Elizabeth Fry: the great reformer

With Elizabeth Fry about to be removed from the £5 note, there's never been a better time, argues Rosalind Crone, to champion a woman who dedicated her life to fighting the corner of the most vulnerable Britons...

Elizabeth Fry visiting Newgate Prison, 1926. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the May 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine.

In May 2017 the ‘Fry fiver’ will be officially withdrawn from circulation, replaced by the new polymer note featuring the wartime leader Winston Churchill. Incidentally, Fry’s retirement coincides with the 200th anniversary of her most famous philanthropic project, reform of the female side of Newgate Gaol, the act chosen for commemoration on our national currency.

Want to read more?

Become a BBC History Magazine subscriber today to unlock all premium articles in The Library

Unlock now