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Abolishing slavery – the Fellowship in the 1790s

Not everyone can spend time outdoors, as I, perhaps over enthusiastically, described below. One who could not, though he loved his farm, called Hollwood, in Kent, was William Pitt the Younger.

We have only mentioned him once in our description of the Fellowship, but he was an amazing man. It’s easy to forget that as Prime Minister while still in his 20s, Pitt and Parliament faced a number of challenges in addition to abolishing the slave trade. Pitt had to create a financial formula to reduce the national debt; reframe administration in India in the India Bill; and negotiate free trade agreements (3,000 resolutions were placed before Parliament; one lowered the duty on French wines with a resulting copious increase in the amounts that were drunk). He was obliged to challenge France’s interference in Holland, and to guarantee Holland’s independence; reduce some taxes and increase others on the principle that all classes should contribute to revenue without pressing unfairly on any; respond to Spain’s attack on Vancouver Island; and create a bill for the government of Canada. Meanwhile he was under constant fire by the opposition, and blindsided whenever the King, George III, descended into madness.

With the House frequently sitting until 3:30 am, Pitt had little time to be outdoors. We will post on Clarkson, Wilberforce, Equiano, the Middletons, Hannah More, and Pitt – the Fellowship in the 1790s – sometime Friday.

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