William Harper

???? - 1815


William Harper (1749-1815) was a major slave-trader in Liverpool with 52 voyages between 1784 and 1799 (many with Robert Brade) and left £7000 at his death. He bought an estate at Davenham in Cheshire which his son-in-law John Hosken Harper (q.v.) inherited and on which John Hosken Harper rebuilt or significantly extended Davenham Hall in its present form.

Harper had three daughters: Ann (who married John Hosken Harper), Helen and Alice (who married Joseph Pilkington Brandreth of Liverpool).


David Pope, 'The wealth and social aspirations of Liverpool's slave merchants of the second half of the Eighteenth century', in Liverpool and Transatlantic Slavery, ed. David Richardson, Suzanne Schwarz and Anthony Tibbles (Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2007), ch. 7 pp. 199, 211.

Lancashire Archives, DDFO 22/41: Settlement by Lease and Release : (i) William Harper of Everton, esq. (ii) Helen his 2nd daughter, and (iii) Thomas France of Bostock Hall, co. Chester, esq., William Molyneux merchant, and George Rowe, gent., both of Liverpool -- Maghull Hall and Peel Estate, with named fields -- to use of H.H. after death of W.H. (Copy). Marriage of Alice, Lancaster Gazette 30/06/1810.

We are grateful to Margaret Davison for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Married but no further details
Ann, Helen, Alice

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
1817 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Mortgagee-in-Possession

Between 1817 and 1831 the Slave Registers show him variously as deceased owner or mortgagee-in-possession as surviving partner of Harper & Brade.

Relationships (2)

Business partners
Father-in-law → Son-in-law

Addresses (1)

Davenham Hall, Davenham, Northwich, Cheshire, North-west England, England
Notes →

William Harper had purchased the house and estate subject to the life tenancy of the widow of the previous owner, which he bought out c. 1809.