Friends' burying-ground at Liverpool. He married on 17 Aug. 1786, Hannah Mary (d. June 1839), only daughter of Richard Reynolds (1735–1816) [q. v.], and left four sons and a daughter. His son William is noticed below; another, Richard, married Hannah Mary Reynolds [see Rathbone, Hannah Mary].
- ‘A Narrative of Events … in Ireland among the … Quakers,’ &c., 1804, 8vo (anon.).
- ‘A Memoir of the proceedings of … the Monthly Meeting of Hardshaw … in the case of … a publication entitled A Narrative,’ &c., 1805, 8vo.
William Rathbone (1787–1868), eldest son of the above, was born at Liverpool on 17 June 1787. He was at school at Hackney under Thomas Belsham [q. v.] till 1803, and afterwards at Oxford under a private tutor, Theophilus Houlbroke. He inherited his father's public spirit, and became eminent in Liverpool as an educationist and philanthropist. He was an early advocate for Roman catholic emancipation. On 13 Jan. 1836 a public presentation was made to him in recognition of his services in the cause of parliamentary and municipal reform. He was mayor of Liverpool in 1837. His interest in education was free from party bias; he secured the advantages of the corporation schools on terms satisfactory to all denominations, including the Roman catholics. In 1844 he presided at a meeting held in Liverpool to vindicate the action of Daniel O'Connell. During the Irish famine of 1846–7 he was placed in sole charge of the distribution of the fund for relief (between 70,000l. and 80,000l.) contributed by the New England states. This brought about his close intimacy with Theobald Mathew [q. v.] He was a correspondent of Channing. Joseph Blanco White [q. v.] was his guest in his last days, and died under his roof. Few men have exercised a more extensive or a wiser benevolence, and ‘his munificence was as delicate as it was widely spread.’ A unitarian by conviction, he remained in connection with Friends till his marriage, when he was disowned, but reinstated, and did not finally withdraw till 1829. He retained through life many of the characteristics of the society. Unlike his father, he had a taste for art. He had considerable power of speech, and a quaint humour. He died at Greenbank on 1 Feb. 1868, after an operation for calculus, and was buried in the borough cemetery, Liverpool. A mural monument to his memory was placed in Renshaw Street Chapel, and a public statue erected in Sefton Park, Liverpool. He married, in 1812, Elizabeth (d. 24 Oct. 1882, aged 92), eldest child of Samuel Greg, and sister of Robert Hyde Greg [q. v.], Samuel Greg [q. v.], and William Rathbone Greg [q. v.] His eldest child, Elizabeth, married, in 1839, John Paget, the London magistrate, author of ‘Paradoxes and Puzzles,’ 1874. His second daughter, Hannah Mary (1816–1872), married, 2 Jan. 1838, John Hamilton Thom [q. v.] His eldest son is William Rathbone, at one time M.P. for North Carnarvonshire.
[Memoir (by William Roscoe) in Athenæum, March 1809, pp. 260 sq. (reprinted, with notes, in the Monthly Repository, 1809, pp. 232 sq.); Tribute to the Memory of Mr. William Rathbone, 1809; Brooke's Liverpool 1775–1800, 1853, p. 243; Hodgson's Society of Friends in the Nineteenth Century, 1875, i. 29 sq.; Unitarian Herald, 7 Feb. 1868 pp. 45 sq., 14 Feb. 1868 p. 54; Inquirer, 15 Feb. 1868 pp. 108 sq., 22 Feb. 1868 pp. 123 sq.; Athenæum, 15 Feb. 1868, p. 255; Lawrence's Descendants of Philip Henry, 1844, p. 45; Jones's Heroes of Industry, 1886, p. 37; Evans's Hist. of Renshaw Street Chapel, 1887, pp. 35, 165; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1894, ii. 1686; private information.]
RATHBORNE, WILSON (1748–1831), captain in the navy, son of Richard Rathborne, a clergyman, was born near Loughrea, co. Galway, on 16 July 1748. In September 1763 he was entered as an ‘able seaman’ on board the Niger, with Sir Thomas Adams, on the Newfoundland station. As able seaman and midshipman he served for six years in the Niger. He then followed Adams to the Boston, and ten months later to the Romney, in which he returned to England in 1770. In 1773 he joined the Hunter sloop as able seaman, in which rating he continued for a year. He was then a midshipman for some months, and, seeing no prospect of promotion, accepted a warrant as master of the Hunter. It was not till 1780 that he was allowed to return to England, and, having obtained an introduction to the Earl of Sandwich, passed his examination on 16 March; two days later he was promoted to be lieutenant of the Bedford, with Commodore (afterwards Sir Edmund) Affleck [q. v.] In the Bedford he was present in the actions off the Chesapeake on 16 March and 5 Sept. 1781, at St. Kitts in January, and in the actions under the lee of Dominica on 9 and 12 April 1782. In the summer of 1783 the Bedford returned to England and was paid off. In the armament of 1787 Rathborne was in the Atlas, carrying Affleck's flag, and was afterwards appointed to the Colossus, one of the Channel fleet, in which he remained till 1791. In December 1792 he was appointed to the Captain, in