1869 "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce Vanity Fair

1869 "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce Vanity Fair

C011/0996

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Vanity Fair "Men of the Day" No. July 24th 1869. Samuel Wilberforce, son of slave abolitionist William Wilberforce. He was later called 'Soapy Sam' for his habit of wringing his hands while debating. He was an eloquent church member with an interest in science. He was a confident of Sir Richard Owen, and in this capacity he stood against T.H. Huxley in the famous 'Oxford Debate' of 1860. Wilberforce died in a fall from his horse in 1873. T.H. Huxley is said to have quipped cruelly in a letter to John Tyndall at the time, "For once, reality and his brain came into contact, and the result was fatal".

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