Biography and History

William Davenport Hill was the eldest child of a successful English family. He began as a teacher, but, determined to read law, he became the first man from Birmingham to be called to the bar, where he was a close associate of Henry Brougham, and was appointed Recorder of Birmingham. Hill used this platform over many years to press for penal reform, concentrating particularly on juvenile crime and reform schools. His younger brothers included the inventor of the penny post, Sir Rowland Hill, and the prison inspector Frederic Hill; he also had several daughters who carried on his work of penal reform: Florence Davenport Hill, Rosamond Davenport Hill, and Joanna Margaret Hill.

Source: From the finding aid for C1256