Sunday, February 25, 2007


My Topic of Discussion at the website for Amazing Grace


William Wilberforce played by Ioan Gruffudd


"I wish I could remember their names. . . their beautiful African names.
We call them with just a grunt, noises.
We were apes,
they were heroes."

John Newton to William Wilberforce

Cast of “Amazing Grace”

William Wilberforce
played by Ioan Gruffudd

Barbara Spooner
played by Romola Garai

Olaudah Equiano
played by Youssou N'Dour

John Newton
played by Albert Finney

Pitt the Younger
played by Benedict Cumberbatch

Lord Fox
played by Michael Gambon

Thomas Clarkson
played by Rufus Sewell

Lord Tarleton
played by Ciaran Hinds

Duke of Clarence
played by Toby Jones


John Newton died in 1807.

Three days before William Wilberforce died he saw slavery abolished in England.


For Still Pictures from the film go to


Meet William Wilberforce

Harriet Beecher Stowe praised him in the pages of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Novelist E. M. Forester compared him to Gandhi. Abraham Lincoln invoked his memory in a celebrated speech. In the houses of Parliament, Nelson Mandela recalled his tireless labors on behalf of the sons and daughters of Africa, calling Britain "the land of William Wilberforce—who dared to stand up to demand that the slaves in our country should be freed." The cat in residence at 10 Downing Street between 1973 and 1987 quickly earned a "Wilberforce-ian" reputation for catching mice, and as such was given the name Wilberforce and served under four prime ministers.

William Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the twenty-year fight to end the British slave trade, a victory now regarded as He finally succeeded in March 1807 and continued to fight for abolition until, days before his death in 1833, he saw the institution of slavery abolished throughout the British colonies. Not limiting himself to just abolitionist work, he dedicated his life to what he called his "two great objects:" abolishing slavery in the British Empire and what he called "the reformation of manners [society]." To this end, he advocated for child labor laws, campaigned for education of the blind and deaf, and founded organizations as diverse as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the National Gallery (of Art). "Good causes," it has been said, "stuck to him like pins to a magnet."

- Wilberforce biographer and Amazing Grace lead historical consultant, Kevin Belmonte


About Ioan Gruffudd

Ioan Gruffudd will reprise his role as Mr Fantastic in The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, based on the Marvel Comic Superheroes, starring alongside Julian McMahon, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chilkis, following the success of the last year's blockbuster The Fantastic Four.

Ioan began acting in his teens in his home town of Cardiff. He enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and immediately began work upon graduation. He starred in the Welsh language Academy® nominated romantic drama Soloman and Gaenor.

He first found fame in the title role of the award-winning television series Hornblower. Other recent television successes include the popular miniseries The Forsyte Saga, with Damian Lewis and Gina McKee; the lead role in the adaptation of Tony Parson's bestselling novel Man and Boy, and the role of Pip in Tony Marchant's Great Expectations, starring alongside Charlotte Rampling and Justine Waddell.

His film profile continued to rise with recent leading roles in 102 Dalmations, co-starring with Glenn Close and Alice Evans and TV Set, starring with David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver.

Above from:

Some thoughts of my own:

The wonderful actor who portrays William Pitt and such a dear, precious friend of William Wilberforce is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He is simply marvel - ous in this role.

ALL of the relationships with William Wilberforce were engaging all by themselves. They include Barbara Spooner, Richard, William's butler, Thomas Clark, Lord Charles Fox, James Stevens, Olaudah Equiano, even the little twerp, Duke of Clarence who in the end had a line something akin to

"Even a Noble man must recognize the virtue of an exceptional commoner," once the bill had finally passed. WHAT a scene! What a sorry thing that such a triumphant act took so much persuasive energy and articulation. And time. While human beings were being treated worse than plants and animals.

I went back and combed through my scratchings of notes that I wrote down during the second viewing of the movie - on paper that already had writing on it - so these notes are difficult to decipher and found the following of Francis Bacon's quotes via Richard, William Wilberforce's butler:
From the scene of William and Richard sitting on the wet grass at William’s house:
“It is a sad fate when a man is known to everyone else but he is unknown to himself.”

Said at the feeding/reception of many people, I think immediately following Barbara and William’s “both impatient and prone to rash decisions" marriage
“Great changes are easier than small ones.”

I simply and deeply loved the scene where William falls to the floor in the arms of his beloved and pregnant wife. What beautiful acting, indeed! William’s line just before he falls to the floor: “I can’t even enjoy the moment of this victory…” Oh to live such passion and to have the convictions to grant you such passion and to have the relationship with your partner that we were witness to in this WONderful film.

