William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
Philanthropist and MP
- Born 24 August 1759 in Hull. His father was a merchant descended from the ancient Yorkshire family of Wilberfoss.
- Attended grammar school in Hull.
- 1768 his father died and he moved to school in Wimbledon looked after by his uncle.
- His mother moved him back to Pocklington because of his aunt’s Methodist views.
- 1776 St. John’s College, Cambridge, being only seventeen years of age.
- 1784 Became MP for York.
- 1787 First began to campaign again slavery in Parliament
- 1781 Graduated and almost immediately elected MP for Hull.
- c1784 Began to devote himself to the reformation of manners, suppression of vice and the slave trade.
- 1807 Abolition Bill passed making the slave trade illegal (though slavery still remained)
- 1812 Became MP for Bamber.
- 1824 Retired from Parliament.
- 1833 Emancipation Act passed thereby abolishing slavery in the British colonies
- 29 July 1833 died at Cadogan Place, London.
(Great Churchmen No 17 - Church Book Room Press)