William Wilberforce bY: mARY-wALKER DUNN

William Wilberforce was born on August 24th, 1759. His siblings were Ann, Elizabeth, and Sarah. He first lived in Hull, England but after his dad died when he was eight his mother sent him to London to live with his aunt and uncle because she became very sick. William was only twelve years old when he moved to London. He decided to move to Cambridge, England to attend college.

He attended Cambridge University and later became a member on the Parliament as a student there. His goal was to become a politician. He married Barbara Wilberforce on May 30th, 1797 and had six children, three sons and three daughters. Unfortunately, he died on July 29th, 1833 in York, England. He died just three days after the bill was passed to take England out of the slave trade.

When William moved to London his uncle John Newton told him about when he was a slave trader. After hearing this William decided he would never make the same mistakes. In the 1800's William worked to abolish slavery by using his political position to create a bill that stated he wanted to remove England from the slave trade. He turned the bill to the Parliament at least nineteen times. On March 25th, 1807 he succeeded.

His legacy left a huge mark on England and its history. He helped to free slaves in the British colonies. He also never stopped trying until he reached his goal to free them. William was told the bill was passed on his deathbed. He was buried in the Westminster Abbey.

"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."- 2 Chronicles 15:7

"it is the true deed of every man to promote the happiness of his fellow creatures to the best of his power."- William Wilberforce

Interesting Facts

  • He played many sports as a child such as rugby and cricket
  • All three of his sons became clergymen
  • Only one of his sisters survived to adulthood

MLA Citations

  • The Abolition Project. William Wilberforce (1759-1833): The Politician: The Abolition of Slavery Project. N.p., 2009. Web 25 Apr. 2017
  • Galli, Mark. "William Wilberforce." Christian History | Learn the History of Christianity & the Church. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.


Created with images by ell brown - "Museum of London Docklands - portrait of William Wilberforce"

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