William Wilberforce, John Gurney, Harriet Martineau, Amelia Opie, and 6 others in Norwich

Sorry, we don't have a photo of this plaque yet.

Earlham Hall
The home of the Gurney family from 1786-1912. It was visited by their many friends including Amelia Opie, Harriet Martineau and William Wilberforce. The hall dates from c 1642.

William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833) was an English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. In 1787, he came into contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave-trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Hannah More and Charles Middleton. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty-six years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.Wilberforce was convinced of the importance of religion, morality and education. He championed causes and campaigns such as the Society for the Suppression of Vice, British missionary work in India, the creation of a free colony in Sierra Leone, the foundation of the Church Mission Society, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His underlying conservatism led him to support politically and socially repressive legislation, and resulted in criticism that he was ignoring injustices at home while campaigning for the enslaved abroad.In later years, Wilberforce supported the campaign for the complete abolition of slavery, and continued his involvement after 1826, when he resigned from Parliament because of his failing health. That campaign led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire; Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Act through Parliament was assured. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to his friend William Pitt.

Source: dbpedia

Elizabeth (Betsy) Fry (21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845), née Gurney, was an English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the "angel of prisons".Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane, and she was supported in her efforts by the reigning monarch. Since 2001, she has been depicted on the Bank of England £5 note.

Source: dbpedia

Harriet Martineau (12 June 1802 – 27 June 1876) was an English social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist.Martineau wrote many books and a multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and perhaps most controversially, feminine perspective; she also translated various works from Auguste Comte. She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing, a rare feat for a woman in the Victorian era. A young Princess Victoria, (later Queen Victoria), enjoyed reading Martineau's publications. The queen invited Martineau to her coronation in 1838—an event which Martineau described, in great and amusing detail, to her many readers. Martineau said of her own approach to writing: "when one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions". She believed a thorough societal analysis was necessary to understand women's status under men.The novelist Margaret Oliphant said "as a born lecturer and politician she [Martineau] was less distinctively affected by her sex than perhaps any other, male or female, of her generation." While she was commonly described as having a masculine intellect and body, Martineau introduced feminist sociological perspectives into her writing on otherwise overlooked issues such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations.

Source: dbpedia

Amelia Opie, née Alderson (12 November 1769 – 2 December 1853), was an English author who published numerous novels in the Romantic Period of the early 19th century, through 1828.

Source: dbpedia

Louisa Gurney Hoare (25 September 1784 – 6 September 1836) was an English diarist and writer on education, and a member of the Gurney family.

Source: dbpedia

Samuel Gurney (18 October 1786 – 5 June 1856) was an English banker and philanthropist from the Gurney family. He should not be confused with his second son, Samuel (1816–1882), also described as banker and philanthropist, and a Member of Parliament.

Source: dbpedia

Joseph John Gurney (2 August 1788 – 4 January 1847) was a banker in Norwich, England and a member of the Gurney family. He became an evangelical Minister of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), whose views and actions led, ultimately, to a schism among American Quakers.

Source: dbpedia

Daniel Gurney (1791–1880), was an English banker and antiquary from the Gurney family.Gurney was born at Earlham Hall, near Norwich, on 9 March 1791. He was youngest son of John Gurney (1749–1809) of Earlham, Norfolk, and brother of Elizabeth Fry, the philanthropist, Louisa Gurney Hoare, the writer on education, and Joseph John Gurney and Samuel Gurney, all of whom are separately noticed. His mother, Catherine, daughter of Daniel Bell, died in 1792. He descended from the ancient family of Gurney or Gournay, a younger branch of which held certain manors in Norfolk (temp. Henry II). Daniel was a direct descendant of this branch of the family. After completing his education Gurney entered the Norwich firm of Gurney & Co., of which he was afterwards the head, and for more than sixty years a partner. He wrote several essays on banking, which were printed for private circulation only. As the head of one of the first banks in the provinces he had much influence, both socially and politically. His amiability, courtesy, and generosity greatly endeared him to his contemporaries. Gurney was mainly instrumental in establishing the West Norfolk and Lynn Hospital.One of Gurney's favourite pursuits was archæology, and he was a prominent fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He took great interest in genealogy. In 1848 he printed in two volumes for private circulation an elaborate work entitled ‘The Record of the House of Gournay,’ to which he afterwards (1858) added a supplement. This book is highly valued for its varied antiquarian information and research. Gurney, who was a conservative in politics, was a justice of the peace and deputy-lieutenant for the county of Norfolk, and filled the office of High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1853. He married in 1822 the Lady Harriet Jemima Hay (1803–1837), daughter of William Hay, 17th Earl of Erroll, by whom he had 9 children. Their son, Charles Henry Gurney, who married a daughter of Henry Thoby Prinsep, graduated Trinity College, Cambridge, and was a partner in Saunderson's Bank, London. Daniel Gurney himself died, 14 June 1880, at his seat near North Runcton, Norfolk.

Source: dbpedia

Local area map loading...
All plaques in Norwich

Tell us what you know about William Wilberforce, John Gurney, Harriet Martineau, Amelia Opie, and 6 others in Norwich

BluePlaquePlaces.co.uk is a Good Stuff website.