William Wilberforce Day is celebrated on August 24 in memory of an outstanding British politician, known for his active work in Parliament. William Wilberforce tried to do, as it seemed to many, the impossible – to destroy the slave trade and the very concept of slavery in his country. And he spent 20 years of his life on this fight!
The date William Wilberforce Day is the politician’s birthday, August 24, 1759. He was elected to Parliament while still a student. After traveling through Europe in 1784, Wilberforce became a convinced believer and began a long battle to abolish the sale, purchase and oppression of people. On March 25, 1807, Parliament succumbed to his pressure and passed a law prohibiting the slave trade in the British Empire.
You will be interested in facts from the life of William Wilberforce, showing him from a touching human side:
- Wilberforce was seriously ill with ulcerative colitis, once after a severe attack, doctors confidently predicted his death. He was forced to take opium, but he managed to get up, and create a family with 6 children, and achieve the victory of his cause.
- With poor eyesight, he read a lot of books and stuffed his pockets with them if he went somewhere. He took paper and a bottle of ink with him to write down the thoughts that came to mind. The ink always stained his clothes.
- He had difficulty concentrating, could not concentrate on any one subject for a long time and struggled with this shortcoming all his life.
- Wilberforce was the true king of confusion. His home was in perpetual chaos. Fortunately, there was no confusion in his head – this man always knew exactly what he wanted and went to his goal.
How to celebrate
Watch Michael Epstead’s wonderful film Amazing Grace, which hit theaters in 2006. In it you will see the artistic embodiment of this whole story, as well as the inimitable Ioan Griffith as Wilberforce and the magnificent Benedict Cumberbatch as his friend William Pitt. The muse that inspired Wilberforce’s battles with Parliament was played by Romola Gary, known for creating interesting images in many historical films.
When is William Wilberforce Day celebrated in 2022?
William Wilberforce Day is observed on August 24 each year.