under 
which .the. women sate and knitted silk gloves and mittens. 
An open outside flight of stairs led to the chambers. A stable 
opposite the entrance, a well in one comer, and a cart under the 
gateway, — such was the style of most of their buildings. These 
cottagers all possessed abundant' supplies of table linen, and in 
every house where Mrs. Fry dined, she found dinner napkins pro- 
vided. Soup, one or two entries, a roast of lamb or a fowl, salad 
and vegetables composed the dinner. 

Although there are no homed cattle, the villagers possess a 
good many sheep and some goats, which gather a scanty subsis- 
tence from the herbage of the rocky hills, where the vine cannot 
grow. Their milk is excellent, and so is the butter made from it. 
The flocks are invariably attended by a shepherd and strong dogs, 
to protect them from the wolves of the Cevennes mountains ; 
after watering them at the fountain in stone troughs, a most 
picturesque sight, they are folded in the village at night. 

1839.] OF ELIZABEtH FRY. 293 

The women Friends wear their cap and peasant costume with, 
perhaps, a graver shade of colour over the whole. The men the 
usual peasant dress. In all the villages round, there seemed to 
be a most eager willing ear to hear the truths of the gospel. The 
Meeting held at Congenies, on the last Sunday evening, was 
crowded —the people clustered up to the top of the doors, in all 
the open windows, and on the walls outside, yet in perfect 
quietude and order. At Calvisson, on the following Sunday, it 
was the same, the Meeting there was held in the Protestant 
Temple. The party broke up from Congenies on the 27th, and 
after again partaking of the abounding hospitalities of Doctor 
Pleindoux, at Nismes, proceeded by the ancient city of Aries to 

CongenieSy Fifth Month, 22nd. — Yesterday was my birth- 
day, and it pleased my Heavenly Father in His love and pity, to 
cause it to be a day of remarkable peace, from the early morning 
to the evening. I felt it was not for works of righteousness, that 
I had done, but of His grace and His mercy, that I have thus 
known my soul to be refreshed in the Lord. Lord, continue to 
be with us ! lift up the light of Thy countenance upon us, and 
bless US all, absent and present ; and particularly at this time, 
I ask Thee to bless our labours among this people, to their solid 
good and Thy praise, Amen I 

Sixth Month, 2nd. — We found a great deal of what was 
highly-interesting in Congenies. A peculiar aud new place to 
us. The country remarkable, much cultivated in parts, and 
planted with vineyards, mulberry, olive, and fig-trees, with but 
little com. There is a very delightful air; the hills rather 
barren and singularly grey, with fine ruins upon some of them, 
and here and there a peep at the Mediterranean. The little dull 
villages, much strewed about, thickly inhabited, mostly by Pro- 
testants, who appear generally in a low neglected state; we 
visited some of these villages, and had larger or smaller Meetings 
in them. We found a great inclination in the people to hear 
the truth, and I believe there is a real thirst after it. I humbly 

294 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

trust that the blessing of the Lord was with us, as I have seldom 
felt more peace or more sense of this blessing, than when 
engaged in these labours of Christian love at Congenies, or a 
more clear belief that I was in my right place. 

At Marseilles, Mrs. Fry visited several of the institutions. 
The first of these was described to her, as a refuge for female 
penitents. It was not without considerable difficulty, that she 
obtained permission to enter. She was accompanied by a Boman 
Catholic lady, a stranger to her, who consented to be the medium 
of her introduction, and was called one of the Directresses. It 
proved to be a regular convent, under the control of nuns of 
the strict monastic order of St. Charles, who, in addition to the 
three ordinary vows, add that of converting souls, and therefore 
admit poor young women, under the name of '' P^nitentes," 
into the convent. The lady Directresses were no longer per- 
mitted to see the penitents, or even to enter the building, with 
the exception of the one charged with its repairs. She is 
allowed to see the dilapidations, but not any of the sisters or 
inmates. Mrs. Fry and her companions were introduced into a 
large, comfortable parlour, plainly furnished — on one side was a 
close double grating, painted black, with black shutters behind, 
extremely gloomy looking. Chairs had been placed for them 
in front of the grating. After Mrs. Fry and her companions 
had waited some time, the shutters were opened by the " Sup6- 
rieure,'' a handsome woman of about thirty years of age. The 
object of Mrs. Fry s journey was explained to her, which led 
to a long and interesting conversation, in which the talents of 
this lovely Abbess were abundantly displayed, and she proved 
herself thoroughly mistress of her subject. She informed them, 
that the number of penitents admitted are a hundred and five, 
that they are not permitted to become Nuns in that Order, but 
when the vocation is very strong, they may do so in others— 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 205 

that more than half are converted, that most become servants, 
and if well-behaved, are still cared for by the nnns. None 
are compelled to enter or are retained against their will, although 
encouraged by every means to stay. Some have remained nine 

They are not taught to read or write ; neither is the least 
morsel of paper, pencil, pen, ink, or any other possible material 
for writing, permitted, from the fear of their communicating with 
people without. The day is spent in a perpetual round of 
work, embroidery, recreation, recitation of prayers, psalms, &c« 
The nuns were in number forty. They came from Tours about 
eighteen months previously, to take charge of this establishment. 
Upon Mrs. Fry's speaking of the importance of the Gospel for 
such persons, she informed them, that it was in parts read to 
them, and admitted that the history of Mary Magdalene, and 
the parables of the prodigal son, the piece of silver, and the lost 
sheep, were fit and good for them ; she added, that she found 
parts of Isaiah and all the Psalms suited to them ; but then 
went on, as Boman Catholics are wont to do, to urge the unsuit- 
ableness of the Scriptures, as a whole, especially parts of the 
Old Testament, for people in general. Mrs. Fry spoke of the 
sufferings of Christ for sinners, and salvation through Him : all 
which the nun united in. Indeed, to judge from her report, 
nothing could be better conducted than this institution. 

The Abbess related a long history of one of the P6nitentes, 
who had died, only an hour before, the " death of an angel and 
a saint." The narrative is given as nearly as a translation will 
admit of it in her own words. 

The young P^nitente was eighteen years of age> and bent 
upon leaving the Asylum. The abbess gave her a month to 
consider her determination. At the end of this time her wish 
was unchanged, and the abbess informed her that in a week she 
should go. This week she was made to spend in penances, and 

296 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

prayers to the Virgin^ and such was the effect that she decided 
to remain in the convent, although she declared that she should 
surely die if she did so. Shortly afterwards cough and ex- 
pectoration came on, to which hemorrhage from the lungs 
succeeded. The very day that Mrs. Fry visited the institution 
she died. During her last hours she shewed much consider- 
ation for others ; on the night preceding her death she hegged 
the nuns to retire to rest, assuring them that she should not 
die till the morrow. She retained her senses and her speech 
until within five minutes of her end. On the abhess present- 
ing the crucifix, the sufferer exclaimed, " J'y suis clou6 en 
coeur, je le sens dans mon coeur." 

Surely this tale is capable of two constructions, and rather 
plausible than satisfactory ; for who that has read the human 
heart, or traced the history of mankind individually or in 
collective bodies, has not detected a love of power, and an 
abuse of that power when obtained, which renders a system of 
secrecy and seclusion, with absolute authority, an evil liable to 
terrible abuse. Nuns directed by churchmen ! Woman always 
extreme for good or ill, guided by superstition — ^herself a slave, 
employed to enslave others. If prisoners or penitents are com- 
mitted to the care of monastic orders, justice assuredly demands 
the oversight and superintendeiice of the ihagistracy, and that 
these unhappy persons should be never placed beyond the 
reach of the secular arm. 

From this establishment of darkness and mystery, Mrs. Fry 
went to a very different one, called ^' La Maison des Orphelines 
du Cholera." It was under the especial care of the Abbe 
Fisseaux, an active, intelligent young man, apparently devoted to 
doing good. The children were in excellent order. He accom- 
panied the party to an interesting and prosperous little institu- 
tion, founded by himself, called " La Maison des Jeunes De- 
tenus, or Nouvel P6nitentiaire," for twenty-eight young delin- 

1889.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 297 

qnents, boys. They had all been committed for theft, and 
collected from the different prisons of the department. They 
appeared very kindly cared for by the Abb6 ; they sleep sepa- 
rately at night, with the exception of some, who, for good con- 
duct, are permitted to be together in one apartment. The town 
prison contained more than sixty prisoners ; the women in a 
separate part of the building ; but there was no further classifi- 
cation, not even the tried from the untried, nor any employment. 
After this, Mrs. Fry visited. a large Hospital, in which were four 
English sailors from ships in the port. One of these recognised 
her, having seen her on board a female convict-ship, in the 
Biver Thames, and greeted her as though she were an old and 
valued friend. He informed those, who accompanied her, who 
she was, which they had. not previously understood. This 
fatiguing day was concluded by dining at Monsieur BabautV 

Hy^res, Sixth Month, 2ruL 

My much-loved Children, 
I now mean to sit quietly down and communicate with you. 
Orange groves in flower, with here and there a little fruit, in 
abundance around me, and a lovely blue sea with hills and 
islands before me. We are at a small pleasant hotel, where we 
walk out of our bed-room and saloon upon a sort of brick ter- 
race, part of which, has vines and roses over a lattice-work, 
and an awning. Here we take our meals, and with the abund- 
ance of fruit and vegetables our tastes have been rather un- 
commonly gratified. The beauty of the scene, the fragrance of 
the orange flower, the niceness of the fruit ; the air also, so 
warm, fresh and delightful — that we could not but wish that 
you could have taken a peep at us when seated round our table. 
This is the farthest distance that we expect to be from home, 
therefore, I hope to-morrow, that we may feel we are turning 
our faces thitherward. 

On Monday, June 8rd, Mrs. Fry returned from Hydres to 

298 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

Toulon. The next morning, accompanied by the Protestant 
pastor and a nayal captain, appointed to do so by the Pr6fet de 
la Marine, she and her companions visited the Bagnes ; on 
their way seeing the Arsenal, at one extremity of which is the 
Bagnes, or prison for the galley-slaves (gal6riens) ; they work 
hard, sleep on the boards, eat only bread and dry beans, with 
half a bottle of wine to those who work. Many of them die. 
The returns are considerable, as from the close commnnicationf 
the contagion of evil is fearful. A man who is vicious when 
he goes in, inevitably comes out more so. They sleep in vast 
galleries, a hundred or two hundred in each, chained to a long 
iron rod which runs the whole length of the foot of the sleeping 
board. There is a salle, which contains four hundred, for those 
who have improved in conduct, and to them mattresses are 
allowed and rugs. In their leisure hours they are allowed to 
make and sell little carved toys and netting. Their look is 
generally unhealthy. The dress — a red cap and jacket, and 
the greater number fastened two and two by heavy chains ; not' 
withstanding this, they often escape. One Englishman, taken 
on board a slaver was amongst them. 

This was a day of extraordinary fatigue. Mrs. Fry went in 
the ademoon to see the town prison. Some poor Algerine 
women were confined there. She was accompanied by the Sous 
Pr^fet and his lady, who is a regular prison visitor. 

From Toulon to Aix, — ^once the centre of Proven9al song, and 
where King R6n6 held his court surrounded by his Troubadours. 
There, her heart was attached by a lively little Protestant congre- 
gation, under a zealous and apparently spiritual pastor. A 
great contrast to the scene which met her view, on turning 
into the Course on her arrival, — the procession of the F^te Dieu 
in all its tinsel finery. 

From Aix, the travellers returned to Nismes. The subject 


1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY, 299 

of a District Society was much discussed. Sunday, the 1 Oth, 
was passed there. 

Sixth Month. — Our First-day atNismes was deeply weighty 
in prospect, so that I rested little at night, as I had ventured to 
propose our holding one meeting in the morning, in the 
Methodist chapel, that whoever liked might attend it ; and in the 
evening, to do the same in a very large school-room, that all 
classes might attend, as T helieved that all would not come to a 
Methodist Meeting. I went prostrated before the Lord, to this 
Meeting in the morning, hardly knowing how to hold up my 
head ; I could only apply for help to the inexhaustible Source 
of our sure mercies, feeling that I could not do it, either on 
account of myself, or because it was the work in which I was 
engaged ; but I could do it for the sake of my Lord, and that 
His kingdom might spread. Utterly unworthy did I feel myself, 
but my Lord was gracious. My dear interpreter, Charlotte 
Majolier, was there to help me in a very large Meeting, and I 
felt power wonderfully given me to proclaim the truths of the 
Gospel, and to press upon the point of the Lord Himself being 
our teacher, immediately by His Spirit, through the Holy 
Scriptures, and by His Providences and works ; and to show, 
that no teaching so much conduced to growth in grace, as the 
Lord's teaching. There was much attention ; at the close, I 
felt the spirit of prayer much over us, longed for its vocal ex- 
pression, and felt a desire some one might pray, when a Metho- 
dist minister, in a feeling manner, expressed a wish to offer 
something in prayer, to which, of course, we assented — it proved 
solemn and satisfactory. 

We dined at our dear friends, the Pasteur Emilien Frossard's; 
he and his wife have been like a brother and sister to us ; we 
were also joined by a Roman Catholic gentleman and his 
daughter. He has, I think, been seriously impressed by our 
visit, and it has led him to have the Scriptures read to his work- 
men. There were also Louis Majolier, his daughter, and a 
young English friend. I think I have very seldom in my life 
felt a more lively sense of the love of Ood, than at his table. I 

800 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

may say. our souls were animated under its sweetness. I think 
we rejoiced together, and magnified the name of our God. 

In the evening, we met in a large school-room that would con- 
tain some hundreds, where numbers assembled, principally the 
French Protestants and some of their pastors. There, again, I 
was greatly helped, I really belieye, by the Holy Spirit, to speak 
to them upon their very important situations in the Church of 
Christ, and the extreme consequence of their being sound both 
in faith and practice. I also felt it my duty to show them, as 
Protestants, the infinite importance, not only in France, but in 
the surrounding nations, of their being as a city set upon a hill 
that cannot be hid. I showed them how the truth is spreading, 
and how important to promote it, by being preachers of 
righteousness in life and conversation, as well as in word and 
doctrine. There was here also much attention ; and our dear 
and valued friend and brother in Christ, Emilien Frossard, 
prayed beautifully, that the word spoken might profit the people, 
and particularly, that the blessing of the Lord might rest upon 
me. It was no common prayer on my behalf. Thanks to my 
Heavenly Father, the Meeting broke up in much love, life, and 

peace. j : . . •. 

The next morning Josiah Forster and I held a large meeting, 
partly in the open air, at the village of Codognan. I was 
pleased to see many of our dear friends firom Congenies and the 
neighbourhood, at this our last meeting in this part We sepa- 
rated from them under a lively feeling of true peace and much 
love, and concluded our services under a strong confidence that 
our feet had been rightly turned amongst them — a pastor, a 
stranger to us, closed the Meeting in solemn and beautiful 

After this, we proceeded on our journey to Montpellier, where 
important service opened for us. A Protestant Ladies' Gom« 
mittee was formed to visit the great Female Prison there ; much 
important advice offered to the Oovemor upon the changes now 
being made in the prison* and female officers being appointed ; 
we appeared to go in the very time wanted, and obtained the 
liberation of several poor women from their very sad cells. The 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 301 

Pr6fet was most kind to us^ and thus, our way was easily made, 
the Mayor and all with us. Help was given me to speak reli- 
giously to the poor women, before all these gentlemen. 

This was a Maison Gentrale, and contained five hundred 
women, for whom it was exclusively used. The prisoners were 
employed in work-rooms; some resistance had been shown on 
their part to the introduction of the female officers, so that this 
visit was useful and timely. Mrs. Fry visited this prison again 
the following day, and had a long conversation at her Hotel, with 
the Director and the new Matron, on their important duties. 
After this, she met a number of Protestant ladies at the Pastor 
Losignol's^ who had waited for her arrival to form themselves 
into a Committee for visiting the Protestant women, both in 
the Prison and Hospital ; this Committee was then regularly 
organized, and was, as well as that formed at Marseilles, to cor- 
respond with the Committee in Paris. In the evening, she returned 
to the Pastor Losignols, as she supposed, to spend a quiet 
social evening, but found instead, a large congregation assembled 
for a religious meeting. There were rich and poor, all ages, and 
the place so crowded, that the windows were lined with listeners, 
and boys perched upon the trees beyond. 

The day the party left Montpellier, Mrs. Fry diverged to 
Cette, and crossing the Lagune of Thon, in the boat of an Eng- 
lish merchant's vessel, rejoined her companions atMeze, a little 
fishing village on its banks ; the British Consul and his lady 
came with her, and the captain of the merchantman. It was a 
temperance ship, and he a serious man. Whilst waiting at 
Meze, to avoid the mid-day sun, Mrs. Fry wrote to her friend 
John Carey, Esquire, in Guernsey, to interest him on behalf of 
the British seamen frequenting the port of Gette. 

302 MBMOIB OF THE LIFE [1830. 

To John Garey^ Esq., Castle Garey^ Guernsey. 

Meze, South of France, Sixth Month, Uth, 1839. 

My dear and yalued Friend, 

In a tour that my husband and myself, accompanied by oar 
friend Josiah Forster^ are taking, we have had the satisfaction 
of meeting with Biohard Byan and his amiable wife ; he is British 
Gonsul at Gette ; I understand that they are friends of yours, 
therefore the application I am about to make appears to be almost 
needless, as they could represent the case better than I am likely 
to do it. I understand that there are several ships from various 
countries that call at Gette, in which many of the crews speak 
English, therefore it would be highly desirable for them to be 
well supplied with English Testaments and Bibles, and tracts; and 
it is so difficult to get them here from England, that I venture to 
propose, a few of our Guernsey friends inducing their different 
Bible Societies each to send some copies of the Holy Scriptures, 
and I also thought, with your usual kindness, some of you 
would give some English tracts. I believe my dear friend 
Sophia Mourant would do her part, and by several others, each 
doing a little, much would be accomplished. I thus apply to my 
dear friends, because I find that ships not unfrequently visit 
Gette from Ouemsey. 

We are deeply interested in our visit to France, where we 
find many devoted characters, and we do believe that truth is 
spreading in this interesting land. We find the weather very 
warm, and are rather oppressed by it, but we are generally 
favoured with health. 

I think of our dear Guernsey and Jersey friends with much 
gratitude and love, and desires for their present and everlast- 
ing welfare. I wish to be affectionately remembered to those in 

And am, with dear love to thy wife and family, and also to 
Sophia Mourant, and affectionate remembrance to all thy bro- 
thers and sisters whom I know. 

Thy affectionate and obliged friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRV. 303 

In the evening; of tbis fatiguing day, whilst resting and 
refreshing themselves at the Hotel at B^ziers, the Sous-Pr6fet 
was announced, he having been requested by the Fr^fet atMont- 
pellier, to show Mrs. Fry attention during her visit to B6ziers. 
He was anxious she should see the prison and hospital, but all 
arrangements had been made to set off again at five in the 
morning, and therefore, fatigued as she was, she and her com- 
panions consented to accompany him to the prison. It had be- 
come quite dark as this little band threaded its way through the 
narrow winding streets of Beziers, — how altered since those 
streets ran blood, at the time of the first crusade against the 
Albigeois when the papal legate gave order to the Boman Catho- 
lic chieftains " to kill all, for God knows those who are His." 

The astonished gaoler, candle in hand, followed by his mynni* 
dons, answered the thundering rap of the Sous-Pr6fet, and the 
mastiffs which were prowling in the yards having been chained 
up, the prison, (a badly constructed and ill-arranged one,) was 

In returning to the Hotel, they paid a visit to the Cathedral, 
a vast, lofty, gothic building of one aisle and transepts, which 
had been lighted up to receive them. The effect was magnifi- 
cent, illumined by a glare of partial light from the various 
altars, and the lamps carried by the attendants. 

Saturday the 15th, was a cloudy day and travelling compara- 
tively easy. Quiet, cool rooms at the Hotel de France, at 
Toulouse, afforded the travellers a most welcome retreat, for the 
heat had become extreme, the sun pouring down his rays, with 
overwhelming intensity, and adding greatly to fatigue, whilst 
the nature of their engagements forbade rest during the mid- 
day hours* The early morning, or cool of the evening being 
onsuited for visiting prisons and hospitals. 

On Sunday evening, Mrs. Fry and her party went to the 
Scripture-reading, held at the house of M. Chabraud the pasteur. 

304 MEMOIR OF THB LIFE [1889. 

which is attended reg^arly by many of his congregation. 
Amongst others, a captain in the French army^ a captain in the 
British navy, and a sergeant belonging to one of the regiments 
quartered there — ^all devoted Christian characters. They heard 
with pleasure of many really serious soldiers in the regiments 
then in Toulouse ; so many, that at the Scripturerreadings which 
took place, two evenings in the week, at the house of the 
Messrs. Gourtois, two long benches were often filled by them ; 
three or four more being occupied by young men inquiring after 
religious truth. 

There are about six hundred Protestants at Toulouse, in the 
midst of a population of seventy thousand Boman Catholics. 
So lately as 1760, a Protestant was martyred there, having, first 
been broken on the wheel. The sentence and report of his 
execution are still to be seen in the archives of the town. 

M. Chabraud considered, that from the time the British army 
occupied Toulouse in 1814, the Protestants had been held iu 
higher estimation. Instead of taking possession of the Cathe- 
dral, as was generally anticipated at Toulouse, the victorious 
army worshipped in the humbler temple of their Protestant 
brethren, those hours beiug chosen when the French service was 
not going forward. The English regiments were seen march* 
ing to the Temple, headed by their officers, where the service 
of the Anglican Church was performed for them, by the chap- 
lains of the army. 

Journal resumed. 

We proceeded from place to place until we arrived at Toulouse, 
on Seventh-day evening, the 15th of the Sixth Month. On 
First-day evening, we met a large number of Protestants at one 
of their Scripture-readings. We took part in the service ; at the 
close, a solemn prayer was offered for us by Francis Courtois, one 
of a very remarkable trio of brothers, (bankers there) all three 
of whom are given up to the service of their Lord, and appear to 

1839.] OF EHflZABETH FRY. 305 

have been instraments greatly blessed. Their kindness to us was 
very great In Toulouse we visited two prisons ; had one impor- 
tant Prison Meeting, and one exceedingly solemn and satisfac- 
tory Scripture-reading and time of prayer, with the Gourtois 
family, one or two pasteurs, and other religious persons. 

I left my husband who was unwell from the heat at Toulouse, 
and went in faith and somewhat in the cross to Montauhan ; 
the place, where the ministers of the Protestant Church of France 
are educated ; but I belieyed it right to go — Josiah Forster ac- 
companied me. 

To HER Children in England. 

Bagn^res de Luchon, Sixth Month, 23rd, 

Here I sit before breakfast, with a most lovely scene before me. 
On entering this solemn Sabbath morning — ^my soul and body 
refreshed, not only in admiring the wonderful works of the out- 
ward creation, and being revived by the delightful air, fresh from 
the snowy mountains before me; but what is more, my soul 
refreshed. I have been enabled to lift my heart to my Heavenly 
Father, for every brother, sister and child individually, and for 
my dear husband ; and collectively, for my many beloved ones; 
committing all to His holy keeping. I feel rest And now 
my beloved children, I will tell you a little how we go on. 

My attraction homewards grows stronger and stronger, but 
I desire patiently to wait the right time : — the openings for 
religious service are greater than I expected, more particularly 
amongst the Protestants, at Montpellier, Toulouse, and Mon- 
tauhan. At Montauhan, without expressing any other wish, 
than to have an evening party at one of their houses, to meet 
some of the professors and students of the College (the only one 
in France for educating Pasteurs for the Beformed Church). 
We found, to our dismay, all arranged to receive us in the 
College ; and on arriving there, imagine how I felt, when the 
Dean of the College offered me his arm, to take me into 
the chapel. There, I believe, the whole of the collegians were 
assembled, in all at least a hundred. It was fearful work. There 
were also numbers of the people of the town ; we thought about 


306 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

three handred. Josiah Forster spoke first, explftining our views 
at some length. Then I rose, with an excellent interpreter, one 
of their pasteurs ; I first told them something of my Prison ex- 
perience, and the power of Christian principle and kindness ; 
then, I related a little of the state of their prisons in France ; 
then, my ideas as to the general state of France; and afterwards, 
endeavoured to bring home to them the extreme importance of 
their futare calling, as pastenrs in their chorch. I reminded 
them of that passage of Scripture, " the leaders of the people 
caused them to err." I endeavoured to show them how awful 
such a state of things must be, and the extreme importance of 
their being sound in doctrine and practice. Simple duty led me 
to Montauban. Josiah F. was my kind and useful companion. 
We were united in much Christian love to many there I forgot 
to say, that at the close of the occasion, the pasteur who inter- 
preted for me, prayed beautifully and spiritually, that the words 
spoken might profit the people; he also prayed for us: this has fre- 
quently occurred at the close of some of our interesting meetings, 
a pouring forth of the spirit of prayer has been granted* My 
not knowing the language has obstructed my offering it, and it 
has appeared laid upon others instead. I have seldom felt 
sweeter peace in leaving a place than Montauban. At Toulouse, 
we were deeply interested by the Courtois' brothers : they appear, 
body, soul, and spirit, devoted to the service of their Lord , 
quite a bright example to all of us. The world appeared as 
nothing to them. I have seldom seen men so wholly given up 
to good and useful objects ; they were most kind to us. We 
had various calls of duty in that town, and I had a most excel- 
lent interpreter in Francois Courtois. We arrived here yester- 
day evening, after serious consideration, believing it the best to 
pursue this course. A certain time of quiet appears really 
needful to make representations to the French government, and 
to those in authority, of the various evils that want remedy in 
prisons, &c. We understand there are many seeking, serious 
minds, to whom we may be of some comfort, which helps to 
reconcile us to the measure. 

Mrs. Fry's determined perseverance had surmounted every 

1830.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 307 

obstacle as long as her physical powers peimitted ; but they were 
beginning to fail. Best, and some cessation from mental and 
bodily labour, had become indispensable, and she yielded, though 
not without reluctance, to her husband's wish for a short tarriance 
in the cooler atmoq^here of the Pyrenees. Speaking of this 
ntreat» she says, — 

We went from Toulouse to Bagn^res de Luchon, a most lovely 
place, where we had a sweet, quiet lodging. I went two wonder 
fully fine excursions with my husband and children, (Josiah 
Forster partly with us,) which I rather enjoyed, particularly 
going into Spain. 

One of these expeditions was to the Lake D'Oo. The gentle- 
men of the party, who were on horseback, having gone on, Mrs. 
Fry and her daughter found themselves, when about half way up 
a steep ascent, on a little level of green sward, shadowed by a 
huge rock. They left their chairs for the carriers to rest them- 
selves. A group of wild-looking peasants were reposing near. 
Mrs. Fry sate down by them, and entered into conversation, they 
assured her they " adored the Virgin in those parts ;^ she took 
out her French Text-Book ; — the eight bearers joined the party. 
She read some words of Scriptures, then drew their attention to 
the wonderftd works of God in creation, in the beauUfol scene 
around them ; from thence, she led to His infinite mercy in 
giving a Saviour to die for them. They listened with earnest- 
ness and respect, and thankfully received the little books she 

After a day's rest from the excessive fatigue of the excursion 

to the Lake D'Oo, Mrs. Fry accompanied her family in another 

into Spain. A cool wet night followed by a cloudy morning 

gave hopes of less heat; after leaving Luchon, the party 

passed through the forest and valley of Beurbe, defiling along 

the most exquisite mountain path, higher and higher it led 

X 2 

808 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

them^ till, on a mountain creBt> the path turned suddenly 
downwards at a point called the *' Postillion/' where a small 
rock marked the boundary, and the guide exclaimed, '' Nous 
voici en Espagne.^' They continued their descent for about 
half an hour to where beech trees and oaks again grew amidst 
small patches of cultivation. Two Gatalonian peasants were 
there in their brown costume and scarlet sashes, and caps with 
long depending peaks. Mrs. Fry, through the kind agency o^ 
Mr. Forster, was well supplied with extracts from Scripture in 
Spanish ; to these men she gave several of them. Whilst the 
party dined on the grass, they observed one of them reading 
attentively as he sat under the shade of a spreading chesnut, 
surrounded by his flock of goats. When rested and refreshed 
they continued their descent to a spot where they found several 
scattered cottages. Desiring to sow as " beside all waters," 
she left the little scripture extracts at all these ; in the manger 
of a cow-house, or on a nail of the door, for she had heard that 
the Spaniards, including the priests, were eager for books, and 
carefully preserved them. Then from a rooky height she 
looked down on the valley below, through which the Garronne, 
here no wider than a brook, flowed like a silver thread, whilst 
Spanish fields, villages, and roads were spread at her feet. 
Some days afterwards the guide who had accompanied her on 
this occasion, came to request some of these little books to 
carry with him on the following day, when he was to conduct 
a gentleman into Spain — for that he should certainly be asked 
for them. Many had been by Mr. Forster consigned to an 
intelligent custom-house officer, who was often stationed at an 
advanced guard-house, high up amongst the mountains on the 
Spanish pusses. When about to leave this part of the Pyre- 
nees, upon entering the first little town of the plains, their 
carriage was stopped by this man. Their first impression 
was, that some regulation of the Customs was the cause 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 309 

of their detention^ bat they found the motive to be a very 
different one. He was anxious before they went away to 
obtain any of the little Spanish books that might remain. He 
assured them he should have many opportunities when his 
turn came to be again on duty at the out-posts» to send them 
into Spain. In this, as well as in the instance of the guide^ 
the intention was probably to sell the books ; but the object of 
disseminating scripture in the vernacular tongue would be as 
well^ if not better accomplished, than if they were gratuitously 

During this recess, Mrs. Fry» assisted by Mr. Forster and her 
husband, prepared a long memorial for the Minister of the 
Interior, and a shorter one for the Fr^fet of Poliee, embodying 
her observations on the state of the prisons she inspected, and 
her recommendation for their improvement 

The evils of the Gantine system, and the large sleeping apart- 
ments, affording every facility for evil and unrestricted communi- 
cation, were the points on which she most strongly insisted ; 
though she also entered into various details of particular prisons 
requiring alteration. 

From Bagn^res de Luchon, they went to Bagn^res de Bigorre. 
There in an ancient tower, they found a curious ill-constructed 
prison, happily with but few inmates. 

Wednesday the 3rd, they left Bagn^res de Bigorre, entering 
the gorge that leads to Luz and St. Sauveur. They passed the 
ruined castle of St. Marie, built by the English, the Templar's 
Fortress-church at Luz, and pursued their way to St. Sauveur. 
There they remained some days, amidst the shadowy moun- 
tains which surround the town, and the rushing waters not alone 
of the Oaves, or rapid rivers of the district, but of the hundred 
little riviulets which feed them> tumbling and foaming from the 
heights above. 

810 MEMOIR OF THK LIFE [1839. 

8i, Sauveur, Seventh Month, 4M. — ^We left Bagntees de 
Sigorre, on the Srd of the Seventh Month. I had a pain- 
ful journey, having met with rather a serious accident, falling 
backwards, from a stool slipping from under me ; besides this* 
my throat was very sore, but I desired to be patient and thankful 
that I was not worse. We arrived at this most beautifal place 
in the evening, I felt better, and to-day am quiet, peacefdl and 
in great degree refreshed. 

Very little service opened in the last places we were at I 
formed a fund to assist the poor afflicted persons who come to 
the baths at Luchon, and at Bagn^res de Bigorre, visited the 
prison ; — two poor sick prisoners were liberated in consequence, 
and placed in a comfortable hospital. I also had a serious read- 
ing of the Holy Scriptures, with many English who came to see 
us at our hotel, and a time of prayer, but the openings for ser- 
vice were small, which was a discouragement to me. I may 
however say, that through every discouragement, I commit my- 
self, my all, and my work to the Lord, and believe that I may 
go on quietly and hopefully, trusting that day by day, and hour 
by hour, my Holy Head will not forsake me, but be my Guide 
and my Guard, and be with us all even unto the end. Oar 
returning home through Switzerland, I still view very doubtfully. 
Unless Thy presence go with us, oh Lord ! take us not there or 
to any other place. 

Orenohle, 22d. — We remained a few days at St. Sauveur, 
which was refreshing and satisfactory, with some sweet Christian 
friends. We visited the great military hospital at Bareges, and 
obtained leave to introduce the New Testament, and I hope a 
Ubrary also. The men appeared much pleased with our visit. 

By permission of the Directeur, the party distributed about two 
hundred tracts that day amongst the patients. They remained 
over the following Sabbath at St Sauveur, holding a little Meet- 
ing in their room in the morning, whilst an English clergyman 
had service in his parlour. In the evening most of the English 
(two clergymen among the number), assembled in Mrs. Fry's 
rooms and a very solemn reUgious meeting was held. Meanwhile 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 311 

at the Catholic Chapel, a sermon was preached, warning the 
people against the hooks that the Protestant visitors might dis- 
trihute, especially " one lady, who went up even into the moun- 
tains to give them away." These were all to be given to the 
priest, or committed to the flames^ unread, on pain of excom- 
munication. This allusion, probably, did not relate to Mrs. 
Fry, as it so happened, that she had not distributed books there 
or ascended the mountains. 

I felt best satisfied to stay over First-day, that such of the 
English as might incline, should join us in our worship in the 
evening, a good many came, we were I believe really helped to- 
gether; and I was enabled to speak the truth to them in 
Christian love. We set off the next morning for Cauterez, 
another of these beautiful places, taking it in our way to Pau. 
There we were much interested and pleased, visited three little 
bodies of Protestants, serious, agreeable people, who appeared 
glad to see us, and we trust, are a little helped by our visit. 
From Pau we returned to Toulouse, where we spent a Sabbath, 
and had a farewell Meeting with the Protestants. We parted 
with them in uncommon love and unity, and the prayers offered 
for us in this Meeting, and on other occasions have been to me 
very encouraging and comforting. May our Lord in His love 
and pity answer them ! 

On the 8th, they departed for Pau. The drive was beautiful, 
the country familiarised by Froissard s descriptions, through 
the valley of Argellez, and by the old castle of Lourdes. Pau 
delighted them. In the birth-place of one, for a time the hero 
of the Protestant Faith, there is still a small body of Christian 
believers, untainted by the errors of Romanism, and adhering 
to the pure and simple faith of their forefathers. A few Pro- 
testants were found at Tarbes. With them Mrs. Fry had a 
Meeting, and was exceedingly interested by them and their pas- 
teur M. Doudret. 

312 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

We left Toulouse last Second-day, and have been travelling 
rather bard through the South of France, the heat very oppressive. 
Little religious service opened on the way. But at Montpellier 
and Nismes, we again met some of our dear friends, and there 
appeared reason to believe that our labour had not been in vain 
in the Lord, particularly at Nismes and Congenies. Oh, may 
our Heavenly Father, bless and prosper the seed scattered by us 
His unworthy instruments; and may He in His tender and 
unmerited mercy, guide and guard us to the end ! Answer I 
pray Thee, the deep cries of Thy servant for Thine own name 
sake, and cause Thy love and peace to abound in our little 
circle until we separate. 

Bonigen, near Interlacheny Switzerland, Eighth Month, 1 i M. 
— I believe that my gracious Lord has guided our steps to this 
place, blessed be His name. Now to go on with my journal. At 
Grenoble, where I felt rather pressed in spirit, to spend a First- 
day, I had a curious opening for religious service, and I believe 
an important one with several enlightened Boman Catholics, 
several Protestants, and a school of girls. It was a time of 
spiritual refreshment, by which many appeared helped and 
comforted. The next day was occupied in important prison 
visits, and in the evening a Meeting with influential Boman 

The prison at Grenoble, is an old and ill-constructed build- 
ing, but kept very clean, and its defects and the wants of the 
prisoners as much remedied as possible, by an active Committee 
of ladies and gentlemen, who pay much attention to the bodily 
wants of the prisoners. Their moral and religious instruction 
did not appear so well cared for, although they saw one man 
reading de Sacy's New Testament The funds of these Com- 
mittees are chiefly derived from money dropped into a box at the 
gate, by the peasants and lower class of persons, to obtain the 
prayers of the prisoners, which are considered by them peculiarly 
efficacious in releasing souk from purgatory : these alms often 
amount to as much as eighty francs in a fortnight, which is 

1880.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 313 

chiefly expended in linen for the piisoners' use. The chaplain 
occasionally employing some of the better sort of prisoners, to 
say the prayers for the souls. 

The OoYemment and authorities have tried to put this system 
of the '* tronc" entirely down, but have been successfully op- 
posed by the Committee, on the ground that they have neither 
power nor right to interfere with private almsgiving, its purpose 
or appropriation. 

Josiah Forster having left us to go by diligence to Geneva, we 
travelled alone through Savoy, and had a pleasant journey 
through a lovely country ; but the darkness of the Boman Ca- 
tholic religion, and the arbitrary laws not allowing even a tract 
to be given away, were painful (we found that a Swiss gentle-* 
man had lately been imprisoned for doing it, and confined with 
a thief.) We arrived at Geneva, the 26th of the Seventh Month, 
in the evening. Here we passed a very interesting time, from 
various and important openings for religious service, in large 
parties, in prisons, &c. My belief is, that we were sent to that 
place, and amidst some trials from different causes there was a 
pouring forth of spiritual help, and spiritual peace. Many of 
the pasteurs came to us, and not a few expressed their refresh- 
ment and satisfaction with our visit; before we left, several of 
the most spiritual, in a very striking and beautiftil manner 
preached to us, particularly to myself, and prayed for us all, a 
time, I think, never to be forgotten by us. We had one of the 
most beautiful entertainments I ever saw, given by Colonel 
Tronchin, at a lovely place, a few miles from Geneva, the fine 
snowy mountains about us, the lake within sight. In an avenue, 
in the midst of a fine wood, we had a handsome repast, to which 
above a hundred persons sat down. The gentleman who gave 
it, is a devoted Christian, a man of large property, and this 
blessing sanctified by grace. I visited a delightful institution 
for the sick, established by him, and on his grounds ; to return 
to our entertainment, grace was very solemnly said before our 
meal, and very beautiful hymn«singing afterwards. Then we 
withdrew into the house, where I believe the anointing was 


poured forth upon me, to speak the truth in love and power. I 
had an excellent spiritually minded interpreter (Professor La 
Harpe); many appeared to feel this occasion. A young English 
gentleman came up to me afterwards, and expressed his belief 
that it would influence him for life ; and a lady came to me, and 
said, how remarkably her state had been spoken to. Much love 
was also shown to us and unity. Indeed, I felt how our Lord 
permits His servants to rejoice together in loye, and even to par- 
take of the good things of this life, in His love and fear, with a 
subjected spirit rejoicing in His mercies, temporal and spiritual. 
We had very great kindness also shown us by many, among 
others, by our dear friend Mary Ann Vemet and her family, in- 
eluding her daughter the Baroness de Stael, with whom we dined 
at Goppet The Duke de Broglie and his family were with her; 
we had a very interesting visit. We went from Geneva to our 
dear friend Sophia Delessert, her husband was out; they have a 
beautiful place on the banks of the Lake of Geneva, near BoUe ; 
here we had the warmest reception, and were refreshed and com- 
forted together, she is truly loved by me. 

