William Hone (1780-1842) was a writer and bookseller born in Bath, eldest son of William Hone and Frances Maria Stawell. At the age of 10, he was sent to London to an Attorney's Office, where he was influenced by the democratic principles of the London Corresponding Society. Hone soon decided to abandon Law and having recently married in July 1800, started a Print and Bookseller business in Lambeth Walk, London. In 1806 after publishing Shaw's Gardener, he established together with his friend John Bone, the financial company "Tranquility" in Albion Street, which combined the benefits of a Savings Bank, Insurance company and a Registry Office.
Sir William Stirling was a trustee of the company which like many of Hone's other business schemes was soon bankrupt.