Standard Article

Fry, Elizabeth (1780–1845)

  1. Tess Brunmeier

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0570

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Brunmeier, T. 2011. Fry, Elizabeth (1780–1845). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Elizabeth Gurney Fry was a Quaker woman who worked for prison reform in her native British Isles and beyond. She was born on May 21, 1780 in Norwich, England to wealthy Quaker parents John and Catherine Gurney, the third of 12 children. Her parents educated her in both scholastics and philanthropy. In 1800, Elizabeth married Quaker Joseph Fry (1777–1861). Together they had 11 children, yet Elizabeth tirelessly campaigned for prison reforms.


  • Fry, Elizabeth (1780–1845);
  • quaker woman, and prison reform;
  • newgate prison, and Fry's transforming work;
  • quakers, God speaking, through men, women;
  • Fry's work in Newgate prison, institutional change;
  • newgate prison visit, by William IV, king of Prussia