Talk:William Wilberforce

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The main picture...[edit]

The main picture, the first one you see, makes him look like somewhat of a drunkard. Can we put switch the first and second portraits, just so he doesn't seem so inhumane? Thanks. (talk) 02:07, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

OK. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:38, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi Agendum, You have been doing lots of great work! I have removed the 'nominally a Tory' thing, because it isn't in the Hague pages cited, and to be honest I haven't found anything of a similar nature elsewhere. Hague seems at pains point out his independence e.g. "He resolved within hours of his election to be 'no party man', indicating from the outset an absence of appetite for ministerial office and a detachment from the main political groupings which would resurface much more strongly in his later years." pp 36. And Tomkins p. 37 "Wilberforce did not join Pitt's government; instead he formed a club of about forty independent MPs,.." Do you have some other refs that say differently? --Slp1 (talk) 13:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I have always been under the impression that he was a Tory, albeit a very independent one. Since you deleted the word yesterday I've had a quick look through my sources and can't find reference to it anywhere, so it may have just been my assumption. I restored the word (qualifying it by using "nominally") as a compromise. But if there's no evidence for him being a Tory then, by all means, let it stand as it is.
You've done a great deal of good work, yourself! – Cheers, Bruce Agendum (talk) 14:30, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good. I will try to do a bit more today, but have many other mundane domestic tasks to accomplish too! --Slp1 (talk) 14:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Evangelical Christianity[edit]

Comment on the definition of 'evangelical'...the 18th C definition is not the same as the popular 21st C definition. From the American Heritage Dictionary, evangelical for Wilberforce would be the definition: "Of or relating to the group in the Church of England that stresses personal conversion and salvation by faith." The popular definition today, of course, is :"of, adhering to, or marked by fundamentalism" as the Encarta dictionary states. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:17, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Interesting comment. I am not sure that the Encarta definition would be considered true in the UK, even today, but that is just my opinion. Worth thinking about further, I think. --Slp1 (talk) 19:17, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, westcoast – I would certainly recognise the former definition (from the American Heritage Dictionary) as being accurate here in Britain. I think we have many differing ideas between the UK/US regarding evangelicalism/fundamentalism. "Two countries divided by a common language," etc, etc! Cheers – Agendum (talk) 19:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
It isn't just 'two countries divided ...' but 'two centuries divided ...'. There is nothing like the evolution of meanings to cause confusion! By the way, another possible source of confusion is "...underwent a conversion experience..." It is correct but, by analogy, his conversion was more of a Clinton supporter becoming and Obama supporter; rather than a Clinton supporter becoming a McCain supporter. The problem is best expressed by the Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition which defines conversion as
  • "The act of changing one's views or course, as in passing from one .... religion to another. Conversion to Christianity."
  • "A spiritual and moral change attending a change of belief with conviction...
Wilberforce underwent the latter sort...but it might be misunderstood.
Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Evangelical is still reasonably well understood in its earlier sense in the UK, though the more fundamentalist version is perhaps gaining ground. As to the conversion experience, again the more modern version might be to "become a born-again Christian". David Underdown (talk) 08:48, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
What is telling for me is that the words 'conversion' and 'evangelical' are used over and over again by the biographers and other reliable sources. I don't think we need to worry too much if we follow the sources in this matter. Slp1 (talk) 22:27, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough! Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Image size problem[edit]

There seems to be a Wiki-wide image size problem. The discussion is here:Wikipedia talk:ClickFix No doubt it will be fixed soon. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the update. I'd figured out there was a widespread problem. I've now tried, as far as I am able, to correct the dimensions of the main image using the 'px' solution recommended, and with a few variations, but to no avail. I think, rather than us all having a go at putting things right, the best thing is to leave it as it is for now – especially as the article is up for GA review.
Unless there is someone there who really does know what they're doing and can correct the problem! Cheers – Agendum (talk) 23:15, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Collaborative style[edit]

I'm not really sure what 'collaborative style' means in this context.... However, more importantly to the article, I wonder whether, between us, we could find a reference to support the sentence above: "Subsequent historians ..... have termed it one of history's great partnerships". I'll have a look later. – Agendum (talk) 12:03, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Hochschild is the reference for "one of history's great partnerships", and it is referenced at the end of the next sentence. I was a bit uncertain what to do with these sentences, because while only one person says the quote, Hague, Brogan (and others frankly) express the same thing in other ways (as well as the rest of the info in the paragraph). But I agree it looks a bit odd. I think I will venture over and do a spot of editing to clean it up to make it look better. Re: collaborative style... I think Hague means that he tended to negotiate with a bit of give and take in parliament.--Slp1 (talk) 21:59, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Correct style[edit]

I have tried adding a few semi-colons, where their use is correct. At the risk of being thought a little finicky, I thought this would enhance the article. Any thoughts? Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 19:59, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't mind semi-colons and I can hardly imagine you'd add them randomly and incorrectly. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 20:49, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad you did. I used to think I was good at punctuation, but have developed a bit of a complex recently while trying to proofread this article. Not helped by the fact that I have been reading David Crystal's "The fight for English" which pooh-poohs the whole fixation on punctuation à la Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Clarity is the key and punctuation important to guide clarity, according to Crystal. I figure the article is pretty clear, but then I guess I would!!! --Slp1 (talk) 23:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll come clean. I don't use them nearly enough, or as much as I used to, having got used to the "punchy" style of advertising copywriting in recent years. However, today I read a fascinating article in the Guardian on this very subject – which you, as a French speaker, may also find interesting. See [1]. However, I'll see if I can find Crystal's book. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 00:10, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Mm, very interesting article. I agree that the semi-colon is neglected and your additions make for pleasing variety. I shall have to somehow learn to integrate it with my new Crystallian values !
I have my doubts about this sentence....(The work by R. and S. Wilberforce is thus regarded by historians as an unreliable source about many aspects of the anti-slave trade and abolitionist campaigns, especially regarding the respective roles of their father and Clarkson, and is referred to only when it can be confirmed by other sources). Is there a source for this? Is it necessary/relevant in the context? How about using it as a note to the reference to their book rather than in the text? Okay, less seriously and to come clean myself, I hate parentheses in a text... for all my talk about punctuation freedom, there are still things a body has difficulty tolerating!! --Slp1 (talk) 01:19, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Point taken about the Wilberforce work. I really wasn't happy about it being contained within the text myself, but consider that it's important to mention – so I've moved it as you suggested. Please remove/edit/reference as you see fit. Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 07:48, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I've checked my sources – and I believe it was Pollock or Hochschild that I was thinking about – and it isn't exactly what is said there. So I have deleted the note about the Wilberforce & Wilberforce biography until I can verify it accurately. – Agendum (talk) 23:24, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

GA congratulations[edit]

Congratulations on achieving GA. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Ditto, added to the Anglican Portal. -- Secisek (talk) 19:06, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah!!! Well done all!--Slp1 (talk) 20:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Another congratulations - wonderful article for a hugely important man. Good work! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Onwards to FA?[edit]

I don't know if anyone wants to take this article to FA, but I've enquired at the The FA-Team to see if they'd be interested in assisting. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:40, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Great idea! I'm in! I have few things I want to do myself, and then Sandygeorgia totally unprompted gave me some names of editors who might be willing to help us out, when the time came [2]. I will drop them a line in a day or two once I have done what I still plan to. I think a good going over by a copyeditor would help too. But that should be the last step, I would think! --Slp1 (talk) 20:52, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll put the article up for peer review then. It is a process not known to be speedy! Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 21:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
OK. Request has now been made. Please watchlist Wikipedia:Peer review/William Wilberforce/archive1 should any comment be made...but don't expect much as the process often does not generate much comment. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. Let's go for it! Yes, SandyGeorgia has been very helpful with suggestions already. And thanks to you, Wassupwestcoast for all your help. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 22:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

The first peer review has arrived. See Wikipedia:Peer review/William Wilberforce/archive1. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 21:36, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

To do list[edit]

Let's make a list of things that need to be done, as we think of them. We can then indicate when they are done.

  • Check images that they are up to snuff copyright etc
  • Fix the slave ship poster so that we have a version that is not tilted. It drives me nuts. done
  • Check Manual of Style for dates etc: done
  • Make sure all the dashes are correct... I believe there is someone who has a bot for this.
  • Finish responding to the Peer review suggestions
  • Respond to the automated review suggestions. [3] done
  • Add a section about Sierra Leone/Africa done
  • Find sources for the Memorials section done
  • Check for over and duplicate linking
  • Check all the links to make sure they go to the right place

--Slp1 (talk) 13:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I'll be back on this ASAP – in a couple of days, if not before. Just got some other real-life stuff to do.... <yawn> Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 21:41, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, real life is way more important!--Slp1 (talk) 14:00, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


Thanks Agendum, for straightening out the slavery picture. It looks like you have skills in this domain which leads me to say to make the following comments about the pictures, because I am pretty hopeless at these things.

