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Christopher Wilson was an English businessman and political activist of anti-reform views. He was the eldest son of his wife Margaret Parke, he attended Hawkshead School with William Wordsworth. Wilson went near Staveley, he had a business interest in gunpowder, being a partner in the Low Wood Gunpowder Mill at Haverthwaite. This mill was a major supplier of export gunpowder for Africa to Liverpool, up to the Slave Trade Act 1807. Wilson was connected to Liverpool through his uncle Thomas Parke. Wilson joined the Kendal Bank, founded by his father, Joseph Maude, Thomas Crewdson, as a partner, in 1795, he became senior partner in 1812, when the bank became Crewdson & Co.. The 1818 election for Westmorland was contested by Henry Brougham, against two Tories of the locally predominant Lowther family, Viscount Lowther and Henry Lowther. Wilson acted as chairman of the local Lowther Committee, he held an anti-Reform meeting. The Kendal Chronicle alleged that Wilson, a commissioner for the land tax, had employed "sly cunning", after Brougham had claimed in Parliament that Wilson had delayed returning assessments in order to disenfranchise reform voters.
Matters became rowdy, with a Reform mob setting up a barricade in Kendal to keep out the Lowther party arriving from Dallam Tower to the south. At this time Wordsworth, whose politics were Tory, commented in a letter to Lord Lonsdale, Viscount Lowther's father, that Wilson was wealthy, but not popular. Both Lowther candidates were returned in the two-member constituency. Wilson lived at Abbot Hall, he bought Mansergh manor from Charles Satterthwaite in 1821. After the Panic of 1825 he sold out of the Kendal Bank, in 1826, he had the old manor house at Mansergh. An enclosure act was passed in 1837 for Mansergh, where Wilson endowed a school. Thomas Chalmers, who encountered Wilson in the 1820s described him as "banker, with £10,000 a year, a great landed proprietor, a magistrate, most intimately and intelligently acquainted with pauperism", he quoted correspondence with Wilson, on the select vestry principle, in his work on poor relief, in The Christian and Civic Economy of Large Towns. In 1837 Christopher Wilson, as a magistrate, took part in an enquiry in Kendal ordered by the Poor Law Commission, on a cruelty complaint raised by William Carus Wilson of Casterton, against the Board of Guardians of the Union workhouse.
Wilson married Catherine, daughter of James Wilson J. P. of Kendal and Lambrigg by his wife, Jenny Anne Crumpstone of Ambleside and they had 14 children: five sons and nine daughters. The eldest son Edward became chairman of the Bank of Westmorland, when it was set up in 1833, he married daughter of Thomas Sidney Beckwith. He was succeeded by his brother William Wilson who married Maria Letitia Hulme at Stoke Gabriel, Devon in 1843 and had three sons and five daughters, their eldest son Christopher Wyndham Wilson “Kit” inherited the Rigmaden Park Estate in 1880. George Chandler. Four Centuries of Banking. 2. B. T. Batsford. John Satchell. Christopher Wilson of Kendal: An Eighteenth Century Hosier and Banker. Kendal Civic Society & Frank Peters Publishing. ISBN 0-948511-50-8
The folkloric hero Robin Hood has appeared many times, in many different variations, in popular modern works. Robin Hood has appeared in a number of plays throughout the medieval, early modern and modern periods; the first record of a Robin Hood play being performed is in Exeter in 1426-27. The earliest surviving text of a Robin Hood play is dated c.1475 and entitled Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham. The plays which have been most influential upon the Robin Hood legend as a whole are Anthony Munday's The Downfall of Robert, Earle of Huntington and The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntingdon, it is in these plays. Further plays followed during the early modern period such as the anonymous Looke About You and Robin Hood and his Crew of Soldiers; the first published prose account of Robin Hood's life appears to be the anonymously authored The Noble Birth and Gallant Atchievements of that Remarkable Out-Law, Robin Hood. Material from this work was plagiarised by criminal biographers in works such as: The Whole Life and Merry Exploits of Bold Robin Hood, Alexander Smith's A Complete History of the Lives and Robberies of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, Footpads and Cheats, Charles Johnson's Lives and Exploits of the Most Noted Highwaymen.
In addition, there were numerous books printed throughout the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that went by the name of Robin Hood's Garland. These were cheaply printed collections of Robin Hood ballads; the first Robin Hood novel written, although not published, is Robert Southey's'Harold, or, The Castle of Morford'. This exists in manuscript form in the Bodleian Library; the first published Robin Hood novel was the anonymous Robin Hood: A Tale of the Olden Time, a few months Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, 1819. Ivanhoe was Scott's first novel where romance is combined. Robin Hood in this book is the saviour of the nation; the Upper classes need the working classes as much as the working classes rely on their'betters'. Scott's tale is significant because it is the first time that Robin is presented as an Anglo-Saxon freedom fighter, a theme which many Victorian Robin Hood novels would utilise; the next novel following Scott was Thomas Love Peacock's novella Maid Marian. The novel was intended as a satire on continental conservatism and its enthusiasm for all things feudal and medieval, in particular the unwarranted praise of aristocracy.
Thus through his novella Peacock attempted to show how man’s feudal overlords have always been the same: greedy, violent and self-interested. Robin appears as the principal protagonist of two tales printed in an early penny blood entitled Lives of the Highwaymen in 1836; this serialised tale, however, is little more than a reprint of the earlier biography of Robin Hood that appeared in Charles Johnson's work. In Thomas Miller's Royston Gower. G. P. R. James' Forest Days, while not intended as a political or social commentary, is significant because it abandons the traditional dating of the Robin Hood story in the 1190s and instead places the Robin Hood legend during the Simon de Montfort rebellion. By far the longest Robin Hood novel, standing at half-a-million words, is Pierce Egan the Younger's Robin Hood and Little John; as in Ivanhoe, Robin is a Saxon, although he is not outlawed in the novel until nearly the end of the first book. The novel traces Robin's life from birth to death. Egan's text was translated into two French books, Le prince des voleurs, Robin Hood le proscrit, by Alexandre Dumas, between 1863–64.
Dumas' works were retranslated back into English by Alfred Allinson in 1904. A'companion' novel to Egan's text was published by J. H. Stocqueler in 1849 entitled Maid Marian, the Forest Queen; the first Robin Hood novel written for children appears to be Stephen Percy's Tales of Robin Hood. John B. Marsh's children's book Robin Hood appeared in 1865, as did a penny dreadful entitled Little John and Will Scarlet; the next major novel written was entitled The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle in 1883. In T. H. White's novel "The Sword in the Stone", young Wart and Kay have an adventure with a man they call Robin Hood, but are told that his real name is Robin Wood, his merry men refer to him as "Robin'ood," dropping Ws instead of Hs, in the Nottinghamshire accent of the time. White's theory is supported by Robin of the Wood. Robin Hood and His Merry Outlaws by J. Walker McSpadden, 1898. Young Robin Hood by George Manville Fenn, 1899, focuses on the young son named Robin, of the Sheriff of Nottingham learning from Robin Hood and Little John.
Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children H. E. Marshall, Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert, in 1912. Robin Hood, His Deeds and Adventures, Lucy Fitch Perkins, (1913 Robin Hood by Paul Creswick, 1917. Robin Hood and His Merry Men by Sara Hawks Sterling, 1921. Robin Hood by Edith Heal, 1928. Bows Against the Barons by Geoffrey Trease, 1934, a leftist depiction of Robin Hood from the viewpoint of a young-adult protagonist; the Sword in the Stone by T. H. White, 1939, gives his "correct" name as Robin Wood.