Wilson, Thomas

, D. D. only surviving son of the preceding, was born. Aug. 24, 1703, in the parish of Kirk-­Michael, in the Isle of Man, and after such an institution there as he must have received under the eye of so excellent a father, was entered of Christ Church, Oxford, where he took the degree of M. A. Dec. 16, 1727. On the 10th of May, 1739, having previously become possessed of his mother’s jointure, which devolved to him on her decease, he accumulated the degrees of B. and D. D. May 10, 1739, when he went out grand compounder. He was many years senior prebendary of Westminster, and minister of St. Margaret’s there; and rector of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, forty-six years; in which last he succeeded Dr. Watson, on the presentation of lord-chancellor Hardwicke. In 1761 was published a pamphlet entitled “The Ornaments of Churches considered; with a particular view to the late decoration of the parish church of St. Margaret, Westminster. To which is subjoined an appendix, containing the history of the said church, an account of the altar-piece and stained glass window erected over it, a state of the prosecution it has occasioned, and other papers,” 4to. To the second edition of this pamphlet was prefixed a view of the inside of St. Margaret’s church, with the late excellent speaker, Arthur Onslow, in his seat. This pamphlet has been by some ascribed to a son of Dr. Shebbeare, as published under Dr. Wilson’s inspection. The reason for such conjecture is not given, and the fact is therefore doubtful. We know of no son of Dr. Shebbeare’s, and at this time Dr. Shebbeare himself was a well-known writer, and sufficiently practised in deceptions, had any been necessary. Another report is that the work was chiefly the composition of the late archdeacon Hole; Dr. Wilson having borrowed a ms treatise on the subject written by the archdeacon, and then printed almost the whole of it, inserting here and there a few notes, c. of his own. This assertion is made by an anonymous writer in the Gent. Mag. for 17S6, but who the late archdeacon Hole was, we haye not been able to | discover; Mr. William Hole, archdeacon of Sarum, was then alive, and died in 1791. Another pamphlet ascribed to Dr. Wilson was, “A review of the project for building a new square at Westminster, said to be for the use of Westminster-school. By a Sufferer. Part I.1757, 8vo. The injury here complained of was the supposed undervaluation of the doctor’s prebendal house, which was to have made way for the project alluded to. He was also the supposed author of a pamphlet entitled “Distilled Liquors the bane of the nation;” which recommended him to sir Joseph Jekyil, then master of the rolls, who interested himself in procuring him his rectory. Even concerning this a doubt has been suggested, as Dr. Hales printed a pamphlet with exactly the same title. That elaborate and excellent work of Dr. Leland’s, entitled “A view of the principal Deistical Writers,” was originally addressed in a series of letters, in the form they now appear, to Dr. Wilson, who finding that the booksellers would not give the author any adequate remuneration (50l. only were offered) printed the first edition at his own risk.

Dr. Wilson died at Alfred House, Bath, April 15, 1784, in the eighty-first year of his age, and on the 27th was interred, with great funeral pomp, in Walbrook church; where he had in his life-time put up a tablet undated. His tenacity in the cause he espoused v^as no less conspicuous in his opposition to the building of the intended square in Westminster, than in his attachment to the noted Mrs. Macaulay, to whom, when living, he erected a statue in his church, which, with his other marks of high regard for this lady, created much ridicule. By her second 'marriage, however, he was completely cured, and diverted his testamentary remembrances into more proper channels. Dr. Wilson adopted the modest motto of “Sequitur patrem, non passibus aequis,” and in his adherence to the turbulent politics of Wilkes and his party, certainly departed from his father’s example, but in acts of benevolence was by no means behind him. He often employed the Rev. Clement Cruttwell, whom we have mentioned as the editor of bishop Wilson’s works, as his almoner, who, among many other instances of his liberality and prompt attention to the wants of the distressed, used to relate the following. One day Dr. Wilson discovered a clergyman at Bath, who he was told was sick, poor, and had a numerous family. In the evening of the same day he gave Mr. Cruttwell a | considerable sum (50l. if we have not forgot) requesting he would deliver it to the clergyman in the most delicate manner, and as from an unknown person. Mr. Gruttwell said, “I will call upon him early in the morning.” “You will oblige me by calling directly. Think, sir, of what importance a good night’s rest may be to that poor man.” Dr. Wilson had accumulated a very copious historical library for the use of Mrs. Macaulay, which he bequeathed to Mr. Cruttwell, along with the copy-right of his father’s works. This curious library, after Mr. Cruttwell’s death, came into the possession of one of his nephews at Bath. 1


Butler’s Life of Hildesley, Private information. —Gent. Mag. vol. LVI.