(n/a) Thomas Hazlehurst (British, 1740-1821) A Lady, called Elizabeth Fry, wearing grey shawl and white tucker, her hair upswept beneath a fluted white bonnet trimmed with black ribbon
Lot 111Y
(n/a) Thomas Hazlehurst
(British, 1740-1821)
A Lady, called Elizabeth Fry, wearing grey shawl and white tucker, her hair upswept beneath a fluted white bonnet trimmed with black ribbon
Sold for £1,920 (US$ 3,004) inc. premium

Lot Details
(n/a) Thomas Hazlehurst (British, 1740-1821)
A Lady, called Elizabeth Fry, wearing grey shawl and white tucker, her hair upswept beneath a fluted white bonnet trimmed with black ribbon.
Signed with initials on the obverse T.H., gold frame, the reverse inscribed Elizabeth Fry/ by T. Hargreaves/ b. 1775 d. 1846.
Oval, 75mm (2 15/16in) high

Footnotes

  • It would appear that the inscription on the reverse of the present portrait intends to identify the sitter as Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), the famous Quaker and prison reformer, although the birth and death dates are not correct. This is a popular identification for early 19th Century portraits of women in Quaker costume, but when compared with known portraits of Fry, in this case, as in many, the identification does not seem likely.

    Fry was born into the Gurney family of wealthy and well-connected Quakers from Norfolk. After the death of her mother in 1792 Elizabeth, supervised the upbringing of her numerous brothers and sisters. Imbued with the desire to help those less fortunate than herself, she invested much of her energy in the poor and needy of the district, running a school for local children and visiting the sick and destitute. Around 1810, she visited Newgate Prison and was horrified by what she found there. Conditions for the captive women were appalling and Elizabeth resolved to change them for the better. Through a programme of prison visits, she developed close links with the inmates, overcoming official opposition to forge strong links with those caught in the penal system. Refusing to view them as irredeemably wicked or corrupt, she instead sought to alleviate their physical discomforts and teach them of the love of God. As well as her work with prisoners, Elizabeth also assisted London's homeless, advocated the abolition of capital punishment and, in 1840, opened a school for the training of nurses. Queen Victoria herself noted in her diary after one of their several meetings that Fry was 'a very superior person'. Elizabeth married Joseph Fry, a fellow Quaker, and the pair had eleven children.
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