OH, and that speech which I don’t have down perfectly in my chicken scratches, “Great men are spoken about when it’s to do with violence, such as Napoleon and return to pomp. Rarely do they speak of men of peace. William Wilberforce, however, will return to his family with head on pillow, knowing the slave trade is no more – making a better world.….” Thomas Clarkson, I believe delivers this speech. Please correct me, if I have that wrong. This isn’t the exact wording and it isn’t complete, but those of you who saw the movie KNOW what I am referring to. Wasn’t that speech just delectable and so true!!!

I loved the scene where we see William Pitt and William Wilberforce running barefoot in the fields of Wilberforce’s house.
William Pitt:
“…….at least they would know we mean business.
......Why is it that you only feel the thorns on your feet when you walk on them slowly?"

William Wilberforce: "Is that a metaphor for …? "

William Pitt: "Yes, it means you should move fast."


Miscellaneous lines I love:

“First step, we are talking about the truth…”

Lord Charles Fox arrives
Wilberforce: "Oh, God, dear God."
Fox: "Well, almost."

Barbara to William Wilberforce: “……and you still have passion. That matters more.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Lovingly submitted,


, sign the petition of Amazing Changes Campaign

Let's do more than love this movie. Let us be inspired to act. To act with our own "will" and "force" of passion, conviction and knowing the truth.

“Loose Change to Loosen Chains”
Use your loose change to free slaves around the world.

Email to let Zach Hunter, a fifteen year old who was a slave, know what you are doing in your community to end slavery:

His website:


My trailer:

“…unless we all have plenty
one of us will become a thief and the thief will make you angry
you will hurt him

this will hurt his children
they will punish you
this will hurt your children
they will punish his children
and that’s how it begins

to believe in man is to know
peace will not work if just one man alive
is unjust
if one man alive
is ignorant
or hungry
or crazy
or ashamed
FOR we have seen if only one of us
decides to pull the plug, the millions of us can kiss
the world good-bye
whether we like it or not.”

........From Joseph Pintauro’s little book “to believe in man”
........Illustrated by Sister Corita Kent

"The strong can not expect the weak to placate
them and call it healing."

........Sandra Hammel, aka ilovemylife

Don’t let weeds grow around your dreams.

.......From H. Jackson Brown, Jr.’s
........Life’s Little Instructon Book. Volume 2

“We are All the Keepers of Justice. OR not.”

........Sandra Hammel, aka ilovemylife


This John Newton documentary video is wonderfully done. I love this one.


William Wilberforce

Ioan Gruffudd

Barbara Spooner

Romola Garai

William Pitt

Benedict Cumberbatch

John Newton

Albert Finney

Lord Charles Fox

Michael Gambon

Thomas Clarkson

Rufus Sewell

Olaudah Equiano

Youssou N’Dour

Lord Tarleton

Ciaran Hinds

Duke of Clarence

Toby Jones

Henry Thornton

Nicholas Farrell

Marianne Thornton

Sylvestra Le Touzel

Richard the Butler

Jeremy Swift

James Stephen

Stephen Campbell Moore

Lord Dundas

Bill Paterson

Sir William Dolben

Nicholas Day

Hannah Moore

Georgie Glen


Nicholas Woodeson

John Ramsay

Tom Fisher

Speaker of the House

Richard Ridings

Lord Camden

David Hunt


David Toole


Alex Blake


Angie Wallis

Edward Hope (Quaker)

Harry Audley

Michael Shaw (Quaker)

Chris Barnes


Tom Knight

MP 1

Andrew Whipp

MP 2

Andrew Neil


Estelle Morgan


Philip Dunbar

Parliamentary Clerk

Adam Woodroffe

Newton’s Secretary

Joseph Traynor

Young Parliamentary Officer

Simon Delaney

Old Parliamentary Official

Neville Phillips

Young African Woman

Eki Maria

Delivery Coach Driver

Daniel Naprous

Delivery Assistant

Peter White

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At February 25, 2007 at 7:53:00 AM EST , Blogger Penny said...

such a terrific blog ... thanks for sharing all of your insights ... just wanted to offer one correction, Zach didn't use to be a slave. He's just an average, American teenager who wants to use his freedom to bring freedom to others.

Thanks for all you're doing.

At February 25, 2007 at 2:04:00 PM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...

Thank you, Penny. I don't remember where I read that Zach had been a slave. I am grateful to you for correcting me on that fact. And I didn't know Zach was from America.

I would love to meet him - the young people are doing such important work.


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