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September 20, 1965

JOHN HOWARD (1726[27]-1790)— PRISON REFORMER AND PHILANTHROPIST

JAMA. 1965;193(12):1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090120059020
Abstract

Johnrd, prison reformer of England, gave a fortune to accumulate data in support of his private mission to eradicate the wretched conditions in prisons, hospitals, and lazarettos and to prevent the plague in such institutions. He was born near London at Enfield or Hackney; there is uncertainty regarding his birth year as well as birthplace.1 His father, a Protestant dissenter who engaged in the upholstery and carpet business, died when his son was just beginning an upper class education. He had only partially fulfilled the wish of his father— that he serve an apprenticeship to a wholesale grocer—when he obtained a release from his indenture and toured the Continent. In 1756, on a visit to Portugal as a passenger on the Lisbon packet, Howard was captured by a French privateer, was imprisoned in France, and suffered great privations. He was first held captive without food or water for almost

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