Howard, John (17271790)

Howard, John, a noted philanthropist, born at Hackney, Middlesex; was left in easy circumstances at his father's death; a bitter experience as a French prisoner of war and observations made whilst acting as sheriff of Bedfordshire roused him to attempt some reform of the abuses and misery of prison life; he made a tour of the county jails of England, and the mass of information which he laid before the House of Commons in 1774 brought about the first prison reforms; he continued his visitations from year to year to every part of the United Kingdom and to every quarter of the Continent; during 1785-87 he made a tour of inspection through the principal lazarettos of Europe, visited plague-smitten cities, and voluntarily underwent the rigours of the quarantine system; he died at the Crimea whilst on a journey to the East; he published at various times accounts of his Journeys; his deep piety, cool sense, and single-hearted devotedness to his one great object won him universal respect throughout Europe (17271790).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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