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Sir (John) William Watson

(1858-1935), Poet

Sitter in 9 portraits

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Sir (John) William Watson, by Walter Stoneman, for  James Russell & Sons - NPG Ax39211

Sir (John) William Watson

by Walter Stoneman, for James Russell & Sons
bromide print, circa 1916
NPG Ax39211

Sir (John) William Watson, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x84992

Sir (John) William Watson

by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 22 March 1920
NPG x84992

Sir (John) William Watson, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x120367

Sir (John) William Watson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 22 March 1920
NPG x120367

Sir (John) William Watson, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x120368

Sir (John) William Watson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 22 March 1920
NPG x120368

Sir (John) William Watson, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x120369

Sir (John) William Watson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 22 March 1920
NPG x120369

Web image not currently available

Sir (John) William Watson

by Elliott & Fry
bromide print
NPG x92024

Web image not currently available

Sir (John) William Watson

by Elliott & Fry
albumen cabinet card
NPG x27293

Web image not currently available

Sir (John) William Watson

by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company
albumen cabinet card
NPG x27294

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Karen Dickinson

06 September 2016, 13:24

On 17 July 1909 one of the best known poets and literary critics of the day, John William Watson met (Adeline) Maureen Pring an “exceedingly pretty” young Irish woman at a concert in Bath. The Watsons occupied a “roomy old cottage” in Silver Street which they called “Old Hollies” for 2 1/2 years which included the time of the 1911 census. William sat in the garden and wrote while Maureen played with their infant daughter Rhona. The house is now called Silverton, in Buckden, St Neots. When the Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson died in 1892 Watson was the leading contender to succeed him. However Queen Victoria was in no hurry to fill the post and by the time she made up her mind in late 1895 he had fallen out of favour. He once urged one of Victoria’s sons to tell his mother it was high time she abdicated and also satirised the Prime Minister’s wife and daughter. Unsurprisingly, the title of one of the books he wrote during his stay in Buckden was “The Muse in Exile”.

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