We hold a large collection of letters and a journal written by abolitionist William Wilberforce. Dating back to the 1810s–1820s, the collection offers an insight into Wilberforce’s life at that time.

A book containing handwritten letters in ink

The letters

William Wilberforce wrote to many people during his lifetime. Including family, friends and fellow abolitionists. We have over 200 of these letters in our collection. Most of the letters date from the 1820s. They reveal a man who dearly loved his family, and who fought against ill health for most of his life.

The journal

Wilberforce wrote this journal between 9 February 1814 and 19 January 1823. It's a fascinating record of his personal and political thoughts during those years. Entries reveal his struggles with the abolition of slavery in Parliament. As well as personal reflections and observations of his children growing up.

Accession numbers
Wilberforce Journal – KINCM:2005.5787
Letters – various accession numbers