John Steven Watson

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Dr John Steven Watson FRSE Dlitt (20 March 1916 Hebburn-on-Tyne, Co. Durham – 12 June 1986 London) was an English historian who served as Principal of the University of St Andrews from 1966-86.[1]

Life[edit]

He was born on 20 March 1916 the son of George Watson and his wife, Elizabeth Layborn Gall.[2]

He was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School, then studied History at St John's College, Oxford where he graduated MA in 1939.

After serving at the Ministry of Fuel and Power during the Second World War he returned to Oxford as a postgraduate student and tutor at Christ Church, where he then established an international reputation as an historian of the eighteenth century; this led to him being asked to contribute the volume on The Reign of George III for the Oxford History of England following the death of Richard Pares.

In 1966 he became principal of St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland and served this role successfully for 20 years.

In 1968 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposers were Anthony Elliot Ritchie, Norman Davidson, Robert Schlapp and Neil Campbell, Lord Balerno. DePauw University awarded him an honorary doctorate (DLitt) in 1967.[3] In 1972 he received a further honorary doctorate in Humane Letters (DHum) from St Andrews.[citation needed]

He announced that he planned to retire in September 1986 but died in June of that year during a visit to London.

Family[edit]

In 1942 he married Heba Sylvia de Cordova Newbery, they had two sons: John Philip and Paul Michael.

Publications[edit]

  • The Oxford History of England (1960)
  • The Reign of George III (1960)
  • A History of the Salters Company (1963)

Artistic Recognition[edit]

His portrait by David Donaldson is held by St Andrews University.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 9780902198845. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  2. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  3. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  4. ^ https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/principal-john-steven-watson-19161986-125492
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Malcolm Knox
Principal of the University of St Andrews
1966–1986
Succeeded by
Professor Struther Arnott