c.1790 – c.1870
William Wilson snr.
…a man of pronounced individuality; was possessed of a cheery optimistic temperament – of a bluff, but cordial manner, had a practical mind, and adventurous disposition.
His youth was passed in stirring times, for Napoleon and his invincible armies, were passing over Europe like a tornado; dethroning Kings, and threatening the peace and liberties, of all European peoples. Great Britain herself was engaged with a life and death struggle with the unprincipled ambition of this brilliant man: it is little wonder therefore, that such a personality, early exchanged the ploughshare for the sword, and became a soldier.
There was little opportunity in those days, and trying times for military training; the recruits, after a few months drill, were hurried off to the seat of war in the Peninsula; and encountered at once the realities of war.
He was attached to Lord Hill's division under the Duke of Wellington, and followed its fortunes for a period about which he has left no personal record. He was a member of one of the attacking parties at the storming of Badajoz; where he was shot through the leg, and invalided home. After returning from the army, the remainder of his life was spent in the ancient and historical city of Dunfermline, where he was well known and highly respected, and brought up a large family of sons and daughters. Of these sons, Robert, Thomas, John, William and Andrew, have all passed away, as well as Agnes and Janet, two of the daughters, the third Annie (whom you all know), is the wife of my brother Robert, and happily is in excellent health.