Thomas Wilson (mayor)

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Thomas Wilson (5 September 1787 – 31 March 1863) was a solicitor, author and Mayor of Adelaide from 1842 to 1843.

He was born in England but educated in Germany. On his return to England he was articled to Bartlett & Beddome, a London firm of solicitors. [1]

In 1833 he purchased a 3000-acre estate in Abbeycwmhir, Radnorshire but now in Powys, Wales and commissioned the building of an Elizabethan-style house on the site of an earlier house overlooking the ruins of Cwmhir Abbey. He landscaped the estate at great expense, including the creation of a lake to power the village sawmill.

In 1836 published anonymously A Descriptive Catalogue of the Prints of Rembrandt. In 1838 he ran into financial difficulty and decided to emigrate to Australia. He and much of his family sailed in the Duke of Roxburghe and arrived in Adelaide in July 1838 where he soon built an extensive and highly respectable practice as a member of the firm of Smart & Wilson. In 1841 he was appointed clerk of the Court of Appeals by Governor (Sir) George Grey. He was elected to the Municipal Corporation of Adelaide in 1840 and designed the official seal. He was elected an Alderman the following year and the second Mayor in 1842. [1]

He gave lectures on painting and engraving and published several poems (The Feast of Belshazzar, The Lonely Man of the Ocean, and Boyuca; or the Fountain of Youth). [1]

He died in Kensington, South Australia in 1863.


Wilson married Martha Greenell (1790 – 29 January 1858) of Hertford, whose sister Mary Anne Greenell was the mother of Alfred Russel Wallace, [2] and with whom he had five sons and three daughters. [1] including:

Charles Algernon "Ally" Wilson (18 June 1818 – 20 June 1884), Commissioner for Inland Revenue, South Australia, was a brother. [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Wilson, Thomas (1787–1863). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  2. "Dr. Russel Wallace and South Australia". The Register (Adelaide) . LXXVIII (20, 905). South Australia. 11 November 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 22 March 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  3. 1 2 "The Alfred Russel Wallace Website: Wallace's genealogy" . Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  4. "About Men and Women". The Express and Telegraph . XXXVII (10, 965). South Australia. 5 May 1900. p. 4. Retrieved 22 March 2019 via National Library of Australia.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Fisher
Mayor of the Corporation of Adelaide
Succeeded by
James Fisher