Thomas Lennox Watson (1850-1920)

Thomas Lennox Watson

Thomas Lennox Watson

by Colin Campbell

Thomas Lennox Watson was born on 21 August 1850 to Charles and Eliz Watson of St Georges Road, Glasgow. Educated at Glasgow High School he was apprenticed to Boucher and Cousland and studied at Glasgow School of Art. He studied in London for three years before returning to Glasgow in 1874.

Early in his career he secured very prestigious commissions for, amongst others, Adelaide Place Baptist Church, Hillhead Baptist Church and Wellington UP Church. In June of 1884 he was admitted to the RIBA as a Fellow with John Honeyman of Honeyman and Keppie being one of his proposers.

He also worked in close co-operation with Walter McFarlane of the Saracen Iron Foundry.

He was very active in professional and Civic affairs and was described variously as a man of, “great seriousness and thoroughness” and “precise and business like”.

A notable antiquarian, in 1901 he produced his great book on Glasgow Cathedral, “The Double Choir of Glasgow Cathedral” in which he carefully and thoroughly dissected the building history of the Lower Church.

In 1902, he restored one of the city’s oldest monuments: the 17th Century Hutcheson Monument, which stands beside the southwest door of Glasgow Cathedral and commemorates both George and Thomas Hutcheson the founders of Hutchesons’ Grammar School.

He was also a Governor of the Royal Technical College (now Strathclyde University) and designed their War Memorial (1920), his final work.

He died on 12 October 1920 at 11 Loudon Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow.

(Ack: Who’s Who in Glasgow (image); ScotlandsPeople; Dictionary of Scottish Architects; Glasgow-City of Sculpture)

Thomas Lennox Watson Monument

Thomas Lennox Watson Monument

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