William Rathbone (1787-1868)
The Rathbones were a Liverpool family of non-conformists, merchants and ship owners, philanthropists, politicians and social reformers, artists and patrons of the arts. This was a family with wide intellectual and artistic interests and varied reading habits, and with strong connections to the wider Liverpool literary and intellectual scene. Greenbank House, now part of the University of Liverpool, was the Rathbone family home from 1787 until 1944.
William Rathbone and his wife Elizabeth entertained and supported many visitors at Greenbank, including John James Audubon when he arrived from America in 1826 to raise money to publish his famous ‘Birds of America’.
Statue to William Rathbone V, by David Dixon.