Biggerstaff Wilson was a fourth son of a successful Victoria clothier and politician, William Wilson. He received his early education in Victoria before leaving for England where he attended Christ Church College near London. Upon completion of university education, he returned to Victoria where he has since resided.
Following in the steps of his English-born father, he established himself as one of Victoria’s leading businessmen. As head of B. Wilson Company Ltd. and founder of the Ice and Cold Storage Company, he pioneered many forms of food preservation and storage that had a significant impact on everyday life of Victorians. He was also a prominent golfer and vice-president of the Northwest Golf Association. In 1905 Biggerstaff Wilson commissioned Samuel Maclure to build a large residence at Rockland. Biggerstaff’s son, Richard B. Wilson, served as mayor of Victoria in the 1960s.
Biggerstaff Wilson’s unusual first name is, in fact, the last name of the Wilson family’s friend, a wealthy London bachelor, who left his fortune to baby Wilson in exchange for perpetuating his last name. To friends and family he was known, simply, as “Big”.