It is thus that she has described her own impressions of 
Geneva : but the circumstances of the visit are well worthy of 
remembrance. In Madame Vernet, Mrs. Fry found a congenial 
friend, a mother in Israel. At Goppet lived Madame de Stael, 
her daughter, and with her the Duke de Broglie, the brother- 
in-law of the Baron de StaeL One evening a very large party 
assembled at Madame Yemet's. It had been Mrs. Fry's most 
earnest wish to enjoy some conversation of a decidedly rehgious 
character with her Genevan friends on points forming the com- 
mon ground of faith and hope, with all who look only to one 
Mediator between God and man, Ghrist Jesus our Lord, but 
the occasion proved somewhat different to her expectations, for 
in the evening came in a Sardinian, Gount Pettiti, a kindred 
spirit in works of benevolence and philanthropy, and soon the 
conversation turned upon prison subjects, on which both the 

1889.] OF BLIZABBTH FRY. 315 

Count and Mrs. Fry spoke at considerable length. She handled 
the subject in a manner peculiar to herself and to the opportu- 
nity she then possessed. Some were present that evening be- 
longing to the National Church of Greneva, a Church fallen from 
her first loye^ whose doctrines have become tinctured with vital 
error, and her faith corrupted and mystified. 

Mrs. Fry felt the opportunity to be one given her to tiee: — a 
solemn responsibility lay upon her^ and it was with trembling 
earnestness that she called the attention of her hearers to her 
experience in Prisons. She spoke of her firm conviction that no 
human means of Beformation amongst Prisoners can avail 
anght» except God's word be brought to bear upon their own 
oonditioD, their daily life, their past sins, their future improve- 
ment Earnestly she told of the one way open alike to the 
weary-hearted guilty captive, and to " whosoever will," among 
men : that way, the precious Blood of the Lamb slain, whereby 
alone the sinner can be reconciled to God, and be cleansed from 
the power and guUt of his original and contracted transgres- 
sion. The impression she made was deep and permanent 
Many remember the edification and instruction they there re- 
ceived, and recall with grateful emotion her clear earnest state- 
ment of the way of Life. At Beseinge, the beautiful place of 
Colonel Tronchin, a few miles from the Lake, Mrs. Fry met 
above a hundred persons at an entertainment given by the hos- 
pitable owner of the domain. The repast was laid out in the 
avenue, and after its oonclusion, Hynms were sung, and thanks 
returned, and then they withdrew to the House, where Mrs. 
Fry appears to have spoken with peculiar power and wisdom. 
M.LaHarpe, of the "Socifete Evangelique," and Theological 
Professor of the Genevan School acted as her interpreter. The 
occasion was one of deep interest and improvement. " I can 
never forget Mrs. Fry, at Beseinge, or her words of faith and 
earnest counsel," says one there present, M. Anet secretary of 


816 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

the Belgian Sooi6te Evangelique^ '^ they were burned like words 
of fire on my heart and brain." 

*' We had half expected a philosophical discourse upon subjects 
of a philanthropic and general interest^ but every thing that 
fell from her lips was characterized by delicacy, extreme 
simplicity, and an ardent desire to draw our attention to 
our own happiness, in being permitted the opportunity for 
meditation on the one subject which seemed always present in 
her thoughts, Ghrist Jesus crucified for the expiation of our 
sins. At this distance of time I haye an actual realization of 
the opening of her exhortation — ' I think it is impossible for us 
to be more profitably employed than by occupying the next few 
moments, with the contemplation of the love which the Lord 
Jesus has for us ;' were her arresting words. I was at that 
time a young student at the Geneyan school, under M. la 
Harpe, and much absorbed with my studies preparatory to my 
entrance into the ministry, but those words can never leave my 
memory as long as I retain any power of recollection. After a 
little time spent at the large table, with the host, the magis- 
trates, chief people of the fiepublic and others, Mrs. Fry 
joined us, a cluster of students and others under a wide spreading 
tree, and through her interpreter spoke to us all, with kindness 
and much judgment. In order a little better to understand the 
circumstances of that dejeuner, I must premise that above fifty 
persons having arrived at Beseinge, uninvited by Colonel 
Tronchin, but drawn there by an irresistible impulse, to see and 
to listen to Mrs. Fry, the tables spread out in the avenue were 
found insufficient to accommodate all those assembled. The 
students, therefore, and the younger portion of the guests had 
retired to a little distance, to a beautiful spot under one of the 
finest trees in the place, surrounded by flowering shrubs, and 
carpeted by a soft moss of the richest green ; there we made 
for ourselves a sort of eastern banquet, each reclining in 
the position the most convenient for the repast, and supplied 
with provisions by Colonel Tronchin's care, the mossy bank 
became our banqueting hall, the rough rocks, which rose here 
and there from that verdant covering, our tables. Thus placed 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 817 

we channted our hymns at Mrs. Fry's request, and then all 
returned to the house together. The rooms were full to 
OYerflowing ; my fellow-students and I took up our places in 
the passage, on the stair-case crowded round the open door, 
eagerly hanging on such parts of the beautiful exhortation, as 
we could catch by the most breathless attention; after she had 
concluded, she kindly came out among us, and expressed her 
regret that we should have been so inconvenienced. I can see 
her now, her tall figure leaning on Colonel Tronchin's arm, 
M. la Haipe at her side, her dignified, animated, yet softened 
countenance bending towards us. I can never forget it. Such 
occasions are rare in life, they are very green spots in the gar- 
den of memory — more, they are opportunities given for improvc- 
ment> solemnly increasing the responsibility of each who parti- 
cipates in them. May I never lose the impression of that day 
at Beseinge, nor the holy lessons, I there heard and learnt." 

It was on the same day that Mrs. Fry accompanied by Colonel 
Tronchin, visited the institution which he had founded on his 
grounds, for receiving convalescents during that trying period 
of debility and weakened energy which so commonly follows 
severe illness, and requires such judicious and tender treatment. 
AU admitted into this valuable institution were under spiritual 

On another occasion, at the hotel, a party of above eighty 
met in the evening, expressly to discuss the state of prisons. 

The Sunday morning the travellers sat down in their room as 
usual, to worship after the simple manner of Friends. Some 
of the Verne t family, and a few others were present, and it 
proved a very solemn meeting. In the evening, their scripture 
reading was attended by several pasteurs and a very numerous 
company, some belonging to the evangelical section of the 
church, and others to that national church, whose creeds 

318 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

and oateohisms, alas ! but too cleaily show the feazful on- 
BoundnesB of their dootrine and faith. On this oooaaion she 

read the 58th chapter of Isaiah, and spoke at length on some 
parts of it She prayed solemnly for those present; for the 
pasteurs that they might he endued with wisdom and strength, 
for all who love the Lord, everywhere and of every name, and 
for the inhabitants of Geneva in purticalar. 

Mrs. Fry was much stnick with the completeness of the 
" Maison P6nitentiaire" at Geneva. There were only fifty pri- 
soners under a Directeur, Sous Directeur M. Grellet, brother of 
Stephen Grellet, and many guardians. The prisoners are divided 
into four classes, perfectly separated from each other, and their 
treatment varying in severity. They work and eat in common, 
each class in its own atelier ; they also recreate each in the yard 
of the class, but sleep in separate cells ; in every cell is a bed, 
a chair, table, shelf and some books. For the Protestants, 
Ostervald 8 Bible is provided ; for the Catholics, the Manuel du 
Chretien : they are here for long terms of imprisonment. The 
returns, average fourteen to the hundred ; but the health fails 
after the first or second year. 

The second time she visited it, the prisoners were assembled 
in the chapel, for Mrs. Fry to have a religious opportunity with 
them. The Catholic priest however did not allow his flock to 
be present. 

The same thing occurred at the £v6ch6, an old bad prison, 
about to be pulled down ; the priest was there, purposely to 
prevent the four or five Boman Catholic women being present, 
should Mrs. Fry speak to the women, unless she would promise 
only to enforce " morality," and not touch on religion or Chris- 
tian faith. She assured him she never touched upon the 
" dogmes*' of religion, only on the great principles of faith and 
practice. This would not do, and the Boman CathoUc 
women were withdrawn ! ! 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 319 

At Lausanne, we met with a kind friend, Charles Scholl, 
whom we knew in England, avaluahle pastenr, We visited the 
prisons; and with the women I had a reUgions time, one that 
appears to have made a considerable impression upon some of 
them. I have had very comforting accounts since I was there. 
A good many ladies and some gentlemen, met Josiah Forster and 
myself at a lady's house, where the subject of prisons was entered 
upon. In the evening we met a very large party, numbers of 
pasteurs, &c., at a gentleman's beautiful place on the banks of 
the lake ; here again we had a deeply interesting time. I had 
to speak for some time, showing the effect of Christian principle 
and kindness on prisoners. I was well interpreted for^ by my 
friend Charles SchoU. In conclusion, one valuable pasteur read, 
and another prayed ; and prayed much for mj preservation in my 
peculiar situation, and that I might not be entangled by the many 
snares that surrounded me. Much love and real unity we felt 
with many of these dear people. We then proceeded to Berne 
by Friburg ; at Berne I again visited the Prison. These Peni- 
tentiaries at Geneva, Lausanne, and Berne, interested me much, 
as excellent; still there are some things wanting. At Berne, I 
had also a religious time with all the female prisoners. We 
visited the large and interesting institution of Dr. Fellenburg 
for boys, with which I was much pleased ; but I desired more 
reading of the Holy Scriptures, and spoke and wrote to him on 
the subject. We had a very hospitable reception to dinner, in- 
vited for half-past eleven, from a gentleman and his lady. At 
the prison, I was at first badly interpreted for, when a young 
lady, Sophia Werstemburger, came forward, as she has since told 
me, from believing it a duty, and offered to assist me. It was 
striking to me to observe, how remarkably she appeared helped 
to do it, and to convey my meaning. 

The subject of this address was afterwards embodied by 
Miss Werstemburger in a German tract, and has been exten- 
sively used in Prisons. Notwithstanding the disadvantage of 
having to restore it from its foreign medium, the substance of 

320 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1889. 

it is presented to the reader, for although after a double trans- 
lation, the language can scarcely be considered her own, 
it embodies the topics she was wont to urge so faithfully and 
yet so tenderly upon her hearers, and is almost if not the only 
record of the kind in existence. 

In the fulness of my heart I desire to express to you poor 
afflicted ones, my sincere and earnest feelings of commiseration 
and sympathy for your condition. You are now as sinners 
tasting some of the bitter fruits of disobedience to God ; you 
have now had experience of the anguish of heart and distress 
of mind which sin brings with it, and as the result of your evil 
deeds, you have to endure the painful inflictions of human 

Your situation affects my heart deeply, even in the present 
view of your outward state* But how much more does tbe 
consideration afflict me when I survey the awful prospect before 
you, should you unhappily persevere in the same evil courses ; 
then indeed I can see nothing for you but disgrace and ruin in 
this life, and afterwards the judgments of a Holy and offended 

On one side, therefore, there is no hope to be held out to 
you, but on the other, it still remains* Yes, I see it even for 
you, that solid and undoubted, that only true and infallible 
hope for us all, the glorious privilege of the children of God, — 
who loosed from the bondage of their own evil nature, through 
the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, abide with Him in a state of 
blessed peace and holy freedom. 

A new prospect for you dawns upon my mind at the 
thought of which my heart rejoices, involving as it does, not 
only your restoration to the esteem of your fellow mortals, but 
peace to your own souls, and a well-founded hope after this 
life is ended of your participation for ever in diat eternally 
blessed state to which we are all called by God. 

Although ignorant of your language, I feel as if I had a 
special mission to unfold to you, my poor afflicted friends this 
prospect, to explain the ground of this hope, and to announce 

1839.] OP ELIZABETH FRY. 321 

the message of tidings of g^eat joy which are still open to 
you. I not only wish to tell you that which I myself believe, 
but the reasons of that belief^ grounded as it is on what I 
have myself seen and witnessed during a long life. I have 
known many as sinful as yourselves in other respects situated 
as you are ; I have closely observed them and their course of 
life, and I have marked their onward path to its termination. 
I have seen such as these, prisoners like yourselves, who have 
been by the blessing of God on the labour of his servants, 
aroused to the consciousness of their sad and forlorn condition, 
and to a deep sense of the bitterness of their sins, addressing 
themselves with penitent and sincere hearts to the mercy of 
Ood in Christ Jesus, and I have witnessed the fruits of their 
repentance, so that it oould not be doubted but that they had 
received mercy, and obtained that peace which the votaries of 
this world so ardently though vainly wish to attain. I have 
seen such as these enter the prison as you have done, and 
leave it altogether altered characters ; and I have seen them 
die as Christians die, for whom death had lost its sting and the 
grave its victory. Let me then, my friends, in few words 
assure you that I entertain the sweet hope that there are many 
amongst you who have still desires after the way of Salvation, 
and oh, may this day realize the blessed Hope. 

Begin then you elder ones, who have known a long career 
of bitterness and disappointment, and who must be well aware 
ihat your old course of life leads to destruction ; do not remain 
behind you younger ones, who now hear this admonition at an 
earlier period of life. That day will be a blessed day, when 
any of you, old or young, abandon the road to destruction, 
and being sanctified by the Spirit of Ood, become as his par- 
doned children. 

Take courage therefore, and accept this invitation as from 
the Lord ; confide in the promises of your merciful Saviour, 
who can yet save you, who entreats you by His word to come 
unto Him. Then will the true peace of God be with you, and 
joy on your account before the angels of God. There are 
many present who take a deep interest in your happiness and 



well being. Let our caring for you be to you a pledge of that 
Heavenly joy of which the Gospel speaks. And now I bid 
yon all a hearty farewell in the Lord, beseeching Him that yon 
and we all may be sprinkled with the Blood of Christ, the im- 
maculate and holy Lamb of God, and sanctified by the Holy 
Spirit unto eternal life. May you be so bom again as to 
become the children of God, and so thoroughly sanctified by 
the Holy Ghost as to become more and more subject to the 
will and law of God ; and may you through the mercy of God 
in Christ Jesus our Lord be admitted into that city, '* whose 
walls are salvation and whose gates are praise." What a 
prospect for poor sinners (as we all are) to be permitted to meet 
again through the love of the Father, the mercy of the Son, 
and the blessed power of the Holy Ghost, in the mansions of 
eternal glory, and to join in the hymn of the redeemed multi- 
tudes out of every language, and nation, and people who sing, 
*' worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and 
riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and blessing,^' 
for He has " redeemed us to God by His blood," and " madeus 
kings and priests" unto God. 

Elizabeth Fry then proceeded to give various striking and 
most affecting narratives, from her own intimate knowledge, of 
the conversion and happy end of several prisoners, who had 
been under the care of the ladies* adding — 

Let me impress upon you now, that which I then told them — 
let me explain to you somewhat concerning your Hope, concern- 
ing that which saved them, and can alone save you. This hope 
of salvation is founded only on the infinite mercy of God ; but 
if we would find and experience this mercy for ourselves we 
must seek it in His name, by whom alone we can be saved, 
Jesus Christ our Bedeemer, for " we have,^' says the Apostle, 
'* not a High-priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, 
yet without sin." He came down on this earth for the 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 323 

salvation of sinners, and lived amongst sianers. Do you 
remember those consoling words in the 15th of the 
Gospel of Luke, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, who 
in his utmost need remembered his fathers house, and 
arose and came to his father, and when he was yet a great 
way off, his father saw him and had compassion on him, and 
came and fell on his neck and kissed him, and the words the 
son spoke to him, '' Father, I have sinned against Heaven and 
in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son ;" and 
how his father upbraided him not with his sins, but received 
him as his beloved child. This is left on record for all sinners* 
Some of you, perhaps, poor, forlorn, and abandoned, have been 
left without earthly parents, dependant only on your heavenly 
Father ; and will you not with the prodigal son, go to Him, 
remembering what is further written, that there is more joy 
in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that 
repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons who need no 
repentance, — only consider this, that there will be joy amongst 
the angels of God over one sinner that repents. This you 
have no doubt heard and even within these walls, but have you 
also thought and considered, how this love has been already 
proved to you ? do you bear in mind how you have been spared 
until now, and how different it might have been with you had 
you been taken away in the midst of your sins, that time has 
yet been allowed you to repent and return to the Lord, — yes 
the Lord, He is the Father who wills not that the sinner should 
perish, but that he may be converted and live. 

You believe that in His displeasure he had suffered you to 
be brought here for punishment, but oh, I entreat you above 
all things to believe that your souls are still precious before the 
Lord, and that it is not His anger but His love which has 
brought you to this house, that you may learn His will, and 
know of His doctrine. Understand, that He desires that the 
important time you remain in it, may be a blessed time for you. 
a time for reflection and of returning in heart to him. Even 
this day He invites you by me to accept his free mercy, pardon, 
and eternal well being. Every one who is weary and heavy 
hearted, and truly laden with the burden of their sins, is in- 

Y 2 

324 MEMOIR OF THK LIFE [1839. 

yited to come to the compassionate Redeemer, to Him who 
despises oot, nor abandons the most forsaken penitent. Hear 
what the Gospel says of him who calls himself the good shep- 
herd. The good shepherd left his ninety and nine sheep, in 
order to look after the one that was lost, and when he had 
found it he carried it home, rejoicing that the sheep that was 
lost was found again. 

I will now turn to the way by which to lay hold on this 
hope thus held out to you ; it is by sincere contrition, earnest 
belief, imd thankful love which will be bestowed on all who 
seek it through the merits of their Saviour. This is the path 
in which they of whom I have told you walked ; those who in 
prison found their Saviour, and with him true liberty, —this 
was their uniform experience, and as we are all children of one 
and the same God, it cannot be otherwise with yon. They 
were all brought to feel and experience that there is no 
bondage so grievous as the bondage of sin ; no misery equal to 
the servitude of Satan. They had to partake of the bitter fruits 
of their sinful doings, and experienced how hard to be borne 
are the chains of the evil one. Fearftil of that eternal con- 
demnation, which they acknowledged themselves to have de- 
served, they were brought with an alarmed conscience, and a 
contrite heart, to look to their Saviour for deliverance — " Lord 
have mercy upon me a sinner/' They learned to hate their 
sins more than they formerly hated their punishment, nay 
more, they learned to kiss the rod wherewith their heavenly 
Father chastised them. 

Remember Mary Magdalene, the sinner, may her example and 
her repentance and faithful love influence your hearts. Remember 
how she cast herself at the feet of the Redeemer, kissed them, 
anointed them, and washed them with her tears ; how the 
Lord forgave her sins and accepted her in mercy. Throw your- 
selves therefore like Mary Magdalene at the feet of your Lord, 
and in earnest prayer implore his pity and reconciliation 
through his blood. I will conclude with the words of the 
prophet : '' Seek the Lord whilst He may be found, call ye 
upon him whilst He is near, let the wicked forsake his way, and 
the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, for 

1839.] OF £UZAB£TU FRY. 326 

He will have mercy upon him, and to our God for He will abun- 
dantly pardon." 

After this visit, we parted from our dear Mend JosiahForster, 
in love and unity, and I may add, grateful to him for his constant 
kindness, and faithful and industrious endeavour to help me in 
my various duties. May it please the Lord to grant him his 
reward, in a further knowledge of Himself, and of the rest, 
peace and liberty that He gives His children and people. We 
went from Berne to Thun, and then to this beautiful, delightfol 
and interesting country, where I have almost entirely devoted 
myself to my dearest husband and children. We have had 
some sweet and refreshing times together. I have rested as be* 
side the still waters, at times refreshed in body, mind, and spirit, 
so as to be able to rejoice in my Lord, and glory in the God of 
my salvation. 

In the midst of mountains and waterfalls. 

Eighth Month, 18M. 

My dearest Hannah, 

We are come here for my companions to see one of the finest 
waterfalls in Europe. After a curious walk with a boy, my 
guide, who only spoke German, I have come to our pretty 
Hotel, where we are to have luncheon, and happily I have found 
ink and paper. I often long for you to see some of my droll 
and entertaining communications with those to whom I cannot 
speak. By small papers and little tracts, that I have in Ger- 
man, I manage to show some interest in those around me; at 
least a certain degree of pleasant feeling is excited, and they 
bring little presents of flowers in return for tracts and marks of 
kindness. I was amused just now in my walk, at being joined 
by three girls, as well as my boy guide, who began to chatter to 
me in German, and some things we at last made each other 

Switzerland is certainly a wonderful country, and very attrac- 
tive, but I think not more so than the Pyrenees. Sweet as it 
is, the fiats of East and West Ham look to us sweeter. 

I have much felt on this journey, that life itself is but a 
journey, and how important to feel it so much so as to keep 

326 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1839. 

the end constantly in view ; not oyer anxious respecting the 
changes to which we are subject, but going steadily forward 
through clouds and sunshine, ups and downs, trusting to the 
wisdom, love and mercy of our Guide, and His power to aid us 
when walking through dangerous places. I also desire to com- 
mit more constantly our ** fellow-pilgrims" to the same holy 
and sufficient Helper. I want to be more without carefulness 
and to hayo more hopefulness. 

But in the midst of rest and relaxation, Mrs. Fry did not for- 
get her objects ; she called on the pasleur at Grindenvald, found 
his flock large, scattered, and she feared, ignorant. The Bible 
Society's operations did not appear to have reached this place ; 
Bibles being scarce amongst them, and so expensive as to be 
unattainable by these poor people, especially from their prefe- 
rence for folio Bibles with clasps, which they consider a sort of 

One Sunday was passed at Brienz, where they had the unex- 
pected pleasure of meeting some of Mrs. Pry's excellent friends 
of theMackenzie family from Edinburgh^ and of spending a quiet 
day together, concluded by a reading in the evening. The pastor 
of this place was also visited, and the condition of his flock in- 
quired into. On a previous occasion when on the Lake of 
Brienz, a poor boy who rowed the boat, told her that his mo- 
ther lay sick in a cottage he pointed out. It rested on her 
mind, and in crossing the lake to return to Bonigen, she 
landed not without difficulty, accompanied by the wife of the 
pasteur of Brienz. They found the poor woman very ill on a 
mattress, spread in the gallery of her cottage, with her Bible 
by her side ; she was an afflicted discouraged Christian woman 
to whom the few words of encouragement offered were very 
timely, to strengthen that which, through bodily sufiering, 
seemed almost ready to die. The temporal wants were not for- 
gotten, and the case was left under the care of the pastor's 

1839.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 327 

Whilst at Sonigen^ ' the landlord of the little inn and his 
family attended their Sunday evening readings. On one of 
these occasions a peasant girl was with them who appeared 
pious and afflicted ; her name was Madelina £auss. She came 
from a neighhouring village to seek council of Mrs. Fry. 
Madelina and her mother had joined themselves to a little hody 
of pious people^ Pietists, somewhat resembling Methodists, 
seceders from the National Church. The father, a coarse igno- 
rant man, vehemently threatened his wife, and turned his 
daughter out of doors to earn her own livelihood, which she 
did by weaving for nine French sous a day. Good people from 
Berne had interfered on their behalf, but had only made mat- 
ters worse. It so fell out that about this time a certain small 
old-fashioned black-letter German newspaper reached the little 
inn at Bdnigen, the host and his household were startled therein 
to find a long account of his guests, a history of Mrs. Fry, 
" her works and labours" of love, concluding with her visit to 
the Oberland of Berne and residence at the Herr Mitchell s 
country inn. After careful perusal, it occurred to the worthy 
host that in his inmates he had found the very people to rectify 
the wrongs of poor Madelina, and restore peace in her parents' 
dwelling, persons in his opinion not to be resisted by Henrich 
Kauss, the peasant of Wildersewyl, to whom he advised that a 
visit should forthwith be made. When the carriage came to 
convey the party, he insisted on driving it himself arrayed in 
his holiday costume. The interview with the family was 
quite pathetic. The father laid the v fault of his violence and 
severity on the grandfather, and he on the schoolmaster ; but a 
little kind and wise conciliation sufficed to bring them all to tears; 
they wept and kissed, and Herr Mitchell wept for sympathy. 
After which Mrs. Fry had a religious time with Madelina, her 
mother and a few of their neighbours, leaving them with the 


thankful belief that they had been permitted to act the blessed 
part of peacemakers. 

After leaying Bonigen, Mrs. Fry was met at Than by Miss 
Werstemburger^ and in the evening Mr. Felemburgh, the chap- 
lain of the prison at Berne arrived there also, a few important 
hours devoted to prison subjects was beautifully concluded by 
reading and prayer, in which Mr. Felemburgh took part. 

Zurich, Eighth Months 25/A. — ^We left our sweet little home 
at Bdnigen, on the banks of the Lake of Brienz, last Fourth- 
day. I felt refreshed by our visit to this lovely country. I think 
my prayers have been heard and answered, in its being a very 
uniting time with those most tenderly beloved by me. We have 
had some interesting communications with serious persons in 
the humble walk of Ufe, who reside in that neighbourhood. We 
have desired to aid them spiritually and temporally, but the 
difficulty of communication has been very great, from want of 
suitable interpreters; stiU, I trust, that some were edified and 
comforted* I also hope our circulation of books and tracts has 
been useful, and the establishment of at least one library at 
Brienz, for the use of the labouring classes. We have travelled 
along gently and agreeably by Lucerne, and through a delight- 
ful country. 

The state of things at the time of their visit to Zurich, both 
religiously and politically, was very peculiar. A few months 
before the government had appointed Professor Strauss to the 
Theological chair, an avowed unbeliever. This appointment 
was so violently opposed by the majority of the population, 
Protestant as well as Roman Gatholic, that the Professor was 
obliged to withdraw, and the chair remained vacant. Those in 
power finding themselves thus thwarted in their intentions, 
resorted to the expedient of placing masters, unsound in matters 
of faith, in the national schools. The pastors of the evangelical 
section considered it their duty to institute a society, or central 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FfiY. 829 

committee, to counteract so fearful an evil* The very day 
before Mrs. Fry arrived in Zurich, orders had been issued by 
the government to prohibit and put down all meetings in their 
districts. To convene and hold meetings is one of the funda- 
mental rights of the Zurichois, which the magistrates on taking 
office are sworn to maintain inviolate. Some of them declared 
they would not break this oath. During the travellers' tarriance 
these parties remained in this position, but a few days after 
they left the place, a civil war broke out, and a fearful struggle 
ensued before, by the interposition of the more moderate, even 
external order could be established. 

The morning of their departure from Zurich, the venerable 
Mr. Oesner (Antistes, or Prelate of the Canton), and many 
others, called to take leave. This apostolic old man pronounced 
a wonderful blessing on Mrs. Fry, to which she replied in terms 
that caused the bystanders to weep aloud. A tedious journey 
of four days, through very wet weather, brought the travellers 
to Stuttgard ; here the impediment of the language was great, 
few of those to whom their letters were delivered speaking either 
French or English. They proceeded to Ludwigsburg for 

Ludwigsiurfft (a few miles from Stuttgard), Ninth Month, 
Ist. — On the evening of the day that I wrote at Zurich, we went 
with our very dear friend La Baronne Pelet, afterwards joined by 
the Baron, to the house of that ancient devoted pasteur, Gesner. 
His wife was the daughter of that excellent servant of the Lord, 
Lavater. We met a large number of persons, I believe generally 
serious. I had proposed to myself speaking on the Prison sub- 
ject, but my way opened differently ; to enlarge upon the state 
of the Protestant Church in France, to encourage all its mem- 
bers to devotedness ; and particularly in that place, where deep 
trials have been their portion, from their Government uphold- 
ing infidelity and infidel men. At the close of the Meeting, 
our venerable friend, Gesner, spoke in a lively, powerful man- 

330 MEMOm OF THE LIFE [1B39. 

ner, and avowed his belief that the Lord Himself had enabled 
me to express what I had done, it was so remarkably " the 
word in season." I paid, also, a satisfactory religious visit to 
the female prisoners in the afternoon. The next morning I 
visited the head magistrate, represented the evils I had ob- 
served, and saw some ladies about visiting prisons. We after- 
wards went a sweet expedition on the Lake, with our beloved 
friends the Baron and Baroness Pelet Early in the evening, 
I set off with a dear girl — great grand-daughter to Lavater, and 
grand-daughter to Pasteur Gesner — Barbara listen, in a curious 
little carriage to pay some visits, and to spend an evening at 
the house of the aunt of Matilda Escher, another interesting 
young woman, with whom I had become acquainted, I believe 
providentially, at an inn near Interlachen. I had no one with 
me but strangers, as my dear family stayed with the Baron and 
Baroness Pelet at my desire ; but I felt not among strangers, 
because those who love the Lord Jesus are dear to me^ and in 
our holy Head we are one. I can hardly express, on this 
journey, how much I have found this to be the case. The 
love, the unity, and the home feeling, I have had with those I 
never saw before ; and I have also found how little it matters 
where we are^ for *' where the God of peace is^ there is home.** 

A letter to Mr. Klett, resident Inspector of the Prison at 
Ludwigsburgh, was delivered, and half-past seven o'clock the 
next morning, appointed for her visit to that place. There a 
Swiss lad of eighteen years of age, was in waiting to act as in- 
terpreter. The women, though it was Sunday, were engaged 
in needlework by order of the King, — a sad sight in a Protes- 
tant country. They also visited an Orphan Asylum ; and in 
the evening again went to the prison. The women are well in- 
structed> by a devoted lady who spends her life in this service. 
They appeared in a tender, feeling state of mind, and a solemn 
reading of the Scriptures impressed them much. 

Cologne, Ninth MofUh, Sth. — At Frankfort, we met with a 

1889.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 331 

most cordial reception from our dear friend Dr. Finkerton and 
his family, they treated us in the most handsome manner, and 
with true Christian kindness. Their warm-heartedness, their 
piety, and their cultivated minds, rendered their society delight- 
ful. We had one evening a large party at their house, where 
much passed of an interesting nature, and I fully helieve that 
we were hlessed together. I also visited the prisons— all sad, 
(with one exception). I hope the prisoners will he visited in 
consequence, and a stall opened in the town for the sale of 
Bibles and tracts. 

A rapid journey from Frankfort brought the travellers to 
Ostend. They landed at Dover on the 12th of September. 

Upton Lane, Ninth Months 22nd. — ^We arrived here in the 
evening of the 1 3th, in health and peace, and found the numerous 
members of our beloved family generally well and prospering. 
Nothing appears to have suffered from our absence ; for this, 
we may reverently return thanks. 

Lynn, Tenth Month, 20tA. — I am sitting in BacheFs little 
8itting*room, on the Sabbath morning. I am thankful it has 
pleased my heavenly Father to direct my steps to this place at 
this time. I did desire and pray to be directed, as to the time 
of coming here. 

First'day, Eleventh Month, lOM. — My time at Lynn was 
fipent very satisfactorily with my beloved children and grand- 
children, and my attention particularly occupied by the intention 
they had, of our dear eldest grandson going into ibe army. My 
prayers were first offered in secret, that my Lord would open some 
way of escape from a life, that I felt to be so unchristian and 
fearful a one. At first I said litde, but kept my heart much 
lifted up on his account ; but afterwards, I fully represented my 
views to him and to his parents, and I found they had great 
weight with them. I partook of rather unusually sweet spiritual 
unity and intercourse with these dear children, much as they out- 
wardly differ from me in many things, still we are, I believe, 
united in some most essential points of religious truth. My dear 
grandson Frank and I visited Earlham together, where I highly 

832 M£M01B OF THE LtFE [1839. 

valued the eompany of my sisters, Catherine and Bichenda;, also 
of the rest of the party. I travelled home with my dear niece, 
Catherine Buxton. 

Upton, First-day, Twelfth Month, 8th. — ^I, yesterday, had 

some intimate conversation with Captain , who has just 

joined, or is about to join the Plymouth Brethren ; with a 
young lady, a follower of Edward living ; with another kdy, a 
high Church woman ; and with Josiah Forster, an elder in oar 
portion of the church; I cannot say, but that it is at times an 
exercise of my faith, to find the diversities of opinions existing 
amongst the professors of Christianity, and not only the pro- 
fessors, but those who I believe really love their Lord ; but my 
better judgment tells me, that there must be a wise purpose in 
its being so. These divisions into families and tribes may 
tend to the life and growth of religion, which, if we were aU of 
one mind, might not be the case. But whilst I see these dif- 
ferences, I perceive that there is but one Christianity, one 
Body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one 
faith and one baptism, one God and Father of all. All true 
members of the Church of Christ are, and must be one in 
Him, and the results we see the same everywhere. Love to 
God and love to man, manifested in Ufe and conduct ; and how 
strikingly proved in death, as well as in life, that victory is 
obtained through the same Saviour, that in the dying hour 
death loses its sting and the grave its victory. Therefore, if 
we believe and know our hearts to be cleansed by the blood of 
Christ, and through the power of the Holy Ghost Uve to His 
glory, bearing the fruits of faith, it matters little, in my estima- 
tion, to what religious denomination we belong, so that we 
mind our calling, and fill the place our Lord would have us to 
fill, in His Militant Church on earth. 

I have had very satisfactory letters from the Continent, 
in which it appears, in various ways, that our visit has been 
blessed in many places — Committees formed to visit prisoners 
—Prisons improved* The minds of prisoners appear to have 
been seriously impressed, encouragement given to some who 
wanted it, and, I trust, by what I hear, many stimulated in 
their progress heavenward. 

1839.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 833 

I visited Lord Nonnanby, our Home Secretary, a few days 
since, and met with a most cordial reception ; and found, in con- 
sequence of some suggestions that I had offered, a material 
improvement likely to take place in the arrangements for our 
female convicts ; that they are to he sent from the country, after 
trial, to the Milbank Penitentiary, to he employed and in- 
structed, previous to their going abroad. He also very kindly 
attended to some other things of secondary importance, about 
which I was anxious to communicate with him* 


1840, 1841. — Audience of tbe Queen ^Meeting in London — Leaves 
home for the Continent — Ostend — Brussels —Antwerp — Amsterdam 
— Zwolle— Minden and Pyrmont — ^Hanover — Berlin — Leipzig — Dus- 
seldorf — Return home — Yearly Meeting — Anti-Slavery Society Meet- 
ing — Dying hours of a relative — Isle of Wight — Parkhurst— Nuningf 
sisters— Illness of a son — ^Niger Expedition — Silent and Solitary 
System — Dangerous illness of a daughter. 

First Month, 26th, 1840. — An eventful time in pnhlic and 
private life. Our young Queen is to be married to Prince Albert, 
She has sent me a present of fifty pounds for our Refuge at 
Chelsea, by Lord Normanby. Political commotions about the 
country — riots in Wales — much religious stir in the Church of 
England, numbers of persons becoming much the same as Roman 
Catholics — Popish doctrines preached openly in many of our 
churches — ^infidel principles, in the form of Socialism, gaining 

The prospect of returning to the Continent, with my brother 
Samuel Gumey, is rather bright to me, William Allen and 
Lucy Bradshaw's company will be very desirable, and I fully 
expect to find them all true helpers in the Lord. The only 
real drawback, that I know of, is the state of health of some of 
my children ; but I leave it all to my Heavenly Father, who 
governs all in Mercy, according to the purpose of His own will ; 
and I desire, as Leighton advises, to roll all my cares upon Him, 
more particularly the cares appertaining to duty. We have 
many and very great causes for thankfulness ; and surely our 
latter days are our brightest days. In the midst of dark and 
heavy trials, I used to believe this would be the case. 

Under a sweet feeling of Thy merciful and providential care 
over us, and Thy gentle dealings towards us, most gracious Lord 
God, I humbly return Thee thanks, and ask Thee in faith, and in 


the name of oar Redeemer, to continue to bo with us, to keep 
us, and bless us, and more abundantly to bestow upon us the 
gifts of Thine own Holy Spirit, that we may faithfully fill the 
office Thou mayst call us into, to Thy glory, the good of others, 
and the spreading of the Truth as it is in Jesus; also, be 
pleased, not only to bestow on us the gifts^ but also the graces 
of Thy Spirit, that in meekness and deep humility, and much 
patience and long-suffering, we may walk worthy of Thee, who 
hast called us to Thy kingdom and glory. And now, Holy 
Father, under a fresh feeling of Thy love, Thy pity, and Thine 
unmerited mercy towards us, I commend my husband, my self, 
children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and their children, 
and all my beloved friends at home and abroad, and all who 
love Thy name and fear Thee, particularly the afflicted and 
tempted, to Thy most Holy keeping ; and I also pray Thee, for 
the sake of Thy beloved Son Christ Jesus our Saviour, who 
tasted death for every man, to regard for good the world at 
large, especially those who yet sit in darkness. Lift up the 
light of Thy blessed and holy countenance upon these and all 
wanderers, that they may behold Thy beauty and excellency, 
and come to the knowledge of Thyself and Thy dear Son. So 
be it, most merciful Lord God, that the day may hasten for- 
ward, when the knowledge of Thyself and Thy Christ, through 
the power of Thy Spirit, may cover the earth, even as the waters 
cover the sea ! Amen. 

Mrs. Fry had not returned the certificate which she had re- 
ceived from the Meetings of Friends for her Continental journey 
in 1839. She had, when she asked for it, some expectation of 
prolonging her travels into Germany, but her objects in France 
occupied so much more time than she had anticipated, that she 
was under the necessity of returning to England. But she did 
not abandon the idea, and the time seemed now approaching, 
when she might again leave home with satisfaction. Her brother 
Samuel Gumey, his daughter Elizabeth, and her friend William 
Allen, with his niece Lucy Bradshaw, accompanied her. 

336 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

Upton, Second Month, Ist. — I am called to visit our yonng 
Queen to-day, in company with William Allen, and I hope my 
brother Samuel also. 

