Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Denison, William Joseph

DENISON, WILLIAM JOSEPH (1770–1849), millionaire, was the only son of Joseph Denison (1726?–1806), a native of the west part of Yorkshire, who came up to London at an early age, and by continuous working and scraping amassed an enormous fortune. The son was born in Princes Street, Lothbury, in May 1770. He successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became finally senior partner of Denison, Heywood, & Kennard, bankers, in Lombard Street. He sat as a whig for Camelford 1796–1802, was elected for Kingston-upon-Hull 1806, and was member for Surrey from 1818 till his death, which took place in Pall Mall on 2 Aug. 1849.

Denison very much increased his father's large fortune. He had extensive landed estates in Surrey and Yorkshire, as well as great investments in the funds. He was worth, it is computed, 2,300,000l. Dying unmarried he left his wealth (except 500l. given in charity and some legacies) to his nephew, Lord Albert Conyngham, on condition that he took the name of Denison only [see Denison, Albert, first Baron Londesborough].

Denison wrote a patriotic poem of some merit on Napoleon's threatened invasion of 1803.

[Gent. Mag. 1806, p. 1181, October 1849, p. 422; Taylor's Leeds Worthies, 1845; Burke's Landed Gentry; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

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