On this day in British History: Slavery Abolished

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” ~ William Wilberforce

August 1, 1834, Slavery is abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 comes into force. They got it right long before we had to have a Civil War to do so. And I can say that, because my ancestors misguidedly fought for the south.

William Wilberforce (August 24, 1759 – July 29, 1833) was a British politician, philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. His converstion to evangelical christianity led hiim to a lifelong pursuit of reform. Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the Act was assured passage in Parliament.

His story is told in the movie Amazing Grace, where he is a friend of former slave ship captain John Newton who wrote the words to the hymn following his own conversion.

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  1. […] we noted that in 1834, slavery was abolished in the British Empire. Among those who led the fight for abolition was John Newton, a former captain of a slave ship. […]

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