John Hilton was born in Mansfield in 1792 and much of his cricket was, presumably, played for and around Mansfield, but the details are lost.

He was 37 when first chosen for Nottingham, 'a successful underhand slow bowler, but never much of a bat', notes an old report.

His final match of three came in 1830, though he appeared for County v Town in 1837 aged 45 when the Nottingham Review comments: 'The old'un from Mansfield was again brought into the field but it was no go, the steel being worked out of him – he is slow and too low in delivery'.

Hilton was landlord of the Grove Tavern in Mansfield; his son, also John, played just once for Nottinghamshire, making 7 runs in his only innings.