WILSON, Daniel (1680-1754), of Nether Levens, Westmld.
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Family and Education
b. 8 Mar. 1680, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Edward Wilson of Park House, Leck, Lancs. by Katherine, da. of Sir Daniel Fleming† of Rydal Hall, Westmld. m. 1716, Elizabeth, da. of William Crowle, merchant, of Hull, Yorks., sis. of George† and Richard Crowle†, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1720.1
Sheriff, Lancs. 1727–8; freeman, Lancaster 1738.2
By the end of the 17th century the Wilsons had become wealthy landowners with property in Westmorland and the adjoining Furness area of Lancashire, though they owed their wealth in the first place to the success of earlier generations in ‘the then flourishing manufactory of Kendal’. Wilson’s great-grandfather had supported Parliament during the Civil Wars, and when a Westmorland by-election appeared imminent in November 1700 both his father and grandfather supported the candidacy of the Whig Richard Lowther† in opposition to that of the Tory Henry Grahme*. That Wilson shared such political sympathies was suggested early in his public life, as in 1706 he was appointed a Lancashire j.p. in a moderately pro-Whig regulation of that county’s commission of the peace. In October 1706 it was reported that his mother’s family the Flemings had resolved that Wilson should stand at the next Westmorland election, but in 1707 the objections of his grandfather prevented him standing at the by-election of that year despite the attempts of his uncle (Sir) William Fleming* (1st Bt.) to have Wilson enter the lists. No such obstacles were placed in the way of Wilson at the following year’s general election, however. Wilson, standing with the support of his uncle, had begun canvassing the county by January 1708. He was said to have made full use of the county’s justices to aid his canvassing, and his addition to the Westmorland bench in March by Lord Carlisle (Charles Howard*) no doubt aided his cause. Wilson’s refusal to form a joint interest with the other Whig candidate, Robert Lowther*, reportedly angered Lor