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Wilson, Sir Charles William°

WILSON, SIR CHARLES WILLIAM° (1836–1905), English army officer and topographer. Wilson entered the Royal Engineers in 1855. He directed the survey of Jerusalem (1864–66) and the survey of Sinai (1868–69) for the Ordnance Survey. He later served as consul in Turkey, intelligence officer during the wars in Sudan (1884–85), and director-general of the Ordnance Survey from 1886 to 1894, when he retired from military service with the rank of major-general. His publications on Ereẓ Israel include the first exact map of Jerusalem (1864), which still serves as the topographical basis of the Old City; explanatory notes on the map (1865); and a map of the Sinai Peninsula (1869). Wilson also contributed to the volume on Jerusalem (1880) in the series Picturesque Palestine. During his work Wilson identified remains of the bridge which connected the Temple Mount with the Upper City in the Second Temple period; this has been named after him. He was one of the leaders of the ill-fated expedition to rescue General Gordon in the Sudan in 1885 and was knighted the same year. Wilson again visited Palestine in 1899 and 1904, trying to discover sites relating to early Christianity.


Ch. M. Watson, The Life of Major-General Sir Charles William Wilson (1909). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.