William Dillwyn

William Dillwyn, (1743, Philadelphia - 28 September 1824), was an American-born Quaker active in the abolitionist movement in colonial America and after 1774, Great Britain.[1] He was one of the twelve committee members of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade when it was formed in 1787.[2]

William was the son of John Dillwyn and Susanna Painter. He attended the Friends' English School of Philadelphia where he was taught by Anthony Benezet.[1]


William married Sarah Logan Smith on 19 May 19, 1768 in Burlington County, New Jersey. Together they had a daughter Susanna, born in Houghton[disambiguation needed], New Jersey on 31 March 1769. She married Samuel Emlen on April 16, 1795.[3]

William remarried on 27 November 1777, to Sarah Weston in Tottenham, then in Middlesex. Their children were:[4]

  • Gulielma Dillwyn (1792)

Through his son Lewis Weston Dillwy and his wife, Mary Adams of Penllergaer, Llangyfelach, he was the grandfather of noted photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810–1882), MP for Swansea Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (1814-1892) and pioneering female photographer Mary Dillwyn (1816-1906).

His great granddaughter by his grandson John was the Welsh astronomer and pioneer in scientific photography Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, and his great granddaughter by his grandson Lewis was the novelist and industrialist Amy Dillwyn.[5]


Dillwyn Street, Ipswich is named after him. His son-in-law, Richard Dykes Alexander stipulated that some street names should commemorate leading abolitionists when he provided the land for the development of which this road was a part.[6]


  1. ^ a b Flynn, Kara. "William Dillwyn diary" (PDF). Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP). Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  2. ^ "The Quaker Five in the 1787 national Abolition Committee". www.quakersintheworld.org. Quakers in the World. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Dillwyn and Emlen family correspondence". Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal. Penn Libraries. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. ^ "William Dillwyn (1743-1824)". www.wikitree.com. INTERESTING.COM, INC. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  5. ^ "DILLWYN, ELIZABETH AMY (1845 - 1935), novelist, industrialist and feminist campaigner | Dictionary of Welsh Biography". biography.wales. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  6. ^ Van Loon, Borin. "Slavery abolitionists celebrated in Ipswich street names". www.ipswich-lettering.co.uk. Ipswich Historic Lettering. Retrieved 25 November 2019.