Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/701

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captain in the artists' corps. He died unmarried at the house of his nephew, Dr. J. Schütz Sharman, 2 Avenue Gate, Norwood, on 7 May 1902. His body was cremated, and the ashes placed in the Sharman vault in Norwood cemetery. His portrait by James Archer, R.S.A., was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898.

Wilson's three novels, ‘The Three Paths,’ ‘The Voyage of the Lady’ (1860), and ‘Philip Mannington’ (1874), were translated into German.

[Private information; The Times, 19 May 1902; Ann. Register, 1902; Morning Post, 9 May; Works; Brit. Mus. Cat. (Wilson's works incomplete); Allibone's Dict. Engl. Lit. vol. iii. and Suppl.]

G. Le G. N.

WILSON, Sir JACOB (1836–1905), agriculturist, born at Crackenthorpe Hall, Westmorland, on 16 Nov. 1836, was the elder son in a family of two sons and three daughters of Joseph Wilson, farmer, by Ann, daughter of Joseph Bowstead, of Beck Bank, Cumberland. He was educated at Long Marton, Westmorland, under the Rev. W. Shepherd, and was afterwards in London for a short time studying land agency under T. Walton. In 1854 he went to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, and after eighteen months' tuition there obtained its diploma. He remained at Cirencester six months longer as honorary farm bailiff, and then went to Switzerland to assist in laying out on the English system an estate in that country. He returned home in 1857 to help his father in the management of a large farm at Woodhorn Manor, near Newbiggin, Northumberland, devoting much time to the study of agricultural mechanics, especially steam cultivation. In 1859 he won the first agricultural diploma awarded by the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

Adopting the profession of land agent, he in 1866 was appointed by the earl of Tankerville agent for his Chillingham estates. Subsequently he undertook the management of other estates and properties in different parts of England, and also took pupils in farming and land agency. His services were much in request as witness or arbitrator in valuation cases, and he was long an official umpire for the board of trade.

On 5 Dec. 1860 Wilson was elected an ordinary member of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. In the administration of the society he speedily made his mark after his election as a member of council on 22 May 1865—at a far earlier age than precedent sanctioned. As steward he was prominent in the management of the large annual provincial shows of the society from 1869 to 1874, and from 1875 to 1892 he was hon. director in succession to Sir Brandreth Gibbs. At the conclusion of the society's fiftieth show, held in Windsor Great Park under the presidency of Queen Victoria, Wilson was knighted by the Queen after dinner at the Castle on 29 June 1889. Until his death he remained a member of the society's council, and he resumed the honorary directorship, to the injury of his health, for the last show held in London in June 1905 on the society's showyard at Park Royal.

Wilson actively urged legislation for repressing the contagious diseases of animals, and the passing of the Animals Acts of 1878 and 1884 owed much to his energy. These services were acknowledged by a gift of silver plate and a purse of 3000 guineas (given by 1300 subscribers) at a public dinner on 8 Dec. 1884, with Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, sixth duke of Richmond and Gordon, in the chair. In April 1888 he presided over a departmental committee appointed to inquire into pleuro-pneumonia, and an Act of 1890 carried out most of its recommendations.

In 1881 he removed from Woodhorn Manor to a farm at Chillingham Barns, Northumberland, on the estate of Lord Tankerville. Here he maintained a herd of shorthorns of the ‘Booth’ blood, and as a county councillor and magistrate for Northumberland was active in county matters. From 1892 to 1902 he was agricultural adviser to the board of agriculture in succession to Sir James Caird [q. v. Suppl. I].

At the conclusion of the Royal Agricultural Society's show of 1905, of which Wilson was honorary director, King Edward VII conferred on him the distinction of K.C.V.O. A few days later he was seized with illness which terminated fatally from heart failure on 11 July 1905. He was buried at Chillingham. A memorial service was held at St. George's, Hanover Square.

Wilson was tall and handsome, with ingratiating manners. His skill in administration and tactful dealing with men made him a power in the agricultural world.

He married in 1874 Margaret, daughter of Thomas Hedley of Cox Lodge Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne, by whom he had two sons, Albert Edward Jacob (godchild of King Edward VII) and Gordon Jacob