William Wilson

William Wilson moved to Dore about 1855. He had lived at Whiteley Wood with his bride Hannah Bestwick and for some years had been looking around for a country house. He had put in an offer for the Burnt Store Estate but finally bought 'Abbey View' or the Moss as it is now known, from a Mr Read, in 1846. It is not known what happened to the house in the intervening years. In 1848 there is note 'Josh Gillott for Tillage Dore Estate £26-10-9' and in 1855 'Eadon's Bill £121-9-0 and Wilks Ironmonger £57'. It is on record that a William Eadon worked for Edward Vickers on his house Tapton Hall, which was later bought by George Wilson, Willam's brother. The story relates to a tree and William Eadon 'rove it into laths, and those laths were laid under the laundry floor at Tapton'. It could therefore be assumed that the bill of £121-9-0 could have been for some considerable work at Abbey View before the Wilsons moved in.

The Wilson family were snuff manufacturers at Sharrow Mills. In 1840, Willam's brother George, bought a tobacconists shop at 19 High Street, Sheffield, which was a retail outlet for this product. Of the brothers, William was a passionate follower of fox hunting and his brother George was equally enthusiastic about shooting.

Unlike Ebenezer Hall, William took no part in public affairs, his main interests according to his obituary were - 'I his younger days he hunted with Sir George Sitwell's Hounds and delighted in shooting'. Selina Wilson, the fourth child of George, who complained of meals at home being rather parsimonious and plain = a great deal of rice pudding' remembered tea at her aunt Hannah's house as 'strawberry ham on bread, broken up on a large plate, with dashings of lovely thick cream poured on the top' - a great contrast between the two households.

William died at the Moss on July 2nd 1887, nine years after retiring from active participation in the family firm. He died a very wealthy man leaving £5,000 a year for his wife, £200,000 to be invested for his daughter, annuities of £200 for his brothers, sisters, niece and executor. These legacies did not include the major part of his estate, which was left to his two sons.

William Wilson was born into an already wealthy family. His purchases of land were mainly moorland for sporting use. As a family the Wilsons did not interest themselves in public affairs, they invested their money and showed no public benefaction on the scale of Ebenezer Hall.