Admiral Richard Willis

Born at Dunston, Lincolnshire, 7 May 1755, fourth child of Francis Willis and Mary Curtois his wife, and died at Petworth, Sussex, 29 January 1829 (The Gentleman's magazine). Post-captain in the Royal Navy 3 November 1790, and Rear-Admiral 14 June 1808, immediately retiring after a career of "no noteworthy service" (here).

Plymouth, Aug. 25. Yesterday arrived, at Lockyer's, the King's Arms, from Portugal, Dr. Willis, and his son, Captain Willis, of the Navy; they set off this morning for Weymouth to wait on his Majesty; he is now in his seventy fourth year, and was never in better health. Norfolk Chronicle, 1 September 1792

Soon after his Majesty's recovery, the Captain was one day engaged to dine at the house of — Reynardson, Esq. next door to the then Lord Chancellor's, in Ormond Street. The coachman, by mistake, knocked at the Chancellor's door; Captain Willis, not perceiving the mistake, was ushered into the room, where the Chancellor and his company were at dinner.— It was a Cabinet dinner.— Captain Willis's confusion may be easily conceived, when he endeavoured to apologize, from which however he was relieved by the Chancellor's politeness, inviting him to sit down to dinner.— the Captain begged to be excused, bowed, and retired.
Anecdotes and Biography: Including Many Modern Characters in the Circles of Fashionable and Official Life, Selected from the Portfolios of a Distinguished Literary and Political Character, Lately Deceased, Alphabetically Arranged, Leman Thomas Rede, London, 1799

This is the last will and testament of me Richard Willis of Petworth in the County of Sussex Esquire a Rear Admiral in His Majestys Navy I give and bequeath all my Money Securities for money household furniture Goods Chattels and Personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever (subject nevertheless to the payment of my just debts and funeral & testamentary expenses) unto my dear wife Ann Willis her executors administrators and assigns And I appoint her my said dear wife sole Executrix of this My Will In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty fifth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty eight - Richd Willis National Archives PROB 11/1753/385

Married at St James, Piccadilly, in 1793 to Ann Child. She died 30 April 1835 at Ravenhill. Her will

LITTLEHAMPTON - The steam-packet Superb, from Scarborough, arrived here on the 16th inst., bringing the body of the late Mrs Willis, widow of Admiral Willis, R.N., to be interred at Petworth, in this county. Brighton Patriot and Lewes Free Press, Tuesday, May 19, 1835

Apparently they had three children, of whom only the third survived, including:

  • Richard Child Willis, baptised at St Martin, Dorking, 18 Nov 1794, and died young.
  • Richard Child Willis, baptised at Petworth, Sussex, 4 March 1799.