Samuel Romilly

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How much more enviable his lot, in the consciousness of having preserved so many millions of his fellow creatures.

Sir Samuel Romilly (1 March 1757 – 2 November 1818), was a British legal reformer.


Slave Trade Bill speech (1807)[edit]

  • When I look at the man at the head of the French monarchy, surrounded as he is with all the pomp of power, and all the pride of victory, distributing kingdoms to his family, and principalities to his followers; seeming, as he sits upon his throne, to have reached the summit of human ambition, the pinnacle of earthly happiness; and when I follow him into his closet, or to his bed, and contemplate the anguish with which his solitude must be tortured, by recollections of the blood he has spilt, and the oppressions he has committed.
  • And when I compare with these pangs of remorse the feelings which must accompany my honorable friend from this house to his home, after the vote of this night shall have accomplished the object of his humane and unceasing labours, when he shall retire into the bosom of his delighted and happy family, and when he shall lay himself down on his bed, reflecting on the innumerable voices that will be raised in every quarter of the world to bless his name, how much more enviable his lot, in the consciousness of having preserved so many millions of his fellow creatures, than that of the man with whom I have compared him, on a throne to which he has waded through slaughter and oppression!
  • Who will not be proud to concur with my honored friend in promoting the greatest act of national benefit, and securing to the Africans the greatest blessing which God has ever put in the power of man to confer on his fellow creatures?


  • Some women use their tongues—she look’d a lecture,
      Each eye a sermon, and her brow a homily,
    An all-in-all sufficient self-director,
      Like the lamented late Sir Samuel Romilly,
    The Law’s expounder, and the State’s corrector,
      Whose suicide was almost an anomaly—
    One sad example more, that “All is vanity”
    (The jury brought their verdict in “Insanity”).

External links[edit]

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