  1. It would be really nice if the house where W was born was up near the text where he is being born
  2. The picture of the column is not that good, is it? Would we be better to get rid of it?
  3. The picture of memorial statue has so much surround that it is hard to focus on the subject, I find. I tried to fix it here [4], but I managed to include a great chunk of white space on the right, and am not sure how to get rid of it.
  4. This picture on Commons is nice [5], and it would be nice to include it, I think.--Slp1 (talk) 22:01, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Will do. I agree about the column – I'll see if I can beg, borrow or steal another (on reflection, I'd better not steal it!) I hadn't seen the image by Thomas Lawrence - that would be a great one to include. I'll try and sort those out tomorrow. At the moment, though, my bed calls! Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 22:45, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Dors bien, Bruce.--Slp1 (talk) 22:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Slp1 – I've uploaded the image by Sir Thomas Lawrence, but I'm not sure what to do about moving the picture of his house. I'm reluctant to have two portraits which are quite similar (in composition terms) too close to each other on the page, without having something else between them.

Have a look at these photos. I may be able to ask one of the contributors there to allow us use of a picture of the monument - most people are quite amenable as long as they get a credit on the image page. There's also some at the similar page of photos (just substitute 'memorial' in the web address, instead of 'monument'). Please let me know what you think. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 14:54, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Goodness, they are all so different, I'm not sure. Unfortunately the close up ones don't really give much information visually and the far away ones (which at least give the idea of the column) are full of cars, buildings. I guess my favourites are these ones [6] [7] but I am open to other opinions. Here is another possibility I guess. [8] . And how about this one [9], which is the right period. Slp1 (talk) 15:43, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
If you are struggling for an image then I will be in Hull over the bank holiday weekend, in a couple of weeks and may be able to get an image if you give me an idea of what you think will work best. Keith D (talk) 21:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I guess what would be ideal would be a picture of the column that gives some idea of height, while at the same time being able to make out that it is a human being up there, and without a background cluttered with cars, buildings etc. I suspect this is pretty much impossible. This one is nice [10] but I suspect you'd have to grow wings!! --Slp1 (talk) 19:46, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I would think that it will have to be from some distance to get all of column in, a close up of the top would be out of the question. The college building rather gets in the way at the back so may try from the side. Keith D (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I contributed the first photo, have quite a few more photos of the monument in my collection - but not hosted on the web at the moment. I would think the an interesting view could be had from inside Hull College. Does anyone know someone there? AFCR (talk) 11:41, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion, Austen, and for the photos you've contributed. Sorry we had to lose the first one, but the consensus seemed to be that we needed something with a bit more impact. We've now replaced it, as you will have seen – I hope that's OK with you! But I'm sure we will bear in mind that you have other images available. Thanks! Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 12:27, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I have got some photos from my trip up to Hull, do not know if they are suitable for you. I have put them here for you to have a look, I can put them on commons if required. Keith D (talk) 23:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding. Busy, busy. Thanks so much, Keith. I like the first one best. It gives the idea of the height of it. Unless anybody objects, I would suggest that you add it to the article at the bottom somewhere. Thanks again, Keith!!! --Slp1 (talk) 00:25, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I have added to the Memorials section. Keith D (talk) 09:25, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Tiny copyediting points[edit]

  • the sentences for women convicted of treason which included the murder of a husband. Needs to be clearer, I think, but I am not familiar with the issue.
Fixed, I hope.--Slp1 (talk) 20:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  • He wrote in his personal journal, "God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners", 'manners' meaning 'morality' at the time. This seems rather clumsy, with that last bit tacked on. Why the single quote marks?
Trying bracketed words as is used in one source. [11] What do people think? --Slp1 (talk) 20:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  • "Our religion is sublime, pure beneficent," he said, "theirs is mean, licentious and cruel", while at the same time criticising the British in India for their racial prejudice. Do the two parts of the speech run together in the original, or does something intervene? Any punctuation connecting the two should follow the "he said", whether a full stop or colon. If it was a comma, then no problem, but it would make a comma splice.
Thanks for the tip. It was a fullstop and I will change it. Thanks for the great copyediting help!--Slp1 (talk) 20:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

--qp10qp (talk) 23:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Wilberforce University[edit]

Is the reference to Wilberforce University really necessary in the article? It seems rather irrelevant, given that there are many schools/colleges named after him – and also that this college is actually named after the town in which it is located. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 23:19, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I like it myself, because of the fact that it was the first independent black college set up. I think that makes it notable, but perhaps there are others. All the sources, including the book used as a citation, says the college was named after him... I suspect, given the size of Wilberforce, Ohio, 1500 souls or so, what I know about American colleges and college towns, and the fact that it isn't even incorporated, that the community was actually named after the college.--Slp1 (talk) 00:00, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It's as I thought: [12] the community changed named only after the University arrived.. it was first called Tawawa Springs when the university was set up. --Slp1 (talk) 00:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Wrong Date?"[edit]

In the section 'Abolition of the Slave Trade', in the first paragraph it says, "What Ramsay had witnessed of the conditions of the slaves both at sea and on the plantations horrified him and, returning to England fifteen years later, he accepted the living of Teston, Kent in 1981" Did it mean to say 1981?Professor Davies (talk) 14:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

nope, 1781 is the right date. Funny how one's fingers do these things automatically. Someone's fixed it, but thanks for pointing it out all the same! --Slp1 (talk) 18:41, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Initial decision[edit]

On re-reading parts of Pollock's biography, it's come to my attention that I may have the chronology of events slightly wrong. I'll do my best to put this right later this evening. Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 18:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Bruce. Do you have a citation for this sentence? "Although possessing a general interest, Wilberforce knew little of the slave trade and it seems that he did not, at that time, seem inclined to follow-up his meeting with Ramsay. They were to meet again a few years later." I know we are going to get asked for one!!! It also seems a bit discursive to me. --Slp1 (talk) 23:08, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Yup. This is all from p.17 of Pollock. I thought it might need editing, and was hoping that you might be able to turn your hand to that! We can certainly lose the last sentence, the rest can perhaps be more concise. The original para (from Pollock) reads: "Apart from once meeting Ramsay at dinner with the Edwards' [Gerard Edwards and his wife, Diana Middleton], when the conversation turned to negroes [meaning the slave trade], Wilberforce knew little about slaves or Evangelicals: he does not appear to have followed up the enquiries into slavery which he made during the Hull election, and he had long drifted from the Evangelical fervour which had characterized his uncle and aunt, William and Hannah." Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 23:34, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for improving my prose, Slp1 – it reads much better now. The chronology of Wilberforce's meetings, etc was OK after all – it was just the one reference that was wrong. It may be worth adding somewhere the fact that Gerard Edwards was Middleton's son-in-law, although it's not vital to understanding events.
I think it's generally looking much better now. What do you think of the new image? As I said before, I wanted to get away from two very similar images next to one another, showing Wilberforce in an almost identical pose. I just need to get confirmation of the date and author of the pic. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 07:53, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Modern usage[edit]

Wassupwestcoast – thanks for your help with moving this article to GA and onward towards FA – it’s all much appreciated!

I would just take isssue with your insertion of commas after dates in the leading line of new paragraphs, eg, "In October 1784, Wilberforce embarked..." I have been taught that correct modern usage is to omit as many commas as possible, and especially when it’s separating two clauses – the sentence should flow without a pause.

