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Hill, William Parr (Doctor)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1819
Place of birth Leicestershire, England
Date of arrival 1847
Principal occupation Doctor
Date of death 1865
Place of decease Port Elliot

William Parr Hill was born ca 1819 in Leicestershire, England, the son of John Hill and Mary Williams. His father was a medical practitioner of Leicester who died ca 1825. His mother died in 1834. In June 1837, William was admitted to Cambridge University as a Tancred scholar (a scholarship). In August 1846 he was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons, London. He was appointed surgeon superintendent on the Aboukir that left London on 1 June 1847 and arrived at Port Adelaide on 4 September 1847. In November 1847, he advertised that he was commencing a medical practice in Willunga. On 6 January 1848, he registered with the South Australian Medical Board. Later, on 2 September 1848, he was invited by the Governor to attend a Levee in honour of the Prince Consort’s birthday. On 16 February 1850, he is noted as a member of the United Grand Lodge of England Freemasons at Kooringa, indicating that his stay in Willunga was short.

William married Rosanna Taylor, aged 19, the daughter of Robert and Jane Taylor, at St Stephen’s Church, Willunga on 27 August 1850. They had the following known children:

  • Annie Louisa - born ca 1854 (birth not registered), died 26 September 1929 at Willunga,
  • Robert Henry - born ca 1857 (birth not registered), died 30 March 1903 at Willunga,
  • William John - born 7 June 1858 at Willunga, died 23 February 1907 at North Adelaide,
  • Frank Edward - born 31 May 1860 at Goolwa, died 14 April 1886 at Caltowie.

In February 1851, William supported William Paxton for the Legislative Assembly election at Kooringa and, in March 1852, he sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne. By 17 November 1853, he was at Port Elliot, as the press reported he had a mare stolen from his property. In 1854, he appears to have also owned property at Kooringa. On 1 August 1856, he advertised that he had appointed an attorney ‘during his absence from the colony’ to collect any payments due to him. By November 1856, he was living at the hamlet of White Hills, Bendigo, as he advertised that he registered births there. He was still living at Bendigo in October 1857. On 25 May 1858, he sold his house at White Hills by auction and briefly returned to Willunga, where a son was born the following month. This suggests that he frequently moved around in both South Australia and Victoria. In August 1858, he commenced practising medicine at Goolwa. He was appointed surgeon to the Goolwa Rifles on 13 November 1861. On 4 March, he was the victim of a robbery at the City Baths, having had a gold watch stolen. Later, on 30 September, he was also appointed the medical officer for Port Elliot.

William died suddenly at his residence at Port Elliot on 30 September 1865, having been observed to fall in front of his house. He was buried at the Church of England cemetery at Port Elliot. He was described as of ‘gentlemanly demeanor’ and that he had had ‘pupilage under Liston, whose celebrity as a London surgeon is known to all’. Rosanna and the children returned to Willunga, where they lived with family at Glenwood. She died at Willunga on 6 July 1918, aged 87. It appears that none of the children married.


  • Ancestry: Cambridge University Alumni
  • United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers 1751-1921
  • ‘Robberies’ South Australia Police Gazette 7 March 1862:10
  • ‘Royal College of Surgeons’ Gloucester Journal 1 August 1846:1
  • ‘The “Aboukir” from London’ South Australian Register 8 September 1847:2
  • ‘Advertising’ Adelaide Observer 8 January 1848:4
  • South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal 2 September 1848:3
  • South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society databases
  • Extracts from SA General Registry Office (GRO) Information
  • GRO - <>
  • Advertising’ Adelaide Times 13 February 1851:2
  • ‘Advertising’ Argus 30 March 1852:3
  • ‘The Criminal Sittings’ South Australian Register 13 February 1854:3
  • ‘Advertising’ South Australian Register 11 August 1856:1
  • ‘Domestic Intelligence’ Argus 13 October 1856:5
  • ‘Advertising’ Bendigo Advertiser 22 May 1858:4
  • ‘Family Notices’ South Australian Register 11 June 1858:2
  • ‘Advertising’ South Australian Weekly Chronicle 28 August 1858:1
  • ‘South Australian Volunteer Military Force’ South Australian Register 23 November 1861:4
  • ‘The Southern Districts’ South Australian Weekly Chronicle 7 October 1865:3
  • ‘Deaths’ Leicester Guardian 6 January 1866:5
  • Will of William Parr Hill - South Australia

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