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Dean Peter Peckard Dies

1797

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Peter Peckard was the intellectual father of the movement for the abolition of the Slave Trade. Born in Lincolnshire in 1717, he attended Oxford University, served as vicar to several local parishes, and was an army chaplain for the Grenadier Guards. Peckard was an outspoken liberal, and by the 1770s spoke out in his sermons against the Slave Trade. In 1778 he published a pamphlet anonymously entitled ‘Am I not a Man and a Brother?’ articulating the arguments against the evils of slavery. The title of the pamphlet and the image on its front page became iconic for the abolitionist movement and were even used on china produced by Josiah Wedgewood promoting the anti-slavery cause. Peckard became master of Magdalen College in Cambridge in 1781, becoming Vice-Chancellor three years later. He started an essay competition for students on the subject of ‘Is it lawful to enslave the unconsenting?’ The first winner was Thomas Clarkson, inspiring him on his path to become one of the leading activists in the abolitionist movement. In 1792 Peckard was appointed as Dean of Peterborough Cathedral, a position he retained until his death five years later. He died fifteen years before the Slave Trade was outlawed in 1807.





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Slavery Abolished in the British Empire

1833

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The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolished slavery throughout the British Empire,the Act had its third reading in the House of Commons on 26 July 1833, three days before William Wilberforce, one of the leading figures in the Anti-Slavery Society, died. This Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, expanded the jurisdiction of the Slave Trade Act 1807, making the purchase or ownership of slaves illegal within Britain and the British Empire, with the exception "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Saint Helena. The Act was repealed in 1998 though slavery remains illegal.





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