James Martin Hilhouse (1748–1822), shipbuilder
Hilhouse set up a shipbuilding business in Hotwells in 1772, with money inherited from his father. Six years later, he won a contract to build frigates, or warships, for the Royal Navy. They were so impressed by his ship Medea that they placed an order for 11 more. Each ship was slightly different, taking about four months to build and requiring a team of over 20 skilled craftsmen.