Clarkson Teaching Resources

Thomas Clarkson Resource Pack

In 2007 as an aid to students of the Abolition of Slavery and because it was 200 years since Britain abolished the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it was decided to make the first section of the Thomas Clarkson & The Abolition of Slavery Teachers Pack (the background information) by Maureen James B.Ed MA, freely available as a PDF on this website (download it here)

In 1997 Maureen James was asked to write a teachers pack for the Wisbech & Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs on the subject of Thomas Clarkson and the Abolition of Slavery. The reasons for producing the pack included:

  • To celebrate the life and work of Thomas Clarkson, one of the founding fathers of the Anti-slavery movement and one of Wisbech's most important historical characters.

  • To promote awareness of, and access to, Wisbech & Fenland Museum and its collection of original Clarkson material.

  • To compliment the recent educational video and pack by Anti-slavery International which will raise awareness of the history of slavery and Thomas Clarkson at a national level.

  • To meet the increased demand for information on Thomas Clarkson due to the general historical re-assessment of his importance and the work of Anti-Slavery International.

  • To support the study of black history, multicultural issues and citizenship in schools.

Her task was to build the pack around a selection of objects and documents in the Clarkson collection at Wisbech & Fenland Museum and enhance knowledge and understanding of these resources through the provision of background information and ideas for teaching.

The task was completed in 1999/2000 and the finished pack comprised 3 sections

  • Section 1 is addressed to all teachers giving background information with references to the relevant reproductions. It is organised under Key Questions, which are also referred to in the KS3 part of Section 2 (see below)

  • Section 2 contains teaching ideas for use at Key Stage 1-3, specific inform-action on some of the reproductions, transcripts of letters, timelines, bibliography etc.

  • Section 3 contains the primary source material - photographs and facsimile documents for use with pupils.

For more details on the contents of the pack and their use download the FREE teachers notes document here:

Thomas Clarkson Introduction (clarksonintro.pdf )112KB

Thomas Clarkson Section 1 (clarkson1.pdf) 712KB

Positive feedback on the Thomas Clarkson Pack

'I found it to be comprehensive, informative, and extremely detailed and I am sure it will be a welcome resource for Primary and Secondary Schools as well as the LEA Services such as ourselves, the Schools Library Service and other outside agencies' Bethan Rees, Primary Support Service Cambridgeshire County Council

'(You) have produced a very good product which I hope will sell well'
Paul Goalen, Homerton College Cambridge

'a wealth of useful information, which is also accessible through being well laid out…I look forward to seeing it in print and will certainly buy one for the library and one for the department. Perhaps you'd like to come along sometime and talk to some students about it?'
Peter Cunningham, Cambridge University Primary History Specialist

'Julia Lumley has asked me to write on behalf of the (Harambee)Centre to congratulate you on the Clarkson Pack. She has shown the pack to teachers and student teachers and they have expressed an interest in purchasing the pack in the future. The ..Centre would also be happy to sell copies.
Harambee Development Education Centre, Cambridge

May I congratulate you on your extensive research. I found the whole pack fascinating and stimulating as I am sure the children will. It is an area that needs to be covered in all schools and your pack addresses all the issues…with clarity and excellent evidence.
Rachel Williams St Luke's School Cambridge

'I enjoyed reading it. I'm very impressed by the scope and quality of the information in Section One, as well as the resources. I'm sure teachers will make good use of the pack.. I certainly think it's an excelllent resource and deserves to do well.
Rose McCausland Anti-Slavery International

'absolutely fascinating to read'
Vicki Connolly, The Clarkson Infants' School, Wisbech

How can I get a copy of the pack?

Section 1 of the pack is available to download free as a PDF on this site. For the complete pack in printed form, contact
Wisbech & Fenland Museum, Museum Square, Wisbech, Cambs PE13 1ES
Telephone: 01945 583817 or email

The pack includes:-

  • 46 page booklet of indexed background information

  • 47 page booklet of teaching ideas and resources

  • 38 primary source images and documents - some in colour