British politician, evangelist, and philanthropist (1759-1833) who played an important role in the movement to abolish slavery. ALS signed “W. Wilberforce,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.5 x 9, February 19, 1807. Handwritten letter to Lord Henry Petty, soliciting his support for the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson's appointment as Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, in part: “I am prevailed on not without some Reluctance to honble your Lordship with a few lines, in consequence for a Visit from Mr. Clarkson—he tells me that your Lord’p has already received applications in his Behalf for the Professorship of Modern History of Cambridge—It is now become vacant by Dr. Lymen’s death, but Mr. C. says the friend who would renew his Solicitations on this Event is out of town, & tho it is expected He may be in London this evening. Mr. C. is afraid your Lord’p should be solicited in the INterval & not being reminded of his Suit, should in…multitude of your greater affairs not advert to it. He is therefor very earnest with me; that I should bring it to your Lordship’s Recollection. For this only, I have undertaken I have no right to do more, tho having know Mr. Clarkson many years in his private character & habits as well as in his peculiar pursuit (for his indefatigable & zealous perseverance in which I cannot speak too highly)…He is a man of…talents & great industry….He will be assiduous & able in discharging the Duties to any…which he may appointed.” In fine condition.
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