We went to Buckingham Palace, and saw the Queen. Our 
interview was short. Lord Normanby, the Home Secretary, pre- 
sented us. The Queen asked us where we were going on the 
Oontinent. She said it was some years since she saw me. She 
asked about Caroline Neave's Befuge, for which she had lately 
sent the fifty pounds. This gave me an opportunity of thanking 
her. I ventured to express my satisfaction that she encouraged 
various works of charity; and I said it reminded me of the 
words of scripture, " with the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself 
merciful." Before we withdrew, I stopped and said, I hoped the 
Queen would allow me to assure her, that it was our prayer 
that the blessing of God might rest upon the Queen and her 

Our beloved daughter Louisa was confined on Fourth-day. 
The babe, a lovely girl, breathed for twenty«four hours, and then 
died. They had the child named and baptised. I happened to 
be present, and certainly some of the prayers were very solemn, 
and such as I could truly unite with ; but part of the ceremony 
appeared to me superstitious, and having a strong savour of the 
dark ages of the Church. I have for some time believed that 
duty would call me to have a meeting in London and the neigh- 
bourhood, previous to leaving home. I see many difficulties 
attached to it, and perhaps none so much, as my great fear of 
women coming too forward in these things, beyond what the 
Scripture dictates; but I am sure the Scripture most clearly and 
forcibly lays down the principle that the Spirit is not to be 
grieved, or quenched, or vexed, or resisted; and on this principle 
I act, under the earnest desire that I may not do this, but that 
whatever the Lord leads me into by His Spirit may be done 
fidthfully to Him, and in His name ; and I am of opinion, 
that nothing Paul said, to discourage women's speaking in the 
Churches, alluded to their speaking through the help of the 
Spirit, as he clearly gave directions how they should conduct 
themselves under such circumstances, when they prayed or 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 337 

In a letter written a few days afterwards, a lady who was 
present, not a Friend, described that Meeting : " It was really 
a most impressive occasion — the large fine circular building 
filled — not less, I should think, than fifteen hundred present. 
She began by entreating the sympathy and supplications of those 
present I cannot tell you how mine flowed forth on her behalf. 
After her prayer, we sat still for some time, then William Allen 
spoke, and then she rose, giving as a text, ' Yield yourselves 
unto God, as those that are alive from the dead ;' and uncom- 
monly fine was her animated yet tender exhortation to all 
present, but more especially the young, to present themselves as 
living sacrifices to the Lord, — to be made of Him new creatures 
in Ghrist— the old things passed away, and all things become 
new as those alive firom the dead. This change she dwelt and 
enlarged on much ; its character, and the Power that alone can 
e£Pect it; the duty demanded of us — * Yield yourselves;' and its 
infinite and eternal blessedness. I was astonished and deeply im- 
pressed; the feeling was, ' surely God is amongst us of a truth/ " 

In the carriage on board the steam*boat going to Ostend : — 

Sec(md Month, 26tK 1840. 

My dearest Husband and Children, 

Here I am by myself, none of our companions liking the 
carriage ; my brother Samuel and Lucy Bradshaw near me on 
the deck. The sun shines brightly ,^-the wind and tide quite 
contrary to us, — the sea not very rough,— Calais in sight, — the 
birds delighting themselves on the waves, and I feeling much 

I desire to recount my mercies to you, inasmuch as at this 
moment separated irom so many so dearly beloved, I am quiet, 
peaceful, hopeful, and well in health, neither faint nor sick with 
the sea, but my quiet time alone in the carriage refreshing and 
pleasant to me. 

I think I must not say more, therefore farewell for the present. 
Surely goodness and mercy have thus far followed me. 

VOL. n. z 

838 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

Ostend. — Here we may thankfully say we are, after a not un- 
favourable voyage of eleven hours. I feel the water separating 
us, but we are united in heart, and I may gratefully say I believe 
I am in my right place ; every thing most comfortable for us. 
I send what I wrote in the packet, hoping yon can read it. 

Farewell in nearest love, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Ostend, Second Month, 27ih, finished Ghent, 29th. 

We are favoured with a bright morning, and we may thank- 
fully say that our spirits are permitted to partake of the same 
brightness. I have a sweet feeling of being in the right place. 
An order is come from the Belgian Government for us to visit 
their prisons. So the way opens before us ; and though I give 
up much to enter these services, and feel leaving my most 
tenderly beloved ones, yet there is such a sense of the blessed- 
ness of the service, and the honour of doing the least thing for 
my Lord, unworthy as I am, that it often brings a peculiar 
feeling of health, (if I may so say) as well as peace to my body, 
soul and spirit. 

My brother Samuel is a capital travelling companion, so 
zealous, so able, so willing, so generous; and I find dear Elizabeth 
sweet, pleasant and cheering. Bruges is a delightful old town ; 
such exquisite buildings — they delighted my eye. Here we 
visited the English Convent, where, to our surprise, we could 
only speak through a grating. We had a good deal of con- 
versation with dear S. P 's sister and the Superior. They 

appeared very interesting women. We talked about their 
shutting-in system. I expressed my disapprobation of it as a 
general practice, and one liable to such great abuse. I sent 
them some books, and mean to send more. We also visited a 
large school, to the great pleasure and amusement of the 
children, your uncle gave them all a present. They could not 
the least understand our language, as they speak Flemish. 

We have been much interested, this morning, in visiting the 
Maison de Force ; it is a very excellent prison of considerable 
size, but wants some things very much. We have since been 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 339 

occupied mth the numerous English here. They are without 
pasteur or school^ and quite in a deplorable state. We propose 
having a meeting with them of a religious and philanthropic 
nature^ and hope to establish some schools, &c., amongst them. 
May the blessing of the Most High abundantly rest on you all. 
TourSy in a close bond that I trust will never be broken. 

E. F. 

Brussels, Third Month, 1st, 

My dearest Husband and Children, 

We left Ghent on Seventh-day, about half-past two o'clock, 
after visiting a most deplorable prison, where we found a cell with 
the floor and sides formed of angular pieces of wood, so that no 
prisoner could stand, lie down, or lean against the wall, without 
suffering. We also visited a lunatic asylum, so beautifully con- 
ducted, that I more took the impression of how happy such per- 
sons may be made than I ever did before. They are cared for 
by the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. After rather a slow 
journey, we arrived here to dinner, at six o'clock. 

Ghent, Third Month, Srd, — Here we are once more — we have 
visited another large prison for the military ; and had a very 
interesting Meeting with the English workmen, their wives and 
children. I am glad to say, they conclude for us to send them 
schoolmasters. We had flocks after us last evening, English 
and Belgians — I suppose about seventy : they appeared to be 
touched by our reading. I observe how much the English 
appear impressed on these occasions. Our little party are very 
comfortable, and each has plenty to do. 

Farewell, yours indeed, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Antwerp, Third Month, 6th, 

My dearest Husband and Children, 

Upon our return to Brussels from Ghent, we visited the great 
prison of Vilvorde, where we were met by Count Arrivabene, a 
very interesting Italian, who has been our most kind and attentive 

z 2 

840 MBHOIB OF THB LIFB [1840. 

friend in Bnissels. He is a great philanthropist, and is likely 
soon to visit England. We gave many of our little Scripture 
extracts to the prisoners. We got home to dinner, and spent the 
evening at the Baron de Bois', where we met several pleasant 
persons. The pictures were beautiful : the Dutch and Flemish 
masters are to me very attractive. The next day we visited many 
large institutions. We had company to dinner ; and a consi- 
derable number of Belgians, poor and rich, came to an Evening 
Meeting at our hotel. The next day was one of no common 
interest After some engagements in the morning, breakfasting 
out, &c., we visited the King, who held out both his hands to 
receive me with real kindness, and appeared quite pleased to see 
me again. Our party were William Allen, my brother Samuel, 
J. Forster, and myself; and before we left, Lucy Bradshaw and 
dear Elizabeth were admitted to see him. We first had a very 
interesting conversation on the state of the prisons, and your 
uncle read the Eling our address to him upon the subject ; when 
the part was read expressing our desire for him, the Queen and 
his family, he appeared to feel it. We had open, interesting 
communication upon many subjects. We remained nearly an 
hour* The Queen was unwell, and the children asleep, therefore 
I did not see them. We gave the King several books for himself 
and the Queen. After we returned home we had engagements 
until near dinner-time. We were invited by Count Arrivabene 
to dine with one of the first Belgian families. I felt it rather 
fearful, when, to my surprise after dinner, I was seated by the 
Dean of Brussels, surrounded by the company, and told that I 
was permitted to speak openly upon my religious views. Indeed, 
I think the wish was, that I should preach to them. This was 
curious, because I was warned on going to say nothing about 
religion. Preach I did not — as I do not feel that, at my com* 
maud; but I spoke very seriously about the Scriptures not being 
read in the prisons, and endeavoured to show in few words what 
alone can produce change of heart, life, and conduct, and the 
danger of resting in forms. We parted in much good-will, and 
we sent the Dean and the ladies books. In the evening we had 
a philanthropic party at our hotel. The next morning, a large, 


1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 841 

very solemn and interesting religions Meeting, also at the hoteL 
We left Brussels in much peace {rejoicing would not be too 
strong a word). In nearest love. 

From the journal of her niece, Elizabeth Gumey : — 

" Brussels, March 6 th.— We expect to end our very interesting 
visit in this place to-day. Had I a hundred times more power 
of writing, I could not initiate you into our life here. A great 
Meeting is now assembling in the Table d'Hote salon, fitted up 
by our landlord for the occasion. This is to be our farewell 
Meeting. We have had a very full morning, partly employed in 
distributing books. The servants at the palace sent an entreaty 
that they might not be overlooked. I wish you could have seen 
us looking out a good variety for about sixty of them. 

" Yesterday began with a full tide of business. They were to 
see the King at twelve o'clock. My aunt looked beautifully. 
He is a particularly pleasing-looking man, rather older than I 
expected. The Duchess of Kent had kindly written to the Eing> 
to say, that my aunt was likely to visit Brussels. 

'' I must tell you about our dinner at M. le Gomte de ^ 

the first Roman Catholic family here. We were taken there by 
our kind friend Count Arrivabeno. The party consisted of 
fifteen persons, only two speaking English. Amongst them was 
the Dean, the head of the Church here, under the Bishop of 
Malines. Much that was interesting passed. The Dean and 
our aunt seated themselves in a comer of the room, and by 
degrees the whole party gathered round ; the Count and Josiah 
Forster interpreting by turns. It was a critical thing to know 
what to say, as the conversation became more and more of a 
religious nature. She began on the prisons — ^prevention of crime 
— how much the upper classes are often the cause, by example, 
of the sins of the lower ; related a few of her prison facts as proofs, 
and finally ended by saying, ' Will the Dean allow me to speak 
my mind candidly V His permission being given, and that of 
the Count and Countess, she began by expressing the sincere 
interest that she felt for the inhabitants of this city, and how 

842 MEMOIB OF THE LIFE [1840. 

much she had been desiring for them> ' that as a people, they 
might each place less confidence in men and in the forms of 
religion, and look to Christ with an entire and simple faith.' 
The priest said nothing ; but tamed the subject, and asked what 
the views of the Quakers were ? upon which Josiah Forster gave 
them a short account in French, which appeared to interest 
them all." 

Ameterdam, TMrd Month, I4th, 

My dearest Husband and Children, 

I think you have not heard of our departure from Brussels, 
and of the great kindness of our dear friends, who shed tears at 
parting. At Antwerp we visited a prison in a deplorable state, 
where much evil, I fear, is going on ; and two excellent institu- 
tions, one for old women, under the care of Sisters of Charity. 
Their comfort, order, and cleanliness, were great indeed ; and I 
think I never saw so much appearance of religion in a Boman 
Catholic institution. One poor old woman took up her rosary^ 
and pointed to the beads that were to be prayers for me after I 
was gone ; they almost all appeared to be meditating, praying, or 
working. My dear brother and myself then visited a Refuge 
for poor girls, in the most beautiful order, kept by ladies (not 
nuns) who give up their time and fortune to attend to this 
Christian duty. Such perfect arrangements for moral good, I 
have seldom, if ever, seen in a Befuge. It is inspected day and 
night by the ladies. The girls are well employed, and receive 
some instruction, but, sad to say, the Scriptures forbidden. 

Our journey to Rotterdam was over one continued marsh; 
the road raised considerably above the level. Rotterdam appears 
half water and half land ; it has a curious effect. John MoUett 
met us, a valuable, cheerful and bright old man. On Third- 
day we visited a large Prison for boys, capitally taught by 
geutlemen, who daily visit them, and by an excellent school- 
master. Your dear uncle and I gave them an exhortation, 
to which they were very attentive. 

Mrs. Fry's observations on this prison were as follows : — 


1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 343 

It contains about two hundred and forty boys. 
The building not suitable. 
An excellent scbool, and good master. 
Visited daily by a gentlemen's committee. 
Proportion that returns to the prison small. 
They appear to be well fed and clothed. 
A hammock for each boy, two rows one above another. 
No inspection by night, except an ofiGicer watching round, and 
looking through a grating into the lighted rooms. 
Divided into three classes. 
Three courts for them to walk in. 
Good employment when not at lessons. 
They do not go to bed until nine o'clock. 
Medical attendant and infirmary we thought not very good. 
Attended by Protestant and Boman Catholic chaplains. 

There was another prison, under the same roof, for women, but 
solely under the care of men. A considerable number of highly- 
respectable Dutch gentlemen and ladies came in the evening, 
and a few English; amongst them a delightful clergyman. We 
closed our evening much as at Paris, with a short reading. 

The next morning Sir Alexander Femer, our English 
Minister, visited us. We then went over land and water to a 
great female prison, about twelve miles from Rotterdam. Such 
country not only I never saw, but hardly could have imagined ; 
small pieces of land, evidently raised out of a bed of water by 
the art of man ; a field, perhaps fifteen or twenty yards square 
with water round it, perhaps four yards wide, and a little further 
oflF a body of water quite a large lake on one side, and a river 
on the other. They have good farm-houses on these pieces of 
land, and bridges made to turn round ; so they are thrown across 
the water by day, and turned on to the land by night. I really 
hked the perfect novelty of the scene. Gouda, the place of 
our destination, is a curions old Dutch town, witli a church of 
great beauty and celebrity, said to contain the finest painted 
glass in Europe. We went to the female prison ; there were 
three hundred prisoners under the care of two women, lately 
introduced, and five men, and never watched at night by any one. 

844 MBMOIB OF THE LIFE [1840. 

They are yiaited by two very interestmg ladies, (Madame yenve 
Van Meerten, and Madlle. H. M. de Graves), and some gentle- 
men. We were received, by about six gentlemen and these two 
ladies, with the greatest kindness ; coffee ready for ns at the 
prison. Such a curious place I never saw; we had to ascend 
story upon story, by stairs little better than ladders, and at the 
very top we found three great rooms in the roof, where the 
women worked ; two were attended by a female officer, the other 
was without. We spoke to them, which they appeared to feel, 
their tears running down their faces. It was most evident, 
through every disadvantage, that great good resulted firom the 
ladies' visits, and their labours had been much blessed. The 
next morning we went to the Hague, and dined that day at 
the English Minister's Sir Edward Disbrowe. We became ac- 
quainted with a very superior Dutch fSunily, and a good many 
other persons. We visited a sad prison, in company with several 
gentlemen, in the morning ; and a considerable number came to 
us in the afternoon, trying to form committees to visit prisons. 
The Secretary of the Interior came in the morning, and we had a 
thorough prison conversation with him. In the evening we went 
to a large religious party, at the house of the French pasteur ; 
here I took a part which appeared to be very well accepted ; the 
pasteur prayed for us. We then drank tea in a very beautiful 
Dutch house, with a rich, but excellent gentleman, his wife, and 
some other choice persons. The next morning we set off for this 
place, visiting the large military prison at Leyden, where we 
saw the excellent effect of the Scriptures being freely read. Our 
Sabbath ended highly satisfactorily ; we had a very large Dutch 
company, an English clergyman and Scotch minister ; after our 
reading, and William Allen and myself had spoken, a gentle- 
man got up, and in a powerftil, encouraging and beautiful man- 
ner, expressed his unity with us, and satisfaction in our visit. 
He is, they say, a very pious, devoted and learned man, a mer- 
chant here. We then ended in prayer. 

I am yours, in tender love, and desire that the best of 
blessings may be with you. 

E. F. 

1840.] OF ELIZABBTH FRY. 845 

Although 60 many cirouiQBtanoes oocuired to encourage her, 
Mrs. Fry often went heavily on her way, feeling delicate in 
health, and oppressed in spirit A letter from Dr. Bosworth, 
with whom she had become acquainted at Rotterdam, was very 
consoling to her. 

" Before I answer your questions, let me discharge a debt of 
gratitude, which I and my wife owe to you and your friends, for 
your benevolent exertions in Rotterdam. You have excited 
amongst us, and have left, I trust, an abiding Christian aflec- 
tion. We feel we are brethren, unite in the same good cause of 
our adorable Saviour, that of promoting ^ peace on earth, and 
good-will to men.' How soon will the wood, hay, and stubble 
of party be burnt up, and what is built on the Bock of Ages 
remain, &c., &c. We are here in a parched wilderness, but 
your visit has brought a refreshing dew, and may it abide with 

To HER Youngest Son. 

AmBterdam, TTurd Month, I9th. 
My dearest Harry, 
We find this a very interesting place. How amused you 
would all be at some of our curious Meetings. The other even- 
ing we went to drink tea at the house of a converted Jew, where 
we met numbers of the Pietists ; he read the 14th chapter of 
John in French, I spoke, and gave a little advice on Christian 
love and unity ; then the Jew spoke, and another Jew prayed, 
and afterwards William Allen. The serious, the sweet, the 
good, and the ludicrous were curiously mixed up together. Yes- 
terday was very full: first company, breakfast and reading, 
then preparation for two meetings, one for prisons in the after- 
noon, and one in the evening for philanthropic objects, &c. ; at 
three o'clock about twenty gentlemen came to discuss with us 
the state of the prisons of Holland, an excellent meeting. A 
gentleman named Surengar was present, who has followed us 
from Rotterdam, and has kindly invited us to his house in the 
North of Holland. Your uncle is very clever in his speeches, 

346 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

and real knowledge of the subject. I received blessing and 
thanks from many, far too much ; our visit appears most sea- 
sonable here, so much wanting to be done in the prisons, and 
other things. 

Fifth-day morning, — ^We went to our Friends' Meeting, when 
we arrived the numbers round the door were so great that we 
doubted whether we could get in, however, way was soon made 
for us, and we found a large and highly respectable congrega- 
tion needing no interpreter. We had certainly a flowing Meet- 
ing in every sense, I think the cup flowed over with Christian 
love. I believe it has been a most unusual thing the way in 
which hearts have been opened towards us. I then went off to 
the prison to launch the Committee of Ladies in visiting it, 
several gentlemen also with me. I had just time to go home, 
rest and dress, and set off to a dinner at our firiend Van der 
Hope's, where there are the most exquisite paintings by the 
Dutch masters. I think I never saw any so much to my taste. 

I can assure thee, my dearest Harry, when I see how ripe 
the fields are unto harvest every where, I long and pray that 
more labourers may be brought into this most interesting, im- 
portant, and, may I not say, delightful service, but there must 
be a preparation for it, by yielding to the cross of Christ, and 
often deep humiliations and much self-abasement are needful, 
before the Lord makes much use of us, but above all, we must 
yield ourselves to God, as " those that are alive from the dead ;" 
He will then fit for His own work in His own way. 

Dearest love to all of you, 
I am, thy most tenderly attached mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

ZwoUe, Third Month, 22nd. 
My Dearest husband and Children, 

Since I sent my long letter to Harry, we have visited Utrecht. 
We had invited different persons to the hotel, but as none ap- 
peared likely to come, we sat down industriously in our travel- 
ling trim to our employments, when to our surprise, gentlemen 
and ladies began to assemble, and we had quite a large party. 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 847 

vrho were so much interested that we agreed fully to open our 
doors the next evening to any one who liked to come. We had 
indeed a very full day in prospect, and could only look upwards 
for help, mentally and hodily. First we visited a Lunatic Asy- 
lum, a very interesting and superior one, then we went to Zeist, 
a large Moravian settlement, about five miles from Utrecht ; here 
we remained some hours, and had some weighty business to lay 
before the elders ; my desire for them is, that they may turn 
their powers to more account. In the evening we went to tea 
with a lady and found about twenty to meet us. When I fol- 
lowed my brother and Elizabeth to the hot^l about eight o'clock, 
you may suppose I felt scarcely equal to encounter a party of 
eighty-two persons, whom I found assembled in the large room. 
My heart was almost ready to sink ; however we began by a 
capital speech of my brother's on slavery, showing them the 
importance of liberating the slaves in their colonies ; then John 
MoUet spoke in French ; afterwards my poor self, first upon 
prisons, with all appertaining, then their schools, little or no 
Scripture being allowed in the public ones, about this I spoke 
most strongly. We ended with Scripture reading and exhorta- 
tion : there was great attention paid^ and much love shown 
to us. 

Believe me^ your most tenderly attached, 

E. F. 

From Zwolle, the travellers went to Minden, to visit a small 

body of Friends resident there, as well as the larger congrega- 
tion at Pyrmont. 

Minden, Third Month, 28th,— We left Zwolle on Second- 
day, the 2drd, and slept at a true German inn — ^neither carpet 
nor curtain. Our night was disturbed, still we did well. The 
next day we set off in good time, and travelled until twelve 
o'clock ; we did not settle till two in the morning. I think I 
have not yet recovered the fatigue, not having slept well one 
night since. We have been interested by the Friends, who are 
much like those of Congenies, but more entirely Friends ; we 
have visited them in almost all their families, and had two Meet- 
ings with them. We have been brought into much sympathy with 

848 MSMOIR OF THB LIFE [1840. 

them^ for they are tried, and I believe a Ohristian people. We 
have this evening had three pastors with us, two of them I 
think spiritual men. Our Meeting was largely attended this 
afternoon, and I can assure you my heart almost failed me, 
being interpreted for in German is so difficult, but we have in 
Auguste Mundhenck, a well educated young Friend, a capital 
interpreter. The Meeting ended well. In my wakeful nights 
I feel solitary, and have you very present with me ; but I hum- 
bly trust He that sleepeUi not is watching over you with tender 

Pyrmonty 29M. — In our way here we visited at Uameln, a 
large prison, under the King of Hanover, almost all the poor 
prisoners, upwards of four hundred in number, heavily chained. 
I told them a little of my deep interest for iheir present and 
everlasting welfare ; they appeared to feel it very much ; one 
poor man, a tall fine figure, with heavy chains on both legs, 
sat weeping like a child. I am just come in from visiting the 
families of Friends ; they are really a very valuable set. I 
longed to take a picture for you of an old Friend with a plain 
skull-cap, either quilted or knitted, a purple handkerchief, a 
striped apron, and the whole appearance truly curious ; but she 
was a sweet old woman full of love. I am really amused, the old 
and young are as fond of me as if T could fully speak to them ; 
the little ones sitting on my lap as if I were their mother, and 
leaning their little heads upon me. A little child about four or 
five said, what happy days they should have when we went to 
see them. We expect a large party this evening. 

80M. — ^We had our party, and understand there were pre- 
sent some of the first persons of the town, besides the master of 
the hotel, his wife, the doctor, the postmaster, the bookbinder, 
the shoemaker, &c., &c., &c. ! We discussed the state of their 
poor, iheir not visiting them, or attending to them ; for it ap* 
pears that visiting the poor is not thought of here. I hope and 
expect our coming will be useful in this respect How curious 
is the variety we meet with, and the different things there are 
to occupy our attention ! 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY« 849 

Hameln— ended Hanover, Fourth Month, 2nd, 

My Dearest Husband and Children, 

Whilst stopping at a small inn, I mean to finish my account 
of our visit to Pyrmont. After I wrote we went shaking on 
such bad roads from house to house, to see the Friends^ that I 
almost feared we must break down. We twice dined with them, 
in their beautifiil spot at Friedensthal, (or the valley of peace,) 
surrounded with hills, and a river flowing through it. Roe- 
bucks wild from the woods abounding. We were very pleasantly 
received. I must describe the dinner. Many Germans were 
present, young and old, and our English party ; the table was 
well covered with cakes, and dried and stewed fruits, the pro- 
duce generally of their grounds. The soup on the table, and 
one large Westphalia ham. We had veal handed round after- 
wards in diflbrent forms ; and plum-puddings, of course for us, 
in the middle of dinner. I much liked the true German hos- 
pitality, and also seeing the mode of living in the country. 
Our visits were very satisfactory to these very valuable and 
agreeable people. Tears and kisses abounded at our departure. 
I must tell you of an interesting event : — ^I went to buy some- 
thing for little John at a shop, where a very agreeable lady 
spoke to me in English, and I was so much attracted by her, 
that I requested her to accept a book, and sent a work on the 
rites and ceremonies of the Jews. I asked her to attend our 
Meeting on Second-day morning. She proved to be a Jewish 
lady of some importance ; she came to Meeting with several 
other Jews, and truly I believe her heart was touched. I invited 
her to come and see us the next evening, when we expected 
several persons to join our party. The following day we agreed 
to form a District Society, to attend to the deplorable state of 
the poor. The Jewish lady capitally helped us, she then ap- 
peared in a feeling state ; but this morning when the ladies met 
to finish our arrangements, and I felt it my place to give them 
a little advice, and my blessing in the name of the Lord, the 
tears poured down her face. I then felt it my absolute duty to 
take her into my room to give her such books as I thought 
right, and to tell her how earnest my desires were that she should 

950 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

come to the knowledge of our Saviour. I think in our whole 
journey no person has appeared to be so affected or so deeply 
impressed ; may it be lasting, and may she become a Christian 
indeed I 

Your much attached, 

E. Fry. 

Hildesheim, Fourth Month, 6th. 
My much beloved Family, 
We left Hanover to-day about five o'clock, after rather a 
singular visit. We arrived there on Fifth-day evening. On 
Sixth and Seventh -day our way did not open quite so brightly as 
sometimes- We saw a deplorable prison; poor untried prison- 
ers chained to the ground until they would confess their crimes, 
whether they had committed them or not, and some other sad 
evils. Several interesting persons came to see us. Seventh-day 
evening we spent at a gentleman's house, where we met some 
very clever and superior persons, and had much important com- 
munication upon their prisons^ &c., &c. On First-day we had 
our little Meetings ; such a tide on a Sabbath I think I hardly 
ever had; it was like being driven down a mighty stream ; we 
had allowed persons to come to us, supposing it would be the last 
day there. I made some calls of Christian love. The principal 
magistrate came for an hour about the prisons, and very many 
other persons. In the evening we had also a party of a select 
nature to our Scripture reading, and after a very solemn time we 
represented many things wanted in Hanover. I forgot to tell you, 
amongst other visitors, the Queen's Chamberlain came to say that 
the Queen wished to see our whole party on Second-day at one 
o'clock. We had proposed going that morning early, but put it 
off on this account. I think I never paid a more interesting 
visit to royalty — my brother Samuel, William AUen, and myself. 
In the first place we were received with ceremonious respect, 
shewn through many rooms to a drawing-room, where were the 
Queen's Chamberlain and three ladies-in-waiting to receive us. 
They showed us some pictures of the family, until Prince George 
and his half-sister came in to us; he appeared much pleased to 
be with me again. His sister appeared a serious and interesting 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 851 

young lady. After some little time we were sent for by the 
Queen; the King was too ill to see us. She is a stately woman, 
taU, large, and rather a fine countenance. We very soon began to 
speak of her afiBictions, and I gave a little encouragement and 
exhortation. She was much affected, and after a little while 
requested us to sit down. We had very interesting and impor- 
tant subjects brought forward: the difiBculties and temptations 
to which rank is subject — the importance of their influence — the 
objects incumbent upon them to attend to and help in, Bible 
Societies, Prisons, &c. We then read our address to the Queen, 
wishing her to patronize ladies visiting the prisons; it contained 
serious advice, and our desires for her, the King, and the Prince ; 
then I gave the Queen several books, which she accepted in the 

kindest manner 

I am indeed, 

Your most tenderly attached, 

E. F. 

At Berlin the travellers found a cordial welcome from all 
ranks of persons. A wonderfal field of usefulness appeared open, 
and many hearts ready to receive them. Much service of various 
descriptions awaited them, some of a peculiarly interesting 
nature. Her gracious and cordial reception by the Eoyal 
Family was very gratifying to Mrs. Fry, and in the Princess 
William, sister to the late King, she found a zealous co-operator 
in her labours on behalf of the prisons. This eminent and 
truly Christian lady had been as a mother to the younger mem- 
bers of the Royal Family after the death of Queen Louisa, and 
in her exalted station she was an example of every good word 
and work. 

From a letter written by her niece :— 

Hotel de Russie, Berlin. 

" Our dear aunt's first evening for philanthropic purposes took 
place on the 18th. There is a splendid room in the hotel, 
capable of containing two hundred persons, where we have our 

352 MEMOIR OF TH£ LIFE [1840. 

r^anioiiB. At one end is raised a low platform ; on this plat- 
form sat my aant, William Allen, Lnoy Bradshaw^ pftpa> and 
Professor TholiLck (a very noted scholar) as interpreter. A fine 
company of the higher classes filled more than half the room. 

''It would be impossible to describe the intense interest and 
eagerness which prevailed when our aunt rose. Papa haying 
introduced her to the assembly, she commenced with the de- 
plorable state of the London Prisons when she was young — her 
own first entering these horrid abodes — the clamour that was raised 
by all parties on her venturing to go in alone and unprotected — 
the shocking state of filth and depravity that the prisons were 
in^ and the violence of the prisoners, the females especially, so 
great, that even the turnkeys hardly dare venture amongst them 
then; she related the quiet way in which she and her compa- 
nions were received, their taking clothing for the children, and 
the respect with which the prisoners treated them. She went on 
to express her own feelings about introducing Christian doctrine 
amongst them. ' Gould it be possible to touch their hearts by 
religious truths ? Shall I venture to read the Holy Scriptures 
to iJiem ? What effect will it produce T 

" The attention of the whole assembly seemed completely 
rivetted by her address. Those that could not understand a 
word, could at least watch her and listen to her voice. She then 
mentioned a few instances of the good that had been effected, and 
the changes that had been brought about through the means of 
the visiting ladies ; such as, commencing public worship amongst 
the prisoners, and instituting matrons over them, &c. She 
ended with a most earnest and eloquent appeal to all to come 
forward in the work, and lend their aid to seek to turn these 
poor sinners from tlie error of their ways, and to take an interest 
in their everlasting welfare. William Allen had previously told 
them the object of their mission, and a little of what they had 
been doing since our arrival in Berlin. Every one wants to 
know about our aunt's history. ' Where does she live ?' * Is 
she married?' And their astonishment is great, when I tell them 
of five-and-twenty grandchildren; this seems to add to the re- 
spect paid to her. 

" The Princess William has been very desirous to give her 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 853 

sanciioDy as far as possible, to the Ladies* Committee for visiting 
the prisons that my aunt has been forming ; and to show her 
fall approbation, had invited the Committee to meet her at her 
palace. Imagine about twenty ladies assembling here, at our 
Hotel, at half-past twelve o'clock to-day, beautifully dressed ; 
and further, fancy us all driving off and arriving at the palace. 
The Princess had also asked some of her friends, so we must 
have been about forty. Such a party of ladies, and only our 
friend Count Groben to interpret. The Princess received us 
most kindly, and conducting us herself to the top of the room, 
we talked some time whilst waiting the arrival of other members 
of the Boyal Family. The ladies walking about the suite of 
rooms and taking chocolate, for about half an hour, waiting for 
the Crown Princess, who soon arrived. The Princess Charles 
was also there, and the Crown Prince himself soon afterwards 
entered ; I could not but long for a painter's eye, to have carried 
away the scene. All of us seated in that beautiful room, our 
aunt in the middle of the sofa, the Crown Prince and Princess, 
and the Princess Charles on her right. The Princess William, 
Princess Marie, and tbe Princess Czartoryski on the left. Count 
Groben sittting near her to interpret, the Countesses Bohlen 
and Demath by her, I was sitting by the Countess Schlieffen, a 
delightful person, who is much interested in all our proceedings. 
A table was placed before our aunt with pens, ink, and paper, 
like other Committees, with the various rules that she and 
I had drawn up, and the Countess Bohlen had translated into 
German, and which she read to the assembly ; our aunt then gave 
a clever concise account of the Societies in England, commenc- 
ing every fresh sentence with 'If the Prince and Princesses will 
permit.* When business was over, my aunt mentioned some 
texts, which she asked leave to read. A German Bible was handed 
to Count Grdben, the text in Isaiah having been pointed out, 
that our good aunt had wished for, * Is not this the fast that I 
have chosen,' &c. The Count read it, after which our aunt said, 
* Will the Prince and Princesses allow a short time for prayer?' 
they all bowed assent, and stood, while she knelt down and 
offered one of her touching, heartfelt prayers for them — that a 
blessing might rest on the whole place, from the King on his 

VOL. n. A A 

804 MBMOIB OF THB LIF£ [1840. 

throne to the poor prisoner in the dungeon, and she prayed 
especially for the Boyd Family. Then for the ladies, that the 
works of their hands might be prospered in what they had under- 
taken to perform. Many of the ladies now withdrew, and we 
were soon left with the Boyal Family. They all invited us to 
see them again, before we left Berlin, and took leaye of us in 
the kindest manner/' 

Amongst other most onerous matters, Mrs. Fry felt it her duty 
to inquire into the actual state of the Lutheran Church, in the 
Prussian dominions, and whether it was still exposed to persecu- 
tion. She found, that although more leniently dealt with than 
it had been, great oppression existed ; confiscation of property 
and imprisonment being not un£requently resorted to, to compel 
submission. Mrs. Fry could not feel justified without endeayour- 
ing to bring the subject before the King. Lord William Bus- 
sell, our Ambassador, her kind and constant friend, and the 
Baron Humbolt, discouraged her attempting to do so. She had 
a strong inclination to consult the Crown Prince, when the un- 
expected meeting at the [Princess William's, afforded her the 
desired opportunity* After earnestly petitioning the best Help, 
and wisdom firom above, she opened the subject* EBs Boyal 
Highness gave her most attentive hearing, and entirely encou- 
raged her to act as she believed to be right. A petition had 
been beautifully drawn up by William Allen, this was translated 
into German, and presented through the official channel to His 
Majesty. It was no light matter doing this ; but in faith she 
committed it to Him, who had put it so strongly into her heart, 
to bless the measure. The following day the Eing^s Chaplain 
was the bearer of the delightful intelligence^ that the petition 
had been graciously received, and that the King had said that 
'^ he thought the Spirit of God must have helped them to express 
themselves as they had done." She told this gentleman what a 
subject of prayer it had been with her ; to which he rejoined, 


that, '' like Daniel her petition had been answered before she 
had ceased praying." 

To A Dauohtbr. 

hnpag, fbtrlA Mtmik, 30th. 
My dearest Lonisa, 

The deeply weighty exercises atBerlin had so much expended 
all my powers, that I concladed to remain here alone, with my 
maid and oar yonng Mend Beyerhaus, whilst the rest of our 
little company went to Dresden. I have had a quiet time, and 
am much refreshed. I enjoy this fine weather. How beautiful 
is the breaking forth of spring! It is almost hot in the middle 
of the day, and the country very pleasant. 

We have been particularly interested in visiting Luther's 
abode at WiUemberg, being where he was, and sitting where he 
sat by his table. Though in an old monastery, he appears to have 
had yery comfortable apartments. We saw a beautiful painted 
ceiling in his sitting room, though now much defaced. I hope 
you have all read Merle D'Aubign6 s History of the Beforma- 
tion, we have found it so very interesting, we expect to visit 
many of the places mentioned in it, and to see the castle in 
which Luther was confined. 

When left alone here I really was amused to find how kind 
friends gathered round me; one brought me beautiful flowers and 
oranges, another books, another a very fine print of prisoners in 
their place of worship* In the morning of Second-day I took a 
little recreation, accompanied by two gentlemen, and drove about 
to see this pretty town and environs, the longest excursion for 
pleasure I have had. I spent the evening at the house of one 
of these gentlemen where were many to meet me. Two or 
three spoke English, some French, I am absolutely obliged to 
communicate my ideas in French, when by myself, and visitors 
come to see me, who cannot speak English, I manage to hold 
much communication with them, although no doubt in a very 
blundering manner. It often surprises me how little real ob- 
struction the want of knowledge of languages has proved to 
me ; but it makes me long for my children and grandchildren 
thoroughly to know the modem languages. What should I 

A A 2 



have done, had not numhershere known English? Indeed, 
every well-educated person abroad appears instructed in English 
and French. As to French, our yoang people ought to know 
it as well as they do English, for it is a passport everywhere. 
I hope the greatest pains will be taken with it, with all the 
grandchildren, both girls and boys. I must now say, in much 
near and tender love, fazewelL 

Farewell in the Lord, every one of you, 

Your most tenderly attached, 

E. F. 

Frankfort, Fifth Month, Ith.—l felt very unwell yesterday, 
and low in spirits. My dearest brother and sweet niece were 
most kind to me ; all that I required I had, so, ** the Lord doth 
provide." I almost dreaded my night; but through tender mercy 
the Comforter was near to comfort and help my great infir- 
mity, so that I rested in my Lord, and feel revived in body and 
soul this morning. This text has been present with me, " I am 
the Lord that healeth thee." — ^Exodus xv. 26. Such fears 
presented themselves. How could I get home 7 How could I 
bear the sea? should I not be much burdened, not having 
finished what I thought I ought to do ? and so on ; but now my 
most gracious and holy Helper delivers me from my fears. 
Thanks to His most blessed and holy Name. 

At DiLsseldorf, Mrs. Fry was able to ascertain many parti- 
culars she wished to know, of the Association for the improve- 
ment of prisoners in the Prussian Provinces of the Rhine and 
Westphalia. She found it to be composed of nine connected 
societies: those of DtLsseldorf, Aix-la-Chapelle, Oologne, Cleves, 
Coblentz, Treves — in the Bhineland ; of Mtinster, and Herford 
— in Westphalia. 

The society of Diisseldorf is the principal or leading society 
(HauplrGesellschafi), the other are of second rank. All these 
societies are established in places in which there is a larger 
prison, and the object of their activity, is principally to 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 857 

maintain the order of this prison ; the classifioation of the 
prisoners; to furnish work; to procure the spiritual assistance 
of chaplains, and the use of the holy Scriptures and other reli- 
gious books. 

A General Meeting is annually held at Dusseldorf^ where 
matters of common interest are discussed, and the reports of the 
different societies read. The general report is printed and dis- 
tributed to the members of the association. 

To every one of these nine societies are subjected Auxiliary- 
societies (Hiilfs-vereine) in every place of the country, where a 
sufficient number of men, who are interested in the subject, are 
to be found. The care of those Auxiliary-societies is to provide 
work, and assistance of every kind, for ihe discharged prisoners 
of their neighbourhood. The society of the place, in which he 
has been imprisoned, gives a notice of his dismission to the 
Auxiliary-society, in whose compass he is likely to reside. 

