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Watson, Peter William (1761 - 1830)


1761 Hull, East Yorkshire
1820 London
1822 London
1830 Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

Additional links

Family tree - the Watsons of Hull. link
Various transcriptions relating to his life. link
Excerpt from J F Robinson's 1902 Flora of the East Riding of Yorkshire. link
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Biographical notes

Peter William Watson, a resident of Hull, East Yorkshire, is noted primarily for his two volume work Dendrologia Britannica. He was also one of the founding members of the Hull Botanical Garden in 1812. His entry in the Dictionary of National Biography states that he "occupied his early life in trade" which is a little dismissive as there is evidence that he was a successful Hull merchant. Local newspapers from the first decade of the 19th century carry notices advertising ships bound to and from the Baltic and Archangel.

References to his plant records in various Naturalists' guides, plus his own allusions, demonstrate that he was an active East Yorkshire field botanist but little seems to be known of his "herborisations." If his notebooks exist they would shed interesting light on the early botanical exploration of the region. This was lamented by J F Robinson in his 1902 Hull Flora (see below).
1761 August 26 : Baptism He was baptised at Holy Trinity, Hull, the son of John Watson.
1789 April 30 : Marriage He was married to Eleanor Todd in Hull.
1812 : Hull Botanic Gardens William was among the founding members of the Botanic gardens in Linnaeus Street, Hull.
1825 : Publication (i) First volume of Dendrologia Britannica published. link
1825 : Publication (ii) Second volume of Dendrologia Britannica published. link
1828 June 28 :
 Death of wife
11828 September 2: Hull Packet
 "On Friday at Cottingham, in the 68th year of her age, Eleanor, wife of P. W. Watson, Esq. - She was deservedly esteemed by a numerous circle of friends."
1830 September : Death 1830 November: Annual Register v 72, p 272
 "DEATHS - At Cottingham, in his 70th year, P. W. Watson, esq. F.L.S. a scientific botanist, and one of the founders of the Botanic-garden, Hull."

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton; last updated 2016 February 18