John Newton – Early Life & the Slave Trade

Charting John Newton’s childhood, experiences at sea, participation in the slave trade & courtship of Polly. Explore how a storm at sea affected his life & his journey from slave ship captain to abolitionist.

This room documents the slave trade of the 18th century, John’s own involvement as a slave ship captain; and how in his final years he sought to support the Anti-slavery campaign and became a mentor to William Wilberforce, the voice of the abolition movement in Parliament.

‘I hope it will always be a subject of humiliating

reflection to me, that I was, once, an

active instrument, in a business at which my heart now shudders.’


Artefacts to find in this room

Book Museum Tickets

Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

(Follow our social media accounts or check back here for further opening days & times as they become available)