Newton, the ex-slave trader, and Wilberforce, the little liberator
A small boy aged ten was playing in the grounds of his uncle’s rural villa on the edge of Wimbledon Common in the summer of 1769 when the family carriage drew up at the door. The carriage contained the boy’s uncle and a clergyman in his forties. The boy was the young William Wilberforce, and the clergyman was John Newton. No one in 1769 would have foreseen that these two men would be the key characters in the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. Here, John Pollock tells the story of how they came from different backgrounds and amazingly different earlier lives to build a strong friendship and partnership in the gospel—and how God used them to achieve a great victory in the British Parliament and US Congress against the slave trade.
John Pollock has for thirty years been the leading authority on Wilberforce. His full-length biography (1977) has never been out of print (bicentennial edition Kingsway, 2007). He followed it with Amazing Grace: John Newton’s story (present edition as Newton the Liberator, Kingsway). In Abolition! he uses manuscript material not previously available. He is a board member of the John Newton Project and is the author of many other biographies including Hudson Taylor, John Wesley, Lord Shaftesbury, Gordon of Khartoum and Lord Kitchener. He is the official biographer of Billy Graham. He lives in Devon, England