Daniel Wilson (bishop)

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For other people with the same name, see Daniel Wilson.
Daniel Wilson
Wilson in 1832
Born (1778-07-02)July 2, 1778
Spitalfields, London, England
Died January 2, 1858(1858-01-02) (aged 79)
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Resting place St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata, India
Nationality English

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


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 Cobham 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.

In 1831, he 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, he 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.[1] His daughter was fostered by Anne Woodrooffe.[2]

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)


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Church Bells Vol.5 No.210 p.50 (2 January 1875) W. Wels Gardner, London
  2. ^ 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.)