The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the African Slave trade, Liverpool 1788

The Wedgwood Medallion. Josiah Wedgwood created this design which became popular in the campaign against slavery and featured on brooches, tea caddies, and plates.

In May, 1787, the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the African Slave trade was instituted in London. The Committee consisted of Granville Sharp (chairman, and father of the cause in England), William Dillwyn (an American Quaker), Samuel Hoare, George Harrison, John Lloyd, Joseph Woods, Thomas Clarkson, Richard Phillips, John Barton, Joseph Hooper, James Phillips, and Philip  Sansom. With the exception of Sharp, Clarkson, and Sansom, all the members were of the Society of Friends……………

In January 1788, the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the African Slave trade made its first appearance before the public of Liverpool with a well-written address, designed  to prove that the traffic, which was then said to bring about £ 300,000 a year into the Port of Liverpool, was immoral and unjust, and one which ought to be abolished, as unworthy of a Christian people. A list of members of the society was published in the same year, from which it appears that there were eight riteous persons still left in Liverpool, who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Their names, and the amount of their subscriptions were as follows:-

                                                                       £    s.    d.

Anonymous, Liverpool                               2.   2.    0.

Dr Jonathan Binns, Liverpool                    1.   1.    0.

Mr Daniel Daulby, Liverpool                     1.    1.    0.

Mr William Rathbone, Liverpool              2.    12.  6.

Mr William Rathbone Junr, Liverpool      2.    2.    0.

Mr William Roscoe, Liverpool                  1.     1 .   0.

Mr William Wallace, Liverpool                 2.     2.    0.

Mr John Yates,Liverpool                           2.     2.    0.

There are two footnotes

1. Baines, Picton, and others state only two Liverpool names – those of William Rathbone and Dr Binns – figured in the list of original members. In the printed list at the Picton Reference Library, we finf eight subscribers, as above. “Anonymous” was probably Dr. Currie.

2.  Jonathan Binns, M.D. was for many years senior physician to the Liverpool Dispensary. He published, at Edinburgh, in 1762, Dissertatio Medica in Auguralis de Exercitatione. He superintented, for some time, the school belonging to the Society of Friends, in Yorkshire,[Ackworth School]  and whilst there, published an English Grammar, and also a Vocabulary. He removed to Lamcaster, where he practised as a physician untilthe time of his death, in 1812, aged 65 years. – “Smithers’ History,” p. 433.

From “ History of the Liverpool Privateers, and Letters of Marque, with an account of the Liverpool Slave trade.. “ Gomer Williams  1897

Sources for the footnotes

“ History, directory and gazetteer of the county palatine of Lancaster vol 1”:  Edward Baines  1824

Liverpool, its commerce, statistics, and institutions; with a history of the cotton trade” :  Henry Smithers:  1825

Lancashire and Cheshire, past and present: “  Thomas Baines:   1867

Memorials of Liverpool : historical and topographical, including a history of the Dock Estate vol 1 & 2” :  Sir James Allanson Picton  1875

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