What they don’t tell you at school about William Wilberforce

It’s William Wilberforce’s birthday! Happy William Wilberforce Day everybody! 😀

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What they will tell you:

William Wilberforce

  • William Wilberforce (1759-1833) is one of the best known British abolitionists. He was a Parliamentarian, writer and social reformer.
  • He was a close friend of William Pitt, the youngest Prime Minister in British history.
  • Wilberforce campaigned for health care, educational and prison reform and legislation to prohibit the worst forms of child labour. However, his greatest political efforts concerned the abolition of the slave trade and slavery.
  • In 1788-1789 he presented his Abolitionist Bill before the House of Commons for the first time. In a moving speech, he recited the horrific facts of slavery for three hours and ended with the words: “having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know”.
  • Despite Wilberforce’s efforts the bill did not pass. Year after year, he re-introduced anti-slavery motions but to no avail…

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