Mary Carpenter, 1807–77, English educator. She devoted her life to the establishment of schools and institutions and the promotion of educational reforms. In 1835 she organized the Working and Visiting Society, in 1846 opened a school for poor children, and in 1852 founded a juvenile reformatory (see her Juvenile Delinquents: Their Condition and Treatment, 1852). Her agitation for reformatory and industrial schools contributed to the passage of the Juvenile Offenders Act (1857) and furthered the movement for free day schools. She made four visits to India after 1866, interesting herself in Indian education, and also lectured in the United States.
See biography by J. E. Carpenter (1879, 2d ed. 1881, repr. 1973).