Although born in Mansfield to a father, also John, who had played for Nottinghamshire three times, John Hilton jnr played the majority of his senior cricket for sides in the West Midlands.
His one First-Class outing was, though, for his home county. In June 1865 he was brought in to open the innings for Notts v Surrey at Trent Bridge, in place of Charles Brampton, who had sprained his wrist. Hilton did not make the most of his opportunity, scoring seven in his only innings; he did not bowl nor take a catch.
Hilton had appeared in Colts matches in April of both 1862 and 1863, at that time he was playing for the Mansfield Sherwood Forest Club and living at his father's public house, the Grove Tavern, Mansfield. In 1863 he was engaged at Warwick – the club arranged a benefit match for him in 1865 of XI Players v XVI Gentlemen of Wolverhampton but the proceeds are not recorded.
He also represented Wolverhampton, Aston, Dudley, Smethwick and Birmingham between 1864 and 1867. In 1871, he is listed as living and working in Wolverhampton as a cabinet maker.
John Hilton was born in Mansfield on 19 April 1838 and died in Stafford on 8 May 1910.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 108