I’ve searched through the MOS and can’t find a ruling there, so understand it may again be a matter of British/US usage. Would you be happy to revert these? Thanks again. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 11:52, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry! Those dratted commas. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 20:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The rule on commas is that, in indexing, they should separate page ranges or individual numbers – eg, "Pollock. pp.6, 26–7, 104–11, 252". Otherwise it can be confusing for the reader. Normal typographic usage is to keep lists of numbers as simple as possible and leave off any unnecessary figures, eg, "pp.308–9", not "pp.308–309". Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:56, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
What about "In 2008, Clinton and Obama..." vs "In 2008 Clinton and Obama ..."? Which is acceptable practice? Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I was always taught the comma represents a slight pause if you were speaking the sentence; and the semi-colon is a slightly longer pause – but not as long as a full-stop (full point). So, I would say that the correct version is "In 2008, Obama and Clinton...."
If, on the other hand, there are three or more items in the list, slightly different rules apply, depending upon the sense of the sentence. I would say "In 2008, McCain, Obama and Clinton...." – but others would place an additional comma before "and Clinton" – as there is scope for misunderstanding at times. But there seems to be definitive rule. Serial commas are explained here: [13]
Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Bruce, ROTFL! I think we are having a push me-pull you discussion - talking at cross-purposes – when we actually agree.. Look at your first comment to me above. I read
"I would just take issue with your insertion of commas after dates in the leading line of new paragraphs, e.g., "In October 1784, Wilberforce embarked...""
So, I took out all such commas. But, then you say
So, I would say that the correct version is "In 2008, Obama and Clinton...."
I'm no punctuation expert, and simply don't care enough about the topic :-) ....but, my understanding is the latter is preferred, to wit: "In 2008, something ..." Anyway, I'm not reverting anything. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Image again[edit]

Is the info box including picture enormous to everybody else too? What is going on here? --Slp1 (talk) 00:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

It is GIGANTIC! Wait, and see if there is a bug. I bet there is and all will return to normal. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:34, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Glad I am not going mad! Will wait for the bubble to pop as you suggest! --Slp1 (talk) 00:36, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Uh, oh - here we go again! And they're also querying my use of a photo for which I've got the author's permission, credited them and attached the correct licence.... Aaaagh! Bruce – Agendum (talk) 06:00, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
These image issues are frustrating and confusing to me. I had to fix one recently: all the needed information was there, but just not in the template so that a bot could read it, I guess. Annoying. Still, I think it would be worth while having the images (licenses etc) checked out by a guru of some sort. Would anybody be willing to find one and get them to check the images to make sure all is well? --Slp1 (talk) 12:02, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Elcobbola (talk · contribs · count) has the reputation of 'image guru' at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:58, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
That may be helpful. Now that I'm back from Holland, I'll try and sort out the current image problem in the next couple of days, and possibly contact the 'guru'! Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 23:01, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I've adjusted the position of the images. A problem was caused by the top image (of Wilberforce's house) which, at certain sizes and under certain conditons, was not allowing the text to wrap around it, causing a substantial empty white space. Everything changes according to: a) the size of text used (in Firefox and Safari you can easily change this); b) whether the contents box is collapsed or not; c) the width of browser window being used. Bruce – Agendum (talk) 11:40, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Wilberforce did not oppose Slavery initially[edit]

I have just watched some of bbc's bury the chains dramatisation based on actual words spoken. i will present some quotes later. Wilberforce clearly objected to the abolition of slavery after the abolition of the slave trade. This information may tarnish the sanctimonious portrayal of wilberforce in wikipedia, do you think this information should be include or should we continue to mislead readers? Artikalflex (talk) 13:50, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

If you're relying on your own interpretation of those quotes, no they shouldn't be included. If you can find a published source where someone else come sto the same conclusion, then fine. David Underdown (talk) 14:16, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I will present the narrators interpretation of these quotes, the actual quotes are able to stand up by itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I will be interested to see what you come up with, but it is already clear from my researches that very, very few of the early abolitionists publicly supported emancipation right from the start even if that was privately their ultimate goal. Sharp and Ottobah Cugoano were some of the few. It was part of the slowly, slowly strategy that they all used to achieve their goals. Even Hochschild's hero Clarkson took the same approach. If you are going to produce some of WW's public statements then it won't surprise me at all if they do not focus on emancipation, or indeed seem in favour of the continuation of slavery: in fact, if you look in the article you will see that there are already some quotes and comments making this point. --Slp1 (talk) 13:03, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you give me a reference for the BBC dramatisation, please? I'd like to watch it, if it's still available on iPlayer. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 17:24, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
You have to go to BFI on the south bank in London. Artikalflex —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


I think that the names of the societies founded to oppose slavery should not be italicised, and propose changing them to normal characters, purely for consistency. At the moment, we're using italics for the titles of Wilberforce's and others' written works, and it's confusing for the reader. Also, I know that it's only a small point, but I think that the Society for effecting the abolition of the slave trade should have initial capitals on verbs and nouns, etc, as per normal modern style and usage. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 17:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy for these to change in whatever you think. I wonder if the MOS has anything to say about this. Probably worth checking I imagine.--Slp1 (talk) 01:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I've now done this. Please let me know if there are any potential problems. As I read the Manual of Style they should not be italicised, although perhaps some may argue that the could be in double quotes. – Cheers, Bruce Agendum (talk) 11:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Teston circle[edit]

I think I might take issue with your sentence stating that "The Teston circle were interested in promoting Christianity and in moral improvement in Britain and in the British West Indies.", but then, I haven't yet read Chris Brown's book (although I've had it in order from the library, throught the Inter-Library Loan System, for some time). The statement is certainly true of the Clapham Sect, but they were not the same as the Teston group who were concerned, as I understand it, purely with the abolition of the slave trade and, later, emancipation. Granted, some of the members of both groups were the same people, but not all - Middleton, Lady Middleton and Beilby Porteus were not associated with Clapham, but were extemely active at Teston. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:44, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually this comes directly from Brown talking about the Teston Circle not about Clapham. He talks at length about their motivations and other activities. You can read a fair amount in Google books if you like. Here is a link to one of the page referenced [14] (the other one is not available for previews) but you can also go backwards and forwards a bit in googlebooks and get an idea of the work. I think you'll see that I have stuck very close to the source! --Slp1 (talk) 16:48, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for that. It's very interesting reading – I've checked with the city librarian today, and I hope to get my hands on a copy this week. From what I have heard (and what I read in the Google Books excerpts) Brown belongs to the revisionist school of historians, which is interesting, as he is an African-American, and has a completely different approach to (some) other scholars. It doesn't invalidate his comments at all – that's not what I'm saying – but perhaps we ought to state (something like) "according to some modern historians", etc. His interpretation of the origin and motives of the movement is certainly very different to others we have already quoted (especially Pollock, but also Hague) and I feel we should differentiate his views somehow. – Cheers, Bruce Agendum (talk) 23:12, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps, but then do we have to include descriptors for Pollock (who actually gets quite a critique for his old fashioned "fan" approach by Oldfield), or Hague who isn't even a historian? My reading suggests that post Eric Williams, almost all recent scholars downplayed/ignored the role of WW and the rest, and were negative towards the whole hero-worship, selfless politician bio, though this that continued to be perpetuated by Christian apologist. This continued until quite recently, despite the fact that some of Williams' theories were proved to be incorrect. I myself think Brown is actually quite refreshing in being party to restoring importance to the Evangelicals and also saying that it isn't an either/or situation. "For too long, assessments of abolitionist initiatives have foundered on false binaries: the organizers and their constituencies were either selfless or self-interested; they were either humanitarians or hypocrites. But the motives that shape political behavior are rarely so simple....." Personally, like our reviewer Qp10qp, I think the article still veers slightly too much towards the hero version, and think the article will be more interesting if it faces up to the grey areas.--Slp1 (talk) 00:00, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Have also just read a number of reviews of Moral Capital from History journals. Most not free on the web but I could send you copies if you like. They are overwhelmingly positive, including about his point that the different groups were probably motivated by multiple factors, some selfless and some less so.--Slp1 (talk) 00:23, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Nearly done...[edit]

I think I have finished with what I had hoped to do following the peer review, and I hope we are close to being ready for a run at Featured Article. I have just had another go through the article doing a bit of a copyedit. I have moved a few things around (e.g. the marriage, is it better up top?) and also shortened some things to make the flow better, from my perspective. I would be happy to explain any specific edits I made, if it would help. Things to be done...

  • check the images (I will ask the guy, I think)
  • fix up pp. etc in the page numbers. Somehow we lost the double pp for the multiple page numbers.
  • anything else?

