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This house is named after William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833), a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. Wilberforce began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1784–1812). British ships dominated the 18th century slave trade, and in peak years carried forty thousand enslaved men, women and children across the Atlantic in horrific conditions. Of the estimated 11 million Africans transported into slavery, about 1.4 million died during the voyage. Wilberforce’s campaign led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire.