Henry William Watson

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Henry William Watson

Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Death: Died in England
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Watson and Eleanor Mary Watson
Husband of Emily Frances Watson
Father of Lilian Mary Watson; Erskine Gerald Watson and Maud Edith Eleanor Watson

Occupation: Vicar. Rector of Berkswell
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Henry William Watson

Rev. Henry William Watson (February 25, 1827, Marylebone, London – January 11, 1903, Berkswell near Coventry) was a noted mathematician and author of a number of mathematics books.

He was educated at King's College London and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1881. He was responsible, together with Francis Galton for the Galton–Watson process.

Books by H. W. Watson

  • The mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism (Volume 1: electrostatics) (Clarendon, Oxford, 1885–1889)
  • The mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism (Volume 2: magnetism & electrodynamics) (Clarendon, Oxford, 1885–1889)
  • A treatise on the application of generalised coordinates to the kinetics of a material system (Clarendon, Oxford, 1879)
  • A treatise on the kinetic theory of gases (Clarendon, Oxford, 1893)

A Cambridge Alumni Database


  • Adm. pens. at TRINITY, Feb. 10, 1846. [S. of Thomas, R.N. (and Eleanor Mary Kingston). B. Feb. 25, 1827.] School, King's College, London. Matric. Michs. 1846; Scholar, 1848; B.A. (2nd Wrangler and 2nd Smith's prize) 1850; M.A. 1853; Sc.D. 1884.
  • Fellow, 1851; assistant tutor, 1851-3. Adm. at Lincoln's Inn, Oct. 17, 1851.
  • Assistant Master at the City of London School, 1854-6. Ord. deacon (Ely) 1856; priest ( London) 1858.
  • Mathematical Lecturer at King's College, London, 1857.
  • Assistant Master at Harrow, 1857-65.
  • R. of Berkswell with Barston, Warws., 1865-1902.
  • F.R.S., 1881.
  • One of the founders of the Alpine Club, 1857.
  • Married, 1856, Emily, dau. of Henry Rowe, of Cambridge, and had issue.
  • Author, Treatise on the Kinetic Theory of Gases; Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism, etc. (with S. H. Burbury, 1849). Died Jan. 11, 1903, at Brighton.
  • Father of Erskine G. (1878).
  • (Inns of Court; Crockford; Who was Who; D.N.B.; Sir F. Galton, Memories, 306.)


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Henry William Watson's Timeline

February 25, 1827
London, England
Age 18

with a scholarship

Age 22

He graduated in 1850 as second wrangler and Smith’s prizeman.

- 1853
Age 23
Age 23
- 1857
Age 26

In 1854, after he had spent a short time studying law in London, he became a mathematics master at the City of London School.

Age 28
Cambridgeshire, England
Age 28
- 1865
Age 29

1857 until 1865 he was mathematics master at Harrow School, leaving in 1865 to become Rector of Berkswell with Barston near Coventry where he remained until he retired, when he went to live in Brighton.

Age 30
Middlesex, England