Daniel Wilson (bishop)

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Daniel Wilson
Bishop Daniel Wilson.JPG
Wilson in 1832, portrait by Thomas Phillips.
Born(1778-07-02)2 July 1778
Died2 January 1858(1858-01-02) (aged 79)
Resting placeSt. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata, India

Daniel Wilson (2 July 1778 – 2 January 1858) was an English Bishop of Calcutta.


Portrait sketch by Colesworthey Grant

Born in Spitalfields, London, Wilson was educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA, 1802; MA, 1804; DD, 1832); was ordained and became curate of Richard Cecil at, Chobham[1] and Bisley in Surrey, where he developed into a strong Evangelical preacher; was tutor or vice-principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and minister of Worton, Oxfordshire, 1807 to 1812; assistant curate at St John's Chapel, Bedford Row, Bloomsbury, 1808 to 1812 (where Richard Cecil had earlier been incumbent); sole minister there, 1812 to 1824; and vicar of St Mary's Church, Islington, 1824 to 1832, when he was consecrated Bishop of Calcutta and first Metropolitan of India and Ceylon. He founded an English church at Rangoon, Ceylon, in 1855 and St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta (consecrated 1847). He was an indefatigable worker and as bishop was noted for fidelity and firmness. He also founded Dhaka College on 18 July 1841. It was completed in 1846 with the aid of the Bishop of Calcutta.

Wilson founded the Islington Clerical Conference in 1827 in his library. In 1831, Wilson was one of the founders of the Lord's Day Observance Society. He was associated with the Clapham Sect of evangelical Anglicans, the best known of whom is William Wilberforce.

In 1835, Wilson was noted for calling India's caste system "a cancer".

He died in Calcutta in 1858 and is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata.


Daniel Wilson, the younger

When Bishop Wilson left for India, his son Daniel Frederick Wilson, who was only twenty-seven at the time, took over as Vicar of Islington and served as such for over forty years. Another son became a missionary to indigenous Canadians in the Diocese of Algoma in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario.[2] His daughter was fostered by Anne Woodrooffe.[3]

Selected writings[edit]

  • Numerous sermons published separately and in collections
  • The Evidences of Christianity, . . . a Course of Lectures (2 vols., London, 1828–1830)
  • Bishop Wilson's Journal Letters, addressed to his Family the first Nine Years of his Indian Episcopacy (1863; edited by his son Daniel Wilson, Vicar of Islington)
  • The Divine Authority and Perpetual Obligation of the Lord's Day, asserted in seven sermons (London, 1831) (in print, from Day One)


  • Journal Letters (see above)
  • The Life of The Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India by Josiah Bateman, 2 vols, London, 1860 volume 1 volume 2
  • History of the Church Missionary Society by Eugene Stock, London, 1899.
  • MacAulay, in Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay appears to suggest that there was a life written by Wilson's successor at Bedford Row, Baptist Wriothesley Noel (see [1][dead link]), but this seems not to be listed at COPAC.
  • Andrew Porter, ‘Wilson, Daniel (1778–1858)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  • Robert Schueller, A History of Chobham, Phillimore -1989 ISBN 9780850336719

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Schueller, Robert (1989). A History of Chobham. Phillimore. ISBN 9780850336719.
  2. ^ Church Bells Vol.5 No.210 p.50 (2 January 1875) W. Wels Gardner, London
  3. ^ Jay, Elisabeth. "Woodrooffe, Anne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29933. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)