Chapter

Elizabeth: A Daughter’s Dilemma

Anne Stott

in Wilberforce

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199699391
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739132 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199699391.003.0015
Elizabeth: A Daughter’s Dilemma

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This chapter looks at Elizabeth Wilberforce, William Wilberforce’s surviving daughter. It shows her limited life choices compared with those available to her brothers, her emotional and spiritual difficulties in the wake of her sister’s death and her difficult relationship with her mother. The chapter also describes Robert Wilberforce’s friendship with John Keble. There are accounts of Thomas Babington Macaulay’s speech at the anti-slavery meeting in 1824, Wilberforce’s serious illness in the same year, and his retirement from parliament in 1825. The rest of the chapter looks at Elizabeth’s abortive engagement to the Bristol merchant, Charles Pinney, who came from a family of slave-owners and held mortgages on slave estates on Nevis. The episode demonstrates Wilberforce’s naivety, but also the frequently unavoidable connections between emancipationists and the owners of slave estates.

Keywords: William Wilberforce; Elizabeth Wilberforce; Robert Wilberforce; John Keble; Thomas Babington Macaulay; anti-slavery; Charles Pinney; Bristol; Nevis

Chapter.  11311 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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