Howard was born in North London, either in Hackney or Enfield. His father, also John, was a wealthy upholsterer at Smithfield Market in the city. His mother Ann Pettitt died when he was five years old, and, described as a “sickly child”, he was sent to live at Cardington, Bedfordshire, some fifty miles from London, where his father owned property. His father, a strict disciplinarian with strong religious beliefs, sent the young John to a school in Hertford and then to John Eames’s dissenting academy in London.
After school, John was apprenticed to a wholesale grocer to learn business methods, but he was unhappy. When his father died in 1742, he was left with a sizeable inheritance but no true vocation. His Calvinist faith and quiet, serious disposition meant he had little desire for the fashionable endeavours of an English aristocratic lifestyle. In 1748, he left England for a grand tour of the continent.
Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:
September 2nd 1726
January 20th 1790
- John Howard (prison reformer) – Wikipedia
John Howard FRS (2 September 1726 – 20 January 1790) was a philanthropist and the first English prison reformer.
- Biography of John Howard – The John Howard Society of Canada …
A realist, John Howard derived satisfaction from the modest improvements he was able to achieve and he appreciated that change would come, but slowly.
- BBC – History – Historic Figures: John Howard (1726 – 1790)
A philanthropist and social reformer, Howard was dedicated to prison reform and public health improvements.
- John Howard (prison reformer) – New World Encyclopedia
John Howard (September 2, 1726 – January 20, 1790) was a British philanthropist and prison reformer. Born into a wealthy family and inheriting considerable fortune, Howard traveled widely. His experience of prison awakened in him a vocation for service, and a subsequent religious experience led him to determine to make an important contribution to the world.
- Looking at History: Prison reformers: John Howard
Individual reformers had criticised the system of criminal punishment based on capital punishment and transportation since the 1770s. They had two motives.
- John Howard | British philanthropist and social reformer | Britannica.com
John Howard, (born Sept. 2, 1726, Hackney, London, Eng.?—died Jan. 20, 1790, Kherson, Ukraine, Russian Empire [now in Ukraine]), English philanthropist and reformer in the fields of penology and public health.
- Howard, John 1746 – 1790 – Duhaime.org
Born in 1746, John Howard was the kind but lonely British gentleman who is believed to of had an epiphany which would change the world for the better.
- John Howard and prison reform – UK Parliament
One of those who promoted this interest was John Howard, who during his lifetime conducted an extensive tour and study of prisons in Britain and on the continent.