Lead: In May 1827 London’s Newgate Prison had a new prisoner. Who could have imagined that this new inmate would become one of England’s most influential social critics and help change the destiny of a worldwide empire?

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Edward Gibbon Wakefield was the spoiled son of prominent, politically well-connected London Quaker family. He piddled his way through school, but was possessed of a certain charm and the skills of the intellectually glib. He landed a job as a diplomatic courier for the Foreign Service on the Continent and persuaded a rich heiress, 16-year old Eliza Anne Frances Pattle, to elope with him. The resulting settlement from her estate provided for him generously and they started a family. Eliza died at the birth of their second child Edward in 1820.