The Reverend John Thomas Becher (1770–1848) lived with his wife Mary at Hill House in Easthorpe, Southwell. He was a friend of Lord Byron's, who wrote this:
'Dear Becher, you tell me to mix with mankind;
I cannot deny such a precept is wise;
But retirement accords with the tone of my mind:
I will not descend to a world I despise.
But Becher! you’re a "reverend pastor",
Now take it in consideration,
Whether for penance I should fast,or
Pray for my "sins" in expiation.
Candour compels me, BECHER! to commend
The verse, which blends the censor with the friend;
Your strong yet just reproof extorts applause
From me, the heedless and imprudent cause;
For this wild error, which pervades my strain,
I sue for pardon,–must I sue in vain?'
Becher had a great interest in poor law and prison reform, and the workhouse at Southwell (now in the possession of the National Trust), was built to his specifications.