Wilberforce, Robert (1802–1857)

The second son of William Wilberforce and his wife Barbara. He was educated privately and then at Oriel College, Oxford, becoming a Fellow of the latter in 1826. However, he resigned his Fellowship in 1831 and took up a career in the Church of England, becoming Archdeacon of the East Riding in 1841. He was close to many of the leading figures in the Oxford Movement and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1854. Wilberforce met Southey as a young man during family visits to the Lake District. He later corresponded occasionally with him, particularly over the edition of his father’s letters produced by Wilberforce and his brother Samuel (1805–1873; DNB)

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