--Slp1 (talk) 02:02, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Great that we're so close, but please hold fire for a few days! I'll have a proper look at it tonight (I'm at work at this moment). I still think we should give some recognition to the fact that the article uses material from different historical perspectives, otherwise it could be confusing to the reader. I'm still personally seeing the subject from a more traditional viewpoint, but I hope to get my hands on a copy of Brown tomorrow! I'll have a read-through later on and make any corrections or changes that I think are necesary.
Regarding the images, I will contact Keith D (unless you have already done so) - I would prefer to go for any of his pics that don't show the college building in the background, either [[15]], [[16]] or [[17]] (which I would crop slightly at LH side and top). – Cheers, Bruce Agendum (talk) 08:38, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, there is no rush. I can understand starting from the more traditional perspective, which is where I started (and still remain to a large extent!). But to get to FA we need to present the recent scholarship, and post 1940s the traditional view has been subject to considerable scholarly critique, and even rather ignored apart from the rather partisan Christian sources. And I think if you read through article you'll see that what is currently said is not actually terribly extraordinary and almost all of it is in fact citable to multiple sources, including Hague (and no doubt others). And there is a section in legacy which explains the differing historical fashions in viewing the subject. I think you'll find lots of interesting info about your illustrious relative in the Brown book, which will be useful in his article too! And he isn't unsympathetic either: here's what Oldfield says about the book in a review, for example. "While Brown has no doubts about the sincerity of either of these groups, he invites us to contemplate how, in the case of British Evangelicals, for example, their abolitionism can also be viewed as a safe strategic choice, 'an opening salvo in a wider campaign against nominal Christianity that they advanced at once on several fronts' (388-389)."
Re the photos. If you want to change it then that's fine. Why I wasn't so keen about the ones you link to is that you can't see either the details of the statue, OR get an idea of the height of the column. In fact the thing I notice most are the spikes coming out of his head!! Seemed to me a lose-lose situation, but I do agree that building in the background is a big disadvantage too. Just my point of view for what's its worth. --Slp1 (talk) 12:51, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
BTW, this is an old book but has some interesting essays [18] You can see more via Amazon search inside, but even googlebooks gives an interesting snapshot of various academic views of WW.Slp1 (talk) 15:57, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Image check[edit]

Slp1 asked me to double-check images in anticipation of a FAC run. Several images had run afoul of WP:IUP (Image:William wilberforce.jpg, Image:Slaveshipplan.jpg, Image:BLAKE10.JPG and Image:Sir Thomas Lawrence02.jpg lacked sourcing), but I located sources and updated/added information templates accordingly. You may wish to proof my changes to ensure I didn't introduce any errors, but the article looks to be set on the image front otherwise. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 20:16, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks so much for your help – I'm glad someone knows what they're doing! It's much appreciated. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 20:24, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thanks so much! --Slp1 (talk) 21:06, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Hi Bruce, and thanks for all your great edits today and yesterday. I hope you won't mind me expressing some comments about a couple of them:

  • "Inwardly, he was undergoing an agonising struggle and had become relentlessly self-critical, harshly judging his spirituality, use of time, vanity, self-control, and relationships with others. I find it a wee bit over-dramatic perhaps, but more importantly I think it seems to fix the feelings to the time of the conversion, when my point was to try to give a very general picture of his spiritual life over the rest of his life. I wonder if we can figure out some way forward here... not sure what your goal was.
  • At the time, religious enthusiasm was regarded as extreme, and even dangerous, in polite society. This may to true, but it doesn't seem to be Brown's view on the pages cited, which talks more about the lack of social cachet, and that it was a social transgression, bad manners etc, rather than extremism. It also doesn't seem to make sense in the context of the next sentence. I agree that we can do better than the original "looked down upon" (maybe "religious enthusiasm was considered a social trangression and bad manners in"... but if not, we do need to find a source for the "extreme/dangerous" version, and we will probably need to explain why it was considered 'dangerous' too. I can just imagine the questions! Personally I wonder if the radicalism aspect isn't covered adequately by the bit about radicals alarming the Tories, and bit later in the section.

I love the change to "alarmed" in the mother's and grandpa's reaction, by the way!! --Slp1 (talk) 23:31, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Slp – I’ve only just seen your message. Don't worry about hurting my feelings – I want this to be right above all. All of these changes were made in good faith, are factual and can be sourced, if necessary. However, after adding them I had a sneaky suspicion that you may query whether some of them may be appropriate (which I don’t mind at all). I admit that the two you mention don’t really read well in the context of their paragraphs and, although factually correct, are in need of rephrasing.
  • Regarding Wilberforce's spiritual struggle, how about I change 'was undergoing' to 'underwent'? This refers not to his conversion, but during the subsequent months and years. I have the reference, but it's not to hand at the moment.
  • As regards religious enthusiasm, I was trying to decribe that it went much further than looking down upon' – it certainly was thought to be dangerous by some, but in 'polite society', how can we best describe it? We could leave it as 'extreme' and drop 'dangerous'.
I'll make these changes, but if you can think of anything better (on either of these), please change them. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 12:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Bruce. Re the spiritual struggle, I think what you did is great and we can leave it at that. I'm still not comfortable with the dangerous thing, in part because Brown's actual point, which I find interesting, has been lost in the shuffle. Though I don't doubt your version is sourceable, we haven't got a reference for it at present, and in fact are currently misrepresenting the source we dooo have. If you want to expand on this issue, then great, I'm not against it at all, but let's find a source first. To my mind, the point might actually flow better later in the paragraph when it says: "As a result, he was ....regarded with suspicion by many Tories who saw Evangelicals as radicals, bent on the overthrow of church and state." For the moment I am going to return that part of the sentence to be closer to Brown's point, but we can always change it later as new info emerges. This article will never be finished!!! I was thinking of making the FAC nomination tonight. What do you think? If yes, then prepare yourself for lots of changes to come! Slp1 (talk) 16:52, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I still have reservations about both of these sentences (including the one I changed and which you're happy with – I'm not!) I'm still deliberating about the best way to express both of them without losing the meaning of the context para, and I haven't yet succeeded in finding the Chris Brown reference – do you know the page no? I'm tired and not thinking clearly, and am about to hit the sack, but will look up the Pollock reference in the morning, and give some time to all of this.
But, as you say, it will never be finished. So, in answer to your question – give me one more day, Slp1, and then we can go for it! There'll be lots of changes? – I hope not! ;-) Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 00:15, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean about the Brown ref: I'm talking about p.380-1 as referenced in the text. Anyway, I hope you slept well, because, yes, there will be lots of changes, no matter how nearly-perfect we believe it to be at present. Sad but true, I'm afraid! --Slp1 (talk) 01:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

How are we doing?[edit]

It's looking good, in my opinion. Your edit of my rather clumsy attempt to describe the "Baltic trade" is much better, I think. Responding to Awadewit's suggestion regarding dates, I'm going to go through and unlink them all (apart from dates of birth and death of course), as well as ensure that the style is the same. I'm not sure about how easy is will be to amalgamate "References" and "Further reading" (as I indicated in my note on the FA page) because of the difference in style. What do you think? Cheers. Bruce – Agendum (talk) 16:31, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi, yes, we are doing okay, though in my mind the most difficult tasks remain to be done, and of course there will be other reviewers! If you are willing to go through the dates and unlink them then by all means: I can't imagine that this would be a deal-breaker, though, and since we already had another reviewer telling us to add them, it might be worth asking for other opinions before going to all that trouble. But like I said, if you have the time and the energy, by all means do go ahead. I will deal with the References and Further Reading issue and rationalize the citation style.--Slp1 (talk) 17:46, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Just a comment on the dates - I think that these should remain in order for people to see them in their own desired preference, I think the change to the MOS was a retrograde step and that dates should be linked until such time as there is a software solution. Keith D (talk) 18:34, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, on reflection, I'm now feeling the same, especially in the case of important dates like 26 July 1833. Any other views? Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 18:37, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I think we have to be totally consistent, so we either use them 100%, or we don't 100%. I would be inclined to leave them as they are, at least for the time being, since that is a perfectly acceptable decision based on the MOS. --Slp1 (talk) 18:46, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. We'll leave them as they are for the time being. Agendum (talk) 12:11, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Minor Comments[edit]

  • Despite his lifestyle and lack of interest in studying, he managed to pass his examinations,[17] and was awarded B.A. in 1781 and M.A. in 1788.[7] Is there any reason why this sentence does not use the indefinite article "a" before B.A. and M.A.? Shouldn't it read "...was awarded a B.A. degree in 1781 and an M.A. degree in 1788"? J Readings (talk) 21:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I've no idea. I have always thought it might be some Oxonian peculiarity, but I guess not! --Slp1 (talk) 21:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Now, have looking at and fixed the sentence, I think it is highly possible that I actually wrote the darn thing, which makes the above super-illogical! --Slp1 (talk) 21:59, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it goes right back to the old article, or maybe my reworking of it a couple of years ago. Reads a lot better now! Bruce – Agendum (talk) 16:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Church of England[edit]

