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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Wilberforce bust goes on display
William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was voted greatest Yorkshireman
A 171-year-old bust of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce has gone on public display for the first time.

The sculpture of the Hull-born reformer was created in 1833, but has previously only been displayed privately.

Now, visitors to the Wilberforce House Museum in Hull can see the marble bust in all its glory.

It was created by the Scottish sculptor Samuel Joseph, who also made a full length statue of Wilberforce for display at Westminster Abbey.

The Wilberforce Trust, based in York, has given the bust to the museum on a long-term loan.

Yorkshire great

Museum spokeswoman Jayne Tyler said: "We are very grateful to the trust for loaning us such an important bust of Wilberforce for display.

"It is really good to see this special work of art on display in the birthplace of the abolitionist."

Samuel Joseph, who was a founder member of the Royal Scottish Academy, was recognised as Scotland's foremost sculptor after his death in 1850.

His busts were described in British Literature and Art as "superior to any examples of sculptural art that has been produced in Scotland previous to his practice".

Wilberforce, the son of a wealthy merchant, was born in 1759 in Hull and represented the city as MP.

He campaigned tirelessly for the abolition of slavery, with the campaign succeeding shortly after his death in 1833.

In March 2004, he was voted the greatest Yorkshireman that ever lived by a panel after being nominated by BBC viewers.

'Great' victory for Wilberforce
21 Mar 04  |  Humber

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