Select Hilton Miscellany

Here are some Hilton stories and accounts over the years:

Hylton Castle

The first castle on the site, built by Henry de Hilton, was likely to have been built from wood around 1072. The castle was later re-built in stone by Sir William Hylton as a four storey, gatehouse-style, fortified manor house.  It was first mentioned in an inventory of 1448 as "a gatehouse constructed of stone." 

Although no construction details survive, it is believed the stone castle was built sometime between 1390 and the early 1400's (due to the coat of arms featured above the west entrance).  Although called a gatehouse, it belongs to a type of small late 14th centruy castle.  The inventory taken on Sir William's death in 1435 mentions a hall, chambers, two barns and a chapel, in addition to the castle.  The gatehouse featured in another inventory taken in 1559 as the "tower" when floors and galleries had been inserted to subdivide the great hall.

The ruins of the castle are said to be haunted by the ghost of a murdered stable boy known locally as the Cauld Lad of Hylton.  One story states that the stable boy was caught courting Baron Hylton's daughter and was killed.  Another story says that the baron ordered that his horse be prepared for an important journey, but the stable boy, Robert Skelton, had overslept.  The enraged baron was then said to have killed the boy.

William Hulton and the Peterloo Massacre

By 1819 William Hulton has obtained a reputation as a man who could be relied upon to deal severely with working class people arguing for political reform.  It was therefore no surprise when he was appointed as chairman of a new committee set up to deal with the social unrest that was taking place in the new industrial towns.

On July 16, William Hulton and nine other magistrates met at a house in Mount Street to discuss what they would do about the planned meeting at St. Peter's Field that day.  Hulton had already arranged for a military force to be in Manchester to deal with the large number of people expected to arrive to hear Henry Hunt speak on parliamentary reform.

The house in Mount Street overlooked St. Peter's Field and the magistrates could see the large crowd assembling below.  After watching events for a couple of hours, Hulton came to the conclusion that "the town was in great danger."  He therefore decided to read the Riot Act and to arrest Henry Hunt and the other leaders of the demonstration.  It was while the military were attempting to make these arrests that eleven people were killed and over four hundred injured.

William Hilton of Lucknow

Sergeant William Hilton enlisted in 1825, landed in India in 1826, and in time took up the position of Senior Sergeant at La Matiniere College in Lucknow.  While there, he and his wife Jane had three children, William, Edward, and Sarah.

He was amongst the members of the Lucknow garrison who defended the Residency during the 1857 siege. All members of his family survived.  William and his son Edward were both recipients of the Mutiny Medal. William retained his position at La Martiniere College until at least the late 1870's.  His son Edward became a local historian of the events that took place at the Residency during the siege.

Today, William and Jane's descendants are spread around the globe, living in England, Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Denmark.

Jack Hylton Starts Out in Show Business

Jack Hylton was born in 1892 at 75 Boundary Road in the village of Great Lever on the outskirts of Bolton. Jack's cousin Fred recalled the event:

"I remember Jack Hilton being born quite well.  His mother was knitting a pair of socks to earn a shilling on the day he was born."

His father George worked in a cotton mill, along with a great number of people in that area of Bolton in the late 1800's.   However, unlike most, Hilton senior seized the initiative to make a better life for his wife and children.  He was an active trade unionist and helped form a local Socialist Clarion Club.  Jack's first interest in singing would have developed through his father's talent as an amateur singer, mostly of Victorian ballads.

Amongst its many purposes, the Clarion Club offered music lessons to local children.  It is here that Jack got his first real taste of music at the age of seven.  By the time Jack reached the Higher Grade school in Bolton, his father had become the licensee of a public house called the Round Croft on James Street in Little Lever.  Here George would sing to the customers as well as serving them drinks.  And it was here that Jack gave his first public performances, accompanying his father as he sang the popular songs of the day such as Thora and A Miner's Dream of Home.

From the available evidence, Jack had no career intention other than show business.  There is no record of his school successes or failures and there is nothing to suggest that he began to work in the cotton mills, as his father had.  By the time he was thirteen, he had begun his first professional engagement in Rhyl.  Jack would sweep the stage at Rhyl and dress as "Happy Jack Hylton, the Diminutive Comedian" for 5 a week and a share of the collection.

Judge Henry Hilton and Joseph Seligman

The Judge Henry Hilton who shut the doors to Joseph Seligman was a prominent New York Irish politician, lawyer, and the executor of the estate of the late A.T. Stewart, the merchant prince.

The press had a field day on Hilton's action.  Some papers sided with Hilton; but most opposed him.  American Jews were angry because an attack on Seligman was deemed an attack on them, an assault that was the more keenly felt because it was a rejection of a very rich cultured gentleman.  So they declared war on Hilton and boycotted his businesses.

Judge Hilton then retreated, offering gifts to local Jewish charities and professing his respect for the old-line Jewish families.  He said he was only opposed to "trade" Jews such as Seligman.  However, this explanation did not go down very well.

Seligman was in fact an old enemy of Hilton.  Hilton was a pro-Tweed man, Seligman a member of the Committee of Seventy that had fought Boss Tweed. 

Paris Hilton's Ancestry

1.  Nils Halvorsen (1775-1832), born Klofta, Ullensaker, Akershus
     married Kari Trulsdatter
2.  Halvor Nilsen (1810-1864), born Hilton, Ullensaker, Akershus
     married Karoline Hansdatter
3.  August (Gus) Halvorsen Hilton (1854-1919), born Hilton, Ullensatter, Akershus
     married Mary Laufersveiler
     died in San Antonio, Texas
4.  Conrad Hilton, hotelier (1887-1979), born San Antonio, Texas
     married Mary Barron
     died in Santa Monica, California
5.  Richard (Rick) Hilton, real estate (b. 1955), born Los Angeles, California
     married Kathy Richards
6.  Paris Hilton (b. 1981), born New York City

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