World Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born March 28: Thomas Clarkson

March 28, 2016 03:30 AM

  • A 50-penny British stamp honoring Thomas Clarkson, from a 2007 set marking the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

By Michael Baadke

Great Britain issued a set of six stamps March 22, 2007, to commemorate six key figures involved in the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

Among them was Thomas Clarkson, who was born March 27, 1760, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

The son of an Anglican priest, Clarkson wrote against the slave trade as a young man studying at Cambridge, and by age 25 he had devoted himself to ending the practice of slavery.

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Clarkson helped to form the Committee for the Abolition of the African Slave Trade in 1787, and sought out tools of the slave trade as evidence of the cruel and immoral aspects of slavery.

Twenty years later, the Slave Trade Act ended slave trading in the British Empire and led years later to abolishing slavery in England and other areas of Europe.

Clarkson is honored on a 50-penny stamp from the 2007 set (Great Britain Scott 2459).