Robert Hichens

1782 - 20th Mar 1865

Claimant or beneficiary


Awarded with others (including William Hichens, q.v.) part of the compensation for the enslaved people on Stephen Blizard's in Antigua, apparently as trustees of the Stapleton family.

  1. Almost certainly the London stockbroker Robert Hichens of Threadneedle Street. Originally from St Ives, Cornwall, where the family had long been present. He was the son of William Hichens and Margaret Jope of Callington, born 1782. A cousin, John Knill, had been Inspector of Customs in Jamaica. After the family fishing business declined during the wars against France Robert Hichens travelled to London aged 17 and joined a shipping broker, establishing his own firm in 1806. His brother William joined him as partner and in 1817 they joined with Frederic Harrison to form the firm Hichens and Harrison. Robert Hichens built a strong reputation in the City. In 1841 Hichens uncovered a fraud surrounding the production of exchequer bills, which resulted in the perpetrator J. Beaumont Smith being transported for life. The firm was heavily involved in railway investment, with Robert sitting on the committee of the St Ives Junction Railway, whilst Robert, William and Frederic Harrison were shareholders in both the London to Brighton Railway, and the London and Blackwall Railway and Steam Navigation Depot Company. He was joined in the firm by his nephews, Jack and Andrew Hichens, who went onto to become Chairman and trustee of the stock exchange respectively. By the early 21st century Hichens and Harrison was the oldest stockbroker in the City and had remained in family hands for 200 years. In 2008 it was sold to the Indian firm Religare

  2. Robert Hichens married Jane Snaith of St John Hackney (7/8/1823), with whom he had 8 children (at least 5 sons, 3 of whom studied at Oxford and were ordained). The family lived at The Grove, Camberwell, East Dulwich. Towards the end of his life Robert Hichens endowed a new church in Halsetown, Cornwall. Will of Robert Hichens, who died 20/03/1865 at East Dulwich, proved 07/04/1865, effects £140,000.


T71/877 Antigua no. 363.

  1. David Gore, A Cornish Inheritance: The Harveys of Chacewater (Basildon, 1997), pp. 53-54 & 57; Accounts and Papers; Railway Subscription Contracts Vol. XLVIII (London, 1837), 48:i, p. 327; The Cornwall Royal Gazette, Falmouth Packet and Plymouth Journal, 13/12/1844, p. 1; Catherine Hall, Keith McClelland, Nick Draper, Kate Donington, Rachel Lang, Legacies of British Slave-Ownership: Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain (Cambridge, 2014), p. 111.

  2. London England Marriages and Banns 1754-1921; National Probate Calendar 1865; William Heyward, Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886, pp. 654-55.

Further Information

Jane Snaith
William, Thomas Sikes, Robert Snaith, Frederick Harrison Hichens
Wealth at death

Associated Claims (1)

£2,919 14s 8d
Awardee (Trustee)

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)


Relationships (1)


Addresses (2)

Sackville Street, London, Middlesex, London, England
The Grove, East Dulwich, Surrey, London, England