Samuel Wilberforce, British bishop

Samuel Wilberforce, British bishop


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Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873), Bishop of Oxford and one of the British opponents of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Wilberforce was renowned as an eloquent orator, hence his name of 'Soapy' Sam. He argued against T. H. Huxley in a debate about evolution at a meeting of the British Association in 1860. Wilberforce asked Huxley if he traced his descent from the apes through his father or mother. Huxley replied that he would rather be descended from an ape than from an educated man who would introduce such a remark to a serious scientific discussion (meaning Wilberforce) and so won the debate. This albumen silver print is from a photograph taken by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) in October 1872, at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.

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