Juan Williams Rebolledo

Rear-Admiral Juan Williams Rebolledo
by Manuel Antonio Caro in 1871

Juan Williams Rebolledo (1825 in Curacaví, Melipilla Province – 24 June 1910 in Santiago), was a Chilean rear admiral who was the organizer and commander-in-chief of the Chilean navy in 1879 at the beginning of the War of the Pacific. As a politician, he was elected from Valparaiso to the national Congress in 1867, and in 1873 he was elected as city councillor.

Early life

Williams was the son of John Williams Wilson, an English-Chilean navy officer, and Micaela Rebolledo, born in Chile. From a seafaring family in Bristol, England, his father had immigrated to Chile at the age of 27 to serve in its recently formed navy under the command of Lord Cochrane. He reached the rank of commander.

The younger Williams joined the navy in 1844. After rising quite fast through the ranks, in 1855 he was appointed General Commandant of the Arsenals and Maritime Governor of Atacama, then the northernmost province of Chile.