From DtLsseldorf the travellers visited the establishment of 
Kaiserworth under the care of M. Fliedner for training Deacon- 
nesses, to tend and nurse the sick, and to aid their spiritual 
necessities, whilst providing for their temporal wants. At that 
time this admirable institution had existed only four years, 
but its utility was generally acknowledged and information 
upon the subject earnestly desired. M. Fleidner, in a letter of 
a very recent date, has kindly furnished his recollections of the 
visit. He says — 

" The 8ih of May, 1840, was a great holiday to us; Eliza- 
beth Fry of London visited our institution. Of all my contempo- 
raries none has exercised a like influence on my heart and life : 
truly her friendship was one of the ' all things,' which God in 
sovereign mercy has worked for my good. In January, 1824, 
I had had the privilege of witnessing the effects of Mrs. Fry's 
wonder-working visits among the miserable prisoners of New- 
gate. On my return to my father-land, my object was to found 

868 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

a society entitled the ' Bbeiush Weatphalian Prison Association/ 
having ramifications in all the provinces of Germany. In this 
I was greatly assisted by the advice and experience afforded me 
by this eminent servant of God. During my second stay in 
England, in 1884, 1 had the happiness, in common with Dr. 
Steinkopff, of spending a day with Mrs. Fry, at her own home, 
and also of accompanying her in one of her visits of meroy to 
Newgate. By this means, I was enabled to see and admire her, 
in her domestic as well as public character. Thus may my 
happiness be estimated, when in 1840, Mrs. Fry, accompanied 
by her brother John Joseph Gumey, her young niece Eliza- 
beth Gumey, William Allen and Lucy Bradshaw, came in per- 
son to see and rejoice over the growing establishment of Kaiser- 
worth. She saw the whole house, going into every room, and 
minutely examining each detail, and then delivered to the in- 
mates a deeply interesting discourse. Many were the tears 
shed, and I have a bright hope, not in vain. To the ' helping 
sisters* of the institution she gave much motherly advice, and 
told the results of her own labours, showing Uiat truly she 
estimated the great difficulties in educating those aright who 
are hereafter to have the care of the sick and suffering. It was 
a particular matter of rejoicing to that dear mother in Christ 
that so many of those trained at Eaiserworth were earnestly 
desirous of filling places of tmst in other institutions of a simi* 
lar nature* She examined thoroughly the 'Mutter Haus,' and 
the wards for the sick, which contained at that time between 
forty and fifty, and was much interested in the infant school 
connected with the institution : she assembled the twenty work- 
ing deaconnesses, and those who were undergoing their time of 
probation also, as well as the twelve young people training up 
for female teachers in infent schools, and with her accustomed 
gentle and dignified doquence, she pointed out to them that 
alone through earnest love, through faith in Him, who has 
done all for us, could they find acceptance in these their works 
of mercy. In particular she urged upon the deaconnesses the 
delicate, responsible and onerous duties of their vocation, and 
besought them to take for their pattern Jesus Christ, the healer 
and physician of mankind, in all their treatment of the bodies 
and souls of the afi3icted ones under their care. 

J 840.] OF ELIZABETH FRT. 869 

After dinner^ and a short interval of rest, she permitted as to 
share with her the rich firuits of her varied experiences, thus 
giving as connsel and help of the most valuable kind. She 
examined with me the rales and regulations of the household, 
with which she expressed herself greatly satisfied. Truly God 
was in the midst of us, and the remembrance of that spirit of 
active self-denying love is one of the sweetest consolations which 
I possess, amid the trials and difficulties which every such in* 
stitution must afford. 

** Thomas Flibdnbb. 

** May 26, 1S4S.'» 

Diisseldorf, Fifth Month, lOih* — ^Here we are« and thanks to 
my Heavenly Father I am much revived: my cough better; 
unfavourable symptoms subsided ; sufficient strength given me 
for the various duties as they arise. I feel my prospect weighty; 
first, going to the prison to visit some prisonors whom I did not 
see yesterday. And then, we expect a large evening party to 
read the Scriptures and for worship, and this amongst strangers 
who know little or nothing of us or our ways, and our interpreter 
not accustomed to us; but our holy Helper can, through His 
own unmerited mercy and Almighty power, really so help us as 
to touch the hearts of those who come to us, to their trae edifi- 
eation. O gracious Lord 1 be with us ; help us and bless ns. 
Thy servants have come in much fear, much weakness, and 
under a belief that it is Thy call, that has brought them herew 
Now, be Thyself present with us, in this our last occasion of the 
kind, to our help, consolation, and edification ! I can only cast 
myself on Thy love, mercy, and pity ! 

In the afternoon I visited the prison, accompanied by 
my dear brother, William Allen, and Lucy Bradshaw. We 
first collected a large number of men in a yard, and I was, 
in my low state of body, strengthened to speak to them in the 
open air. Unexpectedly, a valuable man, the Pastor FUedner, 
met us, who interpreted beautifully for me. We then visited 
several wards, and the prisoners appeared to feel a great deal. 
May its effect long remain. I also visited a very valuable ladj, 
a Boman Catholic, who has visited the prison many years. We 

860 MJ9M0IB OF THE LIFE []840. 

partook of Christian love, and^ I believe, of Ohristian unity. In 
the evening we had a very lai^e party to our reading and wor- 
ship; I should think nearly a hundred persons. My Lord and 
Master only knows what such occasions are to me, weak in body, 
rather low in spirits — amongst perfect strangers to us — not able 
to speak to them in their own language. To whom could I go ? 
I could say, " With God all things are possible ;" and so I found 
it. My brother Samuel read the 7th chapter of Matthew. One 
of the pastors read it in German. I soon spoke, and unexpectedly 
had to enlarge much on the present and past state of Germany : 
how it was that more fruit had not been produced, considering 
the remarkable seed sown in years past; the query, what hindered 
its growth 7 I expressed my belief — ^first, that it arose from a 
lukewarm and indifferent spirit ; secondly, from infidel principles 
creeping in under a specious form; thirdly, from too much 
superstition yet remaining ; fourthly, and above all, from the 
love of the world, and the things of it, beyond the love of Christ 
After showing the evil and its results — ^the seed obstructed, as 
in the parable of the Sower, bringing no fruit to perfection ; I 
endeavoured to point to the remedy — ^to look at home, and not 
to judge one another; to ask for help, protection, and direction 
to walk in the narrow way ; to be doers and not hearers of the 
word; and to devote ourselves to His service, who had done so 
much for us. William Allen followed with a satisfietctory sermon. 
I then prayed very earnestly for them, and afterwards exhorted 
on reading the Scriptures, family worship, keeping the Sabbath, 
&c., and ended with a blessing — the attention was excessive; the 
interpretation excellent, by my dear friend the Pastor Fliedner ; 
hearts much melted, and great unity expressed by numbers. It 
was a very solemn seal, set to our labours in this land, and one 
not to be forgotten. So our Lord helped us, and regarded me 
His poor servant, in my low estate ; afterwards, peace was in 
no common degree my portion. Blessed be the name of the 
Lord. All my dear companions, William Allen, my brother, and 
the younger of die party, Lucy Bradshaw and my dear niece, 
appeared happy and cheerful. I returned thanks on sitting down 
to a refreshing meal, after the labours of the day ; and I think 
I may say we ate our " meat with gladness and singleness of 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FEY. 361 

We had a pleasant joamey through liege to Antwerp, where 
we were cordially received by some of onr dear friends in that 
place, who appeared to have been deeply impressed by our last 
visit We had a solemn time after our reading in the morning, 
at Ostend, the last reading we had of this kind, in which I 
very earnestly and fervently prayed for my most tenderly-beloved 
brother, that the sacrifice he had thus made in his Lord's ser- 
yice, and ail he had so liberally done for us, as His servants, 
might bring blessing to his own soul, and a large portion of the 
unsearchable riches of Christ, I prayed for his dear daughter, 
that the experience of this journey might be greatly blessed to 
her soul. I prayed for William Allen, that now in his latter 
days, he might more and more be filled with, and spread the 
glorious truths of the Gospel in their fulness, freeness, and 
universality. I prayed for Lucy Bradshaw also, and for the 
servants, that the journey might be blessed to them ; and lastly 
for my poor unworthy self, that I might be kept by the Lord, 
humble, faithful, trustful, and more devoted to Him and His 
service. It was as a spiritual farewell, and break up of this most 
interesting expedition. Oar voyage was calm and beautiful. I 
return in a delicate state of health, and very weak in spirits, but 
deeply feeling my Lord's mercies towards me. 

In the course of this journey, Mrs. Fry had experienced less 
difBculty than she anticipated from her entire ignorance of the 
German language, partly from the assistance of her companions, 
but even more from the excellent interpretation of like-minded 
persons, who arose for her help, as she passed on from place 
to place. She had also been furnished with a document most 
useful and important to her, by the GhevaUer Bunsen, at that 
time Prussian Minister at Berne. She had requested him to 
furnish her with letters of introduction to such of his country- 
women as were likely to interest themselves in the objects of 
her journey. Instead of this, he proposed to provide her with 
a printed address to the women of Germany^ written as in the 
name of Elizabeth Fry. He informed their judgments, whilst 

362 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

he enlisted their sympathies on those mattera which Mrs. Fry 
desired so earnestly to recommend to their attention. The 
pamphlet opens with a sketch of her prison lahonrs^ of the 
saccess which had attended them^ and of the Christian princi- 
ples from which she derived her strength and power to accom- 
plish the varied and ardaous works which she undertook — it 
touches upon the workings of the Prison Discipline Society ; 
explains the various measures enacted by the British Govern- 
ment for the improvement of prisons and discipline amongst 
the prisoners themselves ; alludes to societies formed on the 
Continent with a similar intention, and afterwards enlarges on 
the general principles involved. A spirit-stirring appeal to 
woman on her duties and capabilities^ her high and holy mis- 
sion^ and her dependant yet helpful position, follows. But this 
part of the work, though serving to illustrate the views of the 
gifted author on so important a subject, scarcely belongs to this 
memoir. But there are passages which so well describe the 
results of Mrs. Fry s experience, and present so true a view of 
tlie condition of the Miea, and the most likely methods within 
human reach of again raising them to usefulness and happiness, 
that the lessons they inculcate ought not to be omitted here. 

Chevalier Bunsen, after detailing Mrs. Fry's Experience in 
Prisons, and the methods she found the most beneficial and 
satisfactory in her intercourse with their inmates^ enlarges on 
the important subject of their education and training, giving it 
as his matured opinion, that voluntary and unpaid exertions are 
essential to success : 

" To serve for love and nothing for reward I'' 

The mere fact of instruction being offered on the free 
principle of a loving interest in the scholar, prepares him 
to reoeive it. Especially is this the case, where the instruction 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 863 

to be received may be deemed in some measure compnlsory, as 
then kindliness and sympathy of feelings and earnest interest 
of manner on the part of the teacher^ are essential to the im- 
provement of the pupil. 

In this address Mrs. Fry recommends that reading and 
ivriting should be taught, and even if these branches of educa- 
tion are already acquired, that instruction should be continued, 
especially in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures : she ever 
considered moral improvement as the end of all education^ and 
the means to be employed to produce the desired result, to be, 

not alone an intimate knowledge of the truths of the Bible, 
but the having those truths so presented as to touch the feel- 
ings and win the heart. Whilst, on the one hand, she desired 
that the attention of the fallen should be called to the infinite 
mercy of God, in Christ Jesus, the fulness of that mercy, the 
freedom of that grace ; she aimed carefully at avoiding the 
danger of representing sin as other than exceeding sinfiil and 
offensive to a just and holy God, who is of " purer eyes than to 
behold iniquity .** That they need never despair, but that they 
must never presume. Not alone that sinful habits, but the love 
of sin, the taste for past scenes of guilt and depravity must be 
eradicated before repentance could be considered sincere. It 
is not enough for sin to be dreaded tot its consequences, it must 
be hated as offensive to a loving Father. Thus did she desire to 
have them instructed. Elizabeth Fry could almost invariably 
trace the first impressions made upon prisoners to some expres- 
sion of warning, reproof, or invitation spoken by the Saviour, 
some appeal to their fears, to their hopes, or some word of 
divine compassion, as an arrow winged by love, which had 
reached the captive's heart Besides the Gospels, she recom- 
mended the Psalms, and sebctions from the Epistles, such 
parts especially as bring before the mind the holiness and 
justice of God, in combination with the blessed doctrine of 

364 MEMOIB OP THE LIFE [1840. 

man's redemption, throngh the death of Christ. She recom- 
mended also simple exhortations and short admonitions, judi- 
ciously and not too frequently offered. Urgently did she press 
the importance of the deportment of ladies visiting prisons and 
other institutions, where they come in contact with suffering and 
sin. M. Bunsen has well described her own appearance and 
effect, in depicting that which she recommended to others — a 
quiet dignity, avoiding the slightest appearance of anger or im- 
patience, a look more in sorrow than in wrath. When reproof 
was required, Elizabeth Fry counselled its being always admi- 
nistered in private ; she reconmiended the circumstance, what- 
ever it might be, being clearly stated, tenderly urged home to 
the conscience, but no allusion made that could bring recollec- 
tions of former vices or mode of life. She found such recitals 
an invariable temptation to falsehood, which was rarely entirely 
resisted, and even in cases where the prisoners did apparently 
tell the whole truth, the effect upon their minds of recurrence 
to scenes of unhallowed and desecrating tendency, always deteri- 
orating ; recurring to past acts of wickedness, often awakes a 
sleeping fire, and disturbs the quietness and peace of the soul. 
Committing portions of Scripture to memory, she considered 
as highly advantageous, instructive and occupying, and in oases 
of sickness or solitude an invaluable resource. Hymns also 
she liked them to learn by heart. As the character and know- 
ledge of the prisoner advanced, she approved placing in their 
hands suitable works of biography, or anecdotes illustrative of 
the power and efficacy of religion. 

Whilst Elizabeth Fry appreciated to the full all that 
government can effect in the erection and regulation of prisons 
she considered that little would be accomplished unless those 
set in authority were actuated by a lively sense of duty and 
responsibility. Daily witnessing the wickedness^ obduracy, 
and misery of the human heart, must act as a depressing weight 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 365 

apon the spirits^ even where ihe desire to serve is strong and 
sincere. To find persons suited for the onerous post of con- 
trolling, directing, and influencing prisoners, appeared to her 
as difficult as important, — ^nor did she helieve full perseverance 
in these heavy duties to be possible without the support and 
stimulus of unpaid superintendence and participation. She 
knew that strict discipUne and constant occupation are essential 
to prevent the contamination of evil ; but to soften the hardened 
heart, to bring the sinner to acknowledge his desert of punish- 
ment, and the use and necessity of discipline, something more 
is required. 

To accomplish this, the spirit of love must so impregnate 
all the regulations, so manifest itself in every arrangement, 
and be so avowedly the guide of all persons connected with the 
prisoners, whether officially or as visitors, that they cannot fail 
to recognize the source in ihe streams which flow from it, and 
learn from the daily conduct and habitual temper of His foilow- 
lowers, that their heavenly Father s name is Love. Elizabeth 
Fry was not unmindful of the part allotted to the Church, or 
the importance of the influence and superintendence of minis- 
ters of religion, but after government had done its best^ after 
the Church had furnished her instructions and consolations^ she 
still considered that a sphere of most important usefulness re- 
mained unoccupied, especially with prisoners of her own sex. 
Woman has a voice for woman, to which she only can respond. 
Strongly did she desire to urge this upon the women of Ger- 
many, and persuasive is the language in which M. Bunsen 
clothes her desires, enlai^es upon them, and presses them upon 
the attention of his countrywomen. Emphatically does he use 
those words of lofty and solemn import which the last great 
day shall echo in the ears of every immortal soul — either " I 

806 MBMOIB OF THE LIFE [1840. 

was sick and in prison and ye'came onto me ;*' or ^ I was sick 
and in prison, and ye came not nnto me/' He urges that it 
is not to the prison officer or the salaried chaplain that the 
qnerj is confined, bat that it is spoken for all, an inquiry to 
be answered by all ! 

In another part of the address, M. Bonsen shows that igno- 
rance can no longer be pleaded as to the misery, the corruption, 
and the vice existing in prisons. The " wall has fallen" which 
concealed the hidden wretchedness, the secrets of the prison 
house. Light has penetrated, and enough has been done to 
prove how much may be accomplished were efforts made 
more generally, more perseveringly to enUghten the darkness, 
to instruct the ignorance, and soften the hearts of their un- 
happy indwellers. 

The address was widely and beneficially circulated by Eliza- 
beth Fry, both during this and her next journey. 

Upton 19th. — ^I attended the first Select Meeting yesterday. 
My lot was to sit in silence. I saw many 'much loved by me. 
May my most gracious Lord help me by His own Spirit diis 
Yearly Meeting fully, simply, and clearly to lay what I think 
and feel before this people ; diat which is right for the aged, and 
more experienced before them, and that which is for the youth 
before them. Gracious Lord, help me to do it in faithfulness, in 
love, in truth, in deep humility and godly sincerity. Amen. 
We have had altogether a favourable reply to our letter fi'om the 
King of Prussia ; he justifies the measures pursued towards the 
Lutherans, but I believe our address will not be in vain. We 
have had satisfactory reports, of the Government already acting 
on our suggestions respecting the prisons in Prussia. The 
prisoners are to have more religious instruction, and more in- 
spection. I have had also a very interesting letter from the 
Queen of Denmark, expressing real regret at our not going 
there, and not only great desire to see me there, but much unity 
with my views on many subjects. 


There certainly is the most extraordinary opening in the 
hearts of those in anthority on the Continent, to recdve me. 
I felt mnch drawn to go to Denmark, bnt the way did not open 
for it; if I am called still to go, may my Lord make my way 
plain before me, though I do not see it now. My present posi* 
tion is this— I consider my health has been almost in a precari- 
ous state for many months ; I have not recovered my usual 
strength, and there is a feeling of delicacy throughout, I do not 
think that I am nervous, but my spirits are low, I am, however, 
80 much revived and strengthened by generous living and a 
little care and quietness, that I rather look to a general revival of 
health. On the other hand, I query whether a step downwards 
is not taken, that I shall never fully recover — at all events, I 
have been poorly enough to have the end of life brought closely 
before me, and to stimulate me in faith to do quickly what my 
Lord may require of me ; but above all, it leads me to desire to 
cast myself more entirely on the fulness of His love, mercy, and 
pity, and to entreat his care over me, not permitting more to be 
brought upon me than my extremely weak and infirmnature can 
bear, and that He will undertake for me at the last, and through 
the fireeness of His grace, and the fulness of the merits of His 
dear Son, grant me a place within the gates of EKs city. I 
long, before I go hence, to have a clearer and more certain view 
of the Heavenly inheritance. 

26th. — ^Before breakfast-^I am in a strait. 0, my gracious 
Lord ! be Thou my Helper, my Guide, my Oounsellor, and my 
Defence, keep me, I pray Thee, from the most weighty service 
before me, unless it be really and truly Thy call, and if it be 
Thy call, fit me for it by Thine own Spirit, and Thine own 
power, and touch my lips, as with a live coal from Thine altar, 
that I may be qualified to speak the word in season to those who 
need it Anoint Thou the tongue to speak, and the ear to hear. 
Grrant this prayer tot Thine own sake. 

Fi/ik'-day, marningy 28//*.— *The Yearly Meeting has cor- 
dially united in William Allen and myself having a Meeting for 
the young people. It is appointed for diis evening, which I much 
regret, as my children cannot attend it, but I must commit all to 
my Lord. 


808 MBMOTB OF THE LIFE [1840. 

I receiyed this morning a most encouraging letter from the 
Grown Prince of Prussia, expressing great kindness and unity, 
bis belief that a blessing bad rested on our yisit to Berlin, and 
requesting us to go again ; it contains an affecting account of 
tbe Ejng's healtb. 

In great weakness, in much lowness, and under some real dis- 
couragement, and yet not without a sweet hope and feeling of 
Thy love, most gracious God, and even Thy peace. I do ask 
help of Thee this day» that through Thine own power, and Thine 
own Spirit, Thou wouldest help me so to speak the truths of the 
everlasting Gospel, that sinners may be induced to turn from 
their evil way, the wavering may be confirmed to give up all for 
Thy Name^s sake, the mourners may be comforted, and the 
weak strengthened* Take from me the fear of man, and help 
me to do all singly and simply to Thy glory, and for the good 
of others, for Thine own Name's sake answer this petition. 
Amen, and Amen. 

First-day f Sixth Month, 14M. — ^The King of Prussia died 
this month, and his son the Grown Prince, our dear and valued 
friend in the Lord, has succeeded him. 

Our young Queen and Prince Albert were shot at, a few days 
ago, by a man with two pistols ; but we may thankfully say not 

I desire to commend those in authority, gracious liord, to Thy 
most Holy keeping. Be Thyself their Helper, in their very 
difiEicult and dangerous circumstances, and grant them wisdom 
and sound discretion, to reign over the people with equity, with 
judgment, and with mercy. 

2 1 St. — Our British Society Meeting was, I think, well got 
through, our reports, &c., &c., occupied so much time, thati could 
not properly say all that I wished to say ; but I trust that the 
short account I gave of our journey was satisfactory. I pressed a 
fewpoints about prisoners, also on having Patronage Societies for 
discharged prisoners, and Sisters of Gharity. I enlarged a little 
on the great good the Bible Society had effected in Europe, and 
the sweetness of Ghristian unity, as we had been enabled to main- 
tain it in the British Society, and how I desired that the Lord 
Himself might preserve this unity, for with advancing years 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH PBY. 369 

and increase of experience, I more and more feel myself a mem- 
ber of the Church UniTersal, and am less disposed than ever to 
any sectarian spirit 

28th, First-day. — Since I last nvrote I have called upon the 
Duchess of Beaufort, and the Duchess of Sutherland. The 
Duchess of Beaufort received me with much trueOhristian friend* 
ship ; the Duchess of Sutherland, in a remarkably kind manner: 
soon after I entered the room, the Duke and his daughters came 
in. We had much interesting religious conversation. I felt the 
spirit of Christian love and prayer arise in my heart for them> 
that the blessing of God might rest upon them, that as He had 
given them so liberally of the fatness of the earthy He would also 
cause the dew of Heaven to descend upon them. The next day, 
I wrote to ask the Duchess whether she wished to attend a Meet- 
ing, on account of the Anti-Slavery Society, at Exeter Hall, as I 
fancied she might like it, I had a cordial answer, saying that she 
would go. We sat near the Duke of Sussex and the French 
Ambassador. To find my poor unworthy self thus placed in the 
face of this immense assembly (I think three thousand persons) 
was rather fearful, and yet very interesting, from the cause we 
were engaged in, the numbers interested in it and the honour 
of appearing on the side of the afflicted slaves. 

On the following, Mrs. Fry encountered one of those days, of 
extreme fatigue and overwhelming interest, which unquestionably 
were sapping the springs of li£9. The morning began with a 
meeting of Friends in London ; afterwards she waited upon the 
Duchess of Gloucester, had a short interview with the Duke of 
Sussex ; and returned to Upton to meet, at Ham House, the red* 
dence of her brother Samuel Gumey, the American Delegates, 
who had come to England on the subject of slavery. She 
describes her drive from London, with the Duchess of Sutherland, 
and Lord Morpeth " as pleasant and interesting." 

We had much conversation on deeply important subjects, I 
endeavoured to show them the blessedness of the Lord's service, 


370 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

and its excellence ; and the beauty of the work of grace in the 
heart, how it strengthened, regulated, and gave power to enjoy 
the blessings of this life. 

Upton Lane, Seventh Month, 1th, — ^We had the French Am- 
bassador, and a large party to dinner here yesterday, these occa- 
sions are serious to me. The query comes home^ how far the 
expensive dinner is right to give, and farther, whether good results 
from it, and whether, if death was approaching, we should thus 
spend our time ; on the other hand, after the extraordinary kind- 
ness shown us in France, and even by the French Government, 
some mark of attention was due from us. Also, to show hospi- 
tality to strangers is right and Christian, and in some measure to 
receive them as they are accustomed to live, does not appear 
wrong. My fear is, that the time was not turned to account^ by 
the most important subjects being enough brought forward, I tried 
to do a little in this way, but I fear not enough. May my 
Lord keep us from in any way lowering the cause we love, may 
He help us by His grace more continually to exalt it, and may 
neither our omissions or commissions injure it. Grant gracious 
Lord that this may be the case. 

Ibth. — I am just come from, what we believe to be, the death- 
bed of my dear cousin Agatha 0— — , and a very remarkable 
scene it is. After a long illness of much suffering, and the birth 
of a child a few days ago, and after much deep conflict of spirit, 
and humiliation of heart, she appears, through grace, to have 
experienced entire pardon and reconciliation with God, which 
she has most clearly expressed; besides, in the most remarkable 
manner, having exhorted her husband and children to serve the 
Lord with purpose of heart. She says, the world is a cruel, hard 
master, but the Lord our God is a most merciful Master, it ap- 
pears as if spiritual things were in a very remarkable and power- 
ful degree opened to her view. She wished once more to see 
W. Wigram the clergyman and me, but she added " I have ceased 
from man." When I went to her she said *' I am washed." I 
replied, in the blood of the everlasting covenant. " I see my 
Saviour, and wish always to look to Jesus." I said, I believed I 
might say, thine eye will see the King in His beauty, and behold 
the land that is very far off; she replied, '' Yes, I shall see the 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 871 

golden streets and the pearl gates of the city." I said, eye hath 
sot seen nor ear heard, what the Lord hath prepared for those 
that love Him ; she replied, ^' God is love." I said, I helieved 
that through mercy, the blessing of the Lord rested on her, and 
would rest on those nearest to her ; she added, " if they cleave 
to Him, and entirely serve Him without compromise." 

First-day, 1 9f A. — ^My attention much occupied by poor dear 
Agatha, and all nearest to her. To have extreme illness, suf- 
fering and death, brought so closely home, touches me and 
makes me feel my weakness on these points. 

I also spent part of the afternoon with dear Sarah Sheppard, 
reading the Scriptures with her and her sisters, desiring, in her 
suffering state, to lead her to look to the Saviour simply and un- 
reservedly ; so that my day was nearly devoted to the sorrowftil, 
at the same time that I felt myself encompassed with infirmity. 

26^A. — ^I paid a very interesting visit to Lady Granville, and 
found the Duchess of Beaufort with her, that dear devoted 
spiritually-minded lady. 

Eighth Months dth, — There has been some fear of a war with 
France, which has been really sorrowful to me ; I could have 
wept at the thoughts, so dear are the people of that country to 
my hearty and so awful is it to think of the horrors of war, which- 
ever way we look at the subject^ religiously, morally or physi- 
cally. The longer I live, and the greater my experience of life, 
the more decided are my objections to war, as wholly inconsis- 
tent with the Christian calling. O may the Almighty grant, that 
through His Omnipotence and unutterable love and mercy in 
Christ our Saviour, the day may not be very far distant, when the 
people shall learn war no more^ — ^when peace and righteousness 
shall reign in the earth. 

16/A, First-day, morwwf^.— After being unwell for some 
days^ I set off with my dearest husband and Harry for Sea 
View, a lovely little spot on the Isle of Wight, where Foster, 
Chenda, and their children are staying. We met with the 
kindest, and warmest reception, and were, I may truly say, 
cherished and comforted by them. How the tide turns ; my 
dearest children, for whom I have felt so deeply, are in their turns 
becoming my helpers and comforters, — thanks be to my Heavenly 

B B 2 

372 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840- 

Father. The place beantifal-»the sea air very refreahing, and I 
almost like another person. On First-day morning we had a very 
solemn Meeting together ; and in the evening, a large number 
came to our reading, the gentry, sailors, &o. One day I visited 
Farkhurst, an interesting new prison for boys, which gave me 
much satisfaction. It was curious to see some of the very things 
that in early life I in part begun, carried out in practice. I 
have lived to see much more than I expected of real improve- 
ment in prisons. We are expecting our dearest brother Joseph 
home this week from America, and I mean to accompany him 
into Norfolk, if it be my Lord's will. May a blessing rest upon 
his return! I am increasingly of opinion, that these long 
separations are liable to serious objections ; I think, where it is 
clear that the great Head of the Ohurch calls any of us far off 
for a long time, it is most important to have those nearest to us, 
join us for part of the time, and I believe it would be according 
to the will of our God. 

Earlhamy 2\8t, — My dearest brother Joseph is safely returned 
home, after his absence of three years, on his religious visit to 
America and the West India Islands. I think I never saw any 
person in so perfectly peaceful a state ; he says, unalloyed peace, 
like a sky without a cloud, and above all, enabled thankfully to 
enjoy his many blessings. He arrived at Liverpool on the 16th, 
and I first met him at my son Gumey'syas he called there for me. 
We all went together to Upton, after our visit to Gumey and 
Sophia, and a delightful time we had together. The next morn- 
ing our dearest brother Joseph returned God thanks for his un- 
speakable mercies ; his many deliverances, his great preserva- 
tions spiritually and temporally, his labours of Christian love 
being blessed and prospered, and many fruits of it seen. He 
then returned thanks for my brother Samuel and his family, 
and earnestly prayed for them, that the windows of heaven might 
be opened, and blessings be poured forth upon them ; he also 
returned thanks for our brother Fowell, and for his having been 
prospered in his work of Christian charity for the poor slaves, 
then for me, and for the blessing attending on me and mine ; 
and lastly, for his own children, wholly giving them up to the 
Lord and to His service. After dinner the same day, he made 

1840.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 373 

a beautiful aod Btriking acknowledgment of the mercies shown 
him ; and what delighted me, he appeared to stand fast in true 
gospel liberty, and to feel true unity of spirit with all that love 
the Lord Jesus in sincerity. I also returned thanks for these 
innumerable mercies. We left home the next morning, and I 
had a very interesting journey here with dearest Joseph, Fowell 
and Hannah ; but I was fatigued. 

Twelfth Month y dl«/. — I deeply feel coming to the close of 
this year, rather unusually so, it finds me in a low estate, and 
from circumstances, my spirit is rather overwhelmed, although 
I am sensible that blessings abound through unmerited mercy. 
I think the prison cause at home and abroad much prospering, 
many happy results from our foreign expedition, and much 
doing at home. Among other things, the establishment of a 
Patronage Society for prisoners^ by which many poor wander- 
ers appear to be helped and protected, and a Society for Sisters 
of Charity to visit and attend the sick. I have had much to do 
with those in authority, in other countries and our own ; and 
have been treated with great kindness and respect by them. 

I have been really interested for our Queen in her marriage 
with Prince Albert, and lately in her eonfinement with a little 

Mrs. Fry 8 habitual acquaintance with the chamber of sick- 
ness, and with scenes of suffering and death, had taught her the 
necessity that exists for a class of women to attend upon such, 
altogether different and superior to the hireling nurses that are 
generally to be obtained. Her communications withM. Flied- 
ner, and all she learned firom him personally, and by letter, of 
his establishment at Eaisersewerth, and above all her own 
yisit to that remarkable institution, stimulated her desire to 
attempt something of the kind in England. Her own occupa- 
tions being too urgent and numerous to allow of much personal 
attention, the plan was undertaken, and on a small scale canied 
into effect by her sister, Mrs. Samuel Gurney, with the as- 
sistance of her daughters, and some other ladies. The 

374 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1840. 

Queen Dowager kindly granted her name as Patroness. 
With Lady Inglis as .President, and an effective Committee 
to conduot the management of the institution, it has 
steadily advanced and prospered. The plan of proceeding is 
this : suitable women are selected with great care, and their 
characters minutely inquired into. They are regularly trained 
for a certain time in one of the public hospitals, in order to pre- 
pare them for their important duties. At the expiration of this 
period of probation, if their conduct and qualifications be 
found satisfactory, they are received as sisters. They are allowed 
an annual stipend of JE20, (which is raised to JE2d after three 
years' service,) supplied with an appropriate dress, and main- 
tained in a home provided for them during the intervals of their 

There are at the present time twenty*six sisters belonging to 
the institution, but the demands for their assistance are so 
numerous and pressing, that it is highly desirable this number 
should be gradually increased by the addition of women of 
decided piety, whose bodily and mental powers are such as to 
qualify them for the undertaking. 

The income of the Institution for 1847, was between nine 
hundred and one thousand pounds* There is also a small dis- 
tinct fund under the name of the '' Superannuated Fund," for 
the assistance of such of the sisters as may after long and faith- 
ful services be disqualified for labour. 

By the rules of the institution. Christian women of various 
denominations are admitted to join its ranks. No direct sys- 
tem of religious instruction is pursued, although the Sisters are 
required to attend family and public worship regularly when in 
the house. They are encouraged to read the Scriptures to their 
patients, and to endeavour to promote their spiritual welfare, 
as well as to labour for their bodily comfort, and there have 
been instances in which their efforts have appeared blessed to 

1840.] OF ELIZABETH FRV. . 875 

the souls of those under their charge. Whilst at the Home 
the sisters visit and nurse the sick poor in its neighbourhood. 
But there is another class of persons to whom their services 
are invaluable, persons of comparative refinement, but who are 
in circumstances of great limitation, perhaps wholly depen- 
dent on their own exertions for support. To such as these 
ihe boon is great indeed, of a careful, experienced conscientious 
nurse ; not one who squanders the little substance of the sufferer, 
not one who watches harpy-like for perquisites and profit, nor 
*' snores the sick man dead," but carefully and with fidelity 
discharges her onerous duties. In cases of this kind a large 
proportion of their time is occupied often entirely gratuitously, 
at other times, on terms proportioned to the means of the 
patient, but which are very tax firom repaying the institution. 
The lowest sum which is considered to cover its current ex- 
penses is £1 Is. a- week, but when circumstances claim a 
pecuniary sacrifice, the Committee on their part are ready to 
make arrangements accordingly, as well as to render assistance 
entirely gratuitous, in cases of great necessity. 

The sisters are not permitted to receive mourning or presents 
directly or indirectly, from the patients or the families on whom 
they attend. The funds of the Society depend partly upon 
subscriptions, and partly upon the liberality of those who have 
benefited from the institution.* The help of the nursing 
Sisters has been sought and greatly valued, by persons of all 
classes, from royalty to the poorest and most destitute. 

Mrs. Fry could imagine a still higher calling ; one of a more 
spiritual nature, in which love to souls should be the leading, 
compassion to the suffering body the secondary motive for action. 
Perhaps the nearest thing in England, to that which she would 
have desired to see, is to be found in the German Hospital, 

* Institution of Nursing Sisters, No. 16, Broad Street Buildings, 
Bishopsgate Street. 

376 MEMOIB OF THE LIFE [1841. 

established at Dalston, where DeaeonnesBes from 
perform their arduous duties in a spirit of meekness^ perseve- 
ranee, and love, that ensures, not only the tender and judicious 
oare of the patient, but has been marvellously blessed, in lead- 
ing many to the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. 

Earlham, First Month, Srdy 1841.^ I found my spirits much 
overwhehned yesterday, by a very serious account firom Champion 
Streatfeild, of an accident that they had met with in the Medi- 
terranean, by a vessel striking against their steamer, but in 
mercy they were saved by the hand of the Lord (we may say) 
though in the greatest danger, from the ship that ran against 
them, a man fell into their vessel ; and as he came direct from 
Constantinople, they became, in the eye of law, infected, and 
were therefore obliged to perform quarantine for weeks, in a 
small dirty steam-vessel, in the harbour of Civita Yeochia. 
Hannah being so extremely tried by the sea, I consider it an 
afiOiiction ; and yet so far greater an one has been averted, that 
I have only cause humbly and reverently to return thanks to 
Him, who has answered my prayers for them, that they might 
be kept safely in the hour of danger. Twice they have thus 
been exposed in steam-packets already; once in going to 
Havre, and now again. 

Second Month, filBt,, First-day, — Our dearest son Joseph 
had been poorly a few days with influenza, and on Third-day last, 
Alice sent for me, saying he was very unwell. I walked over 
with little delay, and found him, I thought, really ill. We sent 
for Dr. Elliot, who said his lungs were highly inflamed, and 
evidently blood constantly flowing or oozing from some vessels. 
Our eyes were suddenly opened to see this most tenderly beloved 
one in a state of real danger. My heart almost sunk within me, 
and with the exception of leaving him for a few hours to see the 
Queen Dowager, an appointment which I did not ihink it right 
to break, I have been constantly nursing him since, ex- 
cept sitting up with him at night He has, at times, suf- 
fered a good deal; at others, not so much as might be 
expected. I have felt deep anxiety, but generally a quiet and 
hopeful spirit has been my portion. His dearest wife has been 
greatly afflicted, and latterly much overcome, but the evident 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 377 

amendment of yesterday and to*day has comforted us much. It 
has closely brought home to ihe heart, the need of knowing 
Christ to be our Befage, our Help and our Salvation ; it will 
not do to wait until the day of sickness comes upon us^ when 
perhaps, the least excitement might cause danger and death, 
when the most solemn truths are felt, but must not be spoken . 
when subjects of the deepest interest ought not be named in 
the sick room, and often, if they are, the mind is not in a state 
to receive them. 

Third Month, 12/A.— *-A few days ago, I went to meet the 
gentlemen going to Africa in the Niger expedition. Several 
naval officers. Sir Edward Parry, Captain Trott^, Captain 
William B. Allen, Sir Bobert In^, Sir Thomas Acland and 
many otihers. After our luncheon, my dear brother Buxton 
asked me, if I wished for a pause, when almost without my con« 
sent^ there was silence. I had not a word on my mind before, 
although deeply concerned for them. I however felt then en- 
abled, to recommend all to keep a very single eye to their Lord ; 
not to depend on the arm of flesh, but continually to look up- 
wards ; not to be discouraged at any difficulties or opposition, for 
I had found it good to meet with these things, because they led 
us more constantly to Christ, as our Help, our Befuge and our 
Guide. There was a very solemn feeling over us, and I think, 
mach unity of spirit felt They wish me to go to see their ships, 
and meet the officers and mea to have some religious time with 
them, previous to their departure for Africa. 

2Qth, Firsi'day. — ^This has been a very important week, and 
very exercising in part. In the first instance, our dearest Louisa 
was taken very ill last First-day afternoon, not haviug been con- 
fined a week. I went to her after going to Tottenham Meeting, 
and I was very weightily engaged in ministry and prayer there ; 
and the same in our Afternoon Meeting, so that, in addition to 
my anxiety and fatigue with our dearest Louisa, I felt reaUy over- 
done. The next day, I closely nursed her until the evening, 
when I went to Ham House to meet again most of the naval 
officers going out on the African expedition, to endeavour to 
suppress slavery and promote free trade and missionary labours 
in that land. There were many naval captains^ and a considerable 

378 BfEMOIB OF THE LIFE [1841. 

number of other interesting persons. I should think, sixty or 
seventy. I felt it laid upon me to have a religious time with 
them, and spoke to them and prayed for them— to me a very 
deeply humbling service, much, very much in the cross; but my 
Lord helped me. I have to-day a very weighty prospect of duty, 
to go to the ships to see those who were not with us the other 
evening, and some who were. May my Lord be very near to me, 
fitting me for His own service, out of weakness making me strong. 
May He fireely pour forth His own holy anointing upon me, 
and be unto me Himself wisdom, that His own praise may be 
really shown forth, and the people edified, comforted and helped, 
before they leave for their great undertaking. 

Upton, Fourth Month, ith. First- day. -^On the afternoon of 
last First-day, we went to the ship Wilberforce, my dear brother 
Buxton, my brother Gumey, and several of our young people. 
We found our valuable fidend Captain Cook, and his wife there. 
Captain Bird Allen and many other officers, also the chaplain 
goiug out with them. After a while, we all met together in a 
great hulk, as there was not suitable room in the ship. First, 
a considerable portion of the Church Service was read. Then 
Captain B. Allen opened the way for any present to speak ; — 
my brother Buxton rose and addressed all present, officers and 
crew. Further, he said, on behalf of any there of the Society 
of Friends, he wished all to kuow that they did not come pre- 
pared, but entirely trusted to the teachings of the Holy Spirit^ 
and how earnestly he desired, that on that occasion the Holy 
Spirit might be poured forth upon some present, and help them 
to speak. He said to those going the expedition, how he prayed 
for them, and should pray for them day and night, that their Lord 
might be with them, keep them and bless them, (or to that 
effect) ; we then sat in silence awhile, then I arose and minis- 
tered. I think the first text I had to speak was, " Put on as 
the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, 
humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering." I had to show 
the wonderful power and efficacy of the influence of a true 
Christian spirit, and however humble a situation any might 
fill, they would be preachers of righteousness if they were thus 
governed by the spirit of Christ. I showed them how our Lord 


1841.] OF ELIZABETH FBY. 879 

made use of humble instnunents, such as the poor fishermen ; 
then I endeavoured to encourage the most peaceable conduct 
towards the heathen. I had some advice for the ofiGLcers^ and 
afterwards knelt down, and had a very solemn time in prayer. 
My brother Samuel spoke very acceptably, and then gave them 
all a text-book, and we parted in love. Captain Bird Allen 
accompanied us to the convict ship, where we found the poor 
women on deck singing hymns. I spoke to them as a fare- 
well exhortation. I had been with them some time the day 
before, several of the poor women have become delirious, 
from the excitement of the change from separate confinement 
to the bustle of the ship. This must lead me to make further 
and stronger efforts for an entire change of the system adopted 
with them* 

Mrs. Fry's dread of the solitary system was only augmented 
by further knowledge of its consequences. As permanent and 
a punishment for life, she considered it was too cruel to con- 
template^ even for the most heinous crimes. As a preparation 
for returning into society, she could only suppose it desirable for 
very limited periods to be followed by greater enlargement, and 
gradually extended intercourse with their fellows. The eye after 
being accustomed to total darkness is not more fitted for a burst 
of light, than, in her opinion, was the inmate of the solitary cell 
to be again exposed to temptation and unrestricted intercourse 
with his fellow-men. 

Nor was the silent system, when carried to an extreme, 
approved much, if at all more by Mrs. Fry, than the solitary 
or separate one — though her objections to it were on different 
grounds. She knew, that it was not liable to the same abuses, 
from neglect or cruelty, but she considered it little likely to 
benefit the criminal, and particularly adapted to harden the heart. 
Who that has reflected much, or marked the workings of the 
mind of man, has not found that without word or action, a spirit 
may pervade any collection of persons, either of resistance, op- 
position and defiance, or of comparative kindliness and subor- 

380 MBMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

dination. No deliudoii did she oonsider greater^ iban that man 
can be treated as a machine^ and remodelled^ throngh haraig 
his conduct bent to obedience by strong coercion and dread of 
punishment To benefit a sentient being, his sympathies must 
be as much as possible enlisted on the right side^ the spirit of 
opposition never needlessly excited, nor his displeasure roused 
against the circumstances he i^ under, and the authorities over 
him. Perhaps no scheme could be contrived by the ingenuity 
of man, more likely to petrify the little remaining softnese of 
the heart, or aggravate his already rebellious passions, than to 
consign an individual to the companionship of others similarly 
circumstanced, submitting to in act, but resisting in spirit, the 
influences they are under. He and they may be so placed, as 
habitually, not even to see one another. But who will believe, 
that there are not moments and opportunidee, when the evil 
glance can pass from man to man ? When the concentrated 
malice that bums within, will show itself in the countenance ? 
When the mighty power of the human eye can convey meaning, 
or circulate a watchword of mental resistance, without a sound 
escaping the lips ? Men are not likely to abhor evil from being 
driven to abhor the method by which it is purposed to faring 
them to good. The more hateftil die restraints of virtue in the 
aggregate become to any one, and the stronger his dislike of 
the authorities by which they are enforced, the more ready is he 
for the commission of fresh crime ; for no mere dread of punish- 
ment, because a little more or less severe, or under somewhat 
diflferent modifications, in the hour of reckless temptation will 
deter from guilt. To induce an inclination to do bett^, some- 
£hing of a taste for better things, a glimmering of light shed on 
the darkness of former depravity, were in Mrs. Fry's estimation 
the great objects to be obtained. As a loving parent mixes 
tenderness with unflinching and even stem severity, so would 
she have had the State, the *' Powers that be," deal with the 
ofibnder as. 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 881 

'* A father, whose authority in show 

When mott aeyere, and mustering all its force. 

Is but the graver countenance of love." 

With these views, she could not fail as occasion presented 
itself, to urge her opinions upon others, and deprecate the at- 
tempt at enforcing absolute silence amongst prisoners — for 
though she approved of only partial and guarded intercourse, 
varying with their guUt and character, and in no case without 
the presence and oversight of the officers of the prison ; the 
endeavour absolutely to close all avenues of communication 
where personal contact remained, was in her estimation, in its 
practical working as delusive, as the system in itself was harsh 
and untenable. 

Upton, Fifth Month, 2Srd, First-day.— The last week has 
been a serious one, attendance of the Yearly Meeting difficult, 
from Louisa's serious illness and other causes. 

26th. — Yesterday, I accompanied Hannah Backhouse into the 
Men's Meeting. When she had spoken, I rose, saying, that I 
feared to make any addition, but that I had a few hints to offer. 
After expressing my earnest desire that they might all be washed 
and sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by 
the Spirit of our God, I began with my hints. I said my views 
of the state of the Society were not so discouraging as those of 
many others. I remembered, that our first Friends were gathered 
out of various religious denominations, and firom the most spiri- 
tual of these, therefore they were a spiritual and seeking people; 
but in our day, most were Friends from birth and education, 
and not conviction, though I believed there were really spiritual 
ones amongst us ; but I saw much wanting, arising partly from 
these causes, first, the tendency to be a formal people, resting 
in a high spiritual profession, like the foolish virgins with 
lamps but no oil in them, this did much harm. Then I feared, 
being so much a commercial people, that there were too many 
who bowed to the idols of gold and of silver, and this hindered 
their serving only the living God ; but above all, I apprehended 
that too many grieved, quenched and resisted the Holy Spirit of 


God, and this was most iDJurious to ns. I feared an unwilling- 
ness to be taught the first simple lessons of the Spirit, becaase 
humbling to the human heart, and that this hindered arriving 
at greater knowledge. I thought our deficiencies in faith and 
practice much to arise from this quenching the Holy Spirit. I 
believed if there was more faithfulness at all times and in all 
places — ^in the Market place — in the Counting-house — they would 
be preachers of righteousness, and there would be judges raised 
up as at the first, and counsellors as at the beginning, that we 
should as a people, arise, shine and show that the glory of the 
Lord had risen upon us, and that we should uphold our important 
testimonies in the spirit of wisdom and meekness. I also showed 
those who were young, how gently our Lord decdt with us, how 
He fitted us for His own work, how He gave us, not the spirit of 
fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind. I also 
expressed my desire for all those engaged in the discipline, that 
their spirits might be covered with charity, that they might 
seek to restore the offender, remembering themselves, lest they 
should also be tempted, and that they might be enabled to 
strengthen the things that remain that were ready to die. I 
concluded by expressing my desire, that all might fill their 
places in the militant Church on earth, and eventually join the 
Church triumphant in Heaven in never-ending rest, peace, joy 
and glory. 

To the daughter who was so ill, whom she was sedulously 
nursing, in a moment of agitation and distress, she administered 
a lotion by mistake for a draught, which was likely to be seri- 
ously injurious, unless the measures resorted to proved entirely 

Upton, Fifth Months 30M. — ^In the very depths of affliction, 
O Lord ! I apply unto Thee, in faith, for help. Leave me not, 
nor forsake me in this awful time, and enable me to thank Thee 
for the mitigations permitted. Our dearest Louisa being again 
extremely ill, I in my hurry gave her a wrong medicine of a 
poisonous nature— my fright at first was inexpressible. We sent 
for the Doctor, who gave an emetic. It was thought that she 
did not suffer materially from it, but in addition to her other suf- 
ferings and afflicted state, it was bitter to me, almost past ex- 

1841.] OF BLIZABBTH FRY. 383 

pvession ; buti sought to endure as seeing Him who is invisible. 
The conflict of my mind is great indeed ; not I think so much 
in giving up this beloved one, if the Lord saw meet to take her 
to Himself into His kingdom, though it would be very hard to 
part, as I have perhaps too much encouraged her with the ex- 
pectation of recovery. Still she has had a long time of prepa- 
ration ; for many months past, she has, I know, doubted her 
living, and I do believe that a very precious work of grace has 
been going on in her heart, and that through infinite wisdom, 
mercy, and love, that she has, through a Saviour s blood, ob- 
tained pardon and reconciliation with God. 

Permit me, gracious Lord ! in this deep emergency, to entreat 
Thee to save my beloved child, with an everlasting sdvation, and 
if it be Thy blessed will, grant her a little revival, that I may 
never have the weight of believing that her end was accelerated 
by my carelessness. Be very near to her, granting her Thy peace, 
and the joy of Thy salvation, and be very near to help her 
beloved husband, whose tender care over her is wonderful. 
Keep also, merciful Lord ! Thy poor servant, from losing her 
faith or her power of mind in this close trial of faith and'patience. 

Near one o clock. — Our sweet Louisa revived wonderfully out 
of a sleep, that looked almost death-like, and she has been quite 
lively ever since. 

Sixth Month, 6th. — Our dearest Louisa decidedly mending, 
her state of mind highly favoured, so entirely resigned to her 
Lord's wilL My spirits also are revived, and my bodily health 
much restored. I have seen the tender mercy and faithfulness 
of my Lord, in keeping my understanding clear and my faith 
alive during that awful night, when I made so sad a mistake. 

The query now comes closely home. Am I called again to 
the continent or not ? Gracious Lord, I earnestly pray Thee, 
for Thine own name sake, to make my way plain before me, 
and through the power of Thy own Spirit, to make me perfectly 
willing to go or to stay, to do or to su£fer, to be something or 
nothing, exactly as Thou mayst see good for myself, or on ac- 
count of others. I do commit myself, my all, and Thy cause 
which I love, to Thy most Holy keeping and direction. — 


1841, 1842. Letter to Colonel Jebb— Leaves home for the Continent- 
Rotterdam— The Ha(^e —Amsterdam — Bremen — Hamburg — Lubeck 
Copenhagen — Return to Hamburg— Minden and Pyrmont — ^Hanover 
— Berlin— Silesia — Illness — Accident — Return home — Ranngate — 
Upton Lane — ^Lynn — ^Earlham— Winter at home — Communications 
with tiie Continent^The King of Prussia in England-*-Sa]e at the 
Mansion House— Letter to her eldest son — ^Autumn at Cromer^-FiBh- 
erman's Reading-room— Letters from the Continent-^Retom by West 
Norfolk to Upton Lane. 

From: the time of Mrs. Fry's return from her journey the pre- 
ceding year, she had continually received oommnnications from 
the Continent, urging her to visit places, where she had not 
been, or to return and complete her work where she had already 
commenced it. When she heard of these openings for useful- 
ness, her heart responded to the call. Her daughter, whose 
fearfiil illness had caused her such extreme anxiety, had nearly 
recovered it effects, and another daughter, who had passed the 
winter in Italy with her family was again in England. Her home 
party was provided for, having arranged to spend the autumn 
at Bamsgate ; whilst her beloved brother, Joseph John Gumey, 
offered her the great advantage of his society and support — ^he 
believing it his duty to visit several places on the Continent, for 
various religious and philanthropic purposes, especially, to im- 
part the observations he had made during his lengthened tani- 
ance in America and the West Indies, on slavery, and slave- 
holding, to those potentates, who still permitted this evil to 
exist in their dominions. Mrs. Fry shrunk from the great effort 
of leaving home,aDd encountering the fatigue of travelling, from 


the shaken state of her health; for her sensations and symptoms 
induced the belief that her life of exertion and effort had 
told irremediably upon her vital powers. But it was not 
because the shades of evening were gathering round her^ that 
she would slacken her labours for the good of others. Whilst 
it was yet day she desired to work and accomplish all that her 
great Master might have for her to do^ before the night should 
come in which no man can Work. 

{Previom to Ratcliff Monthly Meeting)^ Sixth Month, 22nd. 
— I most earnestly desire the direction of my Lord and Master, 
through the immediate teaching of His Holy Spirit, that I may 
really know and do His will, and His will only. For Thy Name 
sake, O Lord ! lead me and teach me. Am I once more to lay 
before the members of our little portion of Thy Church, my 
apprehended call of duty to go abroad ? I earnestly pray Thee, 
if it be Thy call, make it very clear ; if it be not, let me certainly 
know it, gracious Lord, that not my will but Thine be done. 

27th, First'day. — After most deeply weighing the subject, 
and after very earnest prayer for direction, I felt best satisfied 
to inform my friends of my belief that it might be right for me 
to accompany my dearest brother Joseph to the Continent, and 
to visit some of the more northern countries of Europe. I had 
very decided encouragement from the Friends, particularly the 
most spiritual amongst them, which I felt helpful to me ; but I 
was surprised at the degree of relief and peace that I &lt after- 
wards, as from a voice before me, saying, ''this is the way, 
walk in it" 

28M, Second-day. — ^I had, on Seventh-day, letters from the 
Queen of Prussia and the Princess William. The first express- 
ing much satisfaction at our proposed visit ; our way is clearly 
open in her heart, and that of the Eling. 

My sister Gumey, and our dear friend Charlotte Upcher, went 
with me to the Bishop of London on Sixth-day, on the subject 
of (he Sisters of Charity. It has been a great pleasure to me 
the Queen Dowager giving her name as Patroness. 

VOL. IL c c 

386 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

Before leaving home, Mrs. Fry addressed this letter to 
Captain (Colonel) Jebb, on the subject of the Model Fiison^ 
at Pentonville : — 

Ramsgate, Seventh Mtmth, 2^md, 1841. 

Esteemed Friend, 
' Thy letter, explaining the cause of our not having the plea- 
sure of meeting thee at Newgate, followed me to this place. But 
not being willing to give up seeing the new prison that is build- 
ing before I went abroad, my brother Gumey and two of his 
sons accompanied me there, after having waited some time at 
Newgate, in the hope of seeing thee there. 

We were much interested by our visit to this new prison. We 
think the building, generally, does much credit to the architect, 
particularly in some important points, as ventilation, the plan of 
the galleries, the chapel, &c. ; and we were also much pleased 
to observe the arrangement for water in each cell, and that the 
prisoner could ring a boll in case of wanting help. 

The points that made us uneasy, were first, the dark cells, 
which, we consider should never exist in a Christian and civi- 
lized country. I think having prisoners placed in these cells a 
punishment peculiarly liable to abuse. Whatever restrictions 
may be made for the governor of a gaol, and however lenient 
those who now govern, we can little calculate upon the change 
the future may produce, or how these very cells, may one day be 
made use of in case of either political or religious disturbance in 
the country, or how any poor prisoner may be placed in them, in 
case of a more severe administration of justice. 

I think no person should be placed in total darkness ; there 
should be a ray of light admitted. These cells appear to me 
calculated to excite such awful terror in the mind, not merely 
from their darkness, but from the circumstance of their being 
placed within another cell, as well as being in such a dismal 

I am always fearful of any punishment beyond what the law 
publicly authorises, heing privately indicted by any keeper, or 
officer of a prison ; for my experience most strongly proves, that 
there are few men who are themselves sufficiently governed and 

1841.] OF ELIZAJJETH FRY. 387 

regulated by Christian principle, to be fit to have such power 
entrusted in their hands ; and further, I observe, that officers in 
prisons have generally so much to try and to provoke them, 
that they themselves are apt to become hardened to the more 
tender feelings of humanity, they necessarily, also, see so much 
through the eyes of those under them, turnkeys and inferior 
officers, (too many of whom are little removed, either in edu- 
cation or morals, from the prisoners themselves,) that their 
judgments are not always just. 

The next point that struck us wasy that in the cells generally, 
the windows have that description of glass in them that even 
the sight of the sky is entirely precluded. I am aware that the 
motive is, to prevent the possibility of seeing a feUow-prisoner ; 
bat I think a prison for separate confinement should be so con- 
structed that the culprits may at least see the sky ; indeed, I 
should prefer more than the sky, without the liability of seeing 
fellow-prisoners. My reason for this opinion is, that I consider 
it a very important object to preserve the health of mind and 
hody in these poor creatures, and I am certain that separate 
confinement produces an unhealthy state, both of mind and 
body, and that, therefore, everything should be done to counter- 
act this influence, which, / am sure^ is baneful in its moral 
tendency, for I am satisfied that a sinful course of life increases 
the tendency to mental derangement, as well as bodily disease ; 
and I am as certain, that an unhealthy state of mind and body 
has generally a demoralising influence, as the mind in an ener- 
vated state is more liable to yield to temptation, than when in 
a lively powerful state ; and I consider light, air, and the power 
of seeing something beyond the mere monotonous walls of a cell, 
highly important. I am aware that air is properly admitted, 
also light, still I do think they ought to see the sky, the changes 
in which make it a most pleasant object for those closely confined. 

When speaking of health of body and mind, I also mean 
health of soul, which is of the first importance ; for I do not 
believe that a despairing or stupified state is suitable for leading 
poor sinners to a Savioui^s feet for pardon and salvation. 

I remain, with regard. 

Thy friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 
c c 2 

888 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

Upton, Seventh Month, dOM.— All difficulties and obstrac- 
tions, whioh have been serioas and numerous, are removed, as 
far as I can see ; the way is made plain and open before us, to 
set off to-morrow for our visit to Holland, Germany, Prussia, 
and Denmark. My brother Joseph, his daughter Anna« my 
dear niece Elizabeth Gumey, and my own maid go with me, 
with the prospect of every comfort this life can afford ; and, I 
humbly trust, the Lord Himself calling us into His service, 
that His blessing will be with those who stay, and those who go. 
Grant, gracious Lord, through the fulness of Thy love, that this 
may indeed be the case. 

The travellers arrived at Botterdam, July the 31st, and 
passed a tranquil Sabbath there. In the evening, they held a 
large Meeting in an apartment of the Hotel ; the following 
day visited prisons ; and on the 2nd of August proceeded to 
the Hague. 

Returning a second time, they neither felt themselves, nor 
were received as strangers. They again visited the prisons, and 
urged upon the proper authorities the means of remedying the 
evils existing there. The gracious reception given to them- 
selves and the objects of their mission^ by the Royal family, 
Mrs. Fry describes in a letter to her home circle. 

You will like to know that, through tender mercy, I was 
favoured to feel much rest, refreshment, and peace, at Rotterdam^ 
and much evidence that I was in my right place. Our visits to 
the boy's prison at Rotterdam, and to the women's prison at 
Gouda, were highly interesting. I find a second visit to a 
place much better than a first. We had two meetings— one 
philanthropic, one religious — both well got through, and a large 
attendance. I felt in leaving the place much comfort and 

When we arrived at the Hague, our kind friend Lady Disbrowe, 
(the wife of the British Minister), and Sir Alexander and Lady 
Malet, received us cordially. We divided our evening between 
Sir Edward Disbrowe and our hotel, having a party for us by 


1841.} OF EUZABETH FRY. 389 

acoident in each place ; on the whole both passed off very 
well^ and many appeared to be very glad to see us again. We 
sent our letters to the King from Prince Albert. On Sixth- 
day^ a message came to desire that we would wait upon the 
King and Queen the next day> at half-past one o'clock^ accom- 
panied by Lady Disbrowe. 

We remained with the King and Queen, and their daughter 
the Princess Sophia, about an hour. As rather an interesting 
event in my life, I mean to tell you particulars of this interview. 
Before we went, we had a solemn, short Meeting for worship, 
with our dear and valued friends of this town ; afterwards we 
prepared to go. I was decorated by my best garments out- 
wardly, and I desired so to be clothed with better ornaments 
spiritually, as to render attractive that which I had to recom- 
mend. We all felt very weightily our serious engagement, as 
we had much to represent to the King respecting the West 
Indies, prisons, and religious education for the people in bis 
own country. The King, a lively, clever, perfect gentleman, 
not a large man, in regimentals; the Queen (sister to the 
Emperor of Russia), a fine, stately person, in full and rather 
beautiful morning dress of white ; the Princess much the same* 
After our presentation the King began easy and pleasant con- 
versation with me, about my visiting prisons. I told him in a 
short, lively manner, the history of it ; he said, be heard I had 
so many children, how could I do it ? This I explained ; and 
mentioned how one of my daughters now helped me in the 
Patronage Society. He appeared much interested, as did the 
Queen. I then said, my brother had visited the West Indies, 
and would be glad to tell the King and Queen the result of his 
observations in these islands. . This he did capitally, shewing 
the excellency of freedom, and its most happy results ; he repre-* 
sented, also, the sad effects of the Dutch enlisting soldiers on 
the Gold Coast, and how it led to evil and slavery, which so 
touched the King, that he said he meant to put a stop to it. I 
then began again, and most seriously laid before the king, the 
sad defect of having no religious education in their Government 
Schools, and the Bible not introduced. He said he really felt 
it; but what could he do when there was a law against it? We 

390 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

then endeavonred to explain how we thought it might be obtained. 
Our very seriouB convereation was mixed with much cheerfulness. 
I felt helped to speak very boldly, yet respectfully ; so did my 
brother. I concluded by expressing my earnest desire that the 
Eing^s reign might be marked by the prisons being so reformed, 
that punishment might become the means of the reformation of 
criminals; by the lower classes being religiously educated; and 
by the slaves in their Colonies being liberated. The King then 
took me by the hand, and said he hoped God would bless me. 
I expressed my desire, that the blessing of the Almighty might 
rest on the King, Queen, their children, and their children's 
children. We gave them books, which they accepted kindly. 
It certainly was a very pleasant and satisfSactory interview, that, 
I humbly trust, will not prove in vain in the Lord. 

On Sixth-day, with my brother, I visited the Princess of 
Orange. We had open, free^ pleasant communication on many 
important points. The same morning, I visited the Princess 
Frederick, sister to the King of Prussia, just out of her confine- 
ment. I found her like the other members of that superior 
family. My brother, also, had very satisfactory intercourse with 
the I^ncess of Orange. The Ministers of the Interior and of 
Finance have been very kind, and we hope and expect that real 
good will result. The Princess of Orange has a lovely little boy 
about two months older than our Princess. The girls went to 
see him ; they accompanied me to the Princess Fredrio, who 
wished to see them, from her knowledge of us through the Prus* 
sian Court. 

The 7th, they reached Amsterdam, where they remained four 
days, visiting the prisons and various public institutions, and 
holding meetings for philanthropic and religious objects. The 
Lunatic Asylum they found in a deplorable condition. 

Among other miserable objects, one unhappy woman unclothed 
lay grovelling in straw. Whether the look of compassion or the 
voice attracted her, cannot be known ; but she dragged herself, 
as nearly as her chains would admit to her visitant, and endea- 
voured to reach her : the baud she desired to touch was yielded, 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 891 

she kissed it again and again, and burst into an agony of tears. 
Will any one venture to assert that this poor creatnre was past 
all touch of human feeling, or the reach of gentle control 7 

It was a question, on leaving Amsterdam, whether to take the 
usual route to Sremen or to go by Wilderhausen, over desolate 
country, by a shorter, but not so good a road. The one which 
was chosen proved extremely rough and fatiguing, in places, the 
sand reaching to the axle*tree of the carriage ; scarcely a bird 
or an insect, or any living thing to be seen ; miserable accom- 
modation by night, and wearisome travelling by day. Mrs. Fry 
became much indisposed, and scarcely able to proceed, when, in 
the middle of the last day's journey, a sudden jerk broke the 
mainspring of the carriage, but happily, not far from a small 
inn, where rest and refreshment could be obtained. On Satur- 
day, the 14th, they had the happiness of finding themselves in 
excellent quarter^, in the pleasant town of Bremen. The early 
part of Sunday was tranquil, but in the evening there was a 
very large Meeting held in the Museum, a noble building near 
the Hotel. Long before the appointed hour, well-dressed persons 
proceeded to secure places. Several of the pasteurs were present. 
One of them at the close arose and beautifully addressed the mis- 
sionary brother and sister, expressing his desire that what had 
passed might be blessed to the people, and that they might be 
themselves blessed. To Mrs. Fry he said, your name has long 
been to us ^' a word of beauty." A Christian gentleman wrote to 
them afterwards, ** Now I am more than convinced that you are 
sent to us by the Lord, to be and to become a great blessing and a 
salt to our city." The following morning they went to see the 
prison. Bremen being a Hans Town, the address afterwards for- 
warded by Mrs. Fry and* her brother to the authorities necessarily 
varied in some respects from one intended for a sovereign power. 
When the carriage came to the Hotel door, for their departure, 
crowds of the lower classes surrounded it, wishing them a prosper- 

892 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

ous journey, ''bon voyage/' thanking them for the good Meeting 
they had had the evening before, and begging for tracts ; whilst 
numbers could not be persuaded to move till Mrs. Fry had 
shaken hands with them. 

Their little transit across the Elbe would have been delightful, 
with a glorious setting sun, but for a mob of persons returning 
from Hamburg market, who having discovered Mrs. Fry, and her 
tract bag, so pressed upon her that she was glad to take refuge 
in the carriage, whilst their clever and devoted courier (Francois) 
harangued the people, on his lady's various excellencies, but care- 
fully prevented their approach. The time at Hamburg was ex- 
tremely full; work was ready for them before their arrival. 
There she found Miss Sieveking, with whom she had long com- 
municated, and whose active energy had been the means of 
establishing an association, termed the '* Society of the Ladies' 
Committee," in the well-being of which Mrs. Fry was deeply 
interested. In the foundation of this Society for "Succouring 
and Nursing the Sick and Helpless Poor,*' various objects were 
had in view. The Committee designed to establish " Distdct 
Visiting/^ by which the wants and peculiar circumstances of the 
indigent might be made known to those able and willing to relieve 
them : it specially aimed at providing the sick poor with medi* 
cine, medical attendance, nurses, and other temporal relief, 
whilst the most earnest attention was paid to the spiritual 
necessities of this class, and prayer and reading, formed a spe- 
cified part of the visitor's duties. It also strove to find employ- 
ment for such as were out of work, by furnishing them with 
implements and xqaterials for continuing their various trades, 
for which they were remunerated at the average rate of wages 
in Hamburg and the neighbourhood. Connected with this 
association is an Hospital for children, whether orphans or the 
children of those who from having large families, crowded 


dwellings or other causes, are unable to take such measures as 
are conducive to their restoration to health. The superinten- 
dance of this " Children Hospital," is in the hands of Deacon- 
nesses, who also visit and nurse the poor at their own houses, 
and are employed in testing the merits, and inquiring into the 
necessities of such applicants as desire to be placed on the 
books of the Society. Each family thus enrolled is visited at 
least weekly^ and the peculiarities, illness, wants, with remarks 
upon each is reported by the deaconness or visitor to the Committee. 
It is an invariable rule of the Society that all members of it, 
should as far as possible themselves personally visit the poor, and 
individually succour them temporally and spiritually. It should 
be understood that a distinction is drawn in favour of the 
honest and industrious poor over those who are wilfully idle 
and guilty. 

Much difficulty in obtaining work for the poor is often expe- 
rienced even when they are able and willing to do it. The 
plan pursued is to employ such mechanics as are without work 
or the means of obtaining it, in working for those poor persons 
under the care of the Society who are unable to obtain the 
articles they require; for instance, a poor shoemaker makes 
shoes, at the expence of the Society to be given or sold at re- 
duced prices. Women work for the disabled, or nurse die 
sick and helpless, whilst an infirm aged upholsterer quilts the 
sea-grass mattresses for those who require them. 

In speaking of the public institutions of Hamburg which came 
under Mrs. Fry's notice, it will be necessary to bear in mind 
the peculiar constitution of all public bodies therci in common 
with the other Hans Towns ; generally under a board of con- 
trol, constituted of members elected much on the same system 
asthe directorsof Insurance andothercompaniesinEngland. In* 
dividuals retiring in rotation from year to year, and new persons 

394 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

nominated in their plaoes, thns bringing new minds and fiesh 
thought to bear upon the improvement of the system, so that 
whilst new intellect is con tinn ally evolved within each body^ 
there still is ever an equalizing and conservative spirit pervading 
the whole, firom the presence of the old and experienced 
members of the Board, who are hence always in a larger pro- 
portion than those recently elected. It must be remembered 
too, that the Boards, thus individually changing, and yet as 
bodies always remaining, are elected from the whole class of 
burghers, of which the wealthier part of the population of 
the Hans Towns consists. And it is a beautiful and interesting 
phenomenon to contemplate these unsalaried men of business 
devoting time, money, talent and thought to objects so condu- 
cive to the moral and physical improvement of their fellow-crea- 
tures : self-constituted into their guardians, ameliorators, and 
friends; bound by no compulsory engagements, but on the 
principle of faith and love, each in his own peculiar self- 
denial, fulfilling the law of charity to his poorer neighbour. Thus, 
tlirough the whole mass of wealthier citizens, there exists akiiow- 
ledge and experience of the condition and wants of the poor, of 
which we in England can scarcely form an adequate idea. To 
the effect of the government of these boards on the public in- 
stitutions, and to that so generally diffused spirit of earnest 
helpful love, are to be attributed much of the beauty and wis- 
dom of their internal management, which cannot fiEul to 
strike the mind, as it arrested the attention of Mrs. Fry. 
The many infant schools which exist in Hamburg are simi- 
larly conducted. In these schools, the wives, daughters and 
sisters of the members of the board, take a strong personal 
interest ; they examine, direct, in many cases themselves teach 
the children, which supersedes the necessity, as in other insti- 
tutions, for committees or female visitors. In these schools. 

1841.] OF BLIZABETH FRY. 806 

the infants remain during the day^ having there the mid-day 
meal, and heing provided with little heds, for the mid-day 
sleep. The average rate of payment is Sd. per week» and it 
is a remarkable feature in the condition of the lower orders in 
Germany, that they rarely if ever shrink from the harden of 
this payment, though under cases of great poverty it is remitted 
by the Board. 

The " Orphan Asylum^ is regulated on the same principles 
and receives children who have been deprived of their natural 
protectors gratuitously ; they are carefully brought up until of 
an age to be apprenticed to a trade, or sent to service as circum- 
stances or inclination dictate. Since the fire at Hunburg this 
institution has been placed some way out of the town ; and it 
may be here remarked, that throughout the city the healthiest 
situations are invariably chosen for all charitable institu- 

Mrs. Fry inspected another establishment of a nature deeply 
instructive, even beautifully sublime in the objects which it has 
in view, and in the means in use for the attainment of those 
ends. This is the Asylum known by the name of the " Bauh- 
baus,** because at its foundation in 1883, Herr Wichem led 
his first band of young men and boys into a small thatched 
house, which has formed the nucleus of a colony, and has still 
preserved its original and accidental name. At its establish- 
ment the great object of the founder Wichem was to form a 
species of house of reformation for children from the earliest 
age to their eighteenth or twentieth year; chiefly children 
whose parents and instructors had hitherto laboured in vain 
on their behalf, or whose neglected education had led them to 
the commission of crime, or whose moral and spiritual lite 
had been perilled by the contamination of vice in their 
families and neighbourhood. The design became gradually 

396 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

enlarged whilst the general point remained the same. This 
Befage, unconnected in any way with the police^ thus offered 
its services of helpful loYe» aiming at the restoration of 
such youths to society and the church of Christ, hy the mere 
effect of the Gospel on the heart, and the winning example 
before them of a virtuous and industrious life. The children 
labour in a variety of workships built in the colony (and 
chiefly by themselves), shoemakers, tailors, joiners, bakers, 
printers, bookbinders, Slq. ; they are besides engaged in 
spinning and in agricultural and garden work. One point 
aimed at being to enable each individual as far as possible to 
provide every necessary for himseli Gradually from the first 
thatched house the ^' Bauh-haus " has been increasing in size. 
The old cottage remains, and around it have been grouped 
eleven other houses, which are clustered about a central hall 
for prayer, the whole situated in an extensive garden and 
surrounded by many acres of arable land. Every year a new 
bouse has been added, and fresh members admitted into a 
participation of like advantages. 

The great aim of this institution is the restoration of the 
fallen, but there is another object held constantly in view, 
raising up within the church young men, who shall be strong 
in faith, active in charity, and habituated to guiding and di- 
recting the youthful mind. The adoption of a family life in 
this institution in lieu of a more generally scholastic or even 
military one, has been found of the greatest utility, forming the 
character to domestic life and the fulfilment of family charities 
without destroying individuality or healthy self-dependence. 
Thus at the *' Bauh-haus," the inmates are divided into groups 
of twelve, living together each in one of the little houses ; 
they share their meals, pleasures, instructions, play, and daily 
labour, meeting only in the central hall for morning and 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 397 

eyening prayers. Each of these families is under the 
superintendenoe of young men^ called '^ Brethren of the Bauh- 
haus/' who in fact partake of everything with their families* 
And this brings us to a most important and valuable part of 
this truly church regenerating society. 

The " Brotherhood of the Rauh-haus *' is now in fact a 
training school for labourers in hoipe missions ; it is an ele* 
mentary regiment^ so to speak, of an active militia to the 
church of Christ, who after serving a time of apprenticeship 
as the heads of their small families in the '' Bauh-haus," it is 
hoped will fix on some interior mission in the church, and 
there by pure conduct and earnest will to serve the 
cause of God and to propagate His faith, form another rege- 
nerating nucleus " in the whole temple knit together," which 
is truly of Ood and firom above. Each of these heads of 
the '^ Bauh-haus '' families in entering the institution must 
prove himself thoroughly acquainted with some one trade or 
profession ; and these Brethren (whom you might indeed call 
masters) themselves, during the space of from two to four 
years, go through a theoretical and practical course of instruc- 
tion. They are of the same class, operatives, all desirous 
of giving themselves to the service of God in His church, by 
such orderly and free exercise of love, " for the building up the 
kingdom of God both in Church and State, in all such places 
where the Church and State have hitherto lacked the powers 
needfril for the work," as the leadings of Providence and the 
individual circumstances of each point out. Some have been 
employed in the foundation of other similar institutions in the 
northern part of Germany, in the German provinces on the 
Baltic^ and even in France and Sweden* Others amongst them 
are occupied in the care and visiting of prisoners, and in 
various works of Christian activity. 

«308 MEMOIR OF TfiE LIFE [1841. 

Such ifi the bond of sacred love whioh perrades the whole 
" Banh-haus " establishmenty au eamesty impioiiiig, regenerat- 
ing training up of young minds, by the beautiful examples of 
holy industry and loving faith, by the constraining power of 
the love of Christ in the Gospel, acting as an expulsive force 
in the heart, and driving thence the accumulated dregs of 
original and contracted transgression, filling up the vacuum 
with holy activity and earnest desires after a Christian life hece 
and hereafter. 

Connected with the " Children's " and the " Brethren's " in- 
stitutions, are the '' Printing office " and the '' Agency ^ sub- 
servient to the former, and which may indeed be considered as 
a ministering help towards their support^ otherwise dependeot 
on voluntary contributions. 

The Printing office employs about twenty persons, its first 
object being the employment of a rather superior class of 
the inmates of the " Bauh-haus." Twice a month is published 
at the Agency of the Bauh-haus, and in the Printing office 
there,* a newspaper called the " Fliegende Bl&tter," or Flying 
Leaves, which reports the state of Christian and benevolent 
institutions, and of the success of the interior missions of the 
Church, and is of much interest and general instruction. 

The '' Agency " comprises in fact, an independent /m^6/»Aii»^ 
establishment for the pubUcation of such works as belong to 
the literature of the people ; a bookbinders shop also employs 
twelve workmen under a master; lithography with colours, 
a foundry for stereotype^ and it also furnishes woodcuts. 
This whole business is connected with the suitable employment 
of the children-pupils. 

* Fliegende Blatter Berichte liber Vereine Austallen kun alle Beatre- 
luregen auf deu Gebrete der t nnem Mttnon AgmUer des Ban^e Haukes, 
Horn bei Hamburg, 1845, 1848. 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH PRY. 399 

Whilst prisons and pubUo institntions occupied the mornings, 
the evenings were devoted by Mrs. Fry and her party to social 
intercourse, when subjects of benevolence or religion were dis- 
cussed, or to appointed Meetings for worship. They held two of 

this nature, the last, a very large one, took place in the Assembly 
Boom, a splendid apartment fiilly lighted and well arranged with 
seats. Many of the authorities and principal inhabitants of the 
place were present, the English Charg6 d' Affaires, the French 

Gharg6 d'Affaires, their friend Colonel F , and many others. 

They were conducted into the Meeting by the Syndic Sieveking, 
an eminently good man, who led them to a small platform. Mrs. 
Fry rose to explain her experience in prisons, and the prin- 
ciples upon which she had acted. The results of Gospel truth 
being taught. Christian kindness, change of habit and many 
similar topics ; she then spoke of the institutions of their city, 
and all she had remarked in them of a desirable or an undesirable 
nature. Mr. Gumey addressed the assembly upon what he had 
seen in the West Indies, Abolition of Slavery, Religious Liberty, 
SoGm Great attention was paid, and the interpretation was excel- 
lent At the conclusion, about fifty of their friends attended 
them to their apartment, when after partaking of refreshments, 
they parted with regret and affection on all sides. 

The following afternoon saw them embarked on the Baltic, 
they had a brilliant moonlight night and an easy pleasant 
voyage to Copenhagen, where they remained a week. 

On board the packet after leaving Copenhagen^ Eighth Month, 

My dearest Husband and Children, 

We have been favoured to leave Denmark with peaceful minds, 

having endeavoured to frilfil our mission as ability has been 

granted us ; a more important one, or a more interesting one^ 

I think I never was called into. On First-day morning, when 


400 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

we arrived in the harbour, we were met by Peter Browne the 
Secretary to the English Legation, to inform as that the Qaeen 
had engaged for us apartments in the Hotel BoyaL The appear- 
ance of the Hotel was, I should think, like the arrangements of 
one of our first-rate Hotels about a hundred years ago. 

