There are few outward cues to mark young William Wilberforce from the rest of the Members of Parliament, at least to a casual observer. He dresses well, but not garishly, attends public events and can be counted upon for a good hand of cards at the proper gentlemen’s clubs. He possesses a gentleman’s share of oddities in manner, but as one of them is reported to be an overdose of generosity, people are disposed to like him all the better for them.
But among those who pay even the slightest bit of attention, they know the learned gentleman opposite is formidable opposition indeed. Even dismissing his fondness for stray animals and lost causes, there is one obvious clue which marks Wilberforce as a radical element, not to be ignored.
Though it sounds superficial, the clue is the man’s hair. At the end of the day all the established members of Parliament bear white rings around their faces from their freshly powdered wigs like a badge of office. Of the entire political gaggle, there are only a handful who do not, and of those but two are of note: young William Pitt and his friend Wilberforce.