Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Elizabeth Fry

Page 7 of 10

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

George Cruikshank in 1818 was so moved at one of these executions that he made a picture which represented eight men and three women hanging from the gallows, and a rope coiled around the faces of twelve others. Across the picture were the words, "I promise to perform during the issue of Bank-notes easily imitated ... for the Governors and Company of the Bank of England."

He called the picture a "Bank-note, not to be imitated." It at once created a great sensation. Crowds blocked the street in front of the shop where it was hung. The pictures were in such demand that Cruikshank sat up all night to etch another plate. The Gurneys, Wilberforce, Sir Samuel Romilly, Sir James Mackintosh, all worked vigorously against capital punishment, save, possibly, for murder.

Among those who were to be executed was Harriet Skelton, who, for the man she loved, had passed forged notes. She was singularly open in face and manner, confiding, and well-behaved. When she was condemned to death, it was a surprise and horror to all who knew her. Mrs. Fry was deeply interested. Noblemen went to see her in her damp, dark cell, which was guarded by a heavy iron door. The Duke of Gloucester went with Mrs. Fry to the Directors of the Bank of England, and to Lord Sidmouth, to plead for her, but their hearts were not to be moved, and the poor young girl was hanged. The public was enthusiastic in its applause for Mrs. Fry, and unsparing in its denunciation of Sidmouth. At last the obnoxious laws were changed.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

Mrs. Fry was heartily opposed to capital punishment. She said, "It hardens the hearts of men, and makes the loss of life appear light to them"; it does not lead to reformation, and "does not deter others from crime, because the crimes subject to capital punishment are gradually increasing."

When the world is more civilized than it is to-day, when we have closed the open saloon, that is the direct cause of nearly all the murders, then we shall probably do away with hanging; or, if men and women must be killed for the safety of society, a thing not easily proven, it will be done in the most humane manner, by chloroform.

Mrs. Fry was likewise strongly opposed to solitary confinement, which usually makes the subject a mental wreck, and, as regards moral action, an imbecile. How wonderfully in advance of her age was this gifted woman!

Mrs. Fry's thoughts now turned to another evil. When the women prisoners were transported to New South Wales, they were carried to the ships in open carts, the crowd jeering. She prevailed upon government to have them carried in coaches, and promised that she would go with them. When on board the ship, she knelt on the deck and prayed with them as they were going into banishment, and then bade them a tender good by. Truly woman can be an angel of light.

Says Captain Martin, "Who could resist this beautiful, persuasive, and heavenly-minded woman? To see her was to love her; to hear her was to feel as if a guardian angel had bid you follow that teaching which could alone subdue the temptations and evils of this life, and secure a Redeemer's love in eternity."

Page 7 of 10 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004