London and the transatlantic slave trade
|The abolition campaigns|
Opposition to the trade
Many religious groups, such as the Quakers, objected to it on principle. John Wesley, the leader of the increasingly popular Methodist movement, was against Britain’s involvement in the trade.
In the last quarter of the 18th century, the trade faced organized opposition in the form of a highly vocal and very determined abolition campaign.
Clarkson and the abolition movement
London was the focus for the abolition campaign, being home both to Parliament and to the important financial institutions of the City. As early as 1776, the House of Commons debated a motion 'that the slave trade is contrary to the laws of God and the rights of men'.
Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce were two of the most prominent abolitionists, playing a vital role in the ultimate success of the campaign.
Clarkson, a headmaster’s son from Wisbech, had intended to enter the Church. At the age of 24, however, he was converted to the abolitionist cause. Clarkson devoted the rest of his life to that cause.
Clarkson was a tireless campaigner and lobbyist. He made an in-d