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Hall of Fame - Joseph John Gurney

Joseph John Gurney

Joseph John Gurney (2 August 1788 - 4 January 1847) was a banker in Norwich, England and a prominent member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

The Gurney family played a great part in Norwich, for they not only helped found Barclays Bank, but also did much work for charity - Joseph John Gurney was a great philanthropist. His sister Elizabeth, married the Quaker Joseph Fry, to become Elizabeth Fry.

Gurney was born at Earlham Hall near Norwich, the tenth son of John Gurney, who was a banker and a Friend himself.

In 1817 Gurney joined his sister Elizabeth Fry in her attempt to end capital punishment and institute improvements in prisons. They little success.

Eventually Robert Peel, the Home Secretary, took an interest in prison reform and introduced the Gaols Act 1823, which called for paying salaries to wardens and putting female warders in charge of female prisoners. It also prohibited the use of irons or manacles.



Did you know... The city of Norwich is twinned with Rouen in France, Koblenz in Germany, Novi Sad in Serbia, and El Viejo in Nicaragua.