The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Henry HILL [10998]
(1819-)
Harriet WOLLOX(H)ALL [10999]
(1819-)
Henry HILL [10996]
(1842-)
Ellen BALL [10997]
(Abt 1840-)

William Henry "Will" HILL [1221]
(1872-1957)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Mary Agnes QUILTER [1220]

William Henry "Will" HILL [1221]

  • Born: 31 Jan 1872, Swindon WIL
  • Marriage (1): Mary Agnes QUILTER [1220] on 19 Aug 1902 in Kempsey WOR
  • Died: 16 Jan 1957, Crowborough, SSX aged 84
  • Buried: St John Crowborough, SSX
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bullet  General Notes:


William was educated at Kings School Worcester, Lincoln Coll., Oxford, & Sorbonne, Paris; MA & Licencie en droit; Lecturer Khedivial School of Law, Cairo - Director 1907-12; Chief Inspector later Judge, Native Tribunals Cairo 1912-17; Judge Court of Appeal, Cairo 1917-25; Lecturer of Mohammedan & Turkish Law, University of London 1928; On Anglo-Turkish Arbitral Tribunal, Constantinople 1928-32; Retired "Ghyllmead" Crowborough.

William or Will as he was called had a most successful education and professional career. He won scholarships to Kings School and Lincoln College, where he gained a First Class Honours in "Mods", and 2nd Class Honours in "Greats".
The Rector at Lincoln at that time was a Dr Munro, a famous classical scholar, he was Will's tutor. A deep personal friendship was formed between the two, Dr Munro was later Godfather to Wills son John Frederick.

Will met his future wife at Lincoln, her father was himself a graduate from the College. Will was a very good oar, he rowed for his College, and was given a trial for the University eight, at bow at 11st. 8lbs.

Will was attracted to a career in Egypt where the law was an opening, however this required a degree in French in the Code Napoleon the legal system of Egypt. Taking up the challenge he enrolled at the Sorbonne completing this law degree in 3 years, and becoming Licencie en droit. He is said to have loved his experience of Paris and the French, he stayed on the Rive Gauche (The Left Bank).
Will then found a position with the Egyptian Government as a lecturer at the Khedivial School of Law part of the El Ahzar University in Cairo. He married Mary, and they embarked for a new life in a foreign country, where they could expect to live at a much higher standard than in class conscious Great Britain.
Will mastered Arabic, and in 1907, aged 35, was appointed Director of the Khedivial School of Law, a great recognition of his ability. They were then living in a magnificent house overlooking Abdin Square, Cairo, adjacent to the Khedive's Palace.
In 1912 he was offered and accepted a judgeship. Then followed a distinguished progression to a seat on the Court of Appeal.
In 1912 the family moved to Gezira, an island in the Nile which was cooler and greener than the city. It was a very desirable location, including the Gezira Sporting Club, an exclusive facility primarily for expatriates. Social life was very formal. Will is remembered as a good tennis and bridge player.

At the outbreak of WWI Egypt was made a Protectorate of Gt Britain and went onto a war footing. Will at 42 was to old for active service, but was joined to the Army as Judge Advocate with the rank of Colonel. He was involved in Allenby's campaign in Palestine and met T E Lawrence.

After the war and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Gt Britain's role in Egypt was in question and nationalistic groups demanded independance for Egypt. Civil order rapidly broke down and atrocities occurred, the courts came to a halt as the Bar withdrew their labour.

Will wrote about the problems - "My colleagues, the Egyptian judges, were desperately anxious for their skins, I told them there was no cause for alarm. If only they would avoid me they would be perfectly safe, advice they were glad to accept. On the morning of the 17th we paid our usual visit to the Mudirie (Town Hall) where I met Col. Whittingham Director General of Prisons, who was on his return from a tour of inspection further south. He was on the Government steamer, 'Sentinel', and he agreed to take us to Cairo. When we stopped at Roda a hostile crowd tried to rush the boat, but the Captain cast off quickly and left the rabble throwing stones at us. Meanwhile, the train from the south had been stopped, and two British officers, two N.C.O,s, two Australian soldiers, and an inspector of prisons were savagely murdered, their corpses were stripped, and they were put in the luggage van. The 'Sentinel "arrived at a place called Minia, and here we learned of a small group of Europeans huddled in one house there. We had to offer our support, and in reaching the house, we then found that we had been cut off from the boat. Fortunately there was a sufficient supply of shotguns and ammunition available, so we formed a garrison which consisted of 7 men, 5 women, and 2 children.But no attack came and later that day a relief force of two Egyptian infantry companies and 25 cavalrymen arrived.However, these troops were of doubtful quality, and even the commander himself believed he could rely only on the cavalry. We began to wonder if the arrival of this contingent had improved or worsened our position. Despite a lot of noise and general disturbance, the angry crowds did not launch an attack and the next day a relief force under the command of General Huddlestone arrived by river boats and got us back safely to the capital".

Egypt obtained full independence in 1922, standards in the civil service continued to deteriorate, until Will observed his Egyptian colleagues lapsing into expedient judgments. Declaring in 1925 that when corruption reaches the High Court it is time to pack one's bags and leave, he returned to England.

