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Abdy, Edward Strutt (1791–1846), campaigner against slavery and racism, was the fifth and youngest son of Thomas Abdy Abdy, born Thomas Abdy Rutherford (1755–1798), Church of England clergyman of Albyns, Essex, and his wife, Mary, daughter of James Hayes of Holyport, Buckinghamshire, a bencher of the ...

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Thomas Babington (1758–1837) by Charles E. Wagstaff (after John Hoppner) © Copyright The British Museum

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Babington, Thomas (1758–1837), philanthropist and politician, was born on 18 December 1758, the eldest son and heir of Thomas Babington (1715–1776), of Rothley Temple, Rothley, Leicestershire, and his wife, Lydia (1726/7–1791), daughter of Joseph Cardale, vicar of Hinckley. After education at Rugby School...

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Benezet, Anthony [formerly Antoine] (1713–1784), educational reformer and abolitionist, was born on 31 January 1713 in St Quentin, Picardy, France. In 1715 his wealthy protestant parents, Jean Étienne Benezet (1683–1751) and Judith de la Méjenelle (1693–1765), fled to Rotterdam to escape religious persecution, bribing the border guard with a bag of gold. After three months the ...

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Bowly, Samuel (1802–1884), slavery abolitionist and temperance advocate, the son of Samuel Bowly, a miller at Bibury, Gloucestershire, was born in Cirencester on 23 March 1802. During his youth he attended a Quaker school at Nailsworth and then worked at his father's flour mill. In 1827 he married ...

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Brown, Henry [known as Henry Box Brown] (b. c. 1815, d. in or after 1878), slavery abolitionist and magician, was born a slave on a plantation in Louisa county, about forty-five miles from Richmond, Virginia, USA, about 1815. His first master was relatively kind but when he died ...

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John Bullar (1778–1864) by Richard Cockle Lucas, 1854 Sotheby's Picture Library, London; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bullar, John (1778–1864), schoolmaster and campaigner for liberal causes, was born on 27 January 1778 in the parish of Holy Rood, Southampton, probably at 95/96 High Street, the son of John Bullar (1744–1836), peruke maker and hairdresser of Southampton High Street, and his wife, ...

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Chamerovzow, Louis Alexis (1816–1875), anti-slavery campaigner and author, was born in Brighton, Sussex, on 24 April 1816, the son of Alexis Chamerovzow (1774–1821) and his wife, Agathe Cecile Constance Emelie, née Dackweiler (d. 1865). His father, a Muscovite, had been a musician in the private band of ...

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See Clarkson, Thomas

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Thomas Clarkson (1760–1846) by Carl Fredrik von Breda, 1788 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Clarkson, Thomas (1760–1846), slavery abolitionist, was born on 28 March 1760 in the free grammar school, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, of which his father, the Revd John Clarkson (1710–1766), was headmaster. His mother, Anne (1735–1799), was the daughter of Alpe Ward, a well-off and well-connected physician of ...

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Craft, William (c. 1825–1900), slavery abolitionist, was born into slavery in Georgia, and apprenticed as a carpenter in Macon. His family was broken up when his parents, brother, and sister were sold separately to pay off their master's debts. At the age of sixteen ...

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Cugoano, Ottobah [John Stuart] (b. 1757?), slavery abolitionist and writer, was born on the coast of present-day Ghana, in the Fante village of Agimaque (present-day Ajumako). His parents are unknown. In 1770 he was kidnapped by fellow Africans, sold into slavery to Europeans, and transported to ...

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Dolben, Sir William, third baronet (1727–1814), politician and slavery abolitionist, was born and baptized on 12 January 1727 at Finedon, Northamptonshire, the second and only surviving son of Sir John Dolben, second baronet (1684–1756), rector of Burton Latimer and vicar of Finedon, and his wife, ...

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Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745–1797) by Daniel Orme, pubd 1789 (after W. Denton) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Equiano, Olaudah [Gustavus Vassa] (c. 1745–1797), author and slavery abolitionist, was in the words of his own Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano born 'in a charming vale, named Essaka', most likely in present-day Nigeria. However, at his baptism in 1759 he was described as a native of ...

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Falconbridge, Alexander (c. 1760–1792), doctor and slavery abolitionist, whose family was associated with Bristol, where he grew up, spent twelve months in 1779–80 as a pupil in Bristol Infirmary. Too poor to start his own practice, he became a surgeon on board a slave ship—a potentially lucrative employment since surgeons received, as well as their salary, ...

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Harris, Sir John Hobbis (1874–1940), campaigner against slavery, was born on 29 July 1874 at Grove Street, Wantage, the son of John Hobbis Harris, plumber (and later a builder), and his wife, Elizabeth Emily Saunders. An earnest Christian, young John Harris spent all his free time doing evangelical social work in the common lodging houses under the leadership of ...

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Henson, Josiah (1789–1883), escaped slave, slavery abolitionist, and Methodist minister, was born on 15 June 1789 in Charles county, Maryland, USA, one of six children of slave parents. He experienced the harsh realities of slavery early in life. He saw his father receive 100 lashes and then have his ear cut off as punishment for defending his mother from the plantation overseer. His father was then sold south and was never heard from again. ...