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Prof. Sir Daniel Wilson


1816 - 1892

Archaeologist, antiquarian and academic. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a wine merchant, Wilson was educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh. He worked in London 1837-42 in an attempt to establish himself as an engraver but not having succeeded, he returned to Edinburgh and worked as a print-seller. He became a Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1847. He was an early proponent of the system which divided archaeological time up into the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, and organised the Society's collections on that basis. He published two important books on Scotland: Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time (1848) and The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland (1851), which introduced the word prehistoric into English language.

Wilson was appointed Professor of History and English Literature in Toronto (Canada) in 1853. He served as President of that University from 1881. Wilson was also President of the Canadian Institute and a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada. He was knighted in 1888.

Wilson died at his home in Toronto and lies buried there in St James' Cemetery.


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