1 of 8 portraits of Elizabeth Fry
by Samuel Drummond
watercolour on ivory, circa 1815
4 1/2 in. x 3 1/4 in. (114 mm x 83 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), Quaker minister and social reformer. Sitter in 8 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Samuel Drummond (1765-1844), Portrait and history painter. Artist associated with 58 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
A member of a Norfolk Quaker family, Elizabeth Fry took up the ministry after her marriage. She became greatly concerned about the condition of women prisoners at Newgate, where the overcrowding of innocent and guilty alike was appalling. A visiting American minister said, 'the wretched outcasts have been tamed and subdued by the Christian eloquence of Mrs Fry', but it was her introduction of a matron, proper supplies of clothing and a school that really helped. In this portrait Fry is shown with a barred prison window and a book, probably the Bible, before her.
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Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1815back to top
Current affairsJohn and James Leigh Hunt are released from prison after a two year sentence for slandering the Prince of Wales in their outspoken, radical periodical the Examiner.
Corn Laws are introduced to protect against the collapse in prices which would inevitably follow peace with France, prompting riots in London.
Art and scienceHumphry Davy invents the miners' safety lamp though its reception is clouded by William Clanny and George Stephenson who present rival models in the same year.
British Institution arranges first in innovative series of Old Master exhibitions
provoking virulent attack on its patrons for neglecting contemporary art.
InternationalNapoleon returns to France from exile in Elba and resumes power until his abdication on 22 June; a period known as the 'Hundred Days'.
Battle of Waterloo concludes the Anglo-French struggle that had lasted more than a century. Peace of Vienna establishes Britain's global political, economic and imperial dominance which lasts for the next hundred years.