Watson, William J. (William John), 1865-1948

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Epithet: of New Ross

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000979.0x0001a8

William John Watson was born in 1865 and was the son of a blacksmith in Easter Ross. He studied at Aberdeen University, graduating with the degree of M.A., a Classical First. He was Rector of the Royal Academy in Inverness, 1894 to 1909, and then Rector of the Royal High School, Edinburgh, from 1909 until 1914. As a native speaker of Gaelic he was also interested in Celtic Studies and to the revival of Gaelic teaching in Scotland. In 1914 Watson was appointed Professor of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities at Edinburgh University, a post which he held until 1938. He was succeeded in the Chair by his son, Professor James Carmichael Watson (1910-1942). The elder Watson's publications include Place names of Ross and Cromarty (1904), Gaelic prose (1915), Gaelic poetry (1918), History of the Celtic place-names of Scotland (1926), and Scottish verse from the book of the Dean of Lismore (1937). Professor William John Watson died on 9 March 1948. His son, Professor James Carmichael Watson, predeceased him, missing presumed killed in action with the Royal Navy in 1942.

From the guide to the Collection of Letters of Professor William John Watson (1865-1948), 1915-1978, (Edinburgh University Library)

Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander Carmichael, 1832-1912; Professor W. J. Watson, 1865-1948 person
associatedWith Basden Eric B. person
associatedWith Edinburgh University corporateBody
associatedWith Watson, William John; Basden, Eric B. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Liverpool, Lancashire
Mullingar, Westmeath
Dublin, Ireland
Celtic languages


Birth 1865

Death 1948



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