In England they bought a charming house called "Ghyllmead", in Ghyll Road, Crowborougb, Sussex. It consisted of two old cottages knocked into one. There were nearly two acres of garden and woodland attached to the property, which was bordered by a small stream. Will, with his great love for tennis, had a grass court built at the back of the house, and he continued playing the game until he reached 70.
A job as lecturer in Turkish and Mohammedan law at London University, was tedious and unrewarding, as was the commute to London.In 1928 he was invited to sit on the Anglo-Turkish Tribunal deciding on inter-government and war claims, it sat in Istanbul and the family moved. The work and life there proved very agreeable. In 1932 he agreed to sit, in Greece, on a complex arbitration between the Greek Govt., and the Lake Copais Co., a British company. This proved another pleasant assignment, but now over 60 he declined an offer of a post in Morocco and the family returned to "Ghyllmead" their home in Ghyll Road, Crowborough. Ghyllmead was a beautiful property with a lawn tennis court and a wide stretch of garden with a stream below the property. The stream bordered on the Ashdown Forest .
They settled to village life and their interests, tennis, reading, walking etc. Will took a great interest in the local cottage hospital, of which he was chairman for many years. After Mary's death Will increasingly found "Ghyllmead" a burden, he moved to a country house hotel for his final years.

JFR Hill said of his father: He was a serious minded man, and l doubt that he was ever frivolous - gay yes, and with a deep sense of humour, but he was far removed from any abandon. I think his two outstanding attributes were his fine intellect and his complete integrity. He had a penetrating mind, reinforced by a good memory, and these stood him in good stead on the Bench. He was not only a fine classical scholar, but he was something of a linguist as well, being fluent in both French and Arabic. His ethical and moral standards were so typical of that era very disciplined, and he had a loathing for cheating no matter how minor. He was conservative, both with a big 'C' and a small one. He found it difficult to accept the changing moral values and standards of social behaviour of the war (WWII) and the immediate post-war period."

His grandson John remembers a serious fault and weakness in his driving: He drove with such a ferocity and determination, and with a complete disregard for any other objects living or dead that people were known to scatter when he roared into the village centre.l clearly remember myself the "charge to church" on Sundays. I did more praying for mercy in the car than l ever did in the church. I remember wondering if he thought the centre white lines on the road were there to aim the middle of the car at. Fortunately, in this era of the late 1940s, few people had cars, and petrol rationing curtailed the use of vehicles, so there was not too much opposition on the roads when he was about. However, it was bad control of his car that brought his driving days to an end, One day he knocked a lady off her bicycle. Fortunately she was not injured and the bicycle was only slightly damaged. Will and the lady sorted the matter out between themselves, but someone who had seen the incident reported the matter to the police, and poor old Will, who had been serving the cause of justice all his life, ended up on the wrong side of the fence. He was deeply troubled by the affair, and having pleaded guilty to careless driving and paid a small fine he gave up driving for good.

Obituary
Mr W H Hill
Judicial Service In Egypt.
Mr William Henry Hill, formerly Judge of the Native Court of Appeal in Cairo, died yesterday at Crowborough. He was 84.
He was the son of Henry Hill, of Swindon, was educated at the King's School, Worcester and Lincoln College, Oxford. He went out to Egypt as a young man and was employed in Cairo in the educational service for a time. Subsequently he became a lecturer at the Khedivial School of Law and in 1907 was appointed Director of the School. Five years later he became Chief Inspector of Native Tribunals. From 1914 to 1917 he was Judge of the Mixed Tribunal First Instance, in Cairo. This appointment he vacated on being made Judge of the Native Court of Appeal in 1917. In 1928 Hill was chosen as Lecturer on Mohammedan and Turkish Law at University College London University, and in the same year he was appointed British Judge at the Anglo Turkish Arbitral Tribunal at Constantinople. This post he held until 1932.
He married Mary Agnes, daughter of the Rev F. W. Quilter, D.D. there was a son and a daughter of the marriage.
Ref: The Times 18 Jan 1957.

Hill William Henry of Country House Hotel Crowborough Sussex died 16 January 1957 at The War Memorial Hospital Crowborough. Probate London 26 March 1957 to Lesley William Watts Marriott retired lieutenant colonel HM army and James Herbert Harris solicitor. Effects L21116 6s 2d
National Probate Calendar.

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bullet  Other Records



1. William Henry Hill: Images through life.
Photographed at Oxford 1894, seated on left part of the Oxford rowing 8 for that year. Oxford won the race with Cambridge that year by 3 lengths.
In Cairo - Director of the Khedivial School of Law
In later life in England
Family home at Ghyllmead Crowbrough SSX


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Will married Mary Agnes QUILTER [1220] [MRIN: 383], daughter of Rev Dr Frederick William QUILTER DD [1199] and Mary Anne Parry NIXON [1202], on 19 Aug 1902 in Kempsey WOR. (Mary Agnes QUILTER [1220] was born on 17 Apr 1873 in Leyton SSX, died on 30 Jan 1947 in Crowborough, SSX and was buried in St John Crowborough, SSX.)


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