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.

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

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution...... 

Addresses (1)

Douglas, Isle of Man, England