Who resisted and campaigned for abolition?

Tewkesbury medal

Made by Davis of Birmingham, 1834

Object number 1901.19.35
Given by Alderman James Finney, 1901

See this object at Bolton Museum and Archive Service This object may not always be on display. Please check with the venue before visiting.

Tewkesbury medal

This medal was given to school children in Tewkesbury in 1834 to celebrate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

One side depicts a freed slave standing beneath radiant beams of light. His arms are raised to heaven and he holds broken manacles in his hands. Under his feet lies a broken whip and broken manacles are strewn around him. The broad-leaved plant next to him is either tobacco or sugar cane. The inscription around the edge of the medal is taken from Psalm 118, verse 23: ‘This is the Lord's doing; It is marvellous in our eyes’.

On the reverse, the medal has the following text: 'In commemoration of the extinction of colonial slavery throughout the British Dominions in the reign of William the IV Augt 1 1834'. There is a small hole in top of the medal so it can be worn.

The Slavery Abolition Act that outlawed slavery in British colonies was passed on 23 August 1833. On 1 August 1834, all enslaved people in the British Empire were set free, but an 'apprenticeship' system kept many working in the same conditions until 1838. Slave owners received massive amounts of compensation, whilst those set free received nothing.

This information was provided by curators at Bolton Museums and Archive Service.