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St John's Library contains:
<-- See earlier
TaylorB Papers of Brook Taylor
TaylorC Papers of Charles Taylor
Todhunter Papers of Isaac Todhunter
Webb Papers of Robert Rumsey Webb
White Papers of Francis Puryer White
Whittaker Papers of John William Whittaker
Whytehead Papers relating to the Whytehead family
Wilberforce Papers of William Wilberforce
Wilkes Papers of Maurice Wilkes
Wood Papers of James Wood
Wordsworth Papers of William Wordsworth
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Papers of William Wilberforce

Title Papers of William Wilberforce
Reference GBR/0275/Wilberforce
Creator William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
Covering Dates 1737–1833
Extent and Medium 25 items; paper
Repository St John's College Library
Content and context

Philanthropist. Entered St John's 1776; BA 1781; MA 1788; MP for Hull 1780-4; for Yorkshire 1784-1812; for Bamber 1812-25; Founded the Proclamation Society, for the suppression of vice, in 1787; Parliamentary leader for the cause for the abolition of slavery from 1787; carried the bill through the House of Commons 1807; retired from political life 1825, due to ill-health; buried in Westminster Abbey.

Correspondence of William Wilberforce, mainly written by him, on a range of subjects including political and family matters; a notarial document relating to some of Wilberforce's ancestors.

