William Wilberforce is the best known of the British campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade. An astute politician and eloquent orator, he was also an evangelical Christian who campaigned for greater morality in public life.

Wilberforce came from a prosperous merchant family of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire. At twenty-one, he was elected to Parliament for his native town and four years later he was again elected, this time for the county seat of Yorkshire. During his early years in Parliament, he was noted for his eloquence and charm, but he did not involve himself with any great cause. In 1785, he underwent a sudden conversion to evangelical Christianity, and from that point onwards he approached politics from a position of strict Christian morality. In 1786 he carried through

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Citation: Carey, Brycchan. "William Wilberforce". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4714, accessed 25 July 2024.]

4714 William Wilberforce 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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