William Hills, Lieutenant R.N. (1739 - 1777)

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Birthplace: Meopham, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Guernsey Islands
Cause of death: Drowned after shipwreck
Managed by: Angela Tugwell
Last Updated:

About William Hills, Lieutenant R.N.

Birth April 1739, Baptism Nov 1740 in Meopham, Kent, England. [source: familysearch.org - Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C13500-4, System Origin: England-ODM, GS Film number: 992509]

3d. of January 1772 aged 69. 1772 – Sir John Bentley left his personal Estate to William and his brother John Hills, also of the Royal Navy – as two legatees (as per Sir John's Last Will and Testament 21 September 1771). William and his wife Lydia therefore lived in Buckland, near Dover, Kent - one of the Royal Navy's Cinque Ports (see Wikipedia - "The Confederation of Cinque Ports was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. It lies at the eastern end of the English Channel, where the crossing to the continent is narrowest. The five ports are Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich)

Sealed, signed and dated 13 April 1773, "Release from brother Lieutenant John Hills to Lieutenant William Hills of his part of the Residue of the personal Estate of Sir John Bentley, dec'd, late of Parish of Buckland, Dover."

1777 "Lieutenant William Hills, R.N. of Buckland, Kent" perished the same year as his (10th child) son (George) was born. He was in command of H.M.S. Sprightly. The cutter was bringing home valuable prizes after returning from engagements in the "American Revolution arena". In a manuscript copy dated 1845, his son Admiral George Hills, says the ship was "driven off course in a heavy gale on(to) the "Carland" (?), a dangerous shoal off Guernsey Island". The Hanois Lighthouse marks the western end of the Channel Islands indicating the shoals and reefs to the west of Guernsey

(N.B Locally known as 'The Cup and Saucer' the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum is situated in a beautiful part of the island at Rocquaine in the parish of St. Peter's, Guernsey. The museum holds a collection relating to the many shipwrecks which have taken place around the island's treacherous coastline, including information and displays on the HMS Sprightly. In 1862 a lighthouse was built to warn ships about the dangerous reefs at Hanois.)

His widow, Lydia, with ten children, continued to live at Buckland Manor and received a widow's pension of 25 pounds, as per the following:

Barker, Lydia - Widow of William Hills

MarriageNote: 1810: Widow's pension of 25 pounds ordered 8 February 1779 (two years after his drowning!)

[Source: Accounts and Estimates, Army Returns &c. Session 23 January-June 21 1810, Volume XIII. The Ordinary Estimate of His Majesty's Navy, for the Year 1810. No.3 Pensions and Allowances to Sea and Marine Officers, Commissions of His Majesty's Navy, their Widow, and the Relations of Sea Officers. p.14.]

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William Hills, Lieutenant R.N.'s Timeline

1739
April, 1739
Meopham, Kent, England, United Kingdom
1740
November 2, 1740
Age 1
Meopham, Kent, England, United Kingdom
1767
February 12, 1767
Age 27
Gosport, Hants., UK

1767 Vicar was Michael Philipps. (acc to the Church history)

This is a beautiful C of E church was built in 1696 and is situated on the waterfront at Gosport. Handel's original organ is in the Church.

1768
July 26, 1768
Age 29
Buckland, Dover, Kent, England
1769
September 4, 1769
Age 30
1770
December 6, 1770
Age 31
Dover, UK
1771
October 18, 1771
Age 32
Dover, Kent, UK
1772
June 9, 1772
Age 33
Dover, UK
1773
July 12, 1773
Age 34
1774
March 22, 1774
Age 34