Yesterday I wrote about Shrewsbury Prison, known as The Dana. Above the main entrance to the prison is a bust of the prison reformer John Howard (1726 – 1790) , and the street leading up to it from the main road is named after him.
|John Howard, prison reformer, above main entrance of Shrewsbury prison. Photograph from Wikimedia Commons taken by R J Higginson 2009.|
Howard was buried in the Ukraine. Though he had requested a quiet burial, without pomp and ceremony, he was evidently judged an important person, and the Prince of Moldovia himself was in attendance at what in fact turned out to be a rather elaborate funeral.
When news of Howard’s death reached England a month later, a series of commemorative John Howard tokens was struck, including one reading “Go forth” and “Remember the Debtors in Gaol”.
|Memorial for John Howard. John Bacon the Younger (1777-1859). 1795. St. Paul’s Cathedral, City of London. Located near entrance to crypt. Image from http://www.victorianweb.org/sculpture/funerary/howard1.html, photograph taken by George P. Landow.|
In 1786, four years before his death, a monument to Howard had been proposed. A subscription list was got up and a poem lauding his achievements was published.
Subscribers who gave £2 2s, that is 2 guineas, included Charles Chauncey Esq., Claude Champion Crespigny, Philip Champion Crespigny, and Charles Snell-Chauncy. Mrs Champion Crespigny is listed as having given £1 1s. I am not sure who Charles Chauncey was, but Charles Snell-Chauncy (1759-1809) was my 6th great uncle. Claude Champion Crespigny is probably another of my 6th great uncles (1734-1818). Mrs Champion Crespigny in this case is probably Claude’s wife Mary nee Clarke (1747-1812). Philip Champion Crespigny is my 5th great grandfather (1738-1803), the brother of Claude. Mrs Champion Crespigny was possibly his wife Dorothy nee Scott (1765-1837).
I found it interesting to discover relatives from two different branches of my family tree supporting prison reform.
- Howard, John (1726?-1790) Dictionary of National Biography in Wikisource