Georgian Society for East Yorkshire

Georgian Politics, Diplomacy & War

The Battle of Trafalgar by Nicholas Pocock

The Battle of Trafalgar by Nicholas Pocock

William Wilberforce is the towering political character of the period. MP for Hull from 1780 to 1784 and of York thereafter, he dedicated his life to the campaigns to abolish the slave trade and slavery itself. Later on, another Hull-born MP Thomas Perronet Thompson would campaign against the Corn Laws, a tariff that kept the prices of imported grain high enough to cause hardship.

East Riding born diplomat George Hammond's duties took him far from this area, but also make him one of the more interesting people to come out of the county. The aftermath of the American Revolution gave transatlantic relations many new challenges, and Hammond served as one of the first British envoys to the United States.

War did not come directly to East Yorkshire in the Georgian era, but its effects were certainly felt. Billeting of soldiers during the wars of the Austrian Succession, the American Revolution, and the Napoleonic wars took their toll on local business people. Of course, many of the region's people served in the forces abroad, and the Stovin brothers of Whitgift distinguished themselves in the American Revolution the war of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars in Europe.

Hull and the Abolitionist Cause

William Wilberforce in 1790

Hull is often linked with the abolition of slavery in Britain and its empire. Usually this is through William Wilberforce. He was born in the city, and became its MP from 1780 to 1784. His was not the city's only voice in the war against the slave trade, however. From 1774 to 1780, Hull's MP was David Hartley. Hailing ... (read more...)

The Hammonds: Diplomats of East Yorkshire

George Hammond, ambassador to the U.S.A. 1791-1795

East Yorkshire was the home of an interesting family of diplomats during the Georgian Period. William Hammond was a Hull merchant and supporter of the abolitionist MP David Hartley, who went on to become involved in diplomatic missions during the American Revolution. His son George was born in Kirk Ella, and followed in his father's footsteps, having a diplomatic ... (read more...)

The Stovin Brothers: Soldiers of Whitgift

Battle of Yorktown, by Auguste Couder

The hamlet of Whitgift in the corner of East Yorkshire is known for its church clock bearing the number thirteen, and for Whitgift Hall built in 1704. But it was also the birthplace of two brothers, whose active military careers probably prevented them from seeing much of their home village. Richard and Frederick Stovin were the two younger sons ... (read more...)

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