Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Exhibit on English Prison Reformers at HLS

Via H-Law, we have news of a new exhibit at the Harvard Law School Library, “Where Mis’ry Moans”: Four Prison Reformers in 18th & 19th Century England.  From its website, we learn that it focuses on
Elizabeth Fry (HLS Library)
four English prison reformers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: John Howard, George Onesiphorus Paul, Elizabeth Fry, and John T. Burt. They built on the work of members of the House of Commons’ Committee Appointed [in 1728] to Enquire into the State of the Goals of This Kingdom, also known as the Gaol Committee. They influenced and were influenced by writers such as Cesare marchese di Beccaria (1738-1794), Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), and Samuel Romilly (1757-1818), among others. The exhibit title comes from the epic poem “Winter” by James Thomson (1700-1748), in which he refers to the work in of the Gaol Committee in England’s prisons: “Unpitied, and unheard, where mis’ry moans; Where sickness pines, where thirst and hunger burn.” 

This exhibit was curated by Margaret Peachy and Mary Person, Historical & Special Collections, Harvard Law School Library. It will be on view through April 24, 2015 in the Harvard Law School Library's Caspersen Room.