Saturday, April 7, 2007


A few weeks ago, Joy and I saw the exceptional film Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace
is a film about the campaign against the slave trade in 18th century Britain, led by famous abolitionist William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace" and the film also recounts John Newton's writing of the hymn. Wilberforce was elected to parliament when he was 21 years old. And for 23 years, he presented legislation attempting to abolish the slave trade. This year is the bicentennial of the passage of that legislation. John Newton, author of the hymn Amazing Grace, was the pastor of the church that William Wilberforce grew up in. He had a great influence on Wilberforce.

At the end of the movie, Joy and I saw some of the credits and were surprised to see some Thorntons mentioned.

I have been in communication with Thomas N. Thornton from England. He has authored a book titled The Thornton Families of England. I sent him an email and asked if he had any copies still available. He replied the next day…

The book is particularly relevant at the moment of the bicentennial of Wilberforce, who was a Thornton cousin and essentially joined their cause. The film Amazing Grace does not make it plain enough at the start that it is Henry Thornton who welcomes William to his house, where much of the action is shown. Thomas N. Thornton

One quote in the movie that I just loved was when John Newton was encouraging Wilberforce. Wilberforce was discouraged that the battle against the slave trade was going so slow. Newton stated, “God sometimes does his work with gentle drizzle.”

Get the movie when it comes out in DVD and I’m getting the book!


Erik said...

that is awesome... it explains a lot. i want to see that book.

Earl Thornton said...

You'll be one of the first, Mr. "T"

Jill said...

i wanna go see the movie!