Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/694

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

edit., Havelock's March on Cawnpore, 1910); information kindly supplied by Mr. H. C. Willock-Pollen.]

F. H. B.

WILLOUGHBY, DIGBY (1845–1901), soldier adventurer, born in 1845, left England for South Africa in 1871 to seek his fortune. In the Zulu campaign of 1879 Willoughby was with the Natal native contingent, and was in command of the native mounted corps. He then for a time acted as auctioneer's assistant, subsequently becoming partner in the firm of Willoughby & Scoones at Maritzburg, where he resided. After a brief period with a theatrical company, he raised and commanded a troop of irregular horse, ‘Willoughby's Horse,’ which saw service in the Basuto war in 1880. In January 1884 he went to Madagascar, where, gaining the confidence of the Queen of Madagascar and her husband, who was prime minister, he was appointed general commander of the Hovas or Madagascar forces (18 May). On the outbreak of the Franco-Malagasy war next year he got together a well-drilled army of 20,000 soldiers. The Hovas, however, suffered from want of serviceable ammunition, and were severely defeated. At the close of the war in December 1885 he helped in negotiations with the French government, and went to London charged as minister plenipotentiary with a special mission on behalf of the Malagasy government. Although he was cordially received in England, the imperial authorities found it impossible to recognise him as an envoy, as he was still a British subject.

Wearing the uniform of a British field-marshal, he conducted a military spectacle at the Chicago Exhibition of 1893. In Oct. of the same year, after the outbreak of the first Matabele war, he proceeded to Rhodesia. The war was almost over, but he went up country by way of Kimberley, Vryburg and Palapye. On the journey he conferred with Cecil Rhodes, and reached Bulawayo just before the end of the campaign. On the declaration of peace he helped in the administration of Rhodesia. Next year (1894) he was again in London, lecturing on the Matabele war. On the outbreak of the second Matabele war in March 1896, he formed one of a council of defence at Bulawayo, under the acting administrator of Rhodesia. He revisited South Africa on the outbreak of the war there in 1899, but took no part in the fighting, and soon returned to England. Willoughby, who had made a wealthy second marriage, was then ruined in health, and had lost an eye. He died at Goring-on-Thames on 3 June 1901. His courage and soldiership were unquestioned, but love of spectacular adventure was his most salient characteristic. He was a vivid raconteur of his varied experiences.

[The Times, 5 June 1901; South Africa, 8 June 1901; see also issue of 14 July 1894 (interview); S. P. Oliver, Madagascar, 1886, vol. ii.; Howard Hensman, History of Rhodesia, 1900, p. 171.]

WILLS, Sir WILLIAM HENRY, first baronet, and first Baron Winterstoke (1830–1911), benefactor to Bristol, born at Bristol on 1 Sept. 1830, was second son and only surviving child of William Day Wills, a manufacturer of tobacco and snuff (b. 6 June 1797, d 13 May 1865), by his wife Mary, third daughter of Robert Steven of Glasgow, and Camberwell, Surrey.

His grandfather, the first Henry Overton Wills (1761–1826), who was the earliest of the family to settle in Bristol, married Anne, eldest daughter of William Day of that place, on 24 June 1790; he joined his father-in-law in the tobacco trade and obtained a predominant interest in the firm, which his sons and grandsons greatly developed, all making immense fortunes. His second son, also Henry Overton Wills (1800–1871), Lord Winterstoke's uncle, was father, with other issue, of the third Henry Overton Wills (d. 1911), who left a fortune exceeding 2,000,000l., having in 1909 bestowed 100,000l. on the projected Bristol University; of Sir Edward Payson Wills (1834–1910) of Hazelwood, Stoke Bishop, who gave the Jubilee Convalescent Home to Bristol and was created a baronet on 19 Aug. 1904; and of Sir Frederick Wills (1838–1909) of Northmoor, near Dulverton, who was unionist M.P. for North Bristol from 1900 to 1906, and was likewise created a baronet on 15 Feb. 1897.

The Wills family were congregationalists, and young Wills, after early training at home, went to the nonconformist public school at Mill Hill, which he left as head of the sixth form and captain. Illness prevented him from completing his studies for a London university degree, or going to the bar. When about eighteen he entered the family tobacco and snuff business at Bristol, then known as Wills, Ditchett, Day & Wills, his father being the junior partner. Acquiring a thorough knowledge of the trade, and of the growth and treatment of tobacco, he, with his first cousins Henry Overton Wills, jun., and Edward Payson Wills, was in 1858 taken into partnership,