This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Joseph John Gurney, an English philanthropist, born at Earlham hall, near Norwich, Aug. 2, 1788, died there, Jan. 4, 1S47. He was educated at Oxford under a private tutor, without becoming connected with the university, and in 1818 became a minister of the society of Friends. At different times he travelled through Ireland, the United States and Canada (1837), and most of the countries of central Europe, to inquire into the condition of prisons. In these tours he was generally accompanied by his sister Mrs. Elizabeth Fry and with her labored for the improvement of prison discipline. Much of his ample fortune was devoted to benevolent purposes. He published "Notes on Prison Discipline" (1819); "Observations on the Religious Peculiarities of the Society of Friends" (1824); "Essays on the Evidences, Doctrines, and Practical Operations of Christianity " (1827); " Biblical Notes to confirm the Deity of Christ" (1830); " Accordance of Geological Discovery with Natural and Revealed Religion" (1835); "Sabbatical Verses" (1837); "Familiar Sketch of William Wilberforce" (1840); "A Winter in the West Indies, described in Familiar Letters to Henry Clay of Kentucky" (1840); and "Thoughts on Habit and Discipline" (2d ed., 1844). His memoirs, edited by Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, with selections from his journal and correspondence, were published in 1854 (2 vols. 8vo).