Thomas Clarkson (1760 - 1846)
The Reverend Thomas Clarkson was the driving force of much of the anti-slavery campaign, collecting evidence, pamphleteering, speaking and raising funds. He devoted his life to the abolitionist cause and achieved national and international importance and success in ending, first, the slave trade and finally slavery itself. He was an imposing activist, over six feet tall, with thick red hair and intense blue eyes. He became committed to the abolition of slavery after winning an essay-writing competition on the subject as a student at Cambridge in 1785, and it took over the life of the young clergyman.
He was a founder member of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and wrote