Among this number were the figures such as the French writers Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau. Quakers were involved in the lucrative slave trade as ship owners, captains, iron-masters, merchants and investors, in ports such as London and Bristol. The Royal Navy was also called in to assist in the implementation through the establishment of the West African Squadron which patrolled the coast. This article follows on from the one on Early Quaker History, and deals with Quakerism in Britain and Ireland after 1658.The Quakers had emerged as an organised movement between 1652 and 1654. This particular achievement of the Congress owed much to the mass mobilization of public opinion in Britain; 800 petitions were sent to the government bearing the signatures of an estimated three quarters of a million people. By 26th July 1833, the wheels were in motion for a new piece of legislation to be passed, however sadly William Wilberforce would die only three days later. By 1658 that movement had spread over the whole of England, made inroads into Scotland and Ireland, started to establish itself in America and continental Europe, and had its first major scandal … Mansfield observed: “The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law [statute], which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory. These views were tolerated in Spanish Florida, where he was a planter, but after Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821, Kingsley found it necessary to leave Florida for a plantation he purchased in Haiti (today in the Dominican Republic). ], [Photograph: The forbidding exterior of St. George’s Castle.]. The Bundy family operated a station that transported groups of slaves from Belmont to Salem, Ohio. As a child Equiano was captured (it is thought) in present-day Nigeria, and was eventually owned by a Pennsylvania-based Quaker merchant, Robert King. In the Mediterranean, however, it continued to be widely practised. Thank you for your knowledgeable and insightful essay. Meanwhile, the Anti-Slavery Society had its first meeting back in the UK which helped to bring together Quakers and Anglicans. By the end of the 1780s, a great change in attitude towards slavery was seizing hold of the British population. Slaves working in households were sometimes treated quite humanely and a few gained freedom (manumission), for example purchased by their savings or granted in the wills of deceased owners. [Photograph: “Am I not a man and a brother?”]. A longer process however ensued which not only included freeing slaves but also finding a way to compensate the slave owners for loss of investment. Slavery still exists in modern forms, and many Quakers are active as individuals in Anti-Slavery International (formerly the Anti-Slavery Society). An anti-slavery bill was put before Parliament in 1791 but was defeated. Quaker anti-slavery activism could come at some social cost. His Irish companion, William Edmundson was more radical, and by 1675 he had condemned slavery outright. For over 300 years, the coastlines of the English Channel and south west of England were at the mercy of Barbary pirates. Two thousand people contributed, from 39 counties. Because of their status as dissenters, Quakers were largely excluded from the professions in the eighteenth century. They argued that the men had been too slow and cautious, and were too influenced by the arguments of the plantation owners. Colorful Quaker and slave trader Zephaniah Kingsley defended slavery benevolently practiced. 1781. The chief protagonists of the French Revolution (1789) were likewise strident in affirming the importance of political equality, but in dealing with slavery they were simply unwilling or unable to implement a full-scale programme of emancipation. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. After he moved to England, Dillwyn was the key member in helping the committee to understand the North American aspect of the slavery question. The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) was the first corporate body in Britain and North America to fully condemn slavery as both ethically and religiously wrong in all circumstances. Leviticus 25.44: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.” The Torah is thought to have been drawn together as a single body of law about 650 years before the birth of Christ, but it codified rules and customs that had been observed for centuries before then. Slave mortality rates on the transport ships seem to have averaged between one tenth and one fifth, and to this tithe of death we must add the many lives lost when persons were captured and then held in the coastal forts. Thereafter they suffered some discrimination and tended to separate themselves from the rest of society, for example by discouraging marriage with non-Quakers. Lloyd was, along with Dillwyn, the author of a pamphlet published in 1783 entitled The Case of our Fellow Creatures, the oppressed Africans, respectfully recommended to the serious Consideration of the Legislature of Great Britain by the people called Quakers. In the Ancient World of the Mediterranean and the surrounding lands, slavery was ubiquitous. The scene was now set for a series of dramatic parliamentary debates on the issue. With a group of other women, Heyrick sought to institute in her native Leicester a boycott of West Indian sugar. Quaker organisation and Anti-Slavery campaigning, Anti-Slavery: Pioneering Aspects of Modern Campaigning, The Quaker Five in the 1787 national Abolition Committee, Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, boycott against all sugar produced on slave plantations. Even in antiquity there was, of course, one group of people who typically viewed the matter differently – the slaves themselves.