The next morning the Queen came to town, and we had a very 
pleasant and satisfactory interview with her, she certainly is a 
most delightful woman, as well as truly Christian and devoted 
character : she is also lovely in person, and quite the Queen in 
appearance* She took me in her carriage to her infant school, it 
really was beautiful to see her surrounded by the little children, 
and to hear her translating what I wished to say to them. After 
staying with her about two hours, we returned to our Hotel; and 
that evening took a drive to see the beautiful Palace of Fredericks- 
burgh in a most lovely situation, the beauties of land and sea 
combined, with fine forest trees around it. The following mom- 
ing we regularly began our prison visiting, very sad scenes we 
witnessed in some of them. We saw hundreds of persons con- 
fined for life in melancholy places ; but what occupied our most 
particular attention, was the state of the persecuted Christians. 
We found Baptist ministers, excellent men, in one of the prisons, 
and that many others of this sect suffered much in this country, 
for there is hardly any religious tolerance. It produces the most 
flattening religious influence, I think more marked than inBoman 
Catholic countries We were much devoted to this service of 
visiting prisons. Third and Fourth days, we received various 
persons in the evenings, but saw as yet but few Danes. On Fourth- 
day we dined at Sir Henry Watkyns Wynn our ambassador, and 
here we became acquainted with several persons, they live quite 
in the country, and we saw the true Danish country-house and 
gardens. The King and Queen were kind enough to invite us 
all to dine at their palace in the coimtry, on FifUi-day, this was a 
very serious occasion, as we had so much to lay before the King 
— slavery in the West Indies — the condition of the persecuted 
Christians here — and the sad state of the prisons. I was in spirit 
so weighed down with the importance of the occasion, that I 
hardly could enjoy the beautiful scene. We arrived about a 

1841.] DF ELIZABETH FRY. 401 

quarter past three o clock i the Qaeen met as with the utmost 
kindness and condescension, and took us a walk in their lovely 
grounds^ which are open to the public. We had much interesting 
conversationi between French and English, and made ourselves 
understood; when our walk was finished, we were shown into the 
drawing-room to the King, who met us very courteously, several 
were there in attendance. Dinner was soon announced : imagine 
me, the King on one side, and the Queen on«the other, and only 
my poor French to depend upon, but I did my best to turn the 
time to account. At dinner we found the fruit on the table ; first 
we had soup of the country, secondly, melons, thirdly, yams, 
anchovies, oavia, bread and butter and radishes, then meat, then 
paddings, then fish, then chickens, then game, and so on. The 
fashion was to touch glasses ; no drinking healths. The Ejng 
and Queen touched my glass on both sides ; when dinner was over 
we all rose and went out together. The afternoon was very enter- 
taining, the King and Queen took us to the drawiog-room window, 
where we were to see a large school of orphans, prot^g^ of the 
Queen. I took advantage of this opportunity and laid the state 
of the prisons before the King, telling him at the same time, that 
I had a petition for him which I meant to make before leaving 
the palace. After an amusing time with the poor children, my 
brother Joseph withdrew with the King into a private room, 
where for about an hour he gave him attention, whilst he 
thoroughly enlarged upon the state of their West India islands. 
I stayed with the Queen ; but after awhile went in to them, and 
did entreat the King for the poor Baptists in prison, and for re- 
ligious toleration. I did my best, in few words to express my 
mind, and very strongly I did it. I gave also Luther's senti- 
ments upon the subject. We slept at our friends the Brownes', 
a beautiful place by the sea-side. An agreeable serious gentleman, 
Julius Schesteed, was our interpreter, and remained mth us, 
helping us to prepare our document for the King, he has become 
our constant companion, and is now with us in the packet, going 
to Ltibeck, to interpret for us there. On Seventh*day one of 
our fullest days, we drove into the country to visit the King's 
sister the Landgravine of Hesse Cassel, the Prince her husband 
brother to the Duchess of Cambridge^ and the lovely Princesses 


402 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

her daughters. We endeavoured to turn these visits to account, 
hy our conversation. In the evening, we held one of our very 
large Meetings, I may say a splendid one, as to the company, 
room, &c. I trust that we were both so helped to speak the 
truth in love on various and very important subjects, as to 
assist the causes nearest our hearts, for our poor fellow mortals; 
it did not appear desirable to allude to the persecuted Christians, 
as we had laid their case before the King, we might have done 
harm by it ; but I feel the way in which Protestant Europe is 
persecuting, to be a subject that cannot and must not be allowed 
to rest. 

Where we now are, the same old Lutherans whom we found 
persecuted in Prussia are persecuting others. The way in which 
ceremonies are depended upon is wonderful, no person is allowed 
to fill any office civilly or religiously, until confirmed, not even 
to marry ; and when once confirmed, we hear that it leads to a 
feeling of such security spiritually, that they think themselves 
at liberty to do as they like, sadly numerous are the instances 
of moral fall ! These very weighty subjects so deeply occupying 
my attention, and being separated from so many beloved ones 
prevent the lively enjoyment I should otherwise feel, in some 
of the scenes we pass through ; but I see this to be well, and in 
the right ordering of Providence. I have the kindest attendants 
and everything to make me comfortable. 

On First-day morning, we had a very interesting Meeting with 
the poor Baptists. We then again went into the country, to lay all 
our statements before the King and Queen* I read the one about 
the prisons and the persecuted Christians ; and my brother read 
the one about the West Indies : we had had them translated into 
Danish, for the King to read at the same time. After pressing 
these things as strongly as we felt right, we expressed our reli- 
gious concern and desires for the King and Queen. I read a 
little to them in one of Paul's Epistles ; after that I felt that I 
must commit them and these important causes to Him who can 
alone touch the heart We had a very handsome luncheon, when 
I was again seated between the King and Queen. I may say their 
kindness was very great to me. 
. On Second-day morning, we formed a Society for attending to 

1841. J OF ELIZABETH FRY. 403 

poor piisoners^gentlemen and ladies ; and then paid a most 
delightful farewell religious visit to the Queen and Princess. I 
forgot to mention a very interesting visit to the Queen Dowager. 

We arrived at LUbeck^ after a calm voyage; but I do not like 
nights in steam-packets. I believe that we were sent to Copen- 
hagen for a purpose. May our unworthy labours be blessed to 
the liberation of many captives, spiritually and temporally. 

May the God of peace be near to all of you and to us, as our 
continual Keeper and Helper. 

Farewell, in most tender and near love to all. 

Yours indeed, and in truth, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

By Liibeck they returned to Hamburg; thence Mrs. Fry 
wrote to her family : — 

'^ Hamburg, Ninth Month, 3rd, 

We last night finished our labours in these Hans Towns. 
We have laboured in them in various ways, particularly in 
this large and important town. We have boldly set our faces 
against religious persecution, and upheld religious toleration 
and Christian unity in the Church of Christ. We also have 
laboured about their prisons, and expect to have many evils 
mitigated. It is extraordinary, the good fellowship and love 
that we have enjoyed with numbers. In a spiritual sense, 
fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters given to us, and helpers 
most curiously and constantly raised up from place to place. . • 

From Hamburg, by Minden and Pyrmont, they pursued 
their way to Hanover. 


Hanover, Ninth Month, 9th, 1841. 
My dearest Louisa, 
I cannot express the fulness of my love and interest for my 
children in their different allotments, and how often I think of 

D D 2 

404 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

you and your families before the Lord, in my quiet meditations. 
We arrived here, after finishing our interesting and satisfactory 
visits to our dear Friends at Minden and Pyrmont I felt it 
refreshing, being again with these dear simple-hearted people, 
and I do think they are useful in their allotment. How much 
I should like you to have seen us dining with them at Frieden- 
sthal; such a numerous family, grandmother, children, grand- 
children in a large room, and a beautiful and most hospitable 
German dinner. We not only were favoured with outward 
refreshment, but it reminded me of the disciples formerly, who 
went from house to house breaking bread and giving thanks ; 
and I desired that we might do as they did, " eat our meat with 
gladness and singleness of heart" I hope there was something 
of this spirit The country lovely. I retired for rest on a little 
German bed, whilst my companions took a ride on horseback 
over the beautiful hills. We had a very interesting Meeting, 
largely attended by the company who come here to drink the 
waters and the Pyrmontese. At Minden, the Friends are in 
more humble life. I could not but be struck with the peculiar 
contrast of my circumstances; in the morning traversing the bad 
pavement of a street in Minden, with a poor old Friend in a sort 
of knitted cap close to her head, in the evening surrounded by 
the Prince and Princesses of a German court ; for, to our sur- 
prise, Dr. Julius' sister followed us to Minden, to inform us that 
in the town of Biickeburg, that we had passed through, there 
was a desire expressed that we should hold a Meeting, and that 
the reigning Princess wished us to go to the palace. After some 
consideration we agreed to go, and upon our arrival in the town 
found a large Meeting of the gentry assembling; some time after- 
wards the Prince and Princess and their family came in. They 
rule the state of Lippe Schonenburg, one of the small rich 
German states. I endeavoured to speak the truth boldly in love, 
drawing results from my experience in prisons, and seeking, 
as ability was granted me, to bring it home to the hearts of those 
present. Your uncle also spoke to the same purpose. After- 
wards we had a very agreeable visit to the palace, where we 
were most cordially received, and had tea at five o'clock ; there 
were many to meet us. After this singular visit, we proceeded 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 405 

here, but did not arrive till past twelve o'clock at nigbt, having 
had two Meetings at Minden, and one at Biickebnrg. We were 
completely tired; almost too much so. To-day we are busy 
here, and I am delighted to find the dear late Queen really 
had the chains knocked off the poor prisoners at Hameln'; it 
was a delightful sight to see their happy grateful faces. They 
looked as if they knew that we bad pleaded for them. I think 
it was one of the pleasantest visits I ever paid, and to find that 
the prisoners had behaved so well since, and that the kindness 
shown them had had so good an effect. We are now much oc- 
cupied in answering an interesting letter from the King of 
Hanover to me, and as I have many weighty things to say to him^ 
I fear I must leave off, being very tired, and expecting a large 
party this evening. 

The party in the eveningproved particularly satisfactory. Mrs. 
Fry and her brother, also met both the gentlemen and the 
ladies Committees for visiting prisons. A day of very hard 
travelling brought them to Magdeburgh, and a second, by rail- 
road diverging to visit Wittenburg, to Berlin. Numerous objects 
awaited their attention in that city, not the less weighty to Mrs. 
Fry, from having been there before and made so many acquain- 
tances, besides the additional interest she felt in Institutions 
already known to her. 

The state of the prisons was of course her chief object of 
attention. Mrs. Fry and Mr. Gumey prepared recommendations 
to lay before General Thile, Minister of the Boyal House, em- 
bodying their observations and opinions, and urging the necessity 
of many alterations before real improvement could be effected. 
The Prussian Boyal Family were at the time in Silesia ; thither 
the travellers had been invited to follow them, for there were 
those amongst them who considered that the retirement and 
tranquillity of that place would be well suited for the con- 
sideration of Mrs. Fry's objects. It was not a light pros 
pect to Mrs. Fry ; she had naturally the fear of man deeply 

406 MEMOIR OF THE LTFlS [1841. 

implanted in ber character. Religion had changed its direc- 
tion, but not eradicated it. It was no longer for herself that 
she was a&aid, it was for the cause sake to which her heart 
was given, for amongst these royal and noble personages she 
dreaded in either herself or her companions, any thing that might 
not adorn the doctrine of God h^ Sayiour : but she soon dis* 
covered that she had come amongst Christians, many of them 
devoted as herself to the service of their Maker. Amongst the 
members of the House of Brandenberg, she found many intel- 
lectual and excellent persons. In the noble head of that royal 
House, one, who with a spirit indomitable as the great Frederick's, 
showed equal moral courage in carrying out all that he believed 
likely to conduce to the temporal and eternal good of his sub- 
jects, as his predecessor had displayed in self-aggrandisement 
and war* In the beautiful retirement of the Beisenberg, she saw 
Boyalty setaining all the grace and finish that appertains to it ; 
but freed from the encumbrances of a city court. Her recep- 
tion was more than kind, honoured for her ** works' sake," she 
found herelf by all and on all occasions, treated with Christian 
affection and consideration. 

No record of this time, singular and important as it was, 
exists of her own writing, but a letter to her grandchildren. 
But the deficiency is well supplied from the journal of one 
of her companions. 

It was on the 10th of September that the party arrived at 
Hirschberg ; a beautiful little village, inhabited by a clean and 
very respectable class of peasantry. It is situated about eight 
miles from the Eoyal residences of Erdmansdorf, Fischbach, 
and Schildau ; and is nearly equi- distant from Buchwald, the 
home of the Countess Beden, of whose Christian character 
and benevolence Mrs. Fry had often before heard. The King 
and Queen were at that time residing at Erdmansdorf. At 
Fischljach lived Prince and Princess William (the uncle and 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 407 

aunt of the Queen), with their sons Prinoe Waldemar and 
Prince Adelbert» and their daughter Princess Mary, now Queen 
of Bavaria. Prince Charles, brother of the King, was also 
on a visit at Fischbach. The sister of the King and her 
husband. Prince and Princess Frederic of the Netherlands, 
with their daughter Princess Louisa, were then residing at 

To many of the Koyal family, Mrs. Fry had been presented 
the previous year at Berlin, and the Princess Frederic of the 
Netherlands she had visited at her own beautiful home near 
the Hague, some time before. It was a lovely spot in which 
Mrs. Fry now found her tent pitched for a while. Of its rare 
heauty she had heard much, and from a painting of Schloss 
Fischbach, presented to her by Princess William during her 
stay at Berlin, she had formed some idea of the wild moun- 
tainous scenery and picturesque loveliness of the neighbourhood. 
To a mere passing traveller there was much to delight and to 
please ; but even still more of deep interest to those who could 
in any degree enter into the Boyal domestic circles there as- 
sembled, and this was Mrs. Fry privileged to do, with much 
enjoyment and an earnest desire to be permitted to be useful and 
faithful in all her intercourse with them. To enable her to be 
more accessible to the opportunities thus furnished, the pleasant 
little Gk>ldenstem Hotel in the village of Schmiedeberg, had 
been exchanged for the equally agreeable and commodious inn 
at Hirschberg. The mornings were usually passed in writing 
and preparing important documents on the Prison, Slavery, 
and other questions ; and the afternoons were commonly spent 
in some visit to one of the palaces, which had been previously 
arranged. The Sunday was a day replete with interest. In 
the early part of it, it was necessary to finish an address to 
the King on Beligious Toleration and on matters connected 
with Prisons. 

408 MBMOIR OF THB LIFE [1841. 

Mrs; Fry was at that time suffering from great debility and 
£atigae ; but a power not her own seemed granted her to rise 
above her infirmities, and meet the varions duties, which on 
that Sabbath were given her to fnlfil. It is only those who 
held intimate oommunication with her at these times, who can 
in any measure understand the extreme nervousness of her 
constitution on the one hand, or on the other, the amount of 
strength granted her — granted doubtless in answer to fervent 
constant prayer, offered to the very moment of her entering a 
large assembly, or sitting down to commence some document, 
or engage in some important conversation. She prayed that 
in nothing might she seek herself, in all Christ Jesus ; and 
that all which He laid upon her for His glory, and the good of 
her fellow creatures, she might rightly and faithfully perform. 
Such was the spirit in which that Sabbath morning found her. 
Marvellously were her prayers answered: — most remarkably was 
her strength upheld. The long and interesting papers which 
she and her brother Joseph John Qumey had prepared for the 
King, were again perused during the drive to Princess William s 
Palace, which they reached about one o'clock, having called on 
the way at Buchwald for the excellent countess, whose ever 
ready aid was given to support and help her, and who in the 
present instance, interpreted Mrs. Fry's words for the Princess. 
Many other ladies were assembled at the Palace, and after some 
conversation of a general nature, every one remained in silence 
to listen to what she might have to say to them. This oppor* 
tunity of addressing Oospel truth to such a company, she dared 
not pass by ; every word was listened to, every expression of 
her countenance watched, during her discourse. She spoke of 
the importance of upholding a religious standard in the world ; 
of making a final and decisive choice in these important 
matters ; of taking Christ as the only portion, and rejecting all 
besides. She impressed upon her hearers the duties incumbent 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 409 

on persons of a higher class of using their influence with others 
for good» and not for evil. She spoke of the privilege of pos- 
sessing such means of usefulness. Very solemnly she urged 
upon all heads of large establishments the vast amount of 
responsibility entrusted to them ; the prevention of crime, and 
the good to be derived even by silent example : still more by 
the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures to the assembled 
family. She added an account of the experience of many pri« 
soners, as to the blessings of being placed in professedly re- 
ligious families^ and the awful temptations presented to the 
servants of those who take no care for their souls, and are 
neglecting their eternal interests. Many tears were shed on 
this occasion, and all seemed anxious to share her sympathy 
and love. 

During her stay in Silesia, Elizabeth Fry had opportunities 
of intercourse with the poor Tyrolese, who having fled from 
their native Zillerthal, on account of the religious persecution 
which they endured from the Austrian Government, had thrown 
themselves under the protection of the late King of Prussia, 
and by him had been placed under the care of the Countess 
Seden, who had proved herself indeed a nursing mother to 
them. It will be necessary to take a hasty review of the history 
of these Zillerthalians, in order rightly to estimate the deep 
interest excited in Mrs. Fry's mind in their behalf. For much 
information on the subject acknowledgments are due to an 
able article in the ' Quarterly Keview,' of June 1839, as well as 
other important and interesting documents. 

On the high road between Saltzburg and Innesbruck, after 
advancing more than two-thirds of the way, there lies between 
two majestic masses of rock, a wide and lovely valley. It is 
watered by a clear stream which, issuing from the Southern 
Alps, falls into the Inn a little below Strauss. Very nearly in 
the middle of the valley, stands the town of Zill, the seat of a 

410 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

Landgericht^ and the residence of a dean. The lootdity pre- 
sents alternately rich meadows and heavy arable land; and 
here and there are dotted about villages and pretty white 
cottages, farm-houses, chapels and churches with lofty towers 
and spires. The population, amounting to from 15,000 to 
16,000 souls, get their living chiefly by agriculture and the 
rearing of cattle. The poorer class emigrate yearly to Styria 
and Carinthia, where they are employed in felling trees, and in 
some of the manufactories of the country. Extreme poverty is 
nowhere to be found, and a common beggar is a rarity. The 
people are strong, healthy, and well made, and are chiefly die* 
tinguishable by extreme good-nature and honest simplicity. 
Their religion was without any exception (until a few years 
back) Boman Catholic ; and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction lay 
between the bishops of Brisen and Saltzburg. In this valley, 
and amongst this simple people, did Protestantism suddenly 
appear. Not a single Protestant place of worship could be 
found for many miles around. A century before, the Arch* 
bishop of Saltzburg and his soldiers had crushed in that plea- 
sant land the simple worship of Almighty Qod, which they 
deemed heresy, by the strong arm of power, and had robbed 
every Protestant of his possessions, driving them into perpetual 
exile. But in their haste to expel the heretics, they had left 
the cause of heresy behind,^-their Bibles and other religious 
books ; thus it came to pass that, after many years the good 
seed again sprung up and took deep root in the hearts of the 
Zillerthalians. Bound up with some of the old Bibles, was 
the Augsburg confession of faith. The Zillerthalians read, 
learnt, applied to themselves the fruits of their study. They 
found in this compendium of Protestant doctrine a uniform 
system ; they became of one mind, and were enabled to give a 
clear answer to their enemies. Many amongst their number, 

in their yearly migrations, visited Bavaria, and formed ao- 


1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 411 

quaintances among the Protestants there ; they returned home 
with their faith strengthened, and their knowledge enlarged, 
and in possession of fresh hooks on these suhjects. They 
hegan to scruple at assisting at the celehration of mass, or 
paying homage to images, and some determined to take legal 
steps for a puhlic profession of Protestantism. The storm 
long gathering, now hurst with fury on their heads. The 
" six weeks' instruction," in Popish doctrines necessary hy law 
in Austria, hefore any person leaves the pale of the Bomish 
church, on the plea of preventing any one from changing 
their religion in ignorance, was denied them ! — an unworthy 
shuffle, a mean trick of might against right ; as hy the edict 
of Joseph the instruction is dependant solely on the will of him 
who wishes to ahjure Popery. This gross injustice, however^ 
neither shook the resolution of the applicants, nor prevented 
others from imitating their example. On the arrival of the late 
Emperor Francis in the Tyrol, he determined on personally in- 
forming himself of their wrongs and their wishes. Though most 
amiable and courteous to their deputation, this interview with 
their Emperor in nowise improved their condition. Doubtless 
the keepers of the royal conscience, exercised not their influence 
in vain. They were allowed no place of assembly, were com- 
pelled to send their children to the Romish priest for baptism, 
(who claimed them as part of his flock,) and were plunged 
into the greatest difficulties, and exposed to all sorts of petty 
Texations, as well as violations of their consciences. The only 
answer they could obtain to their complaints, was a letter from 
Vienna, dated April 2, 1884, informing them that the Govern- 
ment saw no reason for acceding to their request, but that if 
they wished to secede from the Boman Catholic Church, they 
might migrate to some province of the empire in which a 
Protestant congregation existed. Determined, however, if 
driven from their homes, that they would go to some country 

412 HEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

"where they might enjoy the free exercise of their religion, they 
applied for passports to leave the Austrian dominions ; bat this 
privilege of voluntary exile was denied them. In the coarse of 
about two years, however, an ungracious permission for so 
doing was accorded them, in the form of a command^ to leave 
Austria within four months. The late King of Prussia had 
warmly sympathised in their sorrows, and at this juncture sent 
from Berlin his chaplain Dr. Strauss, to Vienna, to entreat 
from Prince Mettemich, permission for the emigration of the 
Zillerthalians into Prussia, as he was willing to receive them 
all. About the time that the royal chaplain left Berlin on his 
embassy of mercy, arrived there Johann Fleidl, the Ziller- 
thalian deputy, with the following petition drawn up by him* 
self, on behalf of his fellow sufferers. 

"Most Illustrious, most Miohtt Kino, most Oracious 

Kino and Lord. 

" In my own name and in the name of my brethren in the 
faith— whose number amounts to from four hundred and thirty 
to four hundred and forty, I venture to address a cry of dis- 
tress to the magnanimity and grace of your Majesty, in your 
high character of defender of the Gospel. With my whole soul 
I desired to have advanced this prayer personally and orally, 
though I am content, too, if it be permitted to me to do so 
only in writing. After the lapse of one hundred years another 
act of persecution and banishment is perpetrated in our father- 
land. Not for any crimes that we have committed, not for any 
misdemeanour of ours, but because of our religion, we are com- 
pelled to forsake the land of our home, as the accursed certifi- 
cate from the Laudericht Zell, dated the 11th of this month, 
will show. It is true that we have the alternative of trans- 
portation into another Austrian province, or emigration ; but in 
order to spare ourselves and our children all further vexation, 
we prefer the latter. Once before, Prussia granted our forefathers 
an asylum in their time of need — we too, put all our trust in 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 413 

Ood and in the good King of Prussia. We shall find help, and 
not be confounded. 

"We, therefore, most humbly petition your Majesty for a con- 
descending reception into your states, and kind assistance on 
the occasion of our settlement. We pray your Majesty to 
receive us paternally, that we may be able to live according to 
our faith. Our faith is built entirely on the doctrines of Holy 
Scripture, and the principles of the Augsburg confession. We 
have read both with diligence, and have arrived at a full know- 
ledge of the difference between the divine word and human 
additions. From this faith we neither can nor will ever depart : 
for its sake we leave house and land, for its sake we abandon 
our native country. 

"May your Majesty graciously permit us to remain together in 
one congregation — that will increase our mutual help and com- 
fort. May your Majesty most graciously place us in a district 
whose circumstances have some resemblance to those of our own 
Alpine land. Our employments have been agriculture, and the 
breeding of cattle. Two-thirds of us have property — one-third 
live by day labour, only eighteen have trades, of whom thirteen 
are weavers. May it please your Majesty to give us a pastor 
faithful to his Lord, and a zealous schoolmaster ; though at 
first we shall most probably not be able to contribute much 
towards their support. The journey will be expensive, and we 
do not know how much we shall bring to our new home, and 
we and our children have been for a long time deprived of the 
consolations of religion, and the benefit of school instruction. 
If want should anywhere make its appearance among us, 
especially amongst the labourers, and those who are better off 
be not able to give sufficient relief, inasmuch as here they have 
to begin life over again, may it please your Majesty to be a 
father to us all. May it especially please your Majesty to 
intercede that the allotted time of four months, from May 1 1 to 
September 11, may be prolonged until next spring. The sale 
of our farms, which has already begun, but which cannot be 
ended in so short a time without loss — the approach of winter — 
the infirmity of the old people, and the children — make this 
prolongation of the term highly desirable. May God repay to 


your Majesty any good that your Majesty does to us. Faithful, 
honest, and thankful, we will remain in Prussia, and not put off 
the good features of our Tyrolese nature. We shall only in- 
crease the numher of your Majesty's brave subjects, and stand 
forth in history as an abiding monument, that misfortune when 
it dwells near compassion ceases to be misfortune, and that the 
Gospel, whenever it is obliged to fly from the Papacy, finds 
protection near the magnanimous Eling of Prussia. 

'' The Tyrolese of the Zillerthal, by their spokesman, Johann 
Fleidl, of ZiUerthal." 

Whilst Fleidl, was thus urging his suit at Berlin, Dr. 
Strauss was successfully advocating the same cause at Vienna. 
The Austrian ministers, ashamed of their eight years perfidy 
and injustice consented to all that was proposed. The 
Zillerthalians hastened to complete their preparations ; and 
fourteen days before the expiration of the four months the first 
division of the wanderers commenced their journey, old age, and 
infancy, manhood and gentle woman, alike leaving their beloved 
homes and turning their faces to the asylum opened for them by 
the compassion of their noble protector. Very touching was the 
detail of their pilgrimage, most affecting and instructive their 
patience, their courage, their simple faith. Their new home 
lay in the domain of Ermansdorf, where each obtained a house 
and farm suitable to his means, and his former position in the 
Tyrol The colony itself has received the name of their old 
home, Zillerthal. The countess of Beden was appointed to 
attend to their necessities. She had them cottages built in the 
true Swiss style, with large balconies and long roofs, and 
established for them schools, and in every possible way employed 
and instructed them. Ever thoughtful of their interests, the 
countess invited them to come to Buchwald that evening to 
receive encouragement and comfort from Mrs. Fry ; she having 
expressed her anxious wish to hold with them some communi- 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 415 

cation in Christian love. The Eing and Queen and other mem- 
bers of the Boyal Family were present at the service, and before 
the eveoing closed Mrs. Fry had much close and heart searching 
intercourse with them. At length arrived the exiles from Zil* 
lerthal, forming a curious and picturesque group, dressed in the 
costume of their country. Both men and women in the dark 
green cloth clothes, and high-pointed hats, many of the latter 
ornamented with garlands and nosegays of flowers. A 
long table was placed at one end of the room at which 
the Zillerthalians sat, and in front of which was a Moravian 
brother, for whom the good Countess had sent forty miles 
to act as interpreter. On the right hand of the table were 
seated the Boyal family and others, and many persons stood 
crowding round the door. It would be scarcely possible to 
describe the deep interest of that whole group, or the solemn 
silence which prevailed when Mrs. Fry began to speak; 

After Mr. Gumey had in a few words prepared the way for 
her, she rose with much solemnity and earnestness. Never did 
she address any assembly more beautifully, with more unction, 
or more truly from the depths of her heart, and no audience 
could have given more profound attention to every word she 
uttered. She invited them all to a close dependence upon Jesus 
Christ, and urged a full, firm, and constant trust in Him as 
their Lord and their Saviour, their King and their God. 

With her usual tact and power, each individual, each class 
present seemed included in her address. It was the first occa- 
sion on which she had seen the Eing since his accession to 
the throne, and she knew too that it was the first time of 
his meeting many there present, as their sovereign. Her 
words of sympathy to him, on the death of his father, and her 
estimate of his present important position in Europe, which 
she spoke for herself, as well as for those about her, were 
beautifully adapted to the occasion. Mr. Gumey added a few 

416 MEUOIR OF TUB LIFE [1841. 

words ; afterwards a hymn was sung, led by the Moravian 
Brethren ; and then the Tyrolese departed. Every one flocked 
around her with a word of love or kindness, but none expressed 
more interest or more gratitude than the King himsel£ 

The following day the travellers dined at Fischbach, where 
she again met the King, and then came the leave-taking, al- 
ways so sad when the probabilities of life afford little expecta- 
tion of meeting again on this side the eternal world. 

My much- loved Grandchildren, 
Instead of writing my private journal, I am disposed to write 
to you from this very lovely and interesting place. I am not very 
well in health, but I may thankfully acknowledge, that although 
tried by it for a while, such sweet peace was granted me that I 
was permitted to feel it sleeping as well as waking ; so that I 
may say, my Lord restored my soul and I fully expect is healing 
and will heal my body. I think a more interesting neighbourhood 
I never heard of, than the one we are iu. These lovely moun- 
tains have beautiful palaces scattered about them. One belonging 
to the King9 others to Prince William, Prince Frederic, and other 
Princes and Princesses, not royal, besides several to the nobility ; 
but what delights my heart is, that almost all these palaces are 
inhabited by Christian families — some, of the most remarkable 
brightness. Then we find a large establishment, with numerous 
cottages in the Swiss style, inhabited by a little colony of Tyrolese. 
They fled from ZillerthU, because they suffered so much on account 
of their religious principles, being Protestants. The late King 
of Prussia allowed them to take refuge in these mountains, and 
built them these beautiful cottages. We therefore rejoice in the 
belief, that in the cottages as well as the palaces, there are many 
faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ This evening we 
are to hold a Meeting for such as can attend, at the mansion of 
the Countess Beden, who is like a mother in Israel to rich and 
poor. We dined at her castle yesterday. I think the palaces, 
for simple country beauty exceed any thing I ever saw ; the 
drawing-rooms are so filled with flowers^ that they are like green- 


hoQses, beautifully built, and with the finest views of the moun- 
tains. We dined at the Princess William's with several of the 
Boyal Family, the Queen came afterwards, she appeared much 
pleased at my delight on hearing that the King had stopped 
religious persecutions in tbecountry, and thatseveral other things 
had been improved since our last visit It is a very great com- 
fort to believe, that our efforts for the good of others have been 
blessed— may we be thankful enough for it. Yesterday, we paid 
a very interesting visit to the Queen, then to Prince Frederic 
of Holland and his Princess, sister to the King of Prussia, with 
her we had much serious conversation upon many important 
subjects, as we had also with the Queen. Dined early at the 
Countess Beden's. The Princess William and her daughter the 
Princess Mary joined us in the afternoon, with several others. 
How delighted you would be with the Countess and her sister ; 
they show the beauty of holiness. Although looked up to by 
all, they appear so humble, so moderate in every thing. I think 
the Christian ladies on the Continent dress far more simply 
than those in England* The Countess appeared very liberal, 
but extravagant in nothing. A handsome dinner ; but only one 
sort of wine, and all accordingly. To please us, she had apple- 
dumplings, which were felt quite a curiosity, and they really 
were very nice. The company stood still before and after din* 
ner, instead of saying grace. 

Afternoon. — ^We are just returned from Prince William's, 
where we have had a Meeting of a very interesting nature. Many 
ladies were assembled to meet us, that I might give thdm some 
account of my experience in prisons. Your uncle added some 
account of his journey in the West Indies. We expressed our 
desire that the blessing of God might be with them. Oreat love 
was shown us, indeed, they treat me more like a sister than a 
poor humble individual as I feel myself to be. On our return, 
we met the King, we rather expect he will be at our Meeting 
at the Countess Seden's this evening. 

Seeond'daiif morning. — ^We returned from our interesting 
Meeting at the Countess' about eleven o'clock in the evening. 
The fioyal Family were assembled, and numbers of the nobility ; 
after a while the King and Queen arrived. The poor Tyrolese 

VOL. u. BE 

418 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

flocked in numbers. I doubt snob a Meeting ever having been 
held before any where — the carions mixture of all ranks and con- 
ditions. My poor heart almost failed me. Most earnestly did 
I pray for best Help and not nndnly to fear man. The Royal 
Family sat together, or nearly so ; the King and Qaeen^ Princess 
William, Princess Frederick, Princess Mary, Prince William, 
Prince Charles, brother to the King, Prince Frederick of the 
Netherlands, young Prince William, besides several other 
Princes and Princesses not royal. They began with a hymn in 
German. Your uncle Joseph spoke for a little while, explaining 
our views on worship. Then I enlarged upon the changes that 
had taken place since I was last in Prussia, mentioned the late 
King's kindness to these poor Tyrolese in their. a£Biotion and 
distress ; afterwards addressed these poor people, and then those 
of high rank, and felt greatly helped to speak the truth to them 
in love. They appeared very attentive and feeling. I also, at 
the close of my exhortation, expressed my prayer for them. Then 
your uncle Joseph spoke fully on the great truths of the Gospel, 
and showed that the prince as well as.the .peasant would have to 
give an account of himself to God. In conclusion, he expressed 
his prayer for them. They finished with another hymn. It was 
a solemn time* We afterwards had interesting conversation for 
about an hour. When the King and Queen were gone, we were 
enabled to pray with the Countess, for herself and her sister, 
that all their labours in the Lord's service might be blessed. 
Now, my much-loved grandchildren, let me remind you that we 
must be humbled and take up the cross of Christ, if we desire to 
be made use of by our Lord ; " He that honoureth me, I will 
honour." May you confess your Lord before men, and He will 
then assuredly confess and honour you. I can assure you, when 
surrounded by so many who are willing to hear me^ I feel greatly 

I wish dear Frank to read this, as my eldest grandchild, 
and one in whom I take so tender an interest. Indeed, my 
beloved grandchildren, you dwell very near my heart ; may the 
same Holy Spirit who has helped and guided your grandmother, 
help and guide you ! 

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and raise you up for 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FKY. 419 

His own eervice, for it is a most blessed service. Dearest love 
to your fathers and mothers, 

I am, 
Your most loving grandmother, 

E. F. 

It was on this occasion the Princess William gave an account 
of the great prison at Jauer, and the Sling expressed a strong 
wish that Mrs. Fry should see it, though considerably out of her 
route. This visit was afterwards accomplished. It proved one 
of great interest In one cell was a murderer^ in another a 
man of well known desperate dharacter ; they were both most 
cruelly ironed to prevent their escape through the window ; 
each was fastened to an iron staple in the floor, with a heavy 
iron bar across the shoulder, to make any movement irksome. 
Their condition was afterwards represented by Mrs. Fry to the 
King, who ordered their chains to be lightened, and in- 
sisted on immediate attention being paid to their health. 

Many of the prisoners on this occasion were assembled in 
the chapely when both Mr. Gumey and Mrs. Fry addressed 
them at considerable length. Their discourses were interpreted 
by the Moravian brother from Buchwald, whose attendance 
at the prison had been commanded by the King for that pur- 

Erdmansdorf, Ninth Month, 20M. 

My dearest Harry, 
I wish thee, as my beloved youngest son, to have the account 
of the conclusion of our visit to the beautiful mountains and 
valley of Silesia. I wrote a long letter to the grandchildren, 
which I hope thou wilt see, as it gives an account of our adven- 
tures yesterday and the day before. This morning we visited 
the King and Queen, after our very interesting Meeting last 
evening which they attended, at the Countess Reden's ; a 
Meeting never to be forgottet. This morning we went with a 
long document to the King and Queen about the prisons, and 

£ E 2 

420 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1 84 1. 

various other subjects ; we were received with the utmost kind- 
ness, and remained with them nearly two hours and a hal£ We 
had also a reading of the Holy Scriptures, and I prayed for them. 
We parted in love. We then went over the lovely country, past 
the little beautiAil Swiss cottages built for the Tyrolese by the 
late King, and proceeded to Fischbach to dinner, to take leave 
of our much valued friends in these parts. We had a cheerful 
pleasant dinner, and afterwards, when thy uncle and the girls went 
a drive, I sat down with Prince and Princess William, and the 
Countess Beden and her sister, and told them the history of all my 
children. When your uncle and the girls came in with the young 
party we had a serious time — afterwards I prayed for them. 
With many tears we parted, and left this lovely country and 
family and iriends. I go on with my letter — This morning we 
left Hirschberg between six and seven o'clock, and sad to say, 
our careless postilions ran us violently against a cart, and broke 
our pole ; we were none hurt, as it was on level ground. Here 
I am in a little German pot-house, disposed to finish my history 
to thee. I wish thou couldest see us, I think it would make thee 
smile — having a sort of breakfast in the same room with the poor 
labourers, and such a singular set of people. Thy uncle would 
have me get into a cart to come here ; picture me laid down in 
a curious German waggon made of basket work, lying on sacks 
and straw, but the jolting rather trying, as I am very far from 
well. I wish I could fully describe the deep interests we have 
had in this journey, and how marked has been the kindness of 
Providence towards us in many ways, and how blessed His service 
i& I certainly think the inhabitants of the mountains of Silesia 
the most interesting and curious assemblage of persons that I 
ever met with. We from this place see those beautiful moun- 
tains the Reisenberg, in their splendour, the morning being 
very fine and bright; probably the last time I shall ever see 
them^ — though the King and Queen begged me to return ; but 
this I never expect to do, for I find the roughs of the journey 
are, with all my numerous indulgences, far too much for me, and 
I often feel very nearly ill. I think through all, I have seldom 
bad more reason to believe that 1 have been called to any ser- 
vice, but we have been so much limited for time, as to make the 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 4.21 

press in travelliDg too great for my strength. We hope to be 
in England next Seyenth-day week. How often and how ten- 
derly I think of thee, my dearest youngest son. 

I am thy loving mother, 

E. R 

CaBsel, Ninth Month, 26th. 

My most tenderly beloved Husband and Children, 
I am g]ad, and I trust thankful, to be so far on our way home- 
wards, and I hope and expect that we may this day week have 
the inexpressible consolation of being once more in England ; 
my longings for it are almost inexpressible, and I have to pray 
and seek after faith and patience not to be too anxious, or in 
too great a hurry. I have continued very far from well, with 
latterly a considerable stiffness in my limbs, so that I am 
obliged to be assisted to walk up stairs, and helped into the 
carriage, sometimes by one or two men. I might have had the 
same attack at home ; but one thing is certain, we may fully trust 
in our Heavenly Father, who is constantly protecting us under 
the wing of His love, and who knows what is best for us. I have 
sometimes thought that after being so helped on my way, from the 
palace to the prison, it was likely that the poor instrument should 
need a little further refining and purifying, for our works are 
to be tried as by fire. I have very earnestly desired not to repine^ 
or to be unwilling to drink the cup that may be given me to 
drink. We travel with six horses to make the greatest speed 
home. I have a board in the carriage, that when your uncle 
and Anna are outside, I can quite rest and make a real sofa of 
it, when I need it, which I do for one or two stages in the day. 
Mary and Fran9oi8 are very attentive and kind ; indeed how 
differently am I cared for to many poor missionaries. I wish 
you to feel for me, but not to be two anxious about me ; com. 
mit me entirely to Him who only knows what is best for me 
Your aunt Elizabeth's letter was very seasonable and accepta- 
ble. I wish her and all my children to know how it is with 
me, for I need their sympathy and prayers, at the same time 
that I feel best help to be near^ and the Power that says to the 
waves, ** So far shall ye go and no further." Often in my 

422 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

wakeful and at times distressing nights, a sweet peace comes 
over me to calm my troubled spirit. We hear from newspapers, 
that the poor Baptists in Copenhagen are to be released from 
prison, a small sum being paid by way of fine. What a com- 
fort ! and the poor Lutherans in Prussia say they are now so 
well off, that they do not wish us to ask for any more liberty 
for them of the King. 

I am indeed yours most faithfully and lovingly, 

Elizabeth Fry- 

From Cassel they pursued their rapid journey to Ostend, and 
landed at Dover on the 2nd of October. There Mrs. Fry was 
met by her husband, who was little prepared for the sorrowful 
state in which she was brought back to him. At Ramsgate, 
where her eldest daughter awaited her^ she remained, till she 
could be moved without material suffering. Her son William 
was at that time residing at Upton Lane, whilst his own house, 
(Manor House) was undergoing some alterations. She stayed 
a few days with him and his family, and then, with great diffi- 
culty, she was conveyed into Norfolk, where for many reasons, 
she was particularly anxious to go* 

Lynn^ Tenth Month, 21«/. — At Ramsgate, I met with the 
utmost love and kindness, constant and fJEuthfiiloare, which were 
very useful to me until the time of my departure. 

