John Newton

By , Middletown, MD
John Newton was born July 24, 1725 in Wapping, London. He recorded his birthday to be on August 4th because in Britain there was eleven days taken out from September 3rd to the 13th . He was an only child, home-schooled by his mother and brought up in the nurture of the Lord. His mom died when he was 7 years old, and he went to live with his father. John's father sent him away to St. Andrew's School in Scotland for his education.

John was never active or playful as a child. Instead he went to school and worked hard until he was sent to a boarding school at Stratford, in Essex from the age of 8 to 10 years. These school years were not helpful to him because his teacher was very harsh and he nearly forgot everything his mother taught him.

John did not believe his father liked him because he kept his distance from him. When John was 11 years old, he went aboard his father's ship in Longreach, and made five voyages to the Mediterranean. On the last voyage, John and his father went to Alicante, Spain where John stayed on with a friend of his father's who was a merchant.

Later in life John was an African slave trader until he converted to Christianity and eventually became an abolitionist. He was called hypocritical by some writers for continuing to participate in the slave trade while holding strong Christian beliefs. However, he would later repent and join William Wilberforce in the campaign for abolition. In 1787 he wrote a paper supporting the campaign called “Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade.” One of his greatest contributions to history was encouraging Wilberforce to stay in Parliament rather than enter the ministry. Wilberforce heeded Newton's advice, and spent the next twenty years successfully working for the abolition of the slave trade in England.

Newton died at age 82 in is house in Coleman-street-buildings.





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