Descended from a Yorkshire Quaker family, who for a mixture of reasons, mostly financial but also an irregular matrimonial arrangement, came to live in Douglas in 1808. Put forward a key proposal for a National Lifeboat Institution that eventually led to today's RNLI.
Lived for some time at Fort-Anne.
Only son Augustus-William Hillary, married Susan-Curwen, eldest daughter of John Christian .
Lasting memorial is the Tower of Refuge in Douglas Harbour.
Oh, Hillary ! thy philanthropic heart
In love hath raised this magic piece of art;
The bays chief ornament, with use combined.
It stands the beacon, too, of thy great mind! [Manx Soc #21 p267]
Sir William Hillary: An Account of his Writings Manx Quarterly #14 pp127/131 Sept 1914
Memorial to Sir William Hillary Manx Quarterly #5 p501 1908
R.C.Kelly & G.N.Kniveton Sir William Hillary and the Isle of Man Lifeboat Stations Douglas: Manx Experience nd  (1-873120-16-8)