William Rathbone III (1726 - 11 Aug 1789)
"no man here has before or since contributed more powerfully to maintain the upright character of a British merchant at home abroad" - Dr John Rutter, in a letter of 1835 (RP I.1.4)
Eldest son of William Rathbone II and Sarah (née Hyde), baptised on 24 Jul 1726 at Liverpool St Peter. He was a Liverpool merchant and ship-owner, a devout Quaker, and committed opponent of the slave trade.
m. 1. (1750) Rachel Rutter (d. 4 Feb 1761). Six children:
Sarah (1751-1827) m. (23 May 1781) Robert Benson
William Rathbone IV (1757-1809)
m. 2. (1761) Margaret Fletcher (1730 - 17 Jan 1793). Five children:
Fletcher (b. + d. 1768)
Fletcher (d. young)
William Rathbone III in the Rathbone papers
RP I: The papers of William Rathbone III are a small group dating from 1721-1789, and include:
- RP I.1 - Correspondence (4 items)
- RP I.2 - Deeds (6 items)
- Rathbone, William VI, A sketch of family history during four generations, compiled from old letters and papers, and rough notes written by William Rathbone the Sixth Privately published: Liverpool, 1894. Chap 1, pp 1-8: 'William Rathbone (III)'
- Nottingham, Lucie, Rathbone Brothers: from merchant to banker 1742-1992 Rathbone Brothers Plc, 1992. Chap. 2, pp 8-14 'William Rathbone III, 1726-1789'