of William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a deeply religious man whose
political views were very conservative, but who devoted
most of his parliamentary career to the abolition of the
slave trade and slavery. He also campaigned for
legislation to prohibit the worst forms of child labor,
cruelty to animals and the removal of political
disabilities on Roman Catholics.
fought to abolish the slave trade which, after many
years of defeats, he finally achieved in 1807.
However, this did not abolish slavery.
would frequently introduce a private member’s Bill
abolishing slavery. Year after year his Bills were
defeated until, finally, late on Friday July 26, 1833,
as he lay on his deathbed, his friend, Thomas Babington
Macaulay, the famous historian and member of the Society
for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery
throughout the British Dominions, brought him word that
Abolition Bill 1833 abolishing
slavery throughout the British Empire had
been read a third time (which
means that it had been passed) by the House of
Commons. Passage of the Bill through the House of
Lords was assured. Wilberforce exclaimed:
"Thank God that I have lived to witness the day
in which England is willing to give £20
million for the abolishment of slavery."
died three days later. It was agreed that he
should be in Westminster Abbey in London.
Slavery Abolition Bill 1833 passed through the House of
Lords, it received the Royal Assent (which means it
became law) on 29 August 1833 and came into force on 1
August 1834. On that date slavery was abolished
throughout the vast British Empire. The Act
automatically applied as new possessions (principally in
Africa) subsequently became part of the British Empire.
to other pages dealing with British abolitionists:
Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786-1846)
campaign against slavery
to other pages dealing with the abolition of slavery in
the British Empire:
Trade Act 1807
Trade Act 1824
Trade Act 1843
Abolition Act 1833
to pages dealing with the abolition of slavery in the
Amendment to the Bill of Rights
to pages dealing with the abolition of slavery in other
to other pages dealing with slavery:
slavery still exist?