Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 09:36 UK

Plaque for slavery abolitionist

Thomas Clarkson depicted on a new plaque
The plaque honours the work of Thomas Clarkson

A commemorative plaque to honour the anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson is due to be unveiled in a Bristol pub.

Clarkson played a key role in the research that formed the basis of the abolitionists' case against the slave trade that was taken to Parliament.

It was at the Seven Stars pub in Redcliffe that he spoke to sailors who told him about life on slave ships.

The unveiling has been timed for the 202nd anniversary of the banning of the slave trade in British ports.

"Incredible suffering"

Clarkson, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, arrived in Bristol in 1787 on a mission to find out about the horrors of the slave trade.

The landlord of the Seven Stars, a man called Thompson, introduced him to sailors on the slave ships who gave him the evidence he needed.

The sailors' testimonies provided vital information for the abolitionists to help build a mass campaign against slavery and were crucial in the parliamentary debates that led to the Abolition Bills.

"The bicentenary of Abolition in 2007 was a thought-provoking time for Bristol, yet no lasting physical legacy to the city's role in slavery was left to mark the incredible suffering and loss exacted on millions of West Africans," said Will Simpson, of the Bristol Radical History Group.

"The plaque on the Seven Stars represents one small attempt by a group of local people to put this right, by highlighting one of the positive stories from this dark chapter in human history."



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