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A view of the character and public services of the late John Howard, Esq.

HOWARD, John] AIKIN, John (1747-1822).

Published by J. Johnson, 1792., London:, 1792
From Jeff Weber Rare Books, ABAA (Carlsbad, CA, U.S.A.)

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Small 8vo. 248 pp. Engraved frontis-portrait. Original drab boards, black-stamped spine title, uncut; spine neatly replaced. Ink signature on title-page, notation in same hand on p. 195, "A marble Statue upon a Pedestal with a suitable Inscription has since been erected to his memory in the Cathedral of St. Paul London." J. Pickering [ca. 1795]. Fine. FIRST edition. John Howard (1726-1790), philanthropist and prison reformer. "On 8 Feb 1773 Howard was appointed high sheriff of Bedfordshire. Howard now commenced his career as a prison reformer. In his official capacity the defective arrangements of the prisons and the intolerable distress of the prisoners were brought immediately under his notice. Shocked at discovering that persons who had been declared not guilty, or against whom the grand jury had failed to find a true bill, or even those whose prosecutors had failed to appear, were confined in gaol until certain fees were paid to the gaoler, Howard suggested to the Bedfordshire justices that the gaoler should be paid by a salary in lieu of fees. . . The many abuses which he unearthed determined him to continue his investigations, and he left few of the county gaols unvisited." [DNB] John Aikin M.D. was the son of John Aikin (1713-1780), tutor of the Warrington Academy, which during the twenty-nine years of its existence was the centre of liberal politics and literary taste of the county of Lancashire. "Aikin is better known as a man of letters than as a physician. His elegant scholarship gave a natural polish to all that he wrote, and his varied attainments, as well as his moral uprightness, earned him many friends, among whom where Dr. Priestley; Pennant, the naturalist; Dr. Darwin; James Montgomery; John Howard, the philanthropist; and, for a time, the poet, Southey. He was John Howard's literary executor, and was often employed by him to write reports on prisons, and other documents." [DNB]. Aikin's Life has therefore the advantage of being written by someone who knew Howard well and was very closely associated with his work. Baumgartner 47; BM Readex Vol. 1, p. 271; DNB Vol. I, pp. 186-6; DNB Vol. X, pp. 44-48. Bookseller Inventory # M10461

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A view of the character and public services ...

Publisher: J. Johnson, 1792., London:

Publication Date: 1792

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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