and the nonconformists. Hutton was well known as a dissenter and a friend of Priestley, but he had taken no part in religious or political disputes, and was not present at the obnoxious dinner. The animosity of the mob was directed against him as one who had gained enmity by his firm administration of justice in the Court of Requests. On 15 July his house in High Street was sacked by the rioters. A woman attempted to set fire to the place, but she was stopped out of consideration for the adjoining buildings. Hutton fell into the hands of the mob; he promised them all he could give if they did him no personal injury; they took him to the Fountain Tavern, and made him pay for 329 gallons of ale. On the 16th Bennett's Hill was burned. Caricatures of Hutton were exhibited in a leading print-shop. He estimated his losses at 8,243l. 3s. 2d., and received as compensation 5,390l. 17s., which was paid in September 1793. William Rice and Robert Whitehead, who were tried at Warwick on 20 Aug. 1791 for the destruction of Bennett's Hill, were acquitted. Hutton drew up in August 1791 a very moderate 'Narrative of the Riots,' not printed at the time, but included in his 'Life,' which his daughter published after his death.
No less than seventeen of Hutton's friends (sixteen being churchmen) offered him their houses after the riots. For his wife's health he went to Hotwells, near Bristol. In 1792 he resumed, after forty years, the amusement of writing verse, and published some of his productions. An injury to his leg in 1793 interfered to some extent with his pedestrian habits. He handed over his business to his son, and confined himself to his dealings in land, which continued to prosper. After his wife's death (1796) he travelled much, in company with his daughter, publishing the results of his observations and researches. A regular and simple mode of life preserved his constitution in remarkable vigour. 'At the age of eighty-two,’ he says, 'I considered myself a young man.' On 5 Oct. 1812, in his ninetieth year, he walked into Birmingham for the last time. He died on 20 Sept. 1815. His portrait is in the Union Street Library, Birmingham. He married, on 23 June 1755, Sarah (b. 11 March 1731, d. 23 Jan. 1796), daughter of John Cock of Aston-upon-Trent, Derbyshire, and had issue: (1) Catherine [q.v.]; (2) Thomas, born 17 Feb. 1757, married, on 5 Sept. 1793, Mary Reynolds of Shifnal, Shropshire, died, without issue, 10 Aug. 1845; (3) William, born 2 July 1758, died 19 May 1760; (4) William, born 20 May 1760, died 3 April 1767.
Hutton has been called 'the English Franklin;' but while Hutton and Franklin have some native qualities in common, Hutton as much excels Franklin in geniality as he is Franklin's inferior in grasp of mind. His topographical works are well written, and their information is good. His personal narratives form a graphic record of a life of great industry, and abound in clear and sensible judgments on men and things. His philosophy of life is summed in a saying he quotes, to the effect that there are two kinds of evils which it is folly to lament: those you cannot remedy and those you can. His attitude towards religion struck his friend Priestley as too latitudinarian; ‘every religion upon earth is right, and yet none are perfect.' Though a dissenter, he professed himself 'a firm friend to our present establishment, notwithstanding her blemishes.'
Hutton published: 1. 'A History of Birmingham,' &c., 1781, 8vo (published 22 March 1782); 2nd edit., 1783, 8vo; 3rd edit., 1795, 8vo; 4th edit., 1809, 8vo. 2. 'A Journey … to London,' &c., 1785, 12mo; 2nd edit., 1818, 8vo. 3. 'Courts of Request,' &c., Birmingham, 1787, 8vo. 4. 'The Battle of Bosworth Field,' &c., 1788, 8vo; 2nd edit., edited by John Nichols, F.S.A., 1813, 8vo. 5. 'A Description of Blackpool,' &c., Birmingham, 1789, 8vo (a surreptitious second edition,' 8vo, was printed by Henry Moon at Kirkham, without date or author's name); 2nd edit., 1804, 8vo (this edition was nearly all destroyed by fire at Nicholls's London warehouse); 3rd edit., 1817, 8vo. 6. 'A Dissertation on Juries, with a Description of the Hundred Court,' &c., Birmingham, 1789, 8vo (sometimes a supplement to No. 3). 7. 'History of the Hundred Courts,’ &c., 1790, 8vo. 8. 'A History of Derby,' &c., 1791, 8vo; 2nd edit., 1817, 8vo. 9. 'The Barbers; or, the Road to Riches, a Poem,' &c., 1793, 8vo. 10. ‘Edgar and Elfrida, a Poem,' &c., 1793, 8vo. 11. 'The History of the Roman Wall,' &c., 1802, 8vo; 2nd edit., 1813, 8vo. 12. 'Remarks upon North Wales,’ &c., 1803, 8vo. 13. 'The Scarborough Tour,' &c., 1803, 8vo; 2nd edit, 1817, 8vo. 14. 'Poems, chiefly Tales,' &c., 1804, 8vo. 15. 'A Trip to Coatham,' &c., 1810, 8vo (portrait of Hutton in his eighty-first year, engraved by James Basire [q.v.]) Posthumous was 16. 'Life … written by himself; … to which is subjoined the History of his Family,' &c., 1816, 8vo (portrait, engraved by Ransom; edited by his daughter); 2nd edit., 1817, 8vo (rearranged); 3rd edit., 1841, 12mo (reedited, with additional notes, by his daughter, for Knight's 'English Miscellanies'); 4th edit. , 12mo, ' William Hutton and the Hutton Family ' (full-length portrait, edited