Clapham Sect, group of English social reformers, active c.1790–1830, so named because their activities centered on the home in Clapham, London, of Henry Thornton and William Wilberforce. Most of the members were evangelical Anglicans and members of Parliament. They included Zachary Macaulay, Thomas Babington, John Venn, James Stephen, and Hannah More. Known as the "Saints," they worked for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery, improvement of prison conditions, and other humane legislation. They published a journal, the Christian Observer, and helped to found several missionary and tract societies, including the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Church Missionary Society.
See E. M. Howse, Saints in Politics (1952, repr. 1971).
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