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Captive to a Calling: The William Wilberforce Story

But for the grace of God, the political leader of the British anti-slavery movement would have been just another self-absorbed aristocrat.

By Pat Mudgett

In 1759, Kingston upon Hull, or just “Hull,” in Yorkshire County, England, was situated far enough off the beaten track to be little known. But on August 24, an unusually tiny and frail baby was born there who would one day put his village on the map and make the Wilberforce name known around the world.

Providential Misfortune

When William was nine years old, his father died and he was sent to live with an uncle near London while his mother managed the estate of her late merchant husband. This would prove a providential turn that would later influence the course of human history.

Unlike his immediate family’s nominal involvement in the Church of England, which amounted to little more than weekly church attendance, William found his aunt and uncle to be fervent Christians who believed that religion should order one’s personal life as well as the whole of society

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Image credits

  • © Karl Anton Hickel

About the author

Pat Mudgett is a frequent contributor to Last Generation magazine. She writes from Berkley Springs, WV.