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B. 21 Dec 1781 at Kintbury, England Ref.
M. Apr 1820 at Ref.
D. 1862 at Longsight Ref.
Daughter of Mr Richardson
B. at Ref.
D. at Longsight Ref.
Other Marriages. Link:
b. at
b. at


Son of Rev Robert Pitcairn of that Ilk and Denne Mallam.

William Pitcairn, born in Kintbury Berks on December 1st 1781, was the fourth son of the Rev Robert Pitcairn.  He was only eleven years old when his father died.  He was apprenticed in London when quite young (only fifteen), and became a West Indian merchant.  He acquired a large fortune, but later on trade with the West Indies became very bad, owing to the agitation about the slaves and from other causes, and he lost about£40,000 on his properties there.  However, this did not seem to affect his happiness in any way.  He was of a most cheerful, contented, and beautiful character, and settled down very comfortably in his later years in a smallish house (Culver Cottage) he had built for himself at Bognor, and was very happy there.  Unfortunately it did not suit his wife; he therefore sold it, and they went to live with his nephew, the Rev James Pelham Pitcairn, and his wife, at Longsight Rectory.

He was of that benevolent disposition which finds heartfelt pleasure in doing good to others.  United to great rectitude of character and very good business habits, he had the kind disposition, so that in his long life there were very any who turned to him for advice and counsel.

He was trustee, not only for his own relations, but for a very great many other people.  Sons and daughters of old friends were his wards, to whom he behaved as a father, and also he managed (with others) many public trusts.

Mr Pitcairn was very much respected and loved by all his friends of whom he had a great number, only one of his wards seems not have merited his kindness.

Mr Pitcairn had a most loving nature, and was a devoted husband to a wife ailing for years, a true and faithful friend, extremely fond of his only remaining brother, Sir James Pitcairn, and good to all his nephews and nieces.

In 1796 he got his indenture as Apprentice to the Skinner’s Company, and on the 6th December 1803he had the Freedom of the City, and was eventually made Master of the Skinner’s Company.  In 1808 he went to Jamaica, was Collector of Customs, and attended to his own property there.  He then returned to London, and became a merchant in that city.

Mr Pitcairn had slaves, and it is curious now to read an entry like the following one, In his scrap-book –

At Morant Bay, 18 September 1808, there is an entry in the Church of St Thomas in the East –

This is to certify that a Negro girl named Sally Forester, the property of William Pitcairn, Esquire, Collector of His Majesty’s Customs at Port Morant, Jamaica, was this day baptized in the Parish Church by John West, Rector.

That I, this 27th day of April 1810, agree to sell with a warranted title, and to  make over my right and title so warranted, to a certain Negro man called Charles, to William Pitcairn, Esq., Collector of His Majesty’s Customs at Port Morant, Jamaica, in consideration of the sum of one hundred and ninety pounds, currency, well and truly paid to me by the said William Pitcairn on or before the 20th July 1810.  Mick O’Hagan.

Two years afterwards William Pitcairn gave his slave his freedom –“I give unto Charles, the above named and mentioned man – my Negro male slave, his freedom after my death – indeed immediately.”  William Pitcairn.   This man still continued Mr Pitcairn’s servant, returned with him to England, and was baptised in London.

Mr Pitcairn married, in April 1820 Phoebe, daughter of Mr Richardson.

His later years were spent with his nephew, James Pelham Pitcairn, at the Rectory, Longsight, where his wife died.  When Canon Pitcairn was appointed to Eccles in 1861, his uncle came too, but died in the following year aged eighty-two, and was buried I his own vault in Longsight.  His old age was a beautiful one, for he had a most unselfish character, and died beloved, and regretted by all his friends and relations.



PFH: Constance Pitcairn