William Wilberforce (1759 1833) was a politician, philanthropist and evangelical Christian, now best known for his work to end the slave trade. Elected to Parliament in 1780, he campaigned unsuccessfully for penal and electoral reform. In 1787, at the encouragement of his friend William Pitt, he took up the cause of abolition at Westminster and lobbied influential people tirelessly, but humanitarian and ethical arguments were slow to overcome the economic interests of those who had made fortunes from the slave trade or the use of slave labour. It was not until 1807 that the Abolition Bill was finally passed. Wilberforce continued his work for emancipation, and also campaigned for religious liberty. This biography, based on his own writings, was published by two of his sons in 1838, but sheds more light on religious than on political aspects of his life. Volume 1 covers the period from his birth until 1792.
eBook The Life of William Wilberforce, Volume 1