Thomas Clarkson, 1760-1846

Portrait of Thomas Clarkson holding a scroll, which reads ‘Slavery abolished, Jamaica August 1st 1838’.

Clarkson (1760–1846) was born in Wisbech. While at Cambridge University he won a Latin essay competition on the subject of whether it was lawful to make slaves of others against their will. He later became one of the leading figures in the British abolitionist movement and worked full-time for the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, of which he was a founder member in 1787. From then until 1794 he travelled some 35,000 miles, mostly on horseback, visiting ports such as Bristol, Liverpool, Whitehaven and London to gathered information and evidence against the slave trade. This was often at great personal risk. After abolition of the slave trade in 1807, Clarkson turned to the abolition of slavery itself. He became vice-president of the Anti-Slavery Society in 1825.

Object Details

ID: ZBA2504
Collection: Fine art; Special collections
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Turner, Charles; Chalon, Alfred Edward Lobel, G. Room, H.
Date made: circa 1840
Exhibition: The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire; Enslavement and Resistance
People: Turner, Charles; Lobel, G. Room, H. Chalon, Alfred Edward Clarkson, Thomas
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Measurements: Image: 306 mm x 241 mm;Sheet: 450 mm x 332 mm

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