I noticed a bit of a debate on the FAC page regarding Anglican vs. Evangelical my two pence worth. 'Anglican' is an anachronism. Although there are early recorded useage of the term before the 19th C, it wasn't until the latter half of the 19th C that 'Anglican' began to be widely used to differentiate the 'Church of England' as an administrative structure from the faith practiced by the church. It wasn't until the last quarter of the 19th C that independent Anglican churches (from the Church of England) - but in communion with the C of E - began to be common. If you stood before the man, and asked Wilberforce what he was, he'd say 'Church of England'. Thus, I say, replace Evangelical Anglican and Anglican with 'Church of England' and leave it at that. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 13:27, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

I do appreciate your point and I am quite sure that technically you are correct. We do have C of E in a few places, and could probably increase it a bit. The main problem I find is that "Anglican" is such a useful adjective and noun, while C of E is incredibly awkward to use in a sentence such as in "bringing like-minded British Quakers and Anglicans together". I do agree with Awadewit that the Evangelical descriptor is important: while he was in the C of E, he was part of a clear grouping within it (with lots of refs making comment about it, and even just calling them the "Evangelicals".) If it is any consolation, most of the books etc use the term Anglican over and over again interchangeably--Slp1 (talk) 22:22, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with you. My suggestion was really a way out of a problem...but it is a nuanced problem. It is the problem of projecting the 18th C world to the 21st C when similar words and ideas are not precisely synonymous across the centuries. Tangentially, when I registered at university twenty years ago, my mom checked off the box "Church of England in Canada" rather than the "Anglican Church of Canada" above it eventhough Anglican Church of Canada had been official for about forty years. 'Anglican' has only become widely used surprisingly recently. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:59, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Citation style for newspapers[edit]

I'm sorry to disagree with two colleague contributors, but the correct style for newspapers is different from that for other works. I have therefore changed it, but have tried to do so while preserving your general reference format. Consequently, the date – which should come immediately after the title – is unfortunately at the end. In this case (where there is no author of the piece) the actual order should be as follows: article title, date, newspaper name, page and volume number, etc. See [19].

If someone knows how to move the date as above, within the format we are using, I would be grateful. I think it would be best if the date appears in the usual style (ie, date, month, year) as this is what we've used throughout – and there is some flexibility allowed in this. Sorry to be pedantic! Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 20:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Based on the comments at FAC [20], and more details here WP:CITE#Citation templates, it appears we can't mix the plain "citation" templates with the cite news, cite journals etc that you are talking about because they are of different styles. Because we had all the Harvard ones that are in the "citation" style, I changed all the others to this format, and this is the way the template makes it come out. Luckily, the page you referred to is a how-to guide, not policy or even a MOS guideline, so I would think we are pretty safe. But anyway, I think I have figured out a way around the problem.--Slp1 (talk) 21:58, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
O.K. – Just seen this message. I had somehow missed the comment by Ealdgyth on the FAC page. Sorry if I've upset the apple-cart by mixing things up a bit. Please change again as per MOS if you need to.
I'm sorry about the Wilberforce Memorial change earlier today, too. Glad that someone's on the ball! ;-) Cheers, Bruce Agendum (talk) 22:39, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I think newspaper names are supposed to be italicised - they generally seem to be at any rate, perhaps we should revisit all the newspape citations in the article (I don't think there are that many)? David Underdown (talk) 08:15, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
You're right! I tried to get that citation field to accept italics, but couldn't get it to work – and I tried every which way! Good luck if you have a go. I think it's the only newspaper cited, but it won't do any harm to check. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 18:16, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually there are two others, neither of which are italicized. I think we should just stick with the citation template style (which is what we seem to have chosen) which is non-italicized for newspapers. Slp1 (talk) 21:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually if you use the the parameter |newspaper= it does italicise, as in this revision [21]. David Underdown (talk) 07:46, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
So it does! Thanks. Fixed!Slp1 (talk) 22:10, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


Would it be in order to link dates of Wilberforce's birth and death in the first line of the lead para, as seems to be the style in many other biographies? Bruce – Agendum (talk) 21:43, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Tony has unlinked them as part of his FAC review, which slightly too bad, as we had indicated a consensus not to delink here. I suggest you take it up with him if you want to change it. I believe date delinking is a big thing for him, and personally, this issue just isn't that important to me.Slp1 (talk) 21:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm staying out of that one. Slp1, you asked about copyeditors; you might try Malleus Fatuorum (talk · contribs) or Isolation booth (talk · contribs). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:04, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The article needs to be consistent; linking only the dates in the lead is not consistent. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I boldly went and linked the dates in the first para of the lead, having checked weith other featured biographies this appears to be the covention right across the board, as far as I can see. That was before I saw your comment above, SandyGeorgia – sorry! Cheerrs, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:39, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You need to boldly link them all or unlink them all; consistency. What's done on older/other bios isn't relevant, since t–he guideline changed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:43, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Ooo-er! I'll be guided by you – I'll see what others think, and then we'll be consistent – one way or the other. Thanks for your guidance. Bruce – Agendum (talk) 16:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
As I have indicated, I am not that thrilled that we have ended up having to make this decision again, but personally now that they are unlined, I am not willing to invest the time re-linking, in part I don't think the pay off for readers is that great. So I would vote for consistently unlinking. --Slp1 (talk) 17:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

More: reflist|3 doesn't work on all browsers, higher than 2 isn't recommended. Also, your Selected works section is actually External links. See WP:EL and WP:LAYOUT, external links belong only in EL or in citations. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

SG's suggestions have been done by Agendum and moi. Thanks for the suggestions re copyeditors etc. I will look into it.Slp1 (talk) 21:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Re move of selected works: Why wouldn't a courtesy link to the actual book be allowed? It doesn't make sense to me at all.Slp1 (talk) 21:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe the logic is related to not sending our readers outside of Wiki; you know, keep 'em captive. And, we should write articles about anything notable in our articles, and include the links there, so it's also to encourage article creation. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:22, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Pall bearers[edit]

I thinnk it may be better to make some mention of the name, with the way the linking is at the moment, if someone clicks on a link that reads just Lord Chancellor, or Speaker of the House of Commons, they may be slightly mystified to be taken to an article on an individual, rather than an article on that office. David Underdown (talk) 07:52, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I'll try and sort this out later, when I get home. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:24, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree too, in a way. My thought is that the actual names of the office holders here is a bit of overkill: the fact that such prominent officeholders did the pallbearing rather than their names per se. But it is just a thought.--Slp1 (talk) 17:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I take your point too. It did seem rather long and cumbersome when I first added the names and titles together – very "bottom-heavy" at the foot of the article. Hmmm... How about this – including the names and titles together but delinking the latter, as they're not essential? Bruce – Agendum (talk) 19:11, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

See also section[edit]

I was under the impression that FA are not supposed to have See also sections, as all the links are supposed to be in the article. Is this not true? —Mattisse (Talk) 00:39, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I've no idea, myself, and noone else has mentioned it. I have had a look about the MOS and at other FAs and can't see anything that suggests this, and indeed all the pages at MOS have "see also" sections! If you find anything specific, do let us know.--Slp1 (talk) 00:56, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I can't find it either so it must not be important. In any case, congratulations! —Mattisse (Talk) 01:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks!!! --Slp1 (talk) 01:35, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
We perhps ought to trim the links that are actually mentioned in the text. David Underdown (talk) 08:50, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
No, See also sections are definitely allowed. Gary King (talk) 08:51, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming that, Gary. And thank you, Mattisse, for your contributions. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 12:28, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, this should have come up at FAC, and should have been addressed. It is specifically addressed at WP:LAYOUT#See also; attention to MoS issues has been focused on dates, while other issues have been ignored. A well written FA will incorporate most relevant information, negating the need for See also, although there are exceptions. Mattisse was mostly correct and Gary King was correct (they are allowed, but not usually good form or needed). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:40, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. Not sure why neither of use could find it. Anyway, only one of the links was not already used in the article, so the section doesn't seem needed and I have deleted it.Slp1 (talk) 11:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Gagging Bills[edit]

The article claims Wilberforce voted "for Pitt's 1817 "Gagging Bills"." Pitt died in 1806, so what does this sentence mean?--Johnbull (talk) 19:59, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. Bills passed in 1795 and 1817 were both called Gagging Bills. The sources talk about the earlier ones and not the later. Not sure how that crept in but changing immediately. Thanks! --Slp1 (talk) 20:10, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

"narrowly defeated by eight votes"[edit]

