ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873), English bishop. Wilberforce was born in London, third son of the reformer William Wilberforce. He studied at Oriel College Oxford, making a name or himself in the debating society. His first church appointment was in 1831, thereafter he succeeded to higher positions until becoming Bishop of Oxford in 1845. He is best known for his opposition to Darwinism in a debate with Huxley at the British Association in 1860. His main arguments were on scientific grounds in which he was possibly coached by Robert Owen, although he was apparently educated enough to be a fellow of the Royal Society. He was known as 'Soapy Sam', possibly because of his habit of wringing his hands during debate.
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