William Wilberforce 'The Saint'

William Wilberforce died in July 1833. Since then his reputation as champion of the abolition of slavery, evangelical and politician has undergone a series of reassessments.

William Wilberforce by Karl Anton Hickel, c. 1794
William Wilberforce by Karl Anton Hickel, c. 1794

'And who, Carruthers, was William Wilberforce?' 'He was the man who freed the slaves, sir.' Yet the answer to the schoolmaster's question could just as well be that he was the man who called his countrymen to repentance, the leading lay theologian of the Evangelical Revival, the politician who dedicated himself to reforming the nation's morals or, quite simply, as many of his contemporaries regarded him, the Saint, whose life, both public and private, provides one of the most shining and inspiring examples of practical Christianity.

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