My visit to Upton Lane, to our dearest William and Julia, 
has really been cheering to my heart ; the day appears come, 
that my beloved children for whom I have passed through such 
deep travail of spirit, and for whom I have exercised such ten* 
der care, and felt such wonderful love are to take care of me ; 
indeed, their kindness has been delightftil and very comforting, 
quite enlivening and consoling. I see in this an advantage 
in coming home so broken in health, I have fallen upon 
them for care, first at Hamsgate, then at Upton Lane, minister- 
ing to my wants in the kindest way, Katharine doing all she can 
for mc ; and now Frank and Baefael are abundantly kind. I 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 423 

already feel better for their care over me, and tfaat my suffering 
is more than made up to me, by the tender love and sweetness 
it has drawn forth from my most beloved ones. 

I yesterday received a letter £rom my hnsband, saying, that 
my dearest brother Joseph was married to Eliza P. Kirkbride^ 
on the Fifth-day the 21st. On the morning of their marriage, 
my heart was poured forth in prayers and tears on their behalf, 
that the blessing of the Most High might rest upon them* 

Earlham, Eleventh Month, Ist, — We had a very delightful 
reception here. This is our son Harry and grandson Frank's 
birthday, — nineteen. We have cause for deep thankfulness on 
behalf of these dear sons ; they have known many deliverances, 
and are, I trusty alive unto God as well as alive naturally. I 
humbly trust they may this year grow in grace, in the knowledge 
of God and of Christ our Saviour. Grant, gracious Lord ! for 
Thine own name' sake, that it may be so. 

Warley Lodge, 6th, — We had a most satisfactory visit, and 
parting from Earlham and my beloved brother Joseph. His 
dear wife met me as a sister, and was most kind to us all. We 
had a very interesting Sabbath. I accompanied them to Meet- 
ing in the morning, wishing to be with Eliza at her first entry 
to Norwich as Joseph's wife. Our Meeting was very solemn, 
many very dear to us there. My brother spoke first, after I 
had kuelt down and poured forth my heart in thanksgiving and 
prayer, for surely we had deep cause for thankfulness for his 
marriage, our remarkable journey, &c,; and indeed, we may say, 
our many great and wonderful deliverances. I also prayed for 
a continuance of blessiug. Joseph's was one of his excellent 
and instructive sermons, particularly on the certain guidance of 
the Holy Spirit of Truth. Mine was rather a song of praise 
to our Lord as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of 
the world, the Physician of value who healeth all our diseases, 
our Guide through this wilderness, as a cloud by day and a pil- 
lar of fire by night, who had brought some of us through very 
dark places, so that through the fulness of His love, '' the wil- 
derness'' had become at times as 'VEden, and the desert as the 
garden of the Lord, joy and gladness being found therein, 
thanksgiving and the voice of melody." I also impressed upon 


424 . MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

all^ how we were encompassed with so great a cloud of witnesses 
of the redeemed ones, who were gone^ and of those who re- 
mained here ; and how we ought to accept and rejoice in so 
great salvation, " laying aside every weight, and the sin that so 
easily besets ns, running with patience the race set before us, 
looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." My 
sister Eliza followed in very solemn thanksgiving to the same 
purpose. In the evening we had another very interesting reli- 
gious time together, in which our dear friend Bobert Hankin- 
son, prayed for our brother and sister and all of us. 

On Second-day, our sister Catherine, our brother and sister 
Cunningham, and others dear to us» joined our party, and we 
had a large wedding-dinner, being refreshed together. We parted^ 
and no common parting it was. 

1 much enjoy my beloved children of this place, and desire 
to be enabled to minister to them spiritually before we part, ac- 
cording to their needs. I leave them, as I have done the other 
places, in much love and peace* 

Upton, Twelfth Month, bth, First'day morning. — I have 
been favoured to be much better the last few days, — far more 
easy, — ^thanks to my Heavenly Father : though I suffer still at 
times. I look upon this late indisposition as a very privileged 
one, and have felt, and deeply feel, the mercy extended towards 
me, in all my wants being so wonderfully provided for. The 
luxuries of life and generous living that I have had, I accept as 
gifts from a gracious and merciful Providence, that have been 
greatly blessed to my help, and, I believe, have greatly promoted 
my recovery. I exceedingly regret what I consider the intem- 
perate and unchristian views some take of these things, judg- 
ing all who feel it right to take stimulants in moderation. I 
believe Christians may use and not abuse these outward bless- 
ings, and that we have the highest authority for doing so ; as 
He who set us a perfect example, and exactly knows our wants 
spiritual and temporal, certainly took wine. May He guide me 
in this and all other things, and guard me from being injured 
myself, or injuring others. Grant that this may be the case, 
gracious and most adorable Lord God and Saviour ! 

1841.] OF EUZABETH FRY. 425 

The infirm state of Elizabeth Fry^s health precluded at this 
period mnch active exertion ; but her time was fully occupied, 
and her interest not at all diminished in those subjects to which 
she had so long devoted her attention. Her correspondence was 
extensive, both at home and abroad— the latter especially, much 
of it arising from her late journeys on the Continent She had 
the happiness of hearing of the beneficial results of her exer- 
tions in different places ; firom others, she received details of 
the obstacles which had occurred to delay or preclude improve- 
ment To the Minister of the Interior in Holland, she 
wrote: — 

Upton Lane, Twtiflk Month, 7th, 1841. 
Dear Friend, 

I hope thou wilt excuse the liberty that I take, in communi- 
cating a little further with thee, on the subject of your prisons 
in Holland, and making some observations on the state of your 
lunatic asylums, as I presume such objects all come under thy 
notice, as Minister of the Interior. Since my return home, I 
have felt such a strong interest in the welfare of your prisons 
and lunatic asylums, that I cannot be satisfied without again 
addressing thee, respecting these important subjects. 

I feel that our time is short ; I therefore am very anxious that 
whilst the present King reigns, and whilst thou art filling thy 
important post, such measures should be adopted as may con- 
duce to the real welfiure of the community, in the reformation 
of criminals, in the prevention of crime, and in mitigating the 
sorrows of the poor lunatics. One point I feel peculiarly bound 
to press, that women in all your prisons should be under the 
care of their own sex ; and that no men, not even the governor, 
chaplain, or medical man, should be admitted, unless a female 
officer be present, as experience has proved to me the absolute 
necessity of this measure, for the moral preservation of the 
female prisoner. I consider this a most important point. I am 
also very desirous that ladies should visit your prisons wher- 
ever women are confined, as their influence is higlily beneficial. 

426 M£MOlA OF THE LIF£ [1841. 

both to the prisoners and officers, and tends greatly to raise the 
standard both of religion and morals amongst them. I have 
been gratified to observe, the beneficial results of such visits at 
Gouda and Amsterdam ; I have also had favourable reports 
from the ladies who visit the prisoners at Zwolle. Excuse my 
reminding thee again, that the number of guardians (turnkeys) 
in most of the prisons in Holland is not adequate to that of the 
prisoners. I have sometimes thought that Gouda is not the best 
situation that might be found for a female prison, and that if 
the one which it has been proposed to build, near Amsterdam, 
were large enough, it might accommodate a considerable num- 
ber of women. One or two more prisons are much wanted, and 
it is very desirable that all these new prisons should have sepa- 
rate night cells. I also feel it very important, that men and 
women should be placed in separate prisons entirely. The build- 
ing of prisons for women is less expensive than those for men, 
as they need not be so strongly constructed ; and the expense 
of female officers is also smaller than that of men. J think it 
best to inform thee, that I was greatly shocked by the state in 
which I found the lunatic asylum near Amsterdam, as its in- 
mates appear grievously neglected ; and such humane measures 
are not adopted, as experience has proved not only tends to the 
comfort, but to the recovery of patients thus afflicted. I am 
rather anxious to know whether the King has attended to the 
subject of Scriptural education of the lower classes, as I believe 
the greatest advantage would result from the Holy Scriptures 
being daily read in your different pubhc schools, at the same 
time I am not a friend to the Bible being used as a common 
class-book, in which children are taught to read. If thou think- 
est me very urgent on these subjects, I am inclined to hope the 
deep interest I take in the present and everlasting welfare of 
of the people of the Netherlands will plead my excuse for being 
so. Pray present my kind regards to thy wife ; and with true 
desire that wisdom from above may be granted thee, to direct 
all thy steps in thy important position, I remain, with regard 
and esteem, 

Thy obliged friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

Count Scbimmelpennick. 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 427 

From her beloved and valued friend^ the Countess Reden, she 
received heart- cheering communications ; the King of Prussia 
having urged upon General Thile, Minister of the Royal House, 
the necessity of effecting various reforms in prisons The 
Countess Seden*s letter enclosed an extract from a Prussian 
newspaper, giving an account of Mrs. Fry's visit to the great 
prison at Jauer, translated by one of her nieces with so much 
feeling and simplicity, that although retaining something of the 
German idiom, it is presented here. 

'' Jauer, the 8th qf October. 

** Our town has been rejoiced soon after the presence of the 
many military persons assembled here on occasion of the great 
review, by the visit of a stranger, whose object was very different, 
but well worth our attention. Tbis was Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, who 
has for more than twenty years given her chief attention to try 
how the poor prisoners, who are almost all sunken so deeply, 
could be saved from the wretchedness of their souls, and rendered 
nsefid again in common life. Having found, during many years, 
that the doctrines of the Bible, of the sinfulness and corruption 
of mankind, and of the salvation through the bloody death of 
Jesus Christ, were the only means of arriving at it ; she has 
now been driven by Christian love, to make known her experiences 
in Germany. After having been last year at Berlin, where she 
directed the attention of several persons in high stations to this 
point, she visited our prisons, coming from Berchwald, where she 
stayed during the sojourn of His Majesty the King, at Erdmanns- 
dorf^ on the 21st of September, accompanied by her brother, Mr. 
Gumey. She went through the work, and bed-rooms, as well 
as through the isolated rooms, and the other apartments of the 
house, and denoted by her questions, her deep knowledge and 
acquaintance with everything which tended to the welfare of the 
prisoners. The female prisoners, and a great part of the men, 
were now assembled in the praying-room, and after singing some 
verses, and a speech of the clergyman of this institution Mr. 
Feldner, Mrs. Fry spoke to them with the aid of a very good 

426 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

interpreter, Mr. Wimsahe from Nisky. The impression this 
made was extremely deep and striking ; not only the women 
wept, bat even a great number of the men could but ill conceal 
their emotion produced by her appearance. Several stories of 
female criminals who had been converted in prison, and lived 
now (being set at liberty), a christian and honourable life, 
seemed to make great impression upon all. This very remark- 
able meeting was finished by a very serious address by Mr. 
Oumey ; and we may hope that this visit will be blessed^ and 
made useful in many respects to our prison.^' 

Afew weeks later, a delightful account came from the Pasteur 
Feldner, chaplain to the prison at Jauer, of the improvement 
amongst the prisoners. A hundred and three Bibles, and a 
hundred and twelve Prayer Books, had been purchased by them, 
at the price of much self-denial, out of their small earnings, 
besides many copies of the Scriptures and tracts having been 
distributed amongst them. M. Feldner, amongst other cases, 
instances ^' a poor female prisoner, who, longing to possess a 
Bible, took the firm resolution to lay apart her very small gains 
till she was able to procure one by them. On the birth-day of 
our beloved King, the Director delivered to her, as a reward 
for good behaviour, a fine Bible : I have seldom witnessed 
a more touching emotion of joy than she manifested, when 
stretching out her hand she received the precious treasure. 
Another prisoner, careless and ripe in sins, who had long ago 
repulsed all my warnings, by assuring me that he was not worse 
than other persons, and hoped for eternal blessings as well as 
they, came on a sudden to beg for a Bible; when I asked him 
what he intended to do with it, he answered, that he wished to 
compare himself, if what he heard in my sermons and lessons 
was really so. I gave him a copy, with the serious advice, never 
to read in it without praying God fervently, to bestow on him 
ihe grace to understand what he was reading, and if be found 
difiiculties, to come and beg me to explain them t6 him ; and I 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 429 

can but state the most satisfactory result in his behaviour and 
feelings. He is persuaded now he is a sinner^ and implores 
grace. One prisoner acquainted me with surprise, that in the 
beginning, he could read whole chapters without interruption^ 
but that now a single verse could put him in so deep a reflec- 
tion, and in such thankful adoration for the divine grace shown 
him^ a poor sinner, that he frequently could not read fiirther." 

A letter from Mademoiselle Nauti told her of admission being 
obtained for ladies to visit the prison at Ltibeck, though not 
without difficulty, and under strict regulation. The permission 
to visit prisons at Hanover was not so readily granted; but 
whilst awaiting the desired leave, several ladies there — amongst 
the most active-^Lady Hartman, with Miss Ida Arenhold as 
President, established a Society for visiting and relieving the 
sick poor. 

Mrs. Fry had also almost endless letters, asking for assistance 
or advice, and requiring more time and thought than she had 
power to give. The liberality of her brothers, and some of her 
other relatives^ enabled her to administer to the claims and dis- 
tresses of many persons, in a manner which would have been 
otherwise impossible. She was at this period much with her 
own family, welcoming them to Upton Lane, or paying littie 
visits at their respective houses. A small but commodious close 
carriage, given to her by her faithful brother Joseph John Gur- 
ney, and kept for her own particular use, afforded her the power 
of moving easily about, and greatly added to the comfort of her 
declining years. 

Sir John Pirie had been elected^ the preceding autumn, Lord 
Mayor of London. Lady Pirie had been one of Mrs. Fry*s most 
indefatigable helpers in Newgate^ and in all her public objects. 
Sir John and she, being both persons eminentiy devoted to the 
service of God and the good of their fellow men, resolved to 
use their year of power in doing everything within their reach to 
benefit others, and exalt the cause of truth and righteousness on 

430 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1841. 

earth. Amoogst other things, they were bent upon assisting the 
cause of prison reform ; and in their partial kindness looking 
upon Mrs. Fry as a sort of impersonation of the subject, they 
desired to bring her into communication with such persons as 
were likely to forward her views, for they believed^ that her per- 
suasive arguments were founded on such indubitable truth, that 
they required but to be understood, to carry conviction to the 
minds of those who heard them. With this object they urged 
her being one of the few ladies invited to the banquet given at 
the Mansion House on occasion of the laying the first stone of 
the new Boyal Exchange. 

Upton, First Month, 1 1th, 1842.— The Lady Mayoress has 
been here again to-day, to see if there is any prospect of my 
going to the Mansion House, according to the warm desire they 
have expressed to meet Prince Albert, the Duke of WeUington, 
and our different Ministers. I feel it a very weighty matter 
for my body, mind, and spirit, and do very earnestly crave direc- 
tion and preservation in it, that if I go, my way may be made 
very plain, and that my Lord may be with me there. 

nth* — ^As the time approaches, I much feel this prospect. 
Gracious Lord, for Thine own Name's sake, keep me from doing 
anything in this, or any other thing, that is not right in Thy 
sight ; and if right, be with me Thyself in it, clothing me with 
the beautiful garments of Thy righteousness and Thy salvation, 
touching my tongue as with a live coal from Thy altar, so to 
speak the truth to those around me, that it may tend to good 
and edification. Grant me wisdom from above, to do all in 
wisdom and discretion. 

The last week I have been generally better. We had an inter- 
esting visit from the Chevalier Bunsen, (the Prussian Minister), 
and his wife, in which I was enabled to relieve my mind, by 
speaking to him on some weighty subjects after a solemn Scrip- 
ture reading, and in prayer. I felt relieved by it, as I had 
borne him much in mind, believing him 'to be a sincere and 
Christian man. 

I7ih, — Be pleased, oh J^ord, to be very near to us this day. 

1841.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 481 

and help us to adorn Thy doctrine, and to speak the right thing 
in the right way, that the cause of truth, righteousness, and 
mercy may be promoted ! 

18/A, Thirdrday. — ^Through condescending mercy, I may say 
I found this prayer answered. I had an important conversation 
on a female prison being built, with Sir James Graham our 
present Secretary of State, upon the Patronage Society, &c. 
I think it was a very important beginning with him for our 
British Society. With Lord Aberdeen Foreign Secretary, I 
spoke on some matters connected with the present state of the 
Continent. With Lord Stanley our Colonial Secretary, upon 
the state of our penal colonies, and the condition of the women 
in them, hoping to open the door for further communication 
with him on these subjects. Nearly the whole dinner was oo- 
cupied in deeply interesting conversation with Prince Albert 
and Sir Robert Peel. With the Prince, I spoke very seriously 
upon the Christian education of their children, the management 
of the nursery, the infinite importance of a holy and religious 
life; how I had seen it in all ranks of life; no real peace or 
prosperity without it Then the state of Europe ; the advance- 
ment of religion in the Continental Courts. Then prisons ; their 
present state in this country — ^my fear that our punishments 
were becoming too severe — ^my wish that the Queen should be 
informed of some particulars respecting separate confinement, 
&c. &c. We also had much entertaining conversation about 
my journeys, the state of Europe, habits of countries, mode of 
living, &c. &c. With Sir Robert Peel, I dwelt much more on 
the prison subject ; I expressed my fears that gaolers had too 
much power, that punishment was rendered uncertain, and often 
too severe— pressed upon the need of mercy, and begged him to 
see the New Prison, and to have the dark cells a little altered. 

To HER Sister, Lady Buxton. 

Upton, First Months %2nd. 

My dearest Hannah, 
I feel really grateful for thy letter^ for deeply as we feel for 
the Niger expedition, no one lets us know any particulars, 
or sends us any document respecting it. Last evening the 

432 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

report we heard was, that all the captains were dead ; this, 
I trust, is false. We have deeply felt with our beloved brother 
in this close exercise of faith and patience, but we poor short- 
sighted mortals cannot see the end of it ; the whys and where- 
fores, we cannot as yet comprehend. We trust it may please 
our Heavenly Father to permit Captain Trotter to return ; but 
after all, we mast leave it to Him, who does all things well. 
With respect to my Mansion House visit, it appeared laid upon 
me to go, therefore I went : also at the most earnest wish of 
the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. I was wonderfully 
strengthened, bodily and mentally, and believe I was in my 
right place there, though an odd one for me. I sat between 
Prince Albert and Sir Robert Peel at dinner, and a most in- 
teresting time we had; our conversation on very numerous 
important subjects. The Prince, Ministers, Bishops, Citizens, 
Church, Quakers, &c. &c., all surrounding one table, and such 
a feeling of harmony over us all. It was a very remarkable 
occasion ; I hardly ever had such kindness and respect shown 
me, it was really humbling and affecting to me, and yet sweet, 
to see such various persons, who I had worked with for years 
past, showing such genuine kindness and esteem, so far beyond 
my most unworthy deserts. 

I am, 
Your tenderly, loving and sympathizing sister, 

Elizabeth F&t. 

29rd, First-day. — ^I find that the newspaper report of the 
dinner at the Mansion House has excited some anxiety at my 
being there, from the toasts, the music, &o., &c. ; it is thought I 
set a bad example by it, and that it may induce others to go to 
such dinners, and that my being present appeared like approv- 
ing the toasts. I quite wish to be open to hear all sides and to 
be instructed, and if I had erred in going, to do so no moxe, 
should such an occasion occur again. At the same time, I felt 
so much quietness and peace when there and afterwards, and 
until I heard the sentiments of others, that I fear being now 
too much cast down or tried by these remarks. I desire to keep 
near to Him who can alone help me and defend His own cause, 

1842.] OP ELIZABETH FRY. 488 

that no harm should be brought upon it through me. I desire 
and pray to be kept in unity with those who love the Lord Jesus, 
and particularly with the people with whom I am in religious 
connexion. May I be guided at this time through what I feel 
a difficult place, by my Lord Himseir, through the fulness of 
His love, mercy, and pity. 

The King of Prussia's arrival in England, to stand in person 
as sponsor to the infant Prince of Wales, was an event of much 
interest to Mrs. Fry. She could not be insensible to the kindness 
he had shown her, and the gracious reception afforded her in his 
dominions ; she admired the magnanimity with which he main- 
tained the right on all subjects that approved themselves to his 
conscience, and greatly wished to see His Majesty again, but it 
was not foif her to make any overture; it was therefore with 
much pleasure, that she received an intibiation of the King's 
desire to meet her at the Mansion House. 

First Month, 29ih, — To-morrow, the King of Prussia has 
appointed me to meet him to luncheon at the Mansion House. 
I have ratlier felt its being the Sabbath ; but as all is to be con- 
ducted in a quiet, suitable, and most orderly manner, consistent 
with the day, I am quite easy to go. May my most holy, merciful 
Lord, be near to me as my Helper, my Keeper, and my Coun- 
sellor. My dearest, husband and Katharine are to go with me. 
Oh ! may my way be made plain before me as to what to do, 
what to leave undone; when to speak, and when to be silent. 

30M, First-day. — I felt low and far from well when I set off 
this morning for London ; but, through the tender mercy of my 
God* soon after sitting down in Meeting, I partook of much peace. 
I was humbled before my Lord in the remembrance of days 
that are past, when I used to attend that meeting (Gracechuroh 
Street), almost heart-broken from sorrow upon sorrow, and I 
remembexed how my Lord sustained me, and made my way in the 
deep waters. He also raised me up, and then He forsook me. 
not. I was enabled very earnestly to pray to my God for help, 
direction and preservation. 


434 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

After this solemn and refreshing Meeting, we went to the 
Mansion House. We waited some time in the drawing*room 
before the King arrived from St. Paul's Cathedral. I have 
seldom seen any person more faithfully kind and friendly, than 
he is. The Duke of Cambridge was also there, and many 
others who accompanied the King. We had much deeply in- 
teresting conversation on various important subjects of mutual 
interest. We spoke of the christening. I dwelt on its pomp 
as undesirable, &c.; then upon Episcopacy and its dangers; 
on prisons ; on the marriage of the Princess Mary of Prussia ; 
on the Sabbath. I entreated the Lord Mayor to have no 
toasts, to which he acceded, and the King approved ; but it was 
no light or easy matter. I rejoice to believe my efforts were 
right. I told the King my objection to any thing of the kind 
being allowed by the Lord Mayor on that day ; indeed, I ex* 
pressed my disapprobation of them altogether* I may at the 
end of this weighty day return thanks to my most gracious Lord 
and Master, who has granted me His help and the sweet feeling 
of His love. 

At the Mansion House, the King of Prussia arranged, to meet 
Mrs. Fry the following morning at Newgate, and afterwards to 
take luncheon at Upton Lane. 

Second Month, 1st, Third-day, — Yesterday was a day never 
to be forgotten whilst memory lasts. We set off about eleven 
o'clock, my sister Gumey and myself, to meet the Eii^^ of Prussia 
at Newgate. I proceeded with the Lady Mayoress to Newgate, 
where we were met by many gentlemen. My dear brother and 
sister Oumey, and Susannah Corder, being with me, was a great 
comfort. We waited so long for the Sang that I feared he would 
not come; however, at last he arrived, and the lady Mayoress 
and I, accompanied by the Sheriffs, went to meet the King at 
the door of the prison. He appeared ranch pleased to meet our 
little party, and after taking a little refreshment, he gave oie his 
arm, and we proceeded into the prison and up to one of the long 
* wards, where every thing was prepared; the poor women round 
the table, about sixty of them, many of our Ladies' Committee, 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 435 

and some others; also numbers of gentlemen following the King, 
Sheriffs, &c. I felt deeply^ but quiet in spirit — ^fear of man 
much removed. After we were seated, the King on my right 
hand, the Lady Mayoress on the left, I expressed my desire 
that the attention of none, particularly the poor prisoners, might 
be diverted from attending to our reading by the company there, 
however interesting, but that we should remember that the King 
of Kings and Lord of Lords was present, in whose fear we should 
abide, and seek to profit by what we heard. I then read the 
12th chapter of Bomans. I dwelt on the mercies of God being 
the strong induoement to serve Him, and no longer to be con- 
formed to this world. Then I finished the chapter^ afterwards 
impressing our all being members of one body, poor and rich, 
high and low, all one in Christy and members one of another. I 
then related the case of a poor prisoner, who appeared truly 
converted, and who became such a holy example; then I enlarged 
on love, and forgiving one another, showing how Christians must 
love their enemies, &c, &o. After a solemn pause, to my deep 
humiliation, and in the cross, I believed it my duty to kned 
down before this most curious, interesting and mixed company, 
for I felt my God must be served the same every where, and 
amongst aU people, whatever reproach it brought me into. I 
first prayed for the conversion of prisoners and sinners gene- 
rally, that a blessing might rest on the labours of those in 
authority, as well as the more humble labourers for their con* 
version; next I prayed for the King of Prussia, his Queen, his 
kingdom, that it might be more and more as the city set on the 
hill that could not be hid, that true religion in its purity, sim- 
plicity, and power, might more and more break forth, and that 
every cloud that obscured it might be removed ; then for us all, 
that we might be of the number of the redeemed, and eventually 
unite with them in heaven, in a never-ending song of praise. 
All this prayer was truly offered in the name and for the sake 
of the dear Saviour, that it might be heard and answered. I 
only mention the subject, but by no means the words. The 
King then again gave me his arm^ and we walked down to- 
gether ; there were difficulties raised about his going to Upton, 
but he chose to persevere. I went with the Lady Mayoress and 

F F 2 

4^6 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

the Sheriffs, the King with his own people. We airived first, 
I had to hasten to take off my cloak, and then went down to 
meet him at his carriage-door, with my husband, and seven of 
our sons and sons-in-law. I then walked with him into the 
drawing-room, where all was in beautiful order — ^neat, and 
adorned with flowers : I presented to the King our eight daughters 
and daughters-in-law, (Rachel only away,) our seven sons and 
eldest grandson, my brother and sister Buxton, Sir Henry and 
Lady Felly, and my sister, Elizabeth Fry — ^my brother and 
sister Gumey he had known before — and afterwards presented 
twenty-five of our grandchildren. We had a solemn silence 
before our meal, which was handsome and fit for a King, yet 
not extravagant — every thing most complete and nice. I sat 
by the King, who appeared to enjoy his dinner, perfectly at his 
ease and very happy with us. We went into the drawing-room 
after another solemn silence, and a few words which I uttered 
in prayer for the King and Queen. We found a deputation of 
Friends with an address to read to him — this was done ; the 
King appeared to feel it much. We then had to part. 

The King expressed his desire that blessings might continue 
to rest on our house. 

Two very diverse interests shortly followed: the departure of 
a grandson for the China seas, in H. M. S. Agincourt, and pre- 
parations for a sale for the benefit of the Funds of the firitish 
Ladies* Society. The Lord Mayor had offered the use of the 
Egyptian Hall for the purpose, and Lady Pine had volunteered 
to make every possible arrangement to lessen the fatigue of 
Mrs. Fry, and render it easy and agreeable to her coadjutors 
and friends. 

Upton, Third Month, 1 bth. — ^My son and daughter Cress- 
well, and several of their children are staying here ; their little 
Gumey just going into the navy. It really oppresses me in 
spirit, I so perfectly object to war on Christian principles; it is 
so awful in its devastating effects, naturally, morally, and 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH ^RY. 437 

Fourth Month, 17M. — I feel the prospect seriously of our 
dear grandohild's going to sea ; he leaves us to-morrow ! It is 
no light matter. May our God> through His tender mercy, 
bring good out of this apparent evil. I have exceedingly re* 
gretted his going, but I am now more reconciled. 

This week wo have a very large sale at the Mansion House 
for the British Society. Although, on the whole, I approve 
these sales, there are many difficulties attached to them. I ear- 
nestly desire and pray, that through the tender mercy of my 
God, no harm may come of it, but in whatever we do, that the 
cause of truth and righteousness may be exalted. 

Oh Lord hear ! Oh Lord help ! Oh Lord protect and forgive, 
for Thine own Name's sake ; and I pray, gracious Lord, that 
Thou wouldest be very near to me this day and this week, and 
help me, in deep humility, godly sincerity, and faithfulness, to do 
Thy will. And be near, I pray Thee, to all my children and 
friends, as their Helper and Keeper, and to my dear little 
grandson in this his most serious going out. I ask Thy protect- 
ing care over him, and if it be Thy will, make him feel the 
dangers, temptations, and difficulties of the line he has chosen, 
that he may never be one to promote war, but rather peace upon 

24M, First'day. — ^We commended our dear little grandson 
in faith to the keeping of his God, this day week in the even- 
ing, ourselves, my brother Gumey and some of his family, his 
father, mother, and brothers. I read first a solemn portion in 
the Proverbs, most applicable to him and his state. I spoke to 
him and prayed for him. He left us the next morning for De- 
vonport with his &ther. 

On Third, Fourth, and Fifth-day, we were fully occupied, 
principally by the Sale. It was very largely attended; quantities 
of things given and sent to us ; extraordinary kindness shown to 
us by numbers, and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress treating 
us with almost unbounded hospitality and kindness. One day 
they gave dinner and luncheon to three hundred personsy and I 
should think nearly as many another day or days. We sold 
things to the amount of about thirteen hundred pounds, still 
many things were left on hand ; . when I consider the great 


488 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

trouble, the enormous expense, the time taken np, tbe obliga- 
tion we put ourselvee under to so many persons, and tbe fitdgue 
of body, I think I never can patronise another Sale. However, 
in mercy, I was carried through without muoV suffering. I 
think I was rather humbled than exalted by the great kindness 
I received ; but my Lord only knows my real estate, and to Him 
alone oan I go to have my heart kept humble, watchftil, and 
faithful. These public events bring me into care about myself, 
and a fear lest like Ephraim, I should be mixed amongst the 
people, and lose my strength. 

About this time she addressed to her eldest son the following 
letter, on his becoming a magistrate : — 

My dearest John, 
Ever since I heard of the prospect of thy being a magistrate, 
I have had it on my mind to write to thee ; but> alas ! such is 
the press of my engagements, that in my tender state I cannot 
do what I would. I now^ however, take up my pen to tell thee 
a little of my mind. I think the office of magistrate a very 
weighty one, and often, I fear, too lightly entered, and its very 
important and serious duties too carelessly attended to; and this 
I attribute to a want of a due feeling of the real difficulty of 
performing any duty ; particularly one where much true wisdom 
is required in doing justice between man and man, unless go- 
verned and directed by that wisdom that cometh from above, 
which is pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full 
of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypo- 
crisy. I believe it is thy desire to be governed by this wisdom, 
and to do justice, and love mercy ; but remember this requires 
a very watchfiil and subjected spirit, and those who have to sit 
in judgment on others must often sit in judgment on them- 
selves : this fits the mind for sympathizing with the wanderers, 
and adopting every right measure for their reformation and im- 
provement. J think it is of the utmost importance to enter the 
duties attached to a magistrate in a very prayerful spirit, seeking 
the help and direction of the Spirit of God, and that the under- 
standing may be enlightened to comprehend His will. I am 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 489 

perfectly sensible that a jostioe of the peace mast keep to the 
laws of his country in his decisions, and farther, that he should 
be well acquainted with these laws ; but I also know much 
rests with him, as to leaning on the side of mercy y and not of 
severity ; and I know from my experience with so very many 
magistrates, how much they do in the prisons, &c., &c. to insti" 
gate or increase suffering ; and also how much they may do for 
the improvement, and real advantage of criminals. Much is in 
their power ; they may do much harm or much good : too many 
are influenced by selfishness, party spirit, or partiality, both in 
individual cases and where public good is concerned ; but the 
simple, upright, faithful, just and mercifol magistrates, are too 
rare, and they are much wanted. Mayst thou, my dearest John, 
be of this number ; but remember it can only be by grace, and 
being thyself directed and governed by the Holy Spirit of 

I advise thy reading Judge Hale's life — I know a judge and a 
justice are different things ; but the same wise, truly impartial 
spirit, should govern both. I wish to remind thee, that in petty 
offences, much is left to the magistrate's own judgment, and the 
utmost care is needful that crime is not increased by punishment, 
and the offenders become hardened, instead of being brought to 
penitence. I fear for young people. Our prisons in Essex gene- 
rally only harden ; therefore, try any other means with boys or 
girls : get them to Refuges, or try to have such measures adopted 
as may lead them to repentance and amendment of their ways. 
My very dear love to thy wife, and all thy children ; and with 
deep and earnest desires that through the grace of God thou 
mayst perform all thy duties, domestic and public, to His glory, 
thy own peace, and the good of mankind. 

I am. 
Thy very affectionate mother, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

I forgot to say that a late Act of Parliament gives very great 
liberty in not sending young offenders to prison, but much rests 
vrith the judge or the magistrate, as- to what is to be done with 
them ; this Act was I think about two years ago. Many of the 
late Acts of Parliament respecting persons need much studying, 

440 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

accompanied with the reports from the different Inspectors, these 
give such an excellent knowledge of the subject. . I believe I 
could send thee most of them. The prisons in Essex are con- 
sidered to need much improvement. I hope before very long to 
visit you at Warley Lodge, and to enter upon many particulan 
with thee. 

How delightful the weather is, quite summer like; I think your 
country must be very beautiful. 

Vj)ton,Fi/ihMonih,8th.'-On Third-day, the Lady Mayoress 
and I paid interesting and satisfactory visits to the Queen 
Dowager, the Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of Gloucester. 
I went with my heart lifted up for help and strength and direc- 
tion, that the visits might prove useful, that I might drop the 
word in season, and that I might myself be kept humble, watch- 
ful, and faithful to my Lord. I have fears for myself in visiting 
palaces rather than prisons, and going after the rich rather than 
the poor, lest my eyes should become blinded, or I should foil 
away in any thing from the simple, pure standard of truth and 
righteousness. We first called on the Duchess of Kent, and had 
interesting conversation about our dear young Queen, Prince 
Albert and their little ones. We spoke of the sale — ^my foreign 
journey — the King of the Belgians, and other matters. I de- 
sired, wherever I could, to throw in a hint of a spiritual kind, 
and was enabled to do it. I gave the Duchess some papers, with 
a note to Prince Albert, requesting him to lay the suffering 
state of the Waldenses from their fresh persecutions, before the 
Queen. We next visited the Queen Dowager, and met her sister, 
and the Duchess of Saxe Weimar, and her children. We had a 
delightful time, much lively and edifying conversation upon the 
state of religion in Europe, particularly amongst the higher 
classes, and the great advancement of late years in the conduct 
and conversation of the great of this world. 

''How blind are we to ourselves, so that neither nations, 
churches, nor individuals, see in themselves the symptoms of 
decay visible to all around ! the pride which leads to break the 
law of God, leads to this self-flattery." I have felt much warn- 
ing and instruction in those words, they lead to the prayer, O 

1842 ] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 441 

Lord, open Thou mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death ! and 
lest the light that is in me become darkness ! 

Mrs. Fry's health continoing in an infirm and suffering state, 
although better than during the winter, some change appeared 
necessary, and absence from the continual tide of London en- 
gagements, which reached her at Upton Lane. Her brother- 
in-law Mr. Hoare, offered the loan of his house at Cromer, a 
commodious and agreeable residence on the top of the cliff, 
commanding fine sea views. The little village of Cromer and 
its beautiful church in the foreground, and at the back, the 
Light-house hills, their easy ascent and smooth short turf, dry 
in even the wettest weather, affording a delightful resort for one 
whose failing powers could no longer encounter exertion. 
Cromer, too, was associated with the days of happy childhood. 
She greatly enjoyed this time, and was cheered by the singular 
kindness and affection of many whom she had long loved^ 
and others with whom she then for the first time became 
sociably acquainted. Her sister, Mrs. Catherine Oumey, was 
-with them at the Cliff House ; she saw much of the beloved 
residents at Northrepps Hall. Northrepps Cottage, Sherring*- 
ham, and Cromer Hall, were also points of light on the land- 
scape —two months thus passed pleasantly and rapidly away. 

{On the Journey), Seventh Month, — ^I have been poorly part 
of every night, or early in the morning, since I left Upton, so as 
to feel discouraged and flat at being so far from home ; but I 
desire to trust entirely. I have sought to have my steppings 
directed by EUm, who knows what is best for us. I have not 
felt a will in these arrangements, and I desire to leave all to 
Him who orders all things well. I at times feel, particularly 
at night, so snnk, that I am ready to apprehend my natural 
powers are really failing. I occasionally ask in prayer for 
passing revival from my states of suffering, which prayers are 
often remarkably granted ; but I am not disposed really to ask 

442 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

for prolonged life, because I fear lest^ like Hezekiah, I should 
live to transgress before the Lord. I have probably an undue 
fear of an imbecile or childish state, and becoming a burden 
to others ; at the same time the idea of life being continued to 
me is pleasant, and the fear of death and the grave, to my 
nature great ; not that I fear for the everlasting state, although 
this confidence arises from no trust in any thing in myself, but 
faith in the mercy of God in Christ, who tasted death for 
every man ; and a full belief that the tender mercy of my Ood 
is over all His works ; and, unworthy as I am, that through 
His mercy, He will not cast me out of His presence, (which I 
delight in), nor shut up His tender mercies from me. 

Cromer, Qth, — Here I am, in what was my dearest sister 
Hoare's little room, looking on the sea, but poorly after my 
journey, feeling the air almost too cold for me; but I am 
favoured to be quiet and trustful in spirit, and desire to leave 
all things to Him, who only knows what is best for me. My 
sister Catharine being with us, and my broCher Joseph and his 
Eliza and dear Anna near to us, is very pleasant, and our 
dear brother and sister Buxton and Bichenda being still at 

Every week was marked by slow but sore increase in strength. 
But her amendment was retarded by anxiety on account of a 
daughter, then very ill in the Isle of Wight. To this daughter, 
who was under much trial, she wrote — 

I am not very well to-day, but have not by any means lost the 
ground I had gained, though your trials appear to have brought 
me some steps back. If, in the ordering of Providence, things 
shall be brighter, I think I should rally again ; but I desire to 
have my will given up to the will of Him who knows what is 
best for us all, and earnestly desire to be very thankful that 
our trials are not of a deeper dye ; and being as feur as I know, 
brought on us by Infinite Wisdom, I do not feel them like 
those produced by the exquisite suffering of sin. 

I am, thy loving, sympathizing, and yet hopeful mother. 

E. F. 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 443 

She was also distressed by her eldest grandson entering 
the army, having a strong objection to war, and grieved that 
any belonging to her should directly or indirectly promote it 

First-day y Eighth Months 14M. — I have deeply and sorrow- 
fully felt our grandson Frank determining to go into the army. 
I truly have tried to prevent it, but must now leave it all to my 
Lord, who can, if He see meet, bring good out of tbat which I 
feel to be evil. 

Mrs. Fry, with her brother Joseph John Gumey, who, with 
Mrs. Gumey and his daughter, had been staying at Cromer, 
endeavoured to establish a reading-room and library for the 
fishermen, to draw tbem from the public-house and its attendant 
evils. Some good was effected, but circumstances precluded 
permanent benefit The affection many amongst them evinced 
to her was, however, extraordinary; as one of her German friends 
had expressed it, her very name was a '* word of beauty " 
amongst them. 

