Posted 22nd October 2017 by Maggie Clowes

Why was this little boy who died in Appleby given the name of the great reformer of the slave trade?

WilberforceHis memorial stone in the porch of St Lawrence church tells us that he only lived for a week. He died in 1838, the son of the Vicar of St Lawrence, and his wife, Mary, a Milner before she married having been taken in as an orphan by her great-uncle, Isaac Milner. He was among other things a scholar,inventor, Dean of Carlisle, President of Queen's College, Cambridge and a strong supporter of William Wilberforce in his fight to abolish slavery. Mary was living in the household when the Parliamentary Act of 1807 was passed. Shortly after their marriage her husband, Joseph (another Milner!) was ordained and became Vicar of St Lawrence. On her marriage they moved to Appleby where he was ordained and became vicar of St Lawrence Church in Appleby, a job he held for forty years. In spite of having a large family and coping with the loss of Wilberforce Mary wrote and published in 1842 a life of Isaac Milner running to over 700 pages.

In the 1851 Census she is listed as Author. She would be amazed to know that her great work is available on line and from Amazon!