William Savill-Kent was an English marine biologist.
Born in Sidmouth, Devon, his childhood was marred by the death of his mother, the murder of his half-brother and conviction of his sister Constance to twenty years in prison. The detective responsible for the investigation of his half-brother's murder suspected that William was an accomplice, but he never pressed charges. Savill-Kent was educated at King's College London and then at the Royal School of Mines under T.H. Huxley. He held various jobs in Britain, including at the British Museum from 1866 to 1872. In 1869, he became a member of the Zoological Society of London and in 1873 of the Linnean Society. In 1870, he received a grant from the Royal Society to conduct a dredging survey off Portugal. He worked at the Brighton Aquarium (1872–1873), then at the Manchester Aquarium (1873–1876). He then worked for various other aquariums before returning to Brighton in 1879. He married in 1872 but his wife died three years later. He remarried in 1876.
On the recommendation of T.H. Huxley, in 1884 he became Inspector of Fisheries in Tasmania. In 1889, he became Commissioner of Fisheries for Queensland, and in 1892, Commissioner of Fisheries for Western Australia, a position he held until 1895. During this time he experimented with culturing pearls; his experiments were a success and modern-day spherical cultured pearls are primarily the result of discoveries he made and that were later patented by Dr. Tokishi Nishikawa of Japan who heard of his techniques. Later, Kent went on to chair the Royal Society of Queensland in 1889–1890.