Saying "narrowly" and then the number of votes is redundant.
Not to mention, "narrowly" is bordering on weasel wording.
Otherwise, fixing grammatical awkwardness and linking dates.
Vengeance is mine, saith the Prime Emblem-very-evil.svg 21:22, 4 Aug 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your some of your edits. I have reverted others: in particularly this article is not datelinked as mentioned in the note at the top of the article. I don't agree with your comment about narrowly BTW: it kind of depends how many total votes are involved, doesn't it? --Slp1 (talk) 00:14, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
That is true. Perhaps a "defeated by eight votes of ### cast"?
"narrowly defeated" sounds weasel word-y.
Like what Ron Paul might say about the Republican primary...
"I was narrowly defeated."
Missed the no-datelink; my apologies for that.
Vengeance is mine, saith the Prime Emblem-very-evil.svg 02:10, 5 Aug 2008 (UTC)
Why is it weasely? Weasel words are to be avoided because they push a point of view. Exactly what POV is being pushed here? "Narrowly" seems absolutely accurate to me as eight votes between the yeas and nays is a close vote. If Ron Paul got defeated by 8 votes then he could say the same thing without it being weasely. But he wasn't. Slp1 (talk) 02:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe "weasel-y" isn't the best way to put it. Consider, though, neutrality...
"defeated (fact) by eight votes (fact) of ### cast (fact)"
"narrowly (opinion) defeated (fact) by eight votes (fact)"
Not a big deal either way. Just food for thought.
Vengeance is mine, saith the Prime Emblem-very-evil.svg 03:05, 5 Aug 2008 (UTC)

Stoke Newington[edit]

Thanks for your correction about Wilberforce's desire to be buried close to James Stephen. Do you have a source that could be cited for this? Most other references seem to mention his wife and daughter. Cheers – Agendum (talk) 21:00, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. I have reverted it to the information cited in Hague. If you have a reference for the James Stephen connection then we can look at it again.--Slp1 (talk) 22:05, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
And Hague follows the Oxford DNB on this. – Agendum (talk) 23:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
His will is available from The National Archives (at least I think this is the right one) I happen to be able to download free of charge, rather than paying the normal £3.50 charge, and I did try to look at it yesterday since the edit summary said the burial wishes were laid out there. However, the will is the copy entered into probate records, and I was having trouble getting my head around the clerk's copperplate handwriting, and couldn't make out where the info was (the will is several pages long, with a number of codicils). David Underdown (talk) 09:05, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks for looking, David. Let us know if you manage to turn up anything further. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 12:34, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


I'm not trying to be difficult, and this is my first attempt at doing anything like this, but I am concerned that the use of "conservative" to describe Wilberforce might be a modern reading pushed back on a pre-modern period. For example: "His views were often deeply conservative, opposed to radical changes in a God-given political and social order,and focused on issues such as the observance of the Sabbath and the eradication of immorality through education and reform."

There was nothing "conservative" about using education and reforms to eradicate immorality in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Indeed, that was the very soul of Whig Liberalism.

Not advocating the complete overthrow of the British monarchy, ala The French Revolution and being "conservative" in the 18th century are two totally different things.

W4rg (talk) 16:37, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Well the statement can be found in the references used for th earticle, for example, in discussing his reputation the ODNB article states "his concentration on overseas slavery, his spiritual and moral preoccupations, and his underlying social conservatism caused him to disregard the deprivation and injustice suffered by his own countrymen" David Underdown (talk) 16:53, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, W4rg. But I tend to agree that we are pretty safe here with a small 'c' conservative vocabulary choice. Many of the scholalry ources use it to describe WW's views, and in fact Hochschild has a whole section of his index on WW's conservatism. And of course, WW did more than just not advocate the overthrow of the government: he was supportive of repressive freedom of speech and assembly legislation. The Lead is supposed to summarize the article, and people can always read on to get more information.--Slp1 (talk) 11:34, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

wilberforce road[edit]

wilberforce road, in Cambridge, England is probably named after him, since he has a Cambridge connection.. is that worthy of being included in 'memorials'? (talk) 15:57, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't think "probably" is good enough for us to make the connection. David Underdown (talk) 16:02, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and how notable is it anyway? There must be hundreds of roads called Wilberforce. I don't think we need to mention all of them.--Slp1 (talk) 21:23, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. There are innumerable roads, streets, schools, colleges, universities, etc, named after Wilberforce around the world, and it would be impossible to include every one. If we put this one in, we'd be creating a precedent. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 10:02, 9 August 2008 (UTC) (written last night but not posted until internet connection resumed)

Main Page questions[edit]

I have a couple of questions relating to edits made on main page day (which the article survived well, thanks to so many eyes etc!)

  • Is the town in Australia notable enough for the article? If others think it is, then we probably should include it as part of a longer sentence about other towns/villages (in Sierra Leone and Canada and probably other places), that were named after him.
  • I am still not happy with the lead sentence about India. It currently says "the extension of missionary work in India", but I think that the point was the the British East India Co. didn't allow British missionaries in India, and he wanted them to. So it isn't really "extension", I don't think. --Slp1 (talk) 21:23, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I think we were all trying to compromise as best we could that day, and not delete everything that was suggested in good faith.
Personally, I don't think the Australian town is notable, and we don't want to get into the many places named after Wilberforce. I also agree that "the extension of missionary work", etc is awkward, and would prefer a return to something along the lines of "the introduction of Christianity to India". Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 10:28, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
As the anon pointed, introduction is rally just wrong. The Mar Thoma church dates back (traditionally) to the apostle Thomas, and the Portugese had ceratinly introduced Roman Catholicism befor ethe arrival of the British. This had all had limited impact of course, but it does mean we ahv eot be careful with the wording (I should have spotted the problem before). David Underdown (talk) 18:48, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with David that "introduction" isn't accurate, given that there were Christians in India long before. It is a question of figuring out how to phrase things succinctly.--Slp1 (talk) 19:01, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Point taken. I'd forgotten about Thomas the Apostle :-o – I'm changing it to "British missionary work" for now. I think that reads better and accurately conveys what William was concerned about. Comments? Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 22:27, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Questions about notability and verifiability[edit]

In the last little while, two sentences have been added to the article.... I am not convinced that they are appropriate additions to the article and would be grateful for the opinions of other editors.

  • One addition lists an Australian town named "Wilberforce", using this [22]. I don't believe that would be considered a reliable source, and since this is a Featured Article I think we need to continue to insist on the highest quality of sources. More importantly, I do not really believe that this is a notable fact: there were many towns etc named after him and I don't think their inclusion is warranted. I note that Agendum seems to concur with this above.
  • The other addition adds "Wilberforce was instrumental in recruiting Richard Johnson and Samuel Marsden as chaplains to the convicts and soldiers of the penal settlement of New South Wales in Australia, from this foundation the evangelical, low church Anglican Diocese of Sydney developed". It is also not clear to me that the source given [23] would be considered a reliable source either: I can't find any evidence that "Lesley Hicks BA DipEd" is a historian with any other publications. In addition, Hicks only states that Wilberforce recruited Johnson (not Marsden) and she doesn't make the claim that these two laid the foundation of the evangelical nature of the Sydney diocese. However, there are several clearly reliable sources that state that Wilberforce was involved in sending Johnson (though not recruiting, it seems, more facilitating his sending) e.g. this [24] [25] and this [26] actually suggests Johnson was John Newton's idea. My question is once again is how notable this is. Wilberforce engaged in thousands of projects of this sort. Neither Johnson nor Marsden is mentioned in any of the bios I have on hand (Hague, Tomkins, Belmonte) nor in the the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on WW. Do we need to include it if none of them thought it high priority enough to mention? Even if we do include it, I don't think we need the Anglican Diocese of Sydney which is unsourced in any case, as noted above. Comments please. --Slp1 (talk) 00:39, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
There have no comments, so I have gone with my feelings that neither addition was reliably sourced nor notable enough for inclusion and have deleted them. --Slp1 (talk) 01:58, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding. I totally agree with you on both matters. I did try to look up Marsden and Johnson but could find no direct connection with Wilberforce (I have come across similar unsourced comments about another church figure I am researching – who, it is claimed, was instrumental in setting up the Anglican church in New South Wales. This ends up being no more than speculation that has been repeated via various later sources).
Towns, villages, streets and educational establishments named after Wilberforce are legion in many parts of the world, so I agree that this one is no more notable than the others. So I endorse your decision to delete both edits. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 07:54, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Wilberforce's cottage in Millhill[edit]

