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John Newton

John Newton was an Anglican clergyman in England and the founder of the evangelical  Clapham Sect. He began his career at sea at a young age, and worked on slave ships in the  slave trade  for several years. After experiencing a period of  Christian conversion,  Newton eventually renounced his trade and became a prominent supporter of abolitionism, living to see Britain's abolition of the African slave trade in 1807. In 1788, 34 years after he had retired from the slave trade, Newton broke a long silence on the subject with the publication of a forceful pamphlet  Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade, in which he described the horrific conditions of the slave ships during the  Middle Passage.  Newton was a mentor to a young William Wilberforce as well as the author of the christian hymn Amazing Grace.