Event to celebrate William Wilberforce’s years in Pocklington will be held at All Saints Church

Pocklington will celebrate William Wilberforce’s years in the town in the 1770s with a special event in All Saints Church on November 18 to mark the 250th anniversary of his arrival in the town.

The statue of the young William Wilberforce outside Pocklington School.
The statue of the young William Wilberforce outside Pocklington School.

William Wilberforce came to Pocklington as a 12-year old boy in November 1771.

He spent the next five years living with the Pocklington School headmaster, the Rev Kingsman Baskett and his family, in the headmaster’s house on West Green; and it is clear from his schoolboy writings that he was already developing an abhorrence of slavery by his early teens.

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From Pocklington he went on to head not just the anti-slavery movement, but also play a leading role in over 40 other good causes – from being a founder of the RSPCA, to campaigning for schools and hospitals to be free to pressing for better conditions for chimney sweeps.

The event celebrating William Wilberforce’s years in Pocklington will take place on Thursday, November 18 at All Saints Church.

The event will be held at All Saints Church on Thursday, November 18 (7.15pm), which Wilberforce attended during his years in the town, will focus on his life in Pocklington in the 1770s with participants coming together from the school, town and church.

The programme will include a talk about Wilberforce and his time at Pocklington School, and a reading of a school essay he wrote in 1774, saying: “How he is shocked by viewing one part of the world, seemingly made only to furnish slaves for the other.”

There will also be poetry from William Hickington, ‘The Pocklington Poet’, who wrote about life in the town in the 1760s and 1770s; plus choral entertainment from the Pocklington Celebration Singers, and a small exhibition about Wilberforce and his local links.

Tickets (£5) are available from the All Saints Church office or £6 if purchased online via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-wilberforce-pocklington-250-tickets-196407800017?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.

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