1806 Parliamentary Act, under King George III -- An Act to prohibit for two years, after the conclusion of the present session of Parliament, any ships to clear out from any Port of Great Britain for the Coast of Africa, for the purpose of taking on board Negroes, unless such ships have been previously employed in the African Trade, or contracted for, for that purpose. 21st July 1806 -- 3 pages. Eight months before the abolition of slavery by British Parliament, pressure by some Members were forcing through such Acts as this to stop the spread of slavery.
In February 1806, Lord Grenville formed a Whig administration. Grenville and his Foreign Secretary, Charles Fox, were strong opponents of the slave trade. Fox and William Wilberforce led the campaign in the House of Commons, whereas Grenville, had the task of persuading the House of Lords to accept the measure. Greenville made a passionate speech where he argued that the trade was "contrary to the principles of justice, humanity and sound policy" and criticized fellow members for "not having abolished the trade long ago". When the vote was taken the Abolition of the Slave Trade bill was passed in the House of Lords by 41 votes to 20. In the House of Commons it was carried by 114 to 15 and it become law on 25th March, 1807. British captains who were caught continuing the trade were fined £100 for every slave found on board. However, this law did not stop the British slave trade. If slave-ships were in danger of being captured by the British navy, captains often reduced the fines they had to pay by ordering the slaves to be thrown into the sea. Some people involved in the anti-slave trade campaign such as Thomas Clarkson and Thomas Fowell Buxton, argued that the only way to end the suffering of the slaves was to make slavery illegal. However, it was not until 1833 that Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act.
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