The Hibbert family

Portrait painting of William Hibbert wearing a grey suit and seated in a red chair

William Hibbert purchased land from the Leicester family in 1797 and used it to build himself a country estate which he named Hare Hill.

William Hibbert

William Hibbert was born in Manchester in 1759, the sixth son of Robert Hibbert, a West India merchant and Manchester cotton manufacturer.

In the early 1780s William went to Jamaica, joining his brothers who were partners in their uncle’s slave factorage business in Kingston. Slave factors purchased enslaved Africans from the ships an an arranged price and resold them on to the planters. The Hibberts also held commercial partnerships and had their own plantations in Jamaica which were worked by enslaved Africans.

In 1782 William won £20,000 in the Benefit Lottery, the equivalent of almost £2million today and returned to England. He became a partner in the Hibbert family’s London partnership, which shipped, insured and distributed commodities from the West Indies.  He married Elizabeth Greenhalgh in 1784.

William built the original house at Hare Hill, which had ten bedrooms and was used as a hunting lodge. Hare Hill became his country estate and his main house was in Clapham Common.

William left Hare Hill to his son William Tetlow Hibbert on his death in 1844.

William Tetlow Hibbert

William Tetlow Hibbert was born to William Hibbert and his wife Elizabeth Greenhalgh in 1792.

He joined the family’s London business and along with his father, received a share of the compensation paid to slave owners when slavery was abolished. Thirteen members of the Hibbert family, including both William and William Tetlow were compensated and the total compensation the family received is estimated to be around £80million in today’s money.

William Tetlow was a member of the Canada Company’s Provisional Committee, who assisted
emigrants to Canada and in 1830 the Hibbert Township in Ontario was opened.

In 1839 William Tetlow was involved in establishing the Colonial Banking Company of the West Indies which went on to be dominant in the Caribbean and was a forerunner of Barclays Bank.

He sold Hare Hill to Francis Dicken Brocklehurst in 1879, a few years before his death in 1881.

More on the Hibbert family connection to the slave trade can be found on the Legacies of British slavery website and the George Hibbert website.