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Reverend Doctor Archibald Watson

Rev. Watson was from Lochwinnoch, educated at Glasgow University and ordained 1846, Minister St Matthews Church, Glasgow, moving to East Church, Dundee in 1862. Along with Rev Norman McLeod he organised India Missions and became Moderator of General Assembly in 1880.

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Personal details and history

Full name

Archibald Watson

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status


Name of spouse

Robina Urquhart[2]


Elizabeth, John, Jessie, Archibald, Robina.[2]

Home address

The Manse, Ferry Road, Dundee.[3]

Age at death:


Place of death:


Date of death:



Eastern Cemetery, Dundee.[5]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Church of Scotland.[2]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Chaplain of 1st Forfarshire (Dundee) Rifle Volunteers.[6] Dundee Institute for the Blind.[7] Director, Baldovan Asylum for Imbecile and Idiot Children.[8] Committee, Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum.[6] Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[6] Director, Albert Institute Ltd.[8] Free Library, Museum and Picture Gallery committee.[7] Model Lodging House Association committee.[7] Honorary Vice-President, Dundee Boys and Girls Religious Association.[7] Dundee Board, Anglo-Indian Christian Union.[7] Acting Chairman, Dundee Albert Institute Subscription Library.[9] Committee, Dundee Royal Infirmary.[9] President, University Club.[10] Trustee, Miss Henderson Mortification.[7] Trustee, Ferguson Mortification.[9]

Public offices

Chairman of the School Board of Dundee.[11][12] Moderator to General Assembly,1880.[2] Chaplain to Her Majesty often preaching at Balmoral.[5]

Related subscribers

Subscriber no.22 – John Boyd Baxter – left money in his will to Rev. Dr. Watson’s daughters

Career and worklife


Minister of Church of Scotland.[2]


Place of work

East Church, Dundee.[6][2]

Work address

East Church, Nethergate, Dundee.[2]

Career to date:

Assistant Minister Beith, March 1846.[2] Ordination in Glasgow Presbytery to St Matthews Church, Glasgow, [13] October 1861 agreed to become Minister at East Church, Dundee.[2] 1862 Graduation from Glasgow University as Doctor of Divinity[14] 1868 Appointed Her Majesty’s Chaplain in Scotland.[2] 1880 Appointed Moderator of General Assembly.[2]

More information

Archibald Watson born 7 July 1821 to John Watson, a shoemaker and Annette Clullich in Lochwinnoch.[1] He was educated there and at Glasgow University where he graduated with MA in 1844. After a short time as assistant minister at Beith he met his wife Robina. She was daughter of  the manse and they were married 16th November 1847.[15] He was ordained in 1846 when he moved to Glasgow to St Matthews Church. His children were born there when he lived in West Regent Street.

In 1862, he graduated again from Glasgow University with Doctor of Divinity, before taking up his new post in Dundee at the East Church. He was there until his death in 1881. During this time he was involved in the School Board in Dundee[12] and the Institute for the Blind.[7]

Archibald Watson was also heavily involved in the India Missions of the Church of Scotland, along with Rev Norman McLeod.[2] He was appointed Chaplain to the Queen on 2 May 1868 and Moderator of the General Assembly in 1880.

Archibald Watson died in 1881 from bronchitis,[4] a condition he had been suffering for some time and was in Torquay at time of 1881 census trying to improve his health.[16] He was buried in the Eastern Cemetery, Dundee. A large procession was involved and a muffled peal was rung from the Old Steeple bells.[5]

A portrait painted by Mr McTaggart of Rev. Dr. Watson was donated to the Albert Institute after his death.[11]


  1. Old Parish Records. Lochwinnoch. Baptisms. 570/30 18. ScotlandsPeople Website.
  2. Scott, Hew. (1925). Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Vol.V - Synods of Fife and of Angus and Mearns. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.
  3. Dundee Directory, 1864-65. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  4. Statutory Registers. St. Andrew, Dundee. Deaths. 1881. 282/4 638. ScotlandsPeople Website.
  5. Dundee Courier and Argus, 26 July 1881. British Newspaper Archive website.
  6. Dundee Directory, 1867-68. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  7. Dundee Directories, 1874-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  8. Dundee Directories, 1867-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  9. Dundee Directory, 1880-81. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  10. Dundee Directories, 1878-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Advertiser, 6 November 1883. British Newspaper Archive website.
  12. Dundee Directory, 1876-77. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. Perthshire Courier, 5 March 1846. British Newspaper Archive website.
  14. Stirling Observer, 20 February 1862. British Newspaper Archive website.
  15. Old Parish Records. Barony, Glasgow. Marriage. 622/190 284. ScotlandsPeople Website.
  16. 1881 England Census. Torquay. Ancestry website.

The information above about Archibald Watson has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.