Access and Use

Please cite as St John's College Library, Papers of William Wilberforce

Index Terms
Abolition of Slavery
Wilberforce, William (1759-1833) politician, philanthropist, and slavery abolitionist
St John's Library/Wilberforce contains:
1 ALS probably to Bryan Edwards (1743-1800), from Bath. Sends a volume of debates on motions put forward by WW respecting the slave trade. Hopes that they will both agree that the rapid improvements in conditions that have taken place will ensure that the population as a whole will see that the keeping of slaves is unnecessary.
3p; paper.
7 Aug. 1792
2 ALS to Isaac Spooner (WW's father in law), from Bognor. Gives news of the recovery from illness of his wife.
3p; paper.
2 Oct. 1800
3 ALS possibly to S.J. Pratt, from Broomfield. Replies to a letter asking for WW's signature to be added to a petition by stating that under the circumstances he cannot do so.
3p; paper.
13 July 1804
4 ALS to the Rev. Mr Joyce. Writes a letter of recommendation for the Rev. Mr Gisborne's second son, asking for Mr Joyce to take him into his care. Offers any information regarding the boy's temperament which may be of use. Notes that the boy is of a high spirited nature but feels that Mr Joyce will be able to cope with him. Asks to be kept informed of the decision and also inquires about the terms under which the boy would be taken in. Discusses the nature of the subjects to be studied and also the importance of the reputation of the tutor and the establishment to which the boy should be sent.
9p; paper.
20 Oct. 1805
5 ALS to Messrs Russell and Bourne (election agents), from London. Writes to thanks Russell and Bourne for their work in securing WW's recent re-election and apologises profusely for the delay in sending his gratitude.
4p; paper.
7 Mar. 1807
6 ALS to E. Malone, from Kensington Gore. Sends thanks for the sending of a memoir of Mr Windham.
1p; paper.
21 Aug. 1810
7 ALS to J. Campbell, from Kensington Gore. Apologises for not answering a letter announcing a petition sooner. Commends the petition's content.
2p; paper.
25 July 1814
8 ALS to Sir Samuel Romilly, from London. Sends a packet to be forwarded to Mr Durrant. Considers his part of the tract to be written hastily and will write again. Hopes the German copies will be useful.
2p; paper.
1814
9 ALS to James Montgomery, from London. Gives thanks for a letter and hopes to converse with JM whenever an opportunity occurs.
2p + envelope; paper.
5 July 1815
10 ALS to Edward Milward, from London. Sends his congratulations on EM's forthcoming marriage.
3p; paper.
15 Feb. 1817
11 ALS to Richard Walshe, from London. Apologises for not replying to a letter sooner and confirms that the petition was presented without delay.
2p; paper.
8 Aug. 1817
12 ALS to the Rev. George Hamilton, from Stansted park. Gives thanks for a recent 'friendly communication', wishes GH success with spreading protestantism and recounts somewhat disbelievingly the news of a miracle.
2p; paper.
22 Sep. 1817
13 Letter, not in WW's hand but signed by him, to S. and R. Percy, from Kensington Gore. Apologises for not replying to a communication sooner and blames the problem with his eyes for this apparent incivility.
2p; paper.
19 Apr. 1820
14 ALS to Thomas Fowell Buxton, from Kensington Gore. Was so interested by 'the affair of honour' in which he was called on for aid that he forgot about Mr Harbord as 'the medium thro' which to get at Mr Bodkin'. Asks TFB to manage it for him. Is anxious about the poor widow. Hopes TFB's wife will benefit from being by the sea. The hot day makes WW long for the woods and downs.
2p; paper.
30 June 1821
15 Letter, not in WW's hand but signed by him, to W.B. Carter MD, from Wyecombe. Acknowledges a letter sent to him by WBC. Asks for more information on the subject but points out that a lack of time, absence of advisors and advancing old age means that he cannot devote a great deal of energy to new projects.
3p; paper.
25 Oct. 1821
16 Autograph copy of letter from Dr Carter to WW, from Ipswich. Apologises for intruding on WW's time and would not have done so if he had known about his poor health and advancing years. Gives an account of his efforts in converting 'the pagan inhabitants' in India.
2p; paper.
23 June 1823
17 Fragment of autograph letter, not in WW's hand, to Eliza W. Bradbury, from Highwood Hill. Apologises for the delay in replying, being in part due to the failure of his eyesight. Gives thanks for a volume sent recently, but asks for another copy as he has mislaid the first.
4p; paper.
14 Feb. 1829
18 Letter, not in WW's hand but signed by him, to Eliza W. Bradbury, from Highwood Hill. Gives thanks for the present and commends EWB for her work 'sowing the seeds of good principle in youthful and even infant minds', an education that was not available only a short time previously.
3p; paper.
5 June 1829
19 ALS to Captain Sir William Edward Parry, from Highwood Hill. Sends a copy of his 'Practical view of the prevailing religious system of professed Christians', and gives an account of how he came to write it.
3p; paper.
25 June 1829
20 ALS to Joseph Planta, from Taplow. Gives thanks for help in appointing Captain Hagan to a position in the African Institution. Is sure he will prove zealous and efficient.
3p; paper.
18 Aug. 1829
21 Letter, not in WW's hand but signed by him, to James Montgomery, from Taplow. Gives thanks for a letter and briefly discusses a hymn. Hopes to be able to acquaint himself more with JM as he will be visiting his son-in-law, who has recently been presented with a living near Rotherham, and will invite JM to be introduced.
4p; paper.
20 May 1831
22 ALS to Mrs Buxton, from East Farleigh. Discusses the employment of his amanuensis, asks for information on Lord Grey and also asks for any intelligence regarding Prince Czartoriski, the Polish statesman, who he has been endeavouring to meet. Asks about a petition in Parliament [possibly concerning the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833].
6p; paper.
27 Mar. 1833
23 Letter, not in WW's hand but signed by him, to James Montgomery, from Bath. Asks to introduce a family of long-standing acquaintance to JM.
3p; paper.
27 June 1833
24 Photocopy of ALS to Thomas Bernard, from near Bath. Comments on the recent paper by TB on schools and will be discussing it with Mrs [Hannah] More. Any alterations will be communicated as quickly as possible. Discusses another paper concerning the work of ladies. Further discusses the work of improving public morals.
8p; paper.
17 Jan. 1800
25 Notarial document attesting that Thomas Wilberforce, gentleman of Beverley, is the father of William Wilberforce, merchant of Kingston-Upon-Hull, who has died intestate at Narva in Livonia. Dated 12 April 1737. With the signatures and seals of James Barry and Daniel Whitaker. This document possibly relates to Thomas Wilberforce (1668-1742), Mayor of Beverley 1709-12, who had a son called William.
Creator: James Barry and Daniel Whitaker, Public Notaries.
2p; paper.
12 Apr. 1737

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