Thomas Clarkson was an English abolitionist, one of the first effective publicists of the English abolitionist movement and a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. Born in Cambridgeshire to a financially well-off family, he wanted to become a reverend like his father, John Clarkson, who was also the headmaster of the Wisbech Grammar School where Thomas began his schooling. An outstanding student, he graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge. Following in his father’s footsteps he planned to join the Angelical Church and was ordained as a deacon, but he never proceeded to the priest’s orders. After participating in a Latin essay-writing competition, he believed he had a spiritual experience. The topic of the essay was ‘Anne liceat invitos in servitutem dare’ (Is it lawful to enslave the unconsenting?) and he won the competition. While researching for it, he learned about the hideous profession of slave trade and the inhumane concept of slavery. He spent the next 61 years of his life trying to abolish slavery from the British, and eventually the European society. His dedicated campaigning was rewarded with the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.
Place Of Death
St John's College, Cambridge, Wisbech Grammar School, University of Cambridge
Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade