Wilson's chief claim to fame is as an Arts-and-Crafts designer of exquisite enamel- and metal-work, jewellery, and sculpture (he was Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1917 and President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society (1915–22)), and had a distinguished career designing church-furnishings, including the decorations (1895–1910) for Edmund Evan Scott's (d. 1895) Sublime Church of St Bartholomew, Ann Street, Brighton, Sussex (built 1872–4), all of the finest Arts-and-Crafts quality, ample and rich. One of his loveliest creations is the monument to Canon E. D. Tinling (d. 1897) in Gloucester Cathedral. He also designed the sculpted frieze over the entrance to Leonard Stokes's Church of All Saints, London Colney, Herts. (1899), and the monument to Bishop William Elphinstone (1431–1514), King's College, Aberdeen. His work was exhibited and greatly admired before the 1914–18 war in Germany, notably by Muthesius. He published Silverwork and Jewellery: a text-book for students and workers in metal (1903) which went into further editions (1912, 1966, 1978), and was Editor of the Architectural Review (1896–1901).
Architectural Review, vi (1899), 276–8;
A. S. Gray (1985);
RIBA Journal (Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects), ser. 3, xli/10 (24 Mar. 1934), 539;
Service (ed.) (1975);
Bishop, chancellor of Scotland, founder of the University of Aberdeen; b. Glasgow, c. 1431; d. Edinburgh, Oct. 25, 1514. Elphinstone graduated (M.A.) from the University of Glasgow in 1462, and later distinguished himself in Canon Law and civil law at Paris and Orléans before returning to Glasgow in 1471. Having been elected rector of the University in 1474, he was appointed senior ecclesiastical judge of Scotland in 1478 and bishop of Ross in 1481, and was transferred to Aberdeen in 1483. A trusted friend of James III, he became chancellor of Scotland in 1488 but was deprived of the office on the king's murder later that year. A skillful diplomat, he negotiated several treaties for the Scottish crown with England, France, and Germany. He founded the University of Aberdeen in 1495, effected a number of important legal and liturgical reforms, and was nominated archbishop of Saint Andrews after the disaster of Flodden in 1513. The most informed, alert, and wisest Scot of his age, he died before his promotion could be ratified.
Bibliography: Hectoris Boetii Murthlacensium et Aberdonensium episcoporum vitae, ed. j. moir (Aberdeen 1894). l. macfarlane, "William Elphinstone," Aberdeen University Review 36 (1956) 225–241; 37 (1958) 253–271; 39 (1961) 1–18; Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 3:829.