John Newton 1725-1807

John Newton, a former slavetrader and author of Amazing Grace, reformed in the last few years of his life due to a near-death experience that greatly impacted his spirituality. He ironically had this revalation during a trip with enslaved africans as cargo. It wasn't until years after that he realized how bad slavery was, repented, and then rebelled against it. Newton was the pastor of the church Wilberforce attended as a child. Wilberforce, along with other members of the Anti-Slavery Society, participated in the Slave Trade Act of 1807. In 1785 Wilberforce reached out to Newton and was encouraged to stay within the Parliament. 20 years later, John Newton passed away, at the age of 82. However, because the act took place in March 1807, and Newton passed in December, he was able to experience this step toward greatness. Subsequently, during his time here he wrote many diaries and entries about his time among slavery and what he had witnessed, leaving out the fact that he was a former slavetrader as well. The Diary; Three Centuries of Private Lives lead to the curation of Amazing Grace.

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Event date:

4 Aug 1725 to 25 Mar 1807