Eighth Months 14M, First-day, — I have felt the weight of 
undertaking to establish a Ubrary and room for the fishermen, 
and something of a friendly society, as in my tender state the 
grasshopper becomes a burden. I was encouraged however in the 
night by these words, " Stedfast, immoveable, always abounding 
in the work of the Lord." In weakness and in strength, we 
must, as ability is granted, abound in the work of the Lord. 
May our labour not be in vain in Him ! I have had very com- 
forting accounts from Denmark — our representations attended 
to respecting the prisons, and likely to have much good done in 
them ; also from Prussia. Surely our Lord has greatly blessed 
some of our poor efforts for the good of our fellow- mortals. 

In Denmark, the King had given his warm sanction to the 
measures proposed by the Boyal Danish Chancery for adding 
new buildings to the Police Prison, for the purpose of affording 


more space and the opportunity of classifioation, for employ- 
ment to be provided, and the cells heated in winter. Endeavours 
also were to be made to place the female prisoners under the 
care of women. In the House of Correction at Christianhaven 
this was to be attempted immediately, and continued, if found 
to answer. Bibles, New Testaments, Psalms, and other reli- 
gious books were to be fully supplied to all prisoners, also works 
of general information and instruction. Moreover, that the 
opportunity was to be given them for attending public worship 
— a chaplain was appointed expressly for the House of Correc- 
tion. On the same occasion, His Majesty received a petition 
from Pasteur Ba£fard and several others for permission to form 
a Prison Society, and was graciously pleased to resolve with 
regard to it as follows : — 

*' We have heard with the greatest satisfaction of the desire 
of benevolent individuals to unite together to form a Prison 
Committee, whose object should be the moral improvement of 
the prisoners, and their employment^ and return to society on 
obtaining their freedom. 

" Therefore, we gladly give an opportunity to the members of 
this Committee, by means of visits and the distribution of reli- 
gious and other fitting books, to exercise a good influence on 
the prisoners. But it must be remembered that these visits, and 
the distribution of books, must not take place without speaking 
beforehand to the Chaplain and Director of the prison ; they must 
be told which of the members of the Committee are going to 
undertake the visiting. To them it must also be left to decide 
which of the prisoners are to receive the benefit of these visits. 
They must also fix the time and place, when and where these 
visits are to take place. 

*' To visit the prisoners in the House of Detention is not 
allowed by the rules ; but at any rate, these visits must be entirely 
dependent on the inquiring judges. The defects in the intemiJ 
arrangement of the Stock House, will also cause difiBcultiesin the 
way of visiting this prison ; but the useful activity of the Society 

1842.] OF EUZABETH FKY» 445 

may best be practised in the House of Labour Punishment and 
Correction, where particularly female prisoners may be visited by 
those ladies of the Committee, who, submitting to the annexed 
conditions, will turn their attention and care to this suffering 
and depraved part of mankind. 

" It is our will that those authorities who have the chief su- 
perintendence of the prisoners, should weigh with attention any 
proposition for a change in the treatment of the prisoners, or 
in the arrangement of the prison, considered as desirable by the 

" Finally, we acknowledge the usefulness of the Society's ob- 
ject to endeavour to procure situations and work for the li- 
berated prisoners, in order to secure them a maintenance, and 
to prevent their return to their former courses ; and to this end 
would consider it desirable that the Society should act in con- 
cert with the police, and the Poor-Law Commission/* 

• From Berlin Dr. Julius, who was then there, wrote to her that 
the construction of the four new penitentiaries was to be begun 
immediately. One at Berlin ; one at Miinster, in Westphalia ; 
one at Batibor, in Silesia ; and another at K5nigsberg. '' Two 
of the penitentiariea to be exactly like the Model Prison in 
London, according to the express will of His Majesty. In the 
two other penitentiaries, three of the wings to be on the plan 
of separate confinement by day and night ; but in the fourth 
wing to be only nightly separation, and by day the convicts to 
be kept at work in small classes of picked men, as much as 
possible in silence." 

The Countess Beden gave her a most gratifying account of 
the successful labours of the devoted chaplain at Jauer, adding, 
" he has established a sort of refuge or asylum for those who 
leave the prison, and have no home where to return, and need 
observation and religious instruction longer. An excellent, 
simple man, preparing for a missionary station, resolved to 
begin at Jauer for this purpose, and has taken into his lodging, 

446 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1842. 

five of the prisoners. It is a beginoing, and from the very 
small income of this man and the chaplain all that coald be 

From Diisseldorf she heard, through Miss Golstein, of the 
continued exertions of the Ladies' Committee for visiting female 
prisoners ; also, that from the great prison at Werden all the 
female prisoners were to be removed to Cologne, to a separate 
prison. Miss Qolstein also mentioned, that at Batingen, a 
borough not far from Diisseldorf, an Asylum had been esta- 
blished " for young girls dismissed, and showing repentance, 
where, under the guidance of an excellent monitor, they ob- 
tain instruction in every work required of a good servant Thia 
establishment is in such good repute, that as soon as they are 
able to go into service the opportunity is never wanting for it^ 
We hear many instances of their behaviug well, and leading a 
good life. The best proof of the good effects of our Asylum 
is, that in the two years of its existence, none dismissed from 
thence have been committed again." 

The scenes which had occurred in the " Surrey" and ^ Nava- 
rino" female convict ships, and in the " Kajah'* the preceding 
year, increased the conviction long felt by Mrs. Fry and her 
coadjutors, of the necessity which existed for the presence of 
female officers to receive the convicts on board, and remain in 
charge of them from the time of their embarkation until they 
reached the land of exile. 

Under this impression, no sooner were the Ladies of the Con- 
vict Ship Committee informed that the " Garland Grove" was 
chartered for the conveyance of two hundred and five female 
prisoners to Van Diemen's Land, than they exerted themselves 
to find suitable persons to accompany them as matrons ; having 
first applied to Sir James Graham, then principal Secretary of 
State for the Home Department^ for his sanction and aid in 
effecting this object. 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 447 

The following note addressed to Mrs. Fry, who was at this 
time at Cromer, much out of health, will show the readiness 
and kindness with which Sir James listened to her request, and 
that of her colleagues. 

Whitehall, August 9th, 1842. 

" Madam, 
" I am directed hy Sir James Graham to assure you, that he 
will, to the utmost of his power, procure every accommodation 
for the two ladies (matrons) proceeding with convicts in the 
* Garland Grove.' 

** The favourable consideration of the Board of Admiralty will 
be requested to the subject this day. 

'' The heavy pressure of business attending the close of the 
Session^ prevents Sir James addressing you himself. 

" I have the honour to be, Madam, 
" Your most obedient servant^ 

" D. O'Brien, Private Secretary." 

Some difficulty occurred, after this kind permission on the 
part of Government had been granted, in procuring a matron in 
the room of one of two who had been fixed upon by the Ladies^ 
Committee, and who afterwards declined the proposal made 
to her. 

Mrs. Fry's anxiety on this subject was evinced in the notes 
written by her to her friends in London. She longed (to use her 
own expression) for health and power to come and aid them. 

The conclusion of one of these notes is so characteristic, that 
it is inserted. 

T truly feel for you all, my beloved friends, who have now to 
bear the burden and heat of the day. May grace be granted 
you, and help from above, that you may be strengthened for 
your important work, and may your way be made plain before 
you ; and may our Heavenly Father undertake for us in this 
weighty matter, and lead us to the right parties to send abroad. 

44ft MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [lJ^4'2, 

who may be a blessing to those they go amongst, and be kept 
and blessed themselves ! I long to hear from thee, or one of 
yon, again, and hope I may one day be enabled again to take a 
labouring oar. Farewell, in much true love and sympathy, to 
thyself and all thy fellow-labourers. 

I am. 

Very affectionately, thy friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

This letter is dated Cromer, Eighth Month, 20th, 1B42. 

Two very suitable persons were subsequently recommended by 
the ladies, and appointed by Government to the arduous and 
important office of matrons in the '' Garland Grove.** Before 
their embarkation the following admirable letter was written by 
Mrs. Fry to Miss Eraser : — 

Cromer, Eighth Month, 27th, 1842. 
My Beloved Friend, 

Thy note received to-day has been a real comfort to me ; 
the post brought some sorrows, and thy note brought weight in 
the other scale ; but I have sat at home weeping, as I did not 
feel much inclined to meet a delightful party of brothers, sisters, 
&c., at my brother Buxton's, but rather to sit alone, and look to 
my own vineyard, and my own very deep interests in my family 
and my beloved friends, and for the causes that are near my 
heart. I humbly thank our Heavenly Father, who has regarded 
our very unworthy prayers, and raised up those that we trust 
may be suitable in the convict-ship, and helpful in the colony ; 
may grace and wisdom from above be poured forth upon them ; 
may they remember that the servants of the Lord must prove 
their faith more by conduct than word or profession ; they must 
avoid anything like religious cant, if I may so express myself, 
and in an upright, holy, self-denying and watchful deportment, 
be preachers of righteousness, and prove who it is that they 
believe in, serve, and obey. I am often inexpressibly bound and 
brought low in spirit when I look at the standard and holy 
example of our blessed Lord, and then behold my own short- 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 449 

ooming* I long for a closer walk with God, for myself, and all 
that I love ; and that, through the help of the Holy Spirit, we 
should more constantly prove our love to Him who died for 
us, and hath loved us with an everlasting love. Fray impress 
on these matrons the extreme importance of their prudent and 
circumspect conduct, as it respects the gentlemen on board ; 
and towards the women, the need of sound discretion, and the 
meekness of wisdom ; and amongst all, to be wise as serpents, 
harmless as doves, and to be pitiful and courteous. I quite feel 
my indulgent life, and am very ready to work when my Lord 
may enable me. I do not desire to save myself unless duty calls 
me to do it ; indeed, dear friend, I have always felt it an honour 
I have been unworthy of, to do anything for my Lord, and to 
be made an instrument of good to my fellow-creatures. I have 
been thankful for thy letters, because they have encouraged me 
to hope that you are not discouraged, but that the Spirit of our 
God is poured forth upon my beloved friends, to help them in 
this weighty and important work, and to make them willing to 
labour in this service, and for the good of their poor fellow- 
morCals. My dear love to alt our sisters in this service ; and I 
am truly, in gospel bonds. 

Thy attached friend, 

Elizabeth Fry. 

The appointment of these matrons was justly regarded by 
Mrs. Fry, and her fellow-labourers, as a step of the utmost im- 
portance. It mitigates most materially the evils attendant upon 
the transportation of females^ Objections had been urged to 
the measure in former years, but now it was clearly admitted 
that none were so fit to have charge of these unhappy women, 
as persons of their own sex, if such could be found who, influ*> 
enced by right motives, and possessing the requisite qualifica- 
tions, were willing to encounter the privations and perils of a 
long voyage in such society. 

Northrepps Hall, Ninth Month, iSth. — I exceedingly value 
the company of so many of my most tenderly beloved brothers 


460 MEMOIR OF THB LIFE [1842. 

and sisters^ and other near and dear relations, so many nephews 
and nieces, and others also. How I wish that I apheld amongst 
these tenderly^beloved ones a more holy example. I do not 
often apprehend it my place to speak much of spiritoal things ; 
hat I most tmly desiie constantly to nphold the Christian 
standard in an humhle and watchful walk hefore the Lord, and 
before my fellow-mortals. 

2^h, First-day. — I have not enongh dwelt upon the extraor- 
dinary kindness of our dear brother and sister Buxton and 
their children to us at this time, truly humbling to mo, a poor 
unworthy worm of the dust, also my dear brother Hoare, and all 
that £Eunily — such a sweet renewal of love amongst us. How 
blessed and how sweet is love, and how delightful to believe that 
it has in measure the Heavenly stamp upon it. Our dearest 
sister Catharine left Cromer yesterday, — quite a loss to us ; her 
kindness has been great indeed. 

Cromer J Tenth Months 23rct. — Perhaps the last journal I may 
ever write in this place, as to*morrow we mean to depart for 
Lynn. Yesterday, I was very much affected and touched by 
something that occurred — ^it was almost overwhelming. We paid 
our farewell visit to Northrepps. My brother Hoare and his 
family went also ; and at our beloved Fowell and Hannah's were 
Andrew and Priacilla Johnston, Edward, and Catharine, and 
Bichenda Buxton. After dinner, Gumey Hoare brought me 
a beautiful piece of plate, a silver inkstand, and my husband a 
Testament, of fine paper and print, most beautifiiUy bound. 
They gave these presents in the kindest way, expressing love 
and gratitude to us, and saying that dearest Anna Gumey and 
those absent of their families united in the present. I felt before 
receiving it, that I had been unduly loaded with gifts and kind- 
ness. My spirit was humbled, and really bowed within me 
under a deep feeling of unworthiness at these proofs of love. 
My Lord only knows my sense of it ; a poor, weak, unprofitable 
servant as I am, that He should thus put it into the hearts of 
His servants to show so much love and pity to me in my poor, 
low, weak and unworthy estate before Him. Gracious Lord ! 
Thou knowesi bow little I can do for all these beloved ones. I 
pray Thee rewaid them with spiritual and temporal bkasings^ 

1842.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 451 

and if it be Thy will» let the sickly in body be more strength- 
ened and restored^ the sickly in soul healed^ that all may be more 
filled and satisfied with the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

On her way home, she stayed at Lynn for a few days, her last 
visit ! Never was she more bright or lovely in spirit. She had a 
wise, kind word for all — children, servants, dependents. All 
loved her^ all felt that her message was not from herself, nor of 
man's invention ; but that in her Master's name she invited 
others to ** love and to good works." How she condescended 
to all ; listening to the minutest details of their cares and plea- 
sures. How ready in devising means for helping others, not 
merely in the great, but the little things of life : for who so 
prompt in expedients ? in the sick room ? in the nursery with 
an unmanageable child, or a froward servant ? She returned 
home the end of October, but great pains and anxieties encoun- 
tered her there 1 

G G 2 


1842 — 1844. Death of a Grandaugbter— Funera]— Last visit to Fnuace 
— Female prison at Clermont-en-Oise — Paris — Guizot — ^The Ducliess 
d'Orieans— Crentlemen of colour — Greeks — Fdte da Roi — Bill for prison 
improvement — Return home — Female prisoners in Van Diemen's 
Land — Increased illness — Sandgate — Tonbridge Wells— Winter of 
great suffering— Letter from her brother Joseph John Gumey — Moved 
to Bath — Return to Upton Lane — Death of her sister Elisabeth Fry — 
— Death of a Grandson — Goes to Meeting— Stay at Walmer — Death 
of a Grandaughter — Death of her son William Storrs Fry — Death of 
another Grandaughter— Deep afiUction. 

A heavy family affliction awaited Mrs. Fr/s return home — 
the illness and death of her lovely little grandaughter, Harriet 
Streatfeild^ between seven and eight years old. She was much 
with her children during their sorrowful nursing, and a close 
participator in their grief. 

To an absent daughter she wrote thus from the house of 
moumiug : — 

Although I know that thou art written to fully, I add a line 
of most tender love ; and to express my earnest desire, that as 
our Heavenly treasures are increased, we may all more dili- 
gently seek the city which hath foundations, whose maker and 
builder is God. Grace appears all-sufficient here. 

Thy most loving mother, 

E. F. 

Her bereaved daughter having decided upon attending the 
funeral of her child, Mrs. Fry accompanied her. It was 
a bright clear winter's day; besides her parents, nearly 
twenty of their children and grandchildren followed to the silent 


tomb, the first with the exception of their own little Elizabeth, 
of their forty-six descendants, who had been taken at an age of 
understanding. The solemn procession arrived at East Ham 
Church, when with no spectators but the weeping villagers, the 
Vicar the Bev. William Streatfeild^ commenced that most im- 
pressive service, which from this time was to be so frequently 
heard in the family circle. Mrs. Fry went in the carriage with 
her daughter, and stood by her at the grave — when the service 
was ended, an impressive pause ensued, then, as the mourners 
prepared to move away, might be heard the tone of her gentle 
voice, '* a solemn breathing sound " as she addressed the be- 
reaved mother — '* It is the Lord, let EUm do what seemeth Him 

A family party gathered in the evening : after the fifth chapter 
of the 2nd of Corinthians had been read, Elizabeth Fry addressed 
a heart-searching exhortation to her *' children, grandchildren, 
ftnd all the dearly beloved ones present,^' to be ready " when the 
next summons should come — thanksgiving that the lamb taken 
was a believing child, one rather peculiarly impressed with the 
fact of redemption, and forgiveness of sins through Christ ; and 
in practice, an obedient gentle-spirited creature, and according to 
the measure of so young a child, unusually full of good works 
and alms deeds, for she gave much to the poor, whose tales of 
woe, (whether true or false, she did not stop to inquire,) always 
touched her; and het good mark money, which she saved till it 
amounted to a pound, she had given to the Ceylon Mission. 
Thu8> even in so young a child, did the good tree bring forth 
little blossoms of good fruit ! gone to mature and fructify in 
Heaven ! through Christ who died for her, and in whom she 
truly believed." Many other things were spoken by her. Then 
she prayed for all the three generations present, a soul*touching 
prayer, committing all to God. 


Upton Lane, FtrH Month, ist, 1 848. — ^Another year is dosed 
and paaaed never to retam. It appears to me that mine is rather 

a rapid descent into the valley of old age. 

Second Month, Qth, — I am just now much devoted to my 
children and all my family, and attend very little to public service 
of any kind. May my God grant, that I may not hide my 
talents as in a napkin ; and on the other hand that I may not 
step into services uncalled for at my hands* May my feeble 
labours at home be blessed. Gracious Lord, heal> help, and 
strengthen Thy poor servant for Thine own service, public or 

Third Month, 19M. — It has been a week of various interests. 
On Second-day we met Lord Ashley at dinner at Manor House 
(my dear son William's), to consider the subject of China and 
the Opium Trade. Lord Ashley is a very interesting man, de- 
voted to promoting the good of mankind, and suppressing evil 
— quite a Wilberforce 1 think. 

Fourth Month, find, First-day. — I entered the last week very 
low in my condition, bodily and mentally, so much so, that some 
of my family could hardly be reconciled to my attending the 
Quarterly Meeting. In the select Quarterly Meeting of Ministers 
and Elders, the subject of unity was much broi^t forward ; 
several spoke to it, and I had to express rather strongly, my 
belief that there is a great work going forward in the earth, 
and Satan desires to mar it by separating the Lord's servants. 
I warned Friends upon this point, because there are diversities 
of gifts, differences of operation and administration^ they should 
not sit in judgment one on another, or condemn one another, 
or suppose they are not of the same spirit, and one in tihe same 
Lord and the same God. 

With somewhat of restored health, Elizabeth Fry believed it 
her duty once more to visit the Continent. Her attraction was 
peculiarly to Paris. Matters of importance that she earnestly 
desired to have completed, awaited her attention^ and there ap- 
peared an opening beyond any thing she had known before, for 
usefulness in that great capitaL There were Christian and 

1843.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 455 

benevoleni persons whom she desired to see again '' in the flesh/' 
and hoild them up, if enabled, in faith and hope. She had 
retained her certificate, granted her by Friends for her last 
journey. Her brother^ Joseph John Gnmey, also believed it his 
duty to visit Paris, as part of a more extended journey. Mrs. 
Gumey accompanied him, and Josiah Forster consented to join 
their party. In addition to these three participators and sup- 
port's in the various religious and philanthropic objects which 
might open before them, her eldest daughter went as her 
mother's especial companion, to watch over and care for her 

They landed at Boulogne. The voyage had been so trying to 
Mrs* Fry, from a heavy rolling sea and the weather being cold 
and unfavourable, that her fellow-travellers doubted the prao- 
ticability of her pursuing her journey. By setting off late, and 
resting an hour or two in the middle of the day, she seemed 
revived, when at the end of two days they arrived at Amiens. 
Here the Sunday was passed. In the evening they were per- 
mitted to worship in the simple mode of Friends, in the room 
used by the Protestants as their chapel, where a venerable 
pastor, eighty years of age laboured among a small flock in the 
midst of a large Boman Catholic population. Many of these 
were present ; their hearts appeared touched and animated by 
the miniatry on this occasion, which tended to console the dis* 
couraged, and stiengibea the feeble-minded. 

At Olermontpon-Oise, the ladies were permitted to inspect the 
Great Central Prison for women, calculated to contain twelve 
hundred, although nine hundred only were in confinement when 
they were there. It is under the charge of a Sup6rieure and 
twenty-two nuns, no men being allowed to enter. The SopMeuie 
was an intelligent, powerful-minded woman, greatly afiraid of the 
abuses to which the soUtary system is liable, and the silent 
system also, when carried to extremes. The prisoners work in 

^56 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1848. 

large clieerful rooms, a hundred together, under the closest in- 
spection of the nuns, who relieve the monotony hy not unfre- 
quently uniting in singing hymns. But a splendid prison ex- 
tremely well managed, is not so rare a scene as that which con- 
cluded the visit. On first arriving, Mrs. Fry had expressed a great 
vnsh to see all the nuns, hut the Sup6rieure considered it impos- 
sible, astheynever leave the women; however, just before quitting 
the prison, Mrs. Fry was conducted into an apartment around which 
sat, some on chairs, some on extremely low seats, some apparently 
on the floor, the twenty-two nuns in their grey dresses, and the 
lay sisters in black ; placed in the middle were Mrs. Fry and her 
sister, Mrs. Joseph John Gumey, the Superi^ure between them, 
holding Mrs. Fry by the hand, whose daughter was requested by 
the Sup^rieure to interpret for them. It was no light or easy task 
to convey exactly her mother's address, on the deep importance of 
maintaining not alone good discipline amongst the prisoners, but 
endeavouring to lead them in living faith to Christ, as the only 
Mediator between God and man, and through whom alone they 
could be cleansed from the guilt and power of sin. At His name 
every head bowed. She then went on to tell of Newgate, and the 
effects of the Gospel there ; many tears were shed at this recital. 
She concluded by a lively exhortation to these devoted nuns, 
whom she could " salute as sisters in Christ," to go forward in 
their work, but in no way to rest upon it, as in itself meritorious. 
Here the Sup6rieure interposed, '' Oh non, mais il y a un pen de 
m^rite, Thomme a quelque m6rite pour ce qu'il fidt :" an old nun, 
who probably understood English, rejoined, '' Ma m^re, Madame 
thinks that if the love of God does not sufficiently animate the 
heart to do it without feeling it a merit, or desiring reward, it 
falls short." " Ah, c'est bien ! comme elle est bonne !" replied 
the Sup^rieure. Mrs. Fry concluded by a short blessing and 
prayer in French. It was a curious scene, and a solemn feeling 
pervaded the whole. 

1843.] OF ELIZABETH FRY, 457 

Mrs. Fry had strong hopes of effecting much during her stay 
at Paris, another spirit prevailed there. M. Guizot in fact head 
of the Cabinet, though the Duke of Dalmatia was President of 
the Council, having proved himself ready to support any mea- 
sure for the moral benefit of the people, and their advance in 
sound knowledge and civilization. In 1888, when Minister of 
Public Instruction, he bad shown his genius for education, and 
lively interest in the good of his countrymen, by the ordinance 
which, prepared by himself, and promulgated as law, raised in 
an exceedingly short space of time, in nine thousand Communes, 
the village school-room, for the instruction of the village poor. 

Mrs. Fry believed that she should find in him the enlightened 
philanthropist, and the prudent yet fearless politician ; one who 
taught in the school of the French Bevoludon, had marked and 
comprehended its horrors, without being blind to the benefits it 
had conferred upon his country and mankind, in sweeping away 
the accumulated tyranny and bigotry of centuries : one who, 
whilst he shrank from changes for the sake of novelty, was as 
capable in devising expedients for the remedy of real evils, as 
he was resolute in carrying them into execution. Unblemished 
in personal character, exemplary in private life, and professing 
the Reformed faith in religion, Mrs. Fry looked to him as 
eminently calculated to receive and respond to her own opinions 
and experiences. 

Paris, {Hdtel Meurice), Fourth Month, 22nd. — ^We are 
favoured to be very comfortably settled here, and I may most 
thankfully say, feel in our right place, after a time of unusual 
conflict to my own mind. 

I was little fit to enter Paris ; the day was hot, and the rooms 
at the hotel oppressive ; the noise of the street so great, that I 
feared, in my poorstate, I could not support it, and was frightened 
about myself and felt as if it were altogether too much for me, 
but I revived towards evening, was favoured with a peacefuil night, 


and awoke much refreshed and comforted. Our beloved Mend 
the Goontess Pelet has been a real helper to me^ qoite a qpui* 
tual comforter ; so encouraging as to the time of our visit She 
expresses her belief of our being surely guided by a spirit within, 
safely leading us to places at the right time. Others really dear 
to me show much faithful love, and they appear delighted to 
have us with them. On Fifth-day, we attended tiie little Meet- 
ing of Friends in the Faubourg du Boule. The next day, some 
of our serious firiends came to us in the evening. And the fol- 
lowing, we spent a very agreeable evening at the Mallets', where 
there was, to my feelings a sweet sense of love and peace over 
us, with the numerous members of that interesting family. 

I may thankAiIly say, I now feel greatly healed and helped 
and encouraged, although it appears but little I have done for 
iny Lord in any way ; but I must wait His time and His putting 
forth, and not enter anything in my own way and time. 

Lord be pleased to grant, through Thy tender mercy in Christ 
my Saviour, that our visit to this place may be really profitable 
to ourselves, and to those we are come amongst, and that it may 
promote love and charity amongst Christians generally ; help to 
remove dependence on the arm of man, and to have it placed 
on Thy arm of power, and stimulate many more dihgently to 
seek Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness — that some worldly- 
minded and wanderers may be led to return, repent and live — 
that some that are dead may be made alive again — and that those 
that are lost may be found in Thy fold of peace and safety. 
Grant also, gracious Lord f that the great blessing of preservar 
tion may be with my tenderly beloved family at home. 

On the flbth, Mrs. Fry waited, by appointment, on the Dochess 
of Orleans, at the Tuileries ; but finding some difficulty in fuUy 
conveying her meaning, her daughter was sent for to interpret 
In a letter to her sisters, she describes herself ushered into an 
immense drawing-room, the size, and heavy crimson and gold 
magnificence of which exceeded any room she had ever seen. On 
a sofa, about half way up the room against the wall was seated 
her mother ; b j her side a young lady, in deep mourning, over 

1843.] OF ELIZABETH FRY. 459 

whose white and blaok cap bung a large long crape acarf or veil 
that reached the ground on either aide, her figure tall and ele- 
gant, her face and features small and delicate, her eyes blue and 
her complexion very fair, — ^a lovely blush came and went as she 
spoke. From her dress and appearance no one could for a moment 
doubt, but that it was the widow of the heir of France. Opposite 
to her on a chair was an elderly lady the grand Duchess of Meck- 
lenburgh, her step-mother, who had brought her up from child- 
hood. These three were the only occupants of that vast saloon : 
its walls were hung with crimson velvet, embroidered in heavy 
gold columns, with vine leaves twisted round, and all things 
magnificent in proportion. The conversation at first was upon 
the Duchess of Orleans' affliction. They had each a Bible in 
their hand, Mrs. Fry read to them a few verses, and commented 
on them, on affliction and its peaceable fruits^ ailerwards. They 
then spoke of the children of the House of Orleans, and the 
importance of their education and early foundation in real 
Christian faith ; the grand Duchess of Mecklenburgh, an emi- 
nently devoted, pious woman, deeply these senti- 
ments. It was an hour and a half before this interesting con- 
versation came to a dose. 

The following Sunday, after attending their own little Meeting, 
a large public one was held in the Methodist chapel. Mr. Gumey 
apoke well in French, Mrs. Fry through an excellent interpreter. 

The evening of the next day, they gathered round them a 
very singular party, about thirty persons of colour, chiefly from 
Hayti, the Isle of France, and Guadaloupe, principally students 
of law or medicine ; one a painter, who had some good pic* 
tures in the exhibition. Several of them spoke excellent 
French, and were intelligent-looking youog men. Mr. Gumey 
was desirous of obtaining from them any information he could 
on the state of the different West Indian Islands. 

The evening concluded with reading in the Bible. Mrs. Fry 


addressed her auditory on the words of St. Peter, " I perceive that 
God is no respecter of persons ;" — ^Acts x. 84 — going on to that 
glorious passage in the Revelation, which tells of the com- 
pany that cannot he numhered, gathered out of every nation, 
kindred, tongue, and people. 

Speaking of the close of the day, she says: " I laid me down 
and slept in peace." 

Wednesday was a dinner at Count Pelet de la Loz^re's. 
Thursday, at M. Guizot's : seated hy their celebrated host, this 
dinner was felt by Mrs. Fry to be an occasion of great responsi- 
biUty. She was encouraged by his courteous attention, unr^ 
servedly to speak to him on the subjects which had so long been 
near to her heart. It was no common ordeal for woman, weak 
even in her strength, to encounter reasoning powers and capa- 
bilities such as his : their motives of action arising probably 
from far different sources, but curiously meeting at the same 
point, her* s from deep-rooted benevolence, directed by piety in 
its most spiritual form ; his from reflection, observation, and 
statesman-like policy, guided by philanthropy, based on philo- 
sophy and established conviction — ^yet in the aggregate the 
results the same, an intense desire to benefit and exalt human 
nature, and arrest the progress of moral and social evil, and an 
equal interest in ascertaining the most likely methods of effecting 
the desired end. They spoke of crime in its origin, its conse- 
quences, and the measures to be adopted for its prevention ; of 
the treatment of criminals ; of education and of Scriptural in- 
struction. Here Mrs. Fry unhesitatingly urged the diffusion of 
Scriptural truth, and the universal circulation of the Scriptures, 
as the most potent means within human reach of controlling 
the power of sin, and shedding light upon the darkness of 
superstition and infidelity. 

The following evening, Mrs. Fry and her brother received at 
their hotel a large party of Greeks ; amongst others, their Am- 


bassador, M. Coletti. The Duke de Broglie was kind enough to 
interpret for Mrs. Fry. Before the party separated, Mr. Gumoy 
read the account of St. Paul's visit to Athens ; his comments 
on this portion of Holy Writ were luminous^ powerful, and 

When in Paris in 1889, Mrs. Fry had become interested in a 
large party of Greeks who met at her hotel one evening. On the 
present occasion that interest was confirmed. The want of books 
in Greece, even those of elementary instruction was fully dis- 
cussed, and it was decided to form some regular plan to supply 
this want. That this might be done effectually, a second even- 
ing was appointed for the purpose. There were assembled 
on this occasion some very superior men, among others M. de 
Gomn^ne, who though not '* bom in the purple," was one of 
a family, recognized as lineally descended from the Emperors 
of Constantinople. A committee of Greeks, French and 
English, was formed to draw up rules, and endeavour to raise 
subscriptions, though not till after much animated discussion ; 
the young Greek students in Paris undertaking to translate 
some works of elementary instruction. A spelling book with 
pictures was to be the first thing attempted, a desideratum not 
existing in that country. There was reason to expect that, 
through influence with the Government at Athens, these books 
would be dispersed into every Commune for the use of the schools 
and poor. Mrs. Fry had before been interested on the subject of 
female education in Greece, and in this important movement for 
supplying that country with elemental literature, she believed 
that the women also would eventually partake in the benefit. 

Paris, Fifth Months Ith^ Firnt-day. — Second-day last was a 
very great festival called the F^te du Boi, when it was striking 
to observe such great crowds of people so orderly and well con* 
ducted. There is something in the French very attractive to 

462 MBMOIR OP THE LIFB [1848. 


me, — their lively yet sober habits — their politeness to one 
another — ^indeed ihey are to me peculiarly agreeable, Danii^ 
the day we had varioas calls of duty, and an evening of rather 
quiet recreation with a family who spent it with us. From our 
windows we saw the most beautiful fireworks, which was plea- 
sant ; as perfect order prevailed, I rejoiced that the poor should 
partake of such innocent refreshment and recreation, for there 
appeared no drunkenness or dissipation. I wish we had mare 
innocent recreations for our poor at home, to keep them out of 
the public-houses. 

Fifth-day evening ^ the \8t. — We had a most weighty and 
serious time. We met at our friend Mark Wilks^ about a hun- 
dred persons, perhaps forty of them pasteurs and missionaries. 
They had a religious service of their own — ^first singing a hymn, 
then reading the Holy Scriptures, afterwards prayer; which when 
concluded, Mark Wilks said any brother or sister present was 
at liberty to speak. I ventured in fear to open my mouth ; an 
interpreter at hand. First, on the state of Protestant Europe, 
the religious persecutions in it, and dependence on forms. I also 
expressed my desire that they might stand fast in the liberty 
wherewith Christ had made them free, and not be again entangled 
with any yoke of bondage ; my hope that lliey might arise and 
shine, manifesting that their light was oome« and that the 
glory of the Lord had risen upon them ; and further said that I 
believed this would be the case. I then addressed the pasteurs 
only, desiring that the Spirit of God might be poured forth upon 
them, that sinners might be converted, mourners comforted, and 
the weak strengthened. I felt humbled afterwards^ ready to 
hide my head ftom the sight of man ; yet I returned home^ laid 
me down and slept, for the Lord sustained me. But He only 
knows the deep exercise of my spirit at such times. 

On Sixth day, we paid a long visit to the St. Lazare Prison, 
with both Catholic and Protestant ladies, spoke to the women at 
different times, as did my sister, through much difficulty in being 
beard, or pr<^erly interpreted for ; yet the truth did appear to 
readi many hearts^ and I believe this visit was not in vain in 
the Lord. 

1848.] OF ELIZABETH WKt* 468 

Several very large parties snoceeded each other, in which re- 
ligions commiinications were blended with social intercourse. 

Mrs. Fry again saw the Duchess of Orleans ; with the grand 
Dnchess of Mecklenbnigh, she was permitted several interviews, 
in which the intercourse between these eminently Christian ladies 
assumed a deeply religious character. 

It being the period of the annual religious meetings, many 
pasteurs were assembled in Paris ; about thirty of them were 
invited by Mr. Gumey to breakfast, at the Hdtel Meurice. 

Paris, liih. — On Second day, about thirty pasteurs to break- 
fast, from different parts of France, a very interesting set of men. 
First we had a Scripture reading ; Joseph and myself had much 
to express to them at the time ; a most weighty concern it was. 
My brother prayed, and one of the pasteurs spoke. We then 
breakfasted, and had really a delightful meal. I remembered 
that our Lord condescended to attend feasts, and this was a feast 
offered to His servants, of which we partook in love and peace. 
The pasteurs afterwards gave us an account of the religious 
state of the people around them ; a good work certainly appears 
going on amidst many obstructions. We then spoke to them. 
I particularly recommended religious unity with all who love 
the Lord, and kindness to the Methodists as a valuable body of 

One evening M. Guizot dined with Mrs. Fry's party. The 
topics before discussed were then resumed: — the state of Protes- 
tants in France, La liberty des cultes, and Negro Slavery. Mrs. 
Fry entreated M. Guizot's attention to the state of the Sandwich 
Islands. She had received from Xamehamdia HI. the King, a 
ktter a few months before, entreating her good offices to second 
his endeavours to prohibit the importation and use of spirituous 
liquors in his kingdom, the baneful and demoralizing effects of 
which he stated to be lamentable. 

Much had been done for the improvement of prisons since 


404 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE [1843. 

Mrs. Fry was last at Paris. The importanoe of the snhject had 
been folly recognised, and a bill brought before the Chamber of 

The following extract from the opening speech of the Minister 
of the Interior, shows by what means he contemplated concili- 
ating the requirements of humanity with the interests of the 
community at large. 

" Our object," says the Minister, " is not entirely to seques- 
trate the prisoner, or to confine him to absolute solitude; such is 
not the object of our bill, and this is what makes it differ from 
the American system. 

" We want to exclude convicts from the society of their fel- 
low prisoners, to keep them free from bad examples, and wicked 
associations ; but we want at the same time to multiply around 
them moral and honest connexions* Besides their being visited 
by the Director of the Jail, they will be in frequent communi- 
cation with the teacher and the medical attendant. The chap- 
lain, or the ministers of the several denominations acknowledged 
by the State, will have easy access to the cells at the hours ap- 
pointed by the prison regulations. It is to be the more effica- 
cious, as the infection of bad example and contaminating 
influence will be removed. Some of the provisions of the bill 
will mitigate the principle of solitary confinement, in a manner 
which has been suggested by the commission of 1840, and 
should not pass unnoticed by the Chamber. Convicts sentenced 
to more than twelve years hard labour, or to perpetual hard 
labour, after having undergone twelve years of their punish- 
ment, or when they shall have attained the age of seventy, will 
be no longer separated from the others, excepting during the 
night Prisoners sentenced to ''r6cIusion" or undergoing a 
correctional punishment, when seventy years of age, will not be 
subject to individual confinement." 

The bill laid down as a principle that the " Bagnes " were to 
be ultimately replaced by houses of hard labour ; that houses of 
'" reclusion" were to be erected, to take in all convicts sentenced 

1843.] OF ELIZABETH FRr. 465 

to " r6clasion ^' now detained in central houses. It introduced 
considerable improvement into the management of houses of 
imprisonment, especially those supported by Departments. In 
conformity with the principles of the system adopted^ the bill had 
also for its object, to bring under the direct authority of the 
Minister of the Interior, as a centre, all the prisons in the king- 
dom. M. de Tocqueville was a strong advocate of the separate 
system, although he desired to see some modification in the 
manner of its execution. M. Camot, also a member of the 
commission for the improvement of prisons, entertained rather 
diflferent opinions, and was less favourable to the entire separa- 
tion of prisoners. 

With this dawn of promise for the future, and so much im- 
provement already effected, it was sad to think of the St. Lazare 
prison and its twelve hundred inmates, still in a state of wretched- 
ness and neglect. 

The institution for Deaconnesses, or Protestant sisters of 
Charity afforded an asylum for such female penitents of the 
Protestant faith as desired to seek shelter within its walls, after 
their liberation from prison. Mrs. Fry visited and inspected 
the institution with M. Vallette, a devoted pasteur who has 
shared with its founder, M. Vermeil, the spiritual care of the 
association. M. Vermeil of the Calvinist, M. Vallette of the 
Lutheran Church, have represented the two divisions of Pro- 
testantism, by which the society has been jointly and most 
amicably nurtured. 

Although then only in its infancy, Mrs. Fry was deeply 
impressed with its promises of usefulness, and heard of its 
progress from time to time with lively pleasure. A letter from 
M. Vallette to a daughter of Mrs. Fry, very lately written, re- 
counts the circumstances of her visit, and gives a clear and suc- 
cinct report of the present state of the institution, its steady 
advance and extended usefulness. 

VOL. ir. H H 

40G M£MOIR OF THE LIFE [1843. 

Madame ! 

Vous avez bien voulu me domander quelques details sur la 
visite que feu Madame votre m^re fit a la maison des Diaco- 
nesses, lors de son dernier voyage a Paris, Je m'empresse de 
r^pondre i votre d6sir, mais je dois le faire en toute hate an 
milieu des demiers preparaiifs de mon depart. 

Cette femme si v^n^ree aassi parmi nous^ se p&