We were crossing over from Lincolnshire to Yorkshire for last week's Sunday Snap. I asked which bridge it was and the answer is
The Humber Bridge
We went over the Humber Bridge on our way to Hull and the birthplace of a man synonymous with the abolition of slavery. Born into a wealthy merchant's family in 1759 he defied childhood illnesses and the death of his father when he was just nine years old to become an Independent MP at the age of 21. Although he had a religious upbringing with elements of both traditional Anglicism and the new, more evangelical Methodist movement at the age of 17 his lifestyle changed as he started his studies at Cambridge. The deaths of both his uncle and grandfather had left him a wealthy young man and allowed him to indulge in drinking, gambling and playing cards. His wealth enabled him to buy the votes required to become a MP. From the moment he entered Parliament he was noted for his eloquence and mastery when making speeches. During his early political career he maintained his social life with frequent visits to gambling clubs however in 1784 he underwent a religious conversion. This changed the course of his life and his political concerns.
By the 1780s the calls to end the slave trade had started. In 1783 80% of Britain's income had come from the slave trade that took people from Africa to the West Indies and then selling on the sugar, tobacco and cotton they had produced. The arduous journey from Africa to the Caribbean led to the deaths of around 10% of the enslaved men, women and children. The process to make slavery illegal was not an easy one with several bills going through parliament which were either defeated or passed in a watered-down version. Finally on 25th March 1807 The Slave Trade Act was passed. This only stopped the trading of slaves in the British Empire and so the work continued for the total worldwide abolition and the emancipation of the slaves. His lifelong battle with ill-health continued but he maintained his campaign for the freedom of slave workers. A month after his death in July 1833 the Slavery Abolition Act was passed thus ensuring the freedom of nearly 800,000 African slaves. His birthplace is now Britain's first slavery museum and the statue stands in the garden. This week's question is
Who is the statue of?
We were joined last week by Susan and some colourful football watching. The hamsters have been having their cages cleaned at Anne's. Kara's crew have been visiting Kenilworth Castle exploring inside. In Norway Cheryl has been troll spotting. Finally, Gentle Joy has been watching the geese at sunset.
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