A new picture has kindly been added showing the picture of a house that is said to be Wilberforce's cottage in MillHill. I am concerned that this is a urban legend, as it seemed Wilberforce lived at Hendon Park, in Highwood Hill near Mill Hill. See [27]; [28][29]. His house would have to have been a large one in any case, since he lived there with his son and his son's family. I think we need some evidence that this is actually Wilberforce's house and that he lived in it before we include it. I will remove it until we get some more definitive information about it.--Slp1 (talk) 21:14, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Update. This history of the area [30] suggests that the house Wilberforce lived in was demolished in the 1950s-1960s and was replaced by 3 houses. I think there is a blue plaque commemorating WW in the area, but I don't think it can be on the house he lived in, given this information. --Slp1 (talk) 21:27, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I believe his house at Mill Hill (despite being described as a "modest property") was substantially larger than the cottage depicted. – Agendum (talk) 21:45, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

John Newton[edit]

A picture of John Newton has been reinserted [31] into the article. Responding to the edit summary, I am quite familiar with the career of John Newton, and his belated interest in the campaign to abolish the slave trade following a 34 year silence after his retirement as a slave trader. I know he's a big hero in the Christian literature on this subject, but actually Newton gets very little mention in scholarly books about Wilberforce (and thus this WP article). I don't think the visual (which is very ugly, to boot) adds anything but undue weight and additional clutter to the article. I support its removal.--Slp1 (talk) 17:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

John Newton was a mentor to Wilberforce after his conversion and in the early days of his spiritual journey – but his role was not crucial to his work. Agreed about the picture and cluttered appearance, and that it should be removed. Incidentally, the caption to the picture was misleading: Newton was not an evangelist. Agendum (talk) 19:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, indeed, and thanks. And sorry for being a bit crabby about poor old John Newton: having spent months with these guys I get a bit cross if people appear to assume I know nothing about the subject. Yes, JN was a part of Wilberforce's journey. Neither was the perfect hero depicted in the books I read in my youth, and I find life richer for the acknowledgment.--Slp1 (talk) 23:42, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


It's always interesting to see our work reused by others, and acknowledged to boot. Take a look at this book [32] who quotes this article (and especially the 2008 version) very, very closely. (Perhaps a bit too closely, one might say, from a plagiarism point of view!!!) Okay, so it's a self-published book, but I still get a kick out of it. --Slp1 (talk) 21:59, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Great! Well, imitation is indeed flattery – and it's doubly nice to be credited. How on earth did you find it, Slp1? Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 20:52, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I just google WW and Wikipedia. It's sometimes interesting to see what crops up! --Slp1 (talk) 12:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


The term "evangelical" seems a bit anachronistic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Would you mind elaborating a bit? The term is used actually used over and over again in the sources we used to write the article.--Slp1 (talk) 12:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Kingston upon Hull[edit]

Many references are being made to the name "Hull", referring to the city but it is really the river that runs through the city, Kingston. Maybe all references referring to the city as being called Hull should be changed to "Kingston upon Hull". I'd do it myself but I thought I'd ask first in case I'm just letting my OCD get the better of me. Jake (talk) 21:18, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

My feeling is that leaving it as Hull is fine. I note that our article Kingston upon Hull mentions that the city is known "almost invariably" as Hull, and uses that the article itself uses the shorter version throughout. The books on WW use Hull too, and we do use the full name here in the article for the first mention. You are probably technically right, and thanks for bringing up the question, but I suggest we can stick with the diminutive form.--Slp1 (talk) 21:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I've got a feeling that this came up in the early days of writing of the article. I think we all understand that Kingston-upon-Hull is the technically correct useage and we do use that first in the article, but (just as inhabitants of that fine city invariably shorten its name in general conversation) we use the abbreviated form after that. Thanks for bringing this up, Jake, but I agree with keeping it as it is. Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 22:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the replies. Just wondering and since I'm fairly new to editting, I thought I'd just ask first :) Jake (talk) 20:44, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


Please forgive me if this question has been raised already in the past, but I cannot see any such discussion at the moment so I'm going to mention it. Should it not be mentioned or noted somewhere that William Wilberforce was a founding member of the RSPCA and a description of his early work therein? Founding and starting the RSPCA was by no means a small feat, it represents one of the longest running and largest charities in the UK and was a major part of William Wilberforce's life. Logiboy123 (talk) 08:59, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

It's mentioned both in the lead and under the heading "Political and social reform". David Underdown (talk) 09:38, 18 January 2010 (UTC)


Please see WT:Manual of Style (biographies)/2007-2008 archive: British nationality and WP:UKNATIONALS, yes it's arugable, but the status quo has held sway a long time. He was a British politician insofar as he served the British parliament, and was concerned with British Empire. As has been pointed out to you elsewhere, he was a Yorkshireman, and as such is as likely to have called himself that as anythign else, given the folk from Yorkshire that I know! Turning up and simply going around to make virtually identical edits, without discussion, or looking at what has gone before is a very good way to put people's backs up. David Underdown (talk) 20:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

- Yes apologies for that. I'm very new to this and I'm not sure of the correct etiquette yet. I'll reply to this properly when I have more time. I would say though that Yorkshire is a county of England. England being the country of the county of Yorkshire. So suggesting that Yorkshire is a more appropriate description than English to use as a nationality is quite ludicrous, if you don't mind my saying so. Angelcynn (talk) 02:51, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

You clearly don't know many Yorkshire folk then. They'll describe themselves as Yorkshire first and anything else a different second. Nationality, and national feeling, is not a straightforward issue, and unless there's very good reason for preferring one label over another, it's best not to change from one form to another. David Underdown (talk) 09:14, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

- I know many, many Yorkshiremen thank you. I have family in Yorkshire and plenty of friends there too, so please do not preach to me and do not suggest that this is exactly what WW would have felt also. We both know he probably wouldn't have. I'm a Lancastrian myself and I can assure you that we are very much of the same mind set of those over the Yorkshire border. Regional pride is not the same as National or ethnic identity. I'll come back properly on this. Angelcynn (talk) 13:49, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I think this discussion may be missing the main point, which is that WP is not a place to seek to initiate and advocate for change in such things, however, "right" the cause may be. We are bound by guidelines and policies of WP:V, WP:RS and WP:NOR. If Angelcynn wishes to press for Wilberforce (or anyone else) to be described as English rather than British, s/he needs to provide evidence that this is what other reliable sources call him. We follow others, and do not seek to lead the way. I think it is obvious from google searches that most, including higher quality bios, describe him as British. [33][34][35][36] etc. --Slp1 (talk) 14:08, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this back on track. I apologise for my rather silly remark above. I suppose I'm thinking of what someone would be likely to say if asked "where are you from?" (and incidentally, I was brought up in Lancashire too - well a bit of the original county anywya). David Underdown (talk) 14:44, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I concur with Slp1. Although he was born in England, Wilberforce thought of himself as British, was elected to the British Parliament and had very much a British world view – concerned as he was about the scandal of slavery throughout the British colonies in Africa and the West Indies. As has been mentioned above, the main sources describe him as British and I agree that there is no reason to deviate from this. – Agendum (talk) 15:10, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I shall endeavor to do my best when I have the time. I am however trying wholeheartedly not to laugh at the word "Evidence". He did actually come from the constituent nation of England, was born and lived there, in doing so he was English. That should be evidence enough to call him English, at the very least on a par with labelling him as British. He spoke English, he was ethnically English, he both lived under and affected English law, he worshipped at the Church of England. He would have referred to England and not Britain when speaking of home. Just because he served the united English and Scottish (British) economy we assume this as his nationality. It is not. I shall try to come back with possible references when I have time to look. Many thanks for your patience. Angelcynn (talk) 15:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Your argument above is what we call WP:original research. You are collecting evidence and drawing your conclusion from them about what he should be called. Other editors could and do draw different conclusions by emphasizing different parts of the evidence. That's why we don't accept this approach by editors. What is relevant is how other sources describe him, and it was this kind of evidence to which I was referring above. If you can find multiple high quality sources that describe him as an English abolitionist or similar, you may have a point and we can discuss it further to see if you can convince other editors per WP:CONSENSUS. Otherwise what we have is your opinion about he should be called based on your analysis of various factors vs what the scholarly reliable sources call him. WP will always prefer the latter. --Slp1 (talk) 15:44, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
He was a British subject (i.e., citizen) as were all non-foreign nationals born in the constituent countries after the Act of Union in 1707. There has been no separate English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish nationalities since then. If you don't believe me, try getting a Passport. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I think it's really, really sad that the trend on Wikipedia is that England and English people do not exist, and that the English identity is invalid. Sadder still is the fact that a lot of people arguing against "Englishness" are themselves English! Well, all this self-deprecation will not win you the love and acceptance of your seperatist Celtic neighbours. I have observed a number of Scottish, Welsh and Irish editors on Wikipedia systematically going around and erasing all references to England and Englishness from articles, whilst fiercely defending the Scottishness, Welshness and Irishness of people with even the most tenuous links to those places. And not only do you guys let them get away with it, you give them a helping hand by insisting that iconic English people like William Wilberforce should only be referred to as "British"! Why on earth would we need evidence in order to state that Wilberforce was English, as though it might not be true? Do we insist on medical proof that Angelina Jolie is female before calling her "she"? Aren't there certain basic facts that one can state confidently without a citation? I'm a person of very mixed heritage and I embrace all my identities, including English, as I was born and raised in England and have some English ancestry. I think what's going on with British national identities on Wikipedia is a real mess - it should either be "everyone's British" or "everyone's their respective constituent nationality" - and at the moment it almost seems as though there's some sort of subversive conspiracy against England lol. At this rate, no one will even know what "English" means in ten years time. (talk) 04:48, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I think it should be changed to English, the claim that calling him English is the same as describing him as a Yorkshireman is insulting and stupid. I am English and I am tired of the pretence that my nation and ethnic group is not real, or not real enough, or British is good enough, when on every page with a Welsh or Scotsman, Welsh or Scottish is recognised, why isn't British good enough for them?

