William Wilson

WILSON, William (1795?-1867) — Sydney

William Wilson
Trade card of William Wilson, ca.1842. © National Gallery of Australia. NGA 86.2000.

Engraver and copperplate printer. Engraved Map of the town of Sydney 1836 : drawn & engraved for the N.S.W. Gen’l. Post Office Directory 1836.

At the age of thirty-three Wilson arrived in Sydney from London with his wife Elizabeth and four children in steerage on the Arab 8 Sep 1828, soon advertising “W. Wilson, having lately arrived in this colony, begs to inform the public, that he engraves card, bill, and inscription plates of all kinds; crests, mottos, and cyphers, on plate, ivory, &c., dog collars, harness and door plates; printing plates for marking bales and packages, and all sorts of engraving on steel or iron” (Sydney Gazette, 20 Oct 1828). He later advertised “Cards, invoices, and copperplates of every description; arms, crests, and cyphers; mottos and inscriptions; door plates, watch and clock dials, gun locks, steel punches, office seals and stamps, cuts for letterpress, plates for marking linen, wool bags, casks, &c.; crests for carriage harness; all kinds of gold and silver work richly ornamented; gold and silver chasing, &c.” (The Australian, 21 May 1844). He died said to be aged seventy-five at his home in Pitt Street 29 Jun 1867. Wilson’s grandson, F. A. S. Wilson, writing to Truth 19 May 1922, commented “There are, or should be, in the Mitchell Library some very fine specimens of his work, as the founder of the library had a fair collection. In the olden days, when gold and silver currency was scarce, the merchants used to issue their own £1 notes, and I think that I am right in saying that they were all engraved by my grandfather”. A trade-card of about 1842 survives in the National Gallery of Australia.

Vincent Street, Clerkenwell — 1827
George Street, Sydney — 1828-1829
Prince Street, Sydney — 1832
Corner of Queen Street, Sydney — 1833
Hunter Street, Sydney — 1834-1835
York Street, Sydney — 1835-1844
56 York Street, Sydney — 1844-1847
York Street, Sydney — 1854
61 York Street, Sydney — 1855-1857
Pitt Street, Sydney — 1858-1867
394 Pitt Street South, Sydney — 1867

DAAO. NLA. Niedorf. Trove.

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