New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Letters to the editor >

Slave-trade abolition was a joint effort

From Ellen Gibson Wilson

Sir, — Your headlines (17 February) refer to the "bicentenary of the Wilberforce Act" (Leader comment) and the "Wilberforce bicentenary" (General Synod).

The 1807 Act abolishing the slave trade was in fact masterminded through Parliament by Lord Grenville. Wilberforce’s great oratory and persistence in the cause contributed hugely, but the 1807 Act was passed by a new administration riding the crest of an unprecedented public campaign led by Thomas Clarkson.

The slave-trade abolition campaign was the first human-rights movement in history — to quote my biography of Clarkson. More recent studies, notably Adam Hochschild’s Bury the Chains (2005), conclude that Wilberforce and Clarkson were "one of history’s great partnerships". They were seen as joint leaders in their day.

Success was also due to the thousands of men and women who petitioned Parliament, gave up sugar, and filled meeting halls to denounce the injustice of the slave trade and slavery itself.

ELLEN GIBSON WILSON
19 Aldwark, York YO1 7BX

Job of the week

Chaplain

Wales

EVERYONE DESERVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A FRESH START WITH YOUR HELP THEY CAN Chaplain - Ecumenical (HMP Parc) HM Prison & YOI Parc, Bridgend £30,369.42 pa | Full-time (40 hours per w...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

‘I hope that I will be proud of the next thing I write’

‘I hope that I will be proud of the next thing I write’

Jo Wroe talks to the writer and stand-up comic A. L. Kennedy, who will be making her Greenbelt debut this weekend  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the full synodical process for church legislation be retained?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Exposed — the dangers of a group mentality

One year on, the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal reveals the risks of group norms, says Alan Billings  Read More

Wed 2 Sep 15 @ 16:56
Christine Hardman named as C of E's next woman bishop http://t.co/6a6RX5iRBt http://t.co/Ug3L8Yg9hP

Wed 2 Sep 15 @ 12:23
RT @BishGloucesterWonderful news re Christine Hardman. A gift to Newcastle who will also be gift to her. Praying for adventure ahead..