Birthplace:
Beverley Yorkshire

Beverley town (1991 pop. 16,433), East Riding of Yorkshire, NE England.

By far the most popular town in this part of Yorkshire is Beverley, a medieval town which is surrounded on three sides by ancient common lands, known as Beverley Pastures. The main landmark of the town is the Minster. It was founded early in the 8th century, although damage caused during the Viking invasions and the Norman Conquest means that the present building only dates back to 1220. Today, it’s one of the finest examples of a Gothic church of cathedral size in Europe.

Beverley is primarily a market town with some shipbuilding and such light industries as the manufacture of railroad and automobile accessories and leather.

The famous large minster, or monastery church (13th cent.), was attached to a monastery founded by St. John of Beverley (d. 721) and transformed by Athelstan into a college of canons. It contains the tomb of the Percy family and the ancient “chair of peace,” which gave sanctuary from the laws of man. (The sanctuary, a privilege granted by Athelstan, applied in a 1-mi (1.6-km) radius around the minster; it was ended at the time of the Reformation.) The town gate is of the early 15th cent., and St. Mary’s Church dates from the 14th cent.

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Destined for Van Dieman's Land

Those that are left are few, very few, and if the watches were all called we should be amazed and say of them

My shipmates, where are they
Those boys so blithe and gay
Forty years ago today -
Dead and gone

We have all more or less had our share of adverse gales, squalls, typhoons and shoals, and the question arises: Can any purpose be answer through the adversity of life?
extract from 'Building A Commonwealth': by George Chale Watson

Born in Beverley - Shipbuilding - Seafaring Family

All evidence points to the fact that both George and John Watson were born in Beverley Yorkshire. John Watson is reported as haing been christened in the Beverly Minster.

Prior to the 1800's the Watson forebears had been shipbuilders in Southhampton for many generations and it is said, no doubt by proud ancestors, that one of Drake's ship to fight the Armada was Watson built. There is no definite proof but I like that story too.

One link the family does have with history is however recorded in the following anecdote written by the late Arthur Canaway K.C., of Sydney who wrote -

"Grandfather (John Watson) once told me the following - A grand uncle was a sea captain who owned the ship he traded from port to port. The ship served as a transport for the troops which General Wolfe attacked the French in Canada; and he and the Watson in question sat side by side in the stern of the boat in which General Wolfe descended the St. Lawrence in order to effect the landing which resulted in the fiinal victory of the next day. (The storming of the Heights of Abraham and the capture of Quebec). A Frenchman, as the boat was passing, ran out on a log projecting it into the river and aimed his muskett at General Wolfe. But the Watson in question was too quick for him and killed him by a snap shot. General Wolfe told the said Watson he would not fail to remember the service done him but as he was killed in the next days battle the said Watson went unrewarded."

In the late 1700's John Watson's father left Southhampton and started shipbuilding at Beverly in Yorkshire. He married there Ann Galley who was descended from a covenator minister of the Presbyterian Church who at the time of the persecution 1638 - 1643 came with his family to England.

source: notes by Harold Chapman, grandson of John Watson.