Sir William Hillary 1st bart.

1770 - 1847


Founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and slave-owner in Jamaica. He was the son of Richard Hillary (a Quaker merchant in Liverpool trading with the West Indies) and Hannah Wynne. He inherited property, including apparently in the West Indies, in 1800, according to the ODNB [although he was the heir of his brother Richard Hillary of Jamaica under the will of the latter made in 1801 and proved in 1804]; in 1808, 'owing to a heavy loss of property in the West Indies, Sir William left his estate in Danbury Place in Essex and settled at Fort Anne, near Douglas, in the Isle of Man, where on 30 August 1813 he married Emma Tobin, his first wife having died.' His estate was bound up in the Chancery suit of Hibbert v Hillary.


Seccombe, Thomas. 2017 "Hillary, Sir William, first baronet (1770–1847), founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 20 Sep. 2018. His uncle, a physician who was active in Barbados between 1747 and 1759, also has an entry in the ODNB, Booth, Christopher C. "Hillary, William (1697–1763), physician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sep. 2004; Accessed 24 Jan. 2020.

Further Information

Married but no further details

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1808 [EA] - 1808 [LA] → Other

Adelphi is shown against the estate of Isaac L. Winn or Wynn in the Slave Registers and Almanacs before and after his death c. 1808. His will refers to a Chancery suit in which the parties were either or both Richard Hillary and his brother Sir William Hillary, who in turn were in a suit brought by the Hibberts concerning an advance of the Adelphi estate of £19,607 15s 8d. Sir William Hillary absconded in 1808 in face of his debts.

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution...... 

Relationships (2)

Notes →
Sir William Hillary inherited his brother's Jamaica property....
Son → Father
Notes →
In 1764, Richard Hillary married Hannah, daughter of George Wynne Esq by Elizabeth Lascelles of Yorkshire, by whom he had Richard, William, late baronet, and...

Addresses (1)

Douglas, Isle of Man, England