From February to June 1819 Elizabeth Fry was very il., During her illness the prisoners from Newgate sent the following letter:
It is with sorrow we say that we had not the pleasure of seeing you at the accustomed time, which we have been always taught to look for; we mean Friday last. We are fearful that your health was the cause of us being deprived of that heartfelt joy, which your presence always diffuses through the prison; but we hope by the mercies of God, we shall be able personally to return you the grateful acknowledgement of our hearts, before we leave our country for ever, for all the past and present favours so benevolently bestowed upon what has been termed the most unfortunate of Society until cheered by your benevolence, kindness and charity; and hoping that your health, which is so dear to such a number of unfortunates, will be fully re-established before we go, so that after our departure from our native land, them who are so unfortunate as to fall into the same situation as them who now address you may enjoy the same blessing both spiritually and temporally that we have done before them; and may our minds be impressed with a sense of the many comforts we have enjoyed, whilst under your kind protection.
Honoured and worthy Madam, hoping we shall be pardoned for our presumption in addressing you at this time; but our fears of not seeing you before our time of departure, induces us to entreat you acceptance of our prayers and supplications of the unfortunate prisoners, sent to heaven for the prolonging of that life, which is so dear to the most wretched of the English nation.
Honoured Madam, we beg leave to subscribe ourselves with humble respect, your most grateful and devoted
THE PRISONERS OF NEWGATE
Monday March 1st 1819
Description: Transcript of a letter sent to Elizabeth Fry
Source: Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry with extracts from her journal and letters Vol. 1 (Google e-books)