professional photographer, editor and estate agent, was born in Westmoreland, England. He arrived at Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854, where he set up as a photographer. Cowley and Wilson took over Julius Rochlitz 's photographic studio in Lydiard Street in 1856, but Rochlitz stayed on as studio assistant and chief camera operator and the daguerreotypes of Lola Montez, A.M. Quinn, and other celebrities of the day on view at the shop were possibly all taken by Rochlitz. In August 1857 Wilson produced the first number of the Corn Stalk , a monthly quarto of four pages of which he was editor. It lasted only until the following year.

Wilson may then have left Ballarat for a few years and worked as a travelling photographer. An 'artist’ called Wilson, resident in the Beechworth district, appeared as a witness in a Supreme Court hearing in 1860. He seems to have been the Wilson who took over Batchelder & Co.'s name and stock at Melbourne in 1866-67 in partnership with Frederick Dunn and John Botterill but then sold out his interest. The rest of his life, spent in Ballarat, was apparently unconnected with photography. Manager, with T.D. Wanliss, of the Ballarat Star (which he eventually owned) and subsequently a successful land and estate agent, he played an active role in local affairs. An elected councillor from 1877, he served a term as mayor in 1881-82. As founder and managing director of the Ballarat Trustees, Executors and Agency Company, he was one of the executors of J.R. Thompson’s estate which provided £3000 for the city to purchase statues for the Botanic Gardens. He was chairman of the reconstructed Ballarat Water Commission from 1880 until he died from 'paralysis’ at his home, Rosgill, in Mair Street, Ballarat, on 2 April 1903.

Staff Writer
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