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The family origins trace back to Gawsworth, near Macclesfield, where the first William Rathbone was born in 1669, as the son of Phillip Rathbone. It was his son, William Rathbone II, born on 22 May 1696, who left Gawsworth for the growing port of Liverpool, where he worked as a sawyer and established a timber business.
- William Rathbone II
- William Rathbone III
- William Rathbone IV
- William Rathbone V
- William Rathbone VI
- Eleanor Rathbone
- Richard Rathbone
- Hugh Reynolds Rathbone
- Hannah Mary Rathbone (1798–1878)
- Henry Reed Rathbone United States Army officer and American diplomat, witness to the Lincoln Assassination
- Basil Rathbone, the actor famous for portraying Sherlock Holmes
- John Rathbone (Bodmin), Conservative MP, fighter pilot with the RAF killed in the Battle of Britain
- Tim Rathbone Conservative MP (son of above)
- Perry T. Rathbone Director, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Art historian, and collector.
- David Rathbone Director, Center Software Electronics Ltd, Electronics design engineer and Software developer born in Liverpool
In 1788, William Rathbone IV leased the family house and estate of Greenbank, then part of the Toxteth Park estate, to serve as a country retreat for his young family, and purchased the freehold of Greenbank House in 1809, the year of his death.