Hans William Sotheby was a barrister. His mother was Isabella Hopkinson. He was christened on 17 May 1827 at St George's Bloomsbury. On 8 September 1864 he married Charlotte Cornish of Salcombe House, Sidmouthm, at Salcombe Regis.
Sotheby was the author of Centralisation: its benefits and disadvantages. A prize essay (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1852). In 1859 he was living at 24 Cambridge Terrace, Hyde Park. His office was located at 11 Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1861. In 1862 his addresses were 4 Verulam Buildings, W.C., and 10 New Square, E.C. A Mrs H. William Sotheby was listed as living at 93 Onslow Square in the 1880s.
Sotheby was a member of the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1867 when JW was expelled for pushing his brother-in-law Seymour Haden, a fellow member of the Club, through a plate glass window [#12968]. He was not among those who voted in JW's favour [#12959].
Kelly's Post Office Directory, London, 1859, 1861, 1862; The Kensington ... etc Directory, London, 1882, 1884.