Stand against slavery in Eastern Essex

Slavery was abolished in the United Kingdom in 1807 following a campaign led by William Wilberforce MP.

Despite the British ban slavery was continued by many other European Countries and slaves were taken from African countries to America and the Caribbean Islands.

To combat this slavery a national campaign, led by a group called the Committee of the African Institution and the British Anti-Slavery Society , was launched.

The motif adopted by the British Anti-Slavery Society

Eastern Essex joined in the discusion over the merits of slavery with public meetings and sermons that reflected the varying attitudes of the Rectors or their Curates.

It is inconceivable in modern times that anyone could agrue in favour of slavery.

Although a few people held the belief that African people were not human most of the pro-slavery argument was based on biblical tracts that cited the use of slaves in a positive faction and the ecominic argument that the ecomony of USA and the Caribean Isalnds would collapse if slavery was abolished. 

This collapse would affect many of the local gentry who had investments in the plantations even after slavery was abolished.

As a result of these debates four local parishes sent petitions to Parliament during 1814  of which demanded further action to abolish slavery.

Asheldham, Bradwell Juxta Mare, Dengie and Tillingham thus took an open stand against slavery.