Alexander Fleming is described as Scottish on Wikipedia, not British and not Ayrshire. James Watt is described as Scottish on Wikipedia, not British or Renfrewshire Admiral Thomas Cochrane of the Royal Navy is described as Scottish, whereas Nelson's nationality isn't even mentioned.

And before anyone says that it is Wikipedia policy to have MPs and statesmen of the UK listed as British, please then explain why Keir Hardie is listed as Scottish and not British.

I believe firmly in fairness and think some equality must be observed in these pages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Did he support slavery?[edit]

Colonial Office papers for Sierra Leone, the free colony established by Wilberforce and his "Clapham Sect" of social reformers as an ideal society where races mixed and slaves were free, reveal that slavery – albeit renamed "apprenticeship" – continued long after the 1807 act abolishing slave trading, with Wilberforce's knowledge.[37] (Cyberia3 (talk) 15:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC))

Thanks for pointing out this article, Cyberia3. It makes for interesting reading. I'm not yet sure that it is significant enough for inclusion. For one thing, it isn't a totally new story, and thus may be part a campaign by Tompkins to drum up some publicity for his new book. And in fact it appears that only the Guardian picked up the story. These letters to the paper are helpful too,[38], pointing out as they do that Wilberforce didn't support the abolition of slavery (at least overtly) until very much later. This important point is also already included in the article. All in all, I think we should wait and see how the book and its revelations get reviewed and assessed first. --Slp1 (talk) 13:51, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

US abolition[edit]

The US Congress prohibited the slave trade in 1808. In 1865 Congress, in the final days of the Civil War, voted on an amendment abolish slavery across the whole of the US. Pamour (talk) 13:37, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Lead of article[edit]

Over the years, and now recently a few times, IP editors have removed or tagged information about Wilberforce's support of, shall we say, less progressive attitudes. The information is well-referenced in several paragraphs in the text, and per WP:LEAD the lead paragraph is supposed to summmarize the full article, which would includes those paragraphs of course. It would in fact be POV not to include that information Part of the problem is that we have not included references in the lead, and I personally would rather not go there, though if necessary I suppose we will have to. I have added a hidden message about WP:LEAD and the references in the body of the article; hopefully that will assist people. --Slp1 (talk) 12:56, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

New picture of Wilberforce by George Hayter[edit]

EHayter|Talk – Thanks for uploading File:William Wilberforce by George Hayter.jpg. You don't seem to have said where the image came from. My main concern is that this is a previously unknown picture of William Wilberforce and bears little resemblance to other images depicting him, and while he may indeed be the subject of the painting, I would be interested to know about its provenance in order to be able to determine its authenticity. Cheers – Agendum (talk) 21:59, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

I am slightly concerned about the painting of Wilberforce by George Hayter, as it bears little resemblance to any other likeness and is not mentioned in any other list (eg, in the the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography), so I wonder if it may be a recent discovery. Clearly, if it is of W.W. it depicts him late in life, which may account for his appearance.
Does anybody know anything about the provenance of this picture, which apparently resides at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull? — Agendum (talk) 14:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Bruce. Sorry for the delay in responding. I admit it is a bit of a puzzle. It is weird that it is not used in any of the bios etc that have been published, and this representation does look different. George Hayter wasn't born till 1792, and was in Italy from 1816-1818, and from 1826 to 1831, so there are limited opportunities for the portrait to be painted when Hayter was old enough, in the country and Wilberforce alive. On the other hand, his Wikipedia article suggests Hayter did a rash of portraits connected to the 1933 reform parliament. I wouldn't really trust the bbc website since it is user submitted, but [this book] mentions the work; though I guess there are multiple William Wilberforces so who knows. Maybe we could email the Ferens gallery and ask them for a bit more information. What do you think? --Slp1 (talk) 14:05, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it dissimilar from the unfinished Lawrence portrait. He's lost some teeth, since his youth. William Avery (talk) 14:34, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Slp1 – I have to admit that I hadn't done the maths. The portrait seems to show Wilberforce as an old man, so it may be soon before his death, at about the age of 70 to 73. The Lawrence portrait is dated 1828, so I think he would have to be a few years older if the Hayter painting is authentic – it's a shame that we have no date for it. Hayter could certainly have painted him while he was at the relatively young age of 40 (or so) – I don't know enough about his career as a painter. Alternatively, he could have worked from a sketch, or even another likeness. I think I will do as you suggest and contact the Ferens to get their view on it – they will almost certainly have a date for the work. Thanks for your input, William – my doubt remains. Cheers – Bruce Agendum (talk) 22:38, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Bruce! I hope you will get some feedback at some point. --Slp1 (talk) 01:20, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I've heard from the Curator of Art at the Ferens, who forwarded the enquiry on to another person who is Assistant Curator at the Wilberforce House Museum in Hull, and apparently has considerable expertise on the man himself. I have now heard from her also. In short, although the authenticity of the painting has not been challenged before, there is some sympathy for my view about the depiction. In fact, the person concerned has an interesting theory as to the actual identity of the sitter. The consensus of both experts is that the image should be removed from Wikipedia for the time being, while further investigations take place at the gallery (which may take some time). Cheers – Agendum (talk) 21:22, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
What a very interesting turn of events! Wikipedia editor Agendum as art detective extraordinaire. I'll be fascinated to see what the result is. To me the main this is the pointy eyebrows which are so very different from any other portrait, even the 1828 one which would have been painted just a few years before this one. Anyway, I think we should take the painting out for now. If the curators have doubts and so do editors here, then being cautious is the best bet. --Slp1 (talk) 21:45, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

What did W. study?[edit]

In what subjects did W. earn the M. A. and B.S.?-- (talk) 06:03, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office roundel[edit]

I propose deleting this recent addition on the grounds that, as a memorial, it is far from being notable (apart from – possibly – the fact that it may be on the site of Ignatius Sancho's grocery shop, although this cannot be proven as far as I can ascertain). There are many memorials to Wilberforce up and down the UK and in other countries, and this is far from being the best, or the most obvious. Additionally, it was not carved by Gilbert Scott. He was the architect of the building. Any objections or further information? Bruce – Agendum (talk) 15:33, 16 January 2013 (UTC)


William Wilberforce was born in 1759 Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 11 April 2013 (UTC)


I'm very happy to accept the new information about William Wilberforce's baptism, as the source seems reliable. However, I will check other sources to be doubly sure, although I would be quite willing to accept the word of the PCC of Holy Trinity! As far as I can see, this information was added on 21st February, 2010, and it may be worth checking other details (about Wilberforce's mother) which was added at the same time. We cannot be too careful (and perhaps we weren't)! Agendum (talk) 20:10, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

I am going to take it out for now. The location of the baptism is not mentioned in any of the bios that I consulted; it is currently without any source, and while I am sure the PCC of Holy Trinity is sure of the facts, we need reliable sources, and also some indication that this information is significant when no biographer has thought to mention it. The Elizabeth Bird part is correct, however, though I have to check the dates still. --Slp1 (talk) 01:57, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Image of Wilberforce Monument[edit]

Thanks for your recent edit, DocWatson42. However, I feel that the reduction of size of this image is too much, although I agree that it may have been somewhat too large previously. I propose to revert your edit reducing the image to thumbnail size, and then try to achieve a compromise by reducing the size a little. I hope you agree with this course of action. Incidentally, we had tried several different sizes at the time this page was first edited and developed a few years ago. Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 22:07, 5 December 2013 (UTC)