Pilkington, William (DNB00)

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PILKINGTON, WILLIAM (1758–1848), architect, born at Hatfield, near Doncaster, Yorkshire, on 7 Sept. 1758, was elder son of William Pilkington of Hatfield, by his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of William Barker of Tadcaster. He adopted architecture as a profession, and was entered as a pupil with Sir Robert Taylor [q. v.], whose assistant he remained until Taylor's death. Pilkington had a large practice as surveyor and architect in London, being employed in that capacity by the board of customs (1782–1810), the parishes of St. Margaret and St. John in Westminster (1784), the Sun Fire Assurance office (1792), and the Charterhouse (1792). He was employed as surveyor and architect by the Earl of Radnor at Salisbury, where he built the town-hall (1788–97) from Taylor's designs, and at Folkestone, where he built the gaol. He was also employed by the Duke of Grafton, for whom he built a house in Half Moon Street, Piccadilly. Among his public works were the custom-house at Portsmouth (1785), the transport office in Cannon Row, Westminster (1816), and the Naval Hospital at Great Yarmouth (1809–11). He occasionally exhibited designs at the Royal Academy. Pilkington retired about 1842 to his property at Hatfield, where he resided for the remainder of his life and died in 1848. He married, on 16 June 1785, Sarah, daughter and coheiress of John Andrews of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, by whom he left two sons, Henry Pilkington of Park Lane House, near Doncaster, an assistant poor-law and tithe commissioner, and Redmond William.

The second son, Redmond William Pilkington (1789–1844), architect, born in July 1789, followed his father's profession as a surveyor and architect, and succeeded him in some of his posts, such as those connected with the Earl of Radnor, the Sun Fire Assurance office, and the Charterhouse. At the Charterhouse he carried out the additions commenced by his father, and left it in its present form. Pilkington was a magistrate for London, and lived in Hyde Park Gate, Kensington Gore. He purchased an estate near his father's property at Doncaster, called Ash Hill, where he died, after a few days' illness, on 22 May 1844, aged 54. He married, in July 1827, Frances, daughter of Thomas Adams of Belgrave Place, London, by whom he left one son,

Lionel Scott Pilkington, alias Jack Hawley (1828–1875), sportsman and eccentric, born in 1828, and educated for a short time at Rugby. One of his great-grandfathers had been a stud-groom, and Pilkington early in life developed a strong love of stable life. On his father's death he became heir to his property, taking up his residence, when he came of age, at Ash Hill, near Doncaster, and living there all his life. Not wishing to pursue the life of a gentleman, he spent his time in the stables, on the racecourse, on the farm, or in the cattleyard and slaughterhouse. He served Sir Joseph Henry Hawley [q. v.] as groom, and, being known in the stables as ‘Jack,’ he adopted the surname of Hawley on settling at Doncaster, and was known as ‘Jack Hawley’ for the rest of his life. He was a man of education and a Roman catholic, and, in spite of his eccentric habits and appearance, was popular among his friends and neighbours. Hard drinking, however, shortened his days, and he died on Christmas-day 1875. He was buried by his direction in hunting dress, and in a grave made among some of his favourite animals, who had died of the rinderpest and been buried in a paddock near his house. He left his property to his groom.

[Papworth's Dict. of Architecture; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1847; Old Yorkshire, 1882, iii. 126–8; Life and Eccentricities of Lionel Scott Pilkington, alias Jack Hawley.]

L. C.