William Henry Dutton was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1827. He was privately educated. In 1858 he became Magistrates Clerk to the Newcastle Justices. He was very active within the local community, acting as Chair of the Endowed School Governors and also Honorary Colonel of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment. He and his wife resided at Hewcroft in Newcastle.
Dutton had a strong interest in antiquarian matters and in military history, publishing articles in the local press on these subjects. He also amassed a significant collection of rare and antiquarian books, including several incunabula. Following his death in 1897, his library was sold by Sotheby’s on 8th December 1903.