Anniversary of Second Reading of Bill in the House of Commons to outlaw the slave trade

February 21, 2024

February 23, 1807.   On this day Charles Grey, then Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (and a future Prime Minister), rose to move the Second Reading of the Bill to prohibit British ships and His Majesty’s subjects from engaging in the slave trade.  The Bill was passed by 283 votes to 16 after a debate of 10 hours.   On 1 March 1807 it received the Royal Assent.  It came into force on 1 May 1807.