Granville Sharp

1765 - 1767

After Granville Sharp helped aid a slave, Johnathan Strong, back to health and found him a job. This sparked his interest in abolishing slavery.

James Somerset

June 22 1772

James Somerset was in an out of slavery, when he was temporarily relased he contacted Granville Sharp to help him gain his freedom permanently.

John Wesley and "Thoughts about Slavery"


John Welsey, a Methodist published his book "Thougts Upon Slavery" in 1774. He was the first major religous leader to denounce slavery.

Quakers and Slavery


The Quakers were the first religious group to take a very serious offence to slavery and fight against it. They formed a committee to lobby parliament and the public for abolition of slavery, but no one took them seriously because the quakers were so different compared to other Christans.

Zong and the Consequences

18 March 1783

The Zong voyage went fomr November 29th - December 1st of 1781, during this time after the ship went off course, many of the slaves fell ill and 133 of the slaves were ordered to be thrown overboard. Once this came to court, there was no mention of murder, but only of insurance claims and fraud. Sharp attempted to write angry letters to government, but none were considered.

Growing Abolitionist cause


Human freedom was becoming more of an issue, and William Pitt convineced William Wilberforce, an Anglican, to take up the abolition cause in Parliment.

First Quaker Meeting to Abolish British Slave Trade

22 May 1787

Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharp are in attendance. They make a more "realistic" goal of abolishing British slave trade ( as opposed to abolishing slavery completely). This still was an almost impossible goal during the time.

12 Sons of Africa

15 December 1787

Olaudah Equiano, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and 10 other men signed a letter thanking Granville Sharp for his anti-slavery work. The called themselves the Sons of Africa.

Slavery in Parliment

1788 - 1791

Thomas Clarkson brought forth witnesses to testify the brutality of the slavery and the harsh living conditions. and Pro-slavery men fought this by saying the slaves wanted to be taken across the Atlantic. Over these hearings Clarkson complied transcripts and evidence that slavery was barbaric brutality. He presented over 1000 peices of evidence to MP's when they were given the oppertunity to vote on slavery. Eventually these transcipts were turned into one of the best non-fiction anti-slavery work, and was used in America (USA) 60 years later.

Pro-Slavery Fights back

1788 - 1792

Slave ship owners, merchants and sugar planters were not onboard with abolition. They believed without slaves and slave trade that the economy would fail.

Major support for Abolition

January 1788 - December 1788

A Petition again slavery was put out and signed by over 20% of Manchester's population. They did this because they couldnt vote and by the end of 1788 more than 60,000 people had signed the petition, which for the first time in history was the largest amount of people petitioning on behalf of people of a different colour. ( and on another continent.)

Sugar Boycott

1791 - 1792

Many Britsh thought that if slavery was not going to be slowed or stopped, they would boycott their product. As many as 300,000 British people stopped eating sugar entirely as to protest slavery. This didn't work out in their favour as well as they had hoped.

Petitions against Slavery on the Rise


Over 519 petitions were put out and over 390,000 people signed them to stop slavery and British Slave trade.

Lords Refuse to pass Law

April 3 1792

The House of Commons became the first national legislative anywhere in the world to vote in favour of banning the slave trade. The vote showed that the Bill could be passed, but the Lords refused.

War in [Haiti]

1793 - 1798

British and French Start a war for about 20 years that puts abolition on hold.

Abolition Is reignited


Slave Trade Banned

March 1807


Women and Slavery


Women realized that the slave rate in the West Indies was growing quickly. Anti-Slavery was revived and Thomas Clarkson was even there trying to work to slow and stop Slavery.

Jamaican Revolt

1831 - 1832

The Revolt of the Jamaicans forced the Parilement to reconsider their slave laws.

British Abolish Slavery

31 July 1833

Slaves become free thorughout the entire Empire.

1 August 1838


Background information

Zong Slaves overboard

November 29 1781 - December 1 1781

133 slaves thrown overboard because they were no longer valuable for selling, and Captain Luke Collingwood believed he could get some sort of insurance claim on the lost slaves.

Peter Peckard


Peter Peckard believed that slavery should be stopped. Some of Sharp's letter reached him and he devoted his life to stopping slavery.

Thomas Clarkson Gathers Evidence Against Slave Trade

June 1787 - November 1787

In England.
Slave traders didn't like this an attempted to assasinate Clarkson, but failed.

Pottery designer Josiah Wedgwood creates a symbol for the abolition movement

November 1787

Abolition debates

February 1788

During London's public debates, over half of the debates were about Abolition. ( 2 debates were said to be by an ex-slave and a woman, which was unhead of at the time.)

Anti Slavery Speards to all British Classes


The abolition movement began to spead to women and all people of different classes, high and low class.