Thomas Babington

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Thomas Babington (18 December 1758 – 21 November 1837) was an English philanthropist and politician. He was a member of the Clapham Sect, alongside more famous abolitionists such as William Wilberforce and Hannah More. An active anti-slavery campaigner, he had reservations about the participation of women associations in the movement.[1]

He was the eldest son of Thomas Babington of Rothley Temple, Leicestershire from whom he inherited Rothley and other land in Leicestershire in 1776. He was educated at Rugby School and St John's College, Cambridge [2] where he met William Wilberforce and other prominent anti-slavery agitators. In 1787 he married Jean Macaulay, sister of Zachary Macaulay, a leader of the anti-slavery movement in the early 19th century. Babington was an evangelical Christian of independent means who devoted himself to a number of good causes. He offered to pay half the cost of smallpox inoculation for people in Rothley in 1784-5. He set up a local Friendly Society to purchase corn for sale to the poor at a lower price to improve the lives and diet of his estate workers. Trusts he set up to provide housing in local villages still exist today. He supported moves to extend voting rights to more people.

He was High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1780 and MP for Leicester from 1800 to 1818. He died at Rothley Temple in 1837 at the age of 78, and is buried in the chapel there.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clare Midgley, Women against slavery (Routledge, 1992, p. 56)
  2. ^ "Babington, Thomas (BBNN775T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Parkyns
and Samuel Smith
Member of Parliament for Leicester
1800–1801
With: Samuel Smith
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Leicester
18011818
With: Samuel Smith
Succeeded by
John Mansfield
and Thomas Pares