Wilberforce: Love and War

Anne Stott

in Wilberforce

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199699391
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739132 | DOI:
Wilberforce: Love and War

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This chapter introduces the second part of the book, which deals with the courtships of Wilberforce, Henry Thornton, and Zachary Macaulay. It discusses Wilberforce’s personal and political life in the period 1793-96. It covers the familiar story of his ambivalent attitude to the Revolutionary war and the consequent straining of his friendship with Pitt, which recovered after his defence of the Gagging Acts of 1795. Using archive material that has up to now not been fully exploited it shows the turmoil in his personal life. His ineffectual and inconsistent courtship of Mary Ann Hammond, the sister-in-law of Henry Addington, then Commons’ speaker was followed by other semi-courtships, all equally abortive. The chapter sheds a new light on Wilberforce’s character, in particular his troubled relationship with his sexuality.

Keywords: William Wilberforce; Henry Thornton; Zachary Macaulay; Gagging Acts 1795; Henry Addington; Mary Ann Hammond

Chapter.  7733 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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