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OHN HOWARD was the chief of philanthropists; his life has always been regarded as a

model of charity; his name alone stands for


Of his early years we know very little; he was probably born at Clapton in 1726-but some think at Cardington, near Bedford, where his father possessed a small farm. His father was a tradesman who kept an upholsterer's shop at Smithfield, and had a little country box at Enfield, whither, after he had made his fortune, he retired. John Howard's mother died while he was still an infant, and he was placed out to nurse with the wife of a Cardington farmer.

He was a sickly child, and was said to be dull at

*The facts in Howard's life contained in this sketch, are mainly derived from "John Howard," by Hepworth Dixon.


learning, but every one loved him. His first master was the Rev. John Worsley, who kept a school at Hertford. He passed seven years under his roof, and was subsequently removed to an academy in London, conducted by Mr John Eames, a friend of Sir Isaac Newton's, and a man of great learning and large attainments. When young Howard left school he had made but little progress in his studies. He was deficient in his acquaintance with the classics, for which he felt no vocation, while his knowledge of English was also very imperfect. But as his father destined him for trade, he perhaps acquired as much as was expected of him; he was early removed from Mr Eames's school, and bound as an apprentice to Messrs Newnham and Shipley, wholesale grocers in Watling Street. His father paid down with him £700 as premium. John Howard appears to have entered this service as a duty, his heart was not in the work, and he had no taste for trade, but he did not offer any objection to the path which his father had marked out for him.

On the 9th September 1742, before the period of his apprenticeship had expired, his father died. He left behind him considerable property, which was divided between his son and only daughter, the larger portion being bequeathed to the former, who was also named sole residuary legatee, as soon as he should attain his majority. He was then only seventeen, but the executors of his father's will, confiding in the prudence and discretion, for which he was even then remarkable, allowed him considerable power

over the management of the property. The family house at Clapton was falling into ruin, and he undertook to superintend its restoration, going thither daily to give his directions, and forward the repairs. Here his philanthropic and benevolent spirit was first displayed. A venerable gardener, who lived to the age of ninety, used to delight in recalling anecdotes and reminiscences of his master. His favourite story told how during the restoration of the house, Howard would arrive every morning-never missing a single day-under the buttress of the garden wall, just as the bread cart was passing, when purchasing a loaf he would throw it into the garden, and then entering the gate would cry out laughingly, "Harry! see if there is not something for you there, among the cabbages."

Howard was no sooner his own master, than he sought to terminate his apprenticeship, and at once arranged for the purchase of the remainder of his time. He next determined to inform his mind and restore his health-which, never good, had recently from confinement and laborious occupation, entirely given way-by foreign travel. He visited France and Italy; in the former he probably obtained that correct knowledge of French, which was afterwards so useful to him in his travels. Mind and body benefited alike by the step he had taken, his health was gradually restored, and his intellect enlightened and enlarged. He fervently loved art and all that pertained to it. He visited all the galleries of note which lay in his way, and purchased as many works of art as his re

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