button to main menu  Gents Mag 1816 part 2 p.274

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Gentleman's Magazine 1816 part 2 p.274

  Dr Richard Watson

Obituary, Dr Richard Watson

Fellow of the American Society of Arts and Sciences; Member of the Massachussetts Historical Society; a Trustee of the Hunterian Museum; and Vice-President of the Society for the Suppression of Vice.
This eminent Prelate, equally distinguished as a Divine, a Natural Philospher, a Polite Scholar, and a Politician, was born in August 1737, at Heversham in Westmorland, five miles from Kendal, in which town his father, a Clergyman, was master of the Free Grammar School, and took upon himself the whole care of his son's early education. From this seminary he was sent, in November 1754, with a considerable stock of classical learning, a spirit of persevering industry, and an obstinate provincial accent, to Trinity College, Cambridge, where, from the time of his admission, he distinguished himself by close application to study, residing constantly, until made a Scholar in May 1757. He became engaged with private pupils in November following, and took the degree of B.A. (with superior credit, being second Wranger,) in January 1759. He was elected Fellow of Trinity College in Oct. 1760; was appointed Assistant Tutor to Mr. Backhouse in November that year; took the degree of M.A. in 1762, and was made Moderator, for the first time, in October following. He was unanimously elected Professor of Chemistry in Nov. 1764; became one of the Head Tutors of Trinity College in 1767; appointed Regius Professor of Divinity (on the death of the learned Dr. Rutherforth) in Oct. 1771, with the Rectory of Somersham in Huntingdonshire annexed.
During a residence of more than 30 years, he remained the pride of his University; at one time, by the ingenuity of his Chemical researches; at another, by his demeanour in the Divinity chair. He wrote, during his residence there, the following papers in Philosophical Transactions (having beene elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1769):

'Experiments and Observations on various Phaenomenoa attending the Solution of Salts,' Phil. Trans. LX. 325;
'Remarks on the Effects of Cold in February 1771,' LXI. 213;
'Account of an Experiment made with a Thermometer, whose Bulb was painted black, and exposed to the rays of the Sun,' LXIII. 40.;
'Chemical Experiments and Observations on Lead Ore,' LXVIII. 863;
all which were reprinted in the fifth volume of the 'Chemical Essays.' In 1763 he published 'Institutiones Metallurgicae,' 8vo, intended as a text-book for that part of his Chemical Lectures which explained the properties of metallic substances; and in 1771, 'An Essay on the Subject of Chemistry and their general divisions,' 8vo.
He also published various sermons from time to time; became a Prebend at Ely, 1774; made Archdeacon of the Diocese of Ely, 1780; was rector of Northwold, Norfolk from 1780.
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