William Webber

???? - 30th Nov 1796


Creditor of William Blake on Dean's Valley Waterworks, lending him £6750 in 1775 in exchange for an annuity of £570 p.a. guaranteed by Blake's merchants Holme and Boyer. William Webber is given as of London and of Bloomsbury in various sources, and was reportedly bought out by John Tharp in 1793 for £11,000. The references in his will to shipping and to bringing 'two Indian girls' into England indicate that he was an East India Co. captain or merchant, ostensibly confirmed in Burke's Family Records which show him of the E.I.C.'s navy and as having 'greatly distinguished himself while in command of the 'Oxford' in 1759.'

  1. William Webber of Bloomsbury appears in the assignment of a lease in Exeter in 1775 alongside Francis Webber of Exeter.

  2. 'Roll of the Fellows of The Royal Society, Folio 1872, s.v. "William Webber" (d. 1796), was living in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, at the date of his election as a fellow of the Royal Society. This occurred 5 June 1766; at the time of his death on 30 November 1796 he lived at Vanburgh House Blackheath, Kent.

  3. In the will of William Webber of [Duke Street] St Margarets Westminster proved 20/11/1796 he identified his brother as Francis, and one of his houses as being at Vanburgh Fields. He left an annuity of £1300 p.a. to his wife and £10,000 to each of his daughters Mary and Sarah, and £1200 p.a. to his son William until 21. He said he had 'introduced into this country' two Indian girls named Sappho (married to his former gardener) and Devon, then a servant to his sister 'Hamilton.'

  4. William Webber of Vanburgh House Kent was identified as the father of William Webber [formerly of Binfield Lodge] of Bruxells [sic] in the will of the latter proved 24/11/1818.


A.E. Furness, The Tharp estates in Jamaica' https://fgsj.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Tharp-Estates-in-Jamaica-by-A-E-Furness.pdf [accessed 08/04/2020]; the buy-out of the annuity if accurately reported would exclude the East India Co. director William Webber of Highland House, Essex, whose will was proved in 1779, PROB 11/1053/45; Ancestry.com William Webber in the Burke’s Family Records (Indexed) [database online], although there is possibly confusion in Burkes' with William Webber of Highland House.

  1. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/8107d230-868f-4288-a0a4-c04f9eeb7ab5 [accessed 09/04/2020].

  2. Groner, Julius, "Some Aspects of the Life and Work of John Ellis, King's Agent for West Florida 1763 to 1776" (1987). [Loyola University] Dissertations. 2508 p. 104 https://ecommons.luc.edu/luc_diss/2508 [accessed 08/04/2020].

  3. PROB11/1283/172.

  4. PROB 11/1610/381.

Further Information

Sarah Smith

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
1775 [EA] - 1793 [LA] → Annuitant

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Captain in E.I.C. Navy
East India Co.
East India merchant  

Cultural (1)

Royal Society...... 
notes →
For the full record of Webber's membership of the Royal Society see Royal...

Imperial (1)

East India Company
notes →
"Honorable East Indian Company Navy captain and likely merchant; commanded the EIC ship 'Oxford' (1759); possibly Senior Merchant, East India Company (1782); possibly Secretary to the Revenue...
sources →
See the notes in the Royal Society's catalogue of Fellows: Royal Society: William...