Very little is known of William Corbett Wilson in Australia. Our interest in him is in his purchase of two crown allotments at Mount Duneed that became Calder Park.
From UK records he appears to be a cousin of Charles Anthony Corbett Wilson whose life in Victoria is well documented. Their fathers were brothers so it is possible that the two cousins came to Australia together arriving in Geelong on 12 August 1851. Both worked as surveyors in the 1850s and both are listed in the Shire of Barrabool rate books as having leased a farm together in Duneed. When CAC Wilson migrated he left a girl behind in England whose family objected to their friendship. He hoped to dig up enough gold to go home to be in a good position to marry her. He had no luck finding gold and when he found out in 1851 that she had already married he was distraught. He then stayed in Victoria. He had a son named William Corbett Wilson, born on 13 May 1862 who died aged 1 year and 9 months on 31 January 1864 who was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
It is probably coincidence that two of CAC Wilson's daughters married John Calvert Bell, who lived at Calder Park from 1891 to 1902.
WC Wilson seems to have gone back to England as his name appears in the 1861 UK census as an invalid. A death is recorded in 1861 for William Corbet Wilson. As the name does not appear again I will assume that this is the same person.
WC Wilson was born in 1833 in Bozeat Northamptonshire, the son of Rev William Corbett Wilson, vicar of Bozeat and Elizabeth née Whitworth. His grandfather, also Rev William Corbett Wilson was chaplain to HRH The Prince of Wales (later George IV).
Part of the will of the Reverend William Corbett Wilson who died on 25 May 1853. He left treasured items to his son — a four volume bible, a silver tea pot, a snuff box, a gold hunting watch, a four volume Johnson's dictionary and a double barrelled gun lathe and tools.
I came across this article in an 1864 Geelong Advertiser which gives an idea of the difference between then and now. Many lived like this all over the Geelong district. Chilwell, which is now the southern part of Newtown, housed many of Geelong's poor. Chilwell Wesleyan school began in Saffron Street, in a slab hut in 1849 with an attendance of 47 children. By 1865 the number on the books was 368 which is close to the number of pupils enrolled today. It was at the back of the Noble Street Uniting Church and became the Chilwell State School in the 1870s, the Education department renting the Wesleyan building until the new school was built in Pakington Street in 1878.
The Bluestone Cottage at Marshall
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History