Wilson was born in 1848 at Greenvale, Victoria, the daughter of Robert Adams. In 1874, she married James Wilson and went to New Zealand. Her husband, a well-known public man, was knighted in 1915. Her first book of poems, Themes and Variations, came out in London in 1889 and was followed by a novel, Alice Lauder, a Sketch, in 1893. Another novel, Two Summers published by Harper in 1900, was later included in Macmillan's colonial library. In 1901 A Book of Verses was published (new and slightly enlarged edition, 1917), a collection of her poems from English, American and Australian magazines. Her husband died in 1929 leaving her with two sons and two daughters. Lady Wilson died in New Zealand and is buried in the Clifton Cemetery at Bulls. Some of her poems are included in several Australian and New Zealand anthologies.