Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 140,069 pages of information and 227,378 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1838 July 17th. Born at Hawick the son of Thomas Watson and his wife Mary
1866 Married at Row, Dunbarton, to Mary Ann Card
1891 Living at Links View, Station Road, Monkton and Prestwick: William R. Watson (age 52 born Hawick), Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Mary Watson (age 51 born Dundee). Also his niece May K. Mille (age 25 born Glasgow). One visitor. Three servants.
1900 April 7th. Died. Buried in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.
1900 Obituary 
Sir RENNY WATSON was born at Hawick on 15th July 1838, his father being Mr. Thomas Watson, manufacturer, and one of the bailieg of Hawick in 1839. He served his apprenticeship of five years with Messrs. James Melrose and Sons, of Hawick, at the completion of which he spent a year with Messrs. Gourlay Brothers, of Dundee.
He next went to Oldham, and entered the service of Messrs. Platt, Brothers and Co. In 1862 the great Exhibition was held in London, and this firm had several specimens of their machinery on view under his charge. He remained with them nine years until 1868, having latterly been their representative in Glasgow. In that year he became a partner in the firm of Mirrlees and Tait, the style being then changed to Mirrlees, Tait, and Watson. He was also a partner in the firm of Watson, Laidlaw, and Co.
Apart from his business pursuits, he took a keen interest in literary and scientific movements, being president of the local branch of the Royal Geographical Society. He was a director of the Glasgow Workmen's Dwellings Co., of the National Bank of Scotland, and was chairman of the Victoria Infirmary Governors. He was created a Knight in 1892. On the occasion of the Glasgow Meeting of this Institution in 1895, he acted as chairman of the Reception Committee.
For some time he had been in failing health, and had to relinquish much of his public work. Recently he gave up his position of chairman of the Glasgow and South Western Railway.
His death took place in Edinburgh on 7th April 1900, in his sixty-second year.
He became a member of this Institution in 1879.
1900 Obituary 
"...director of the well-known engineering firm of Mirrlees, Watson, and Yaryan Company, Limited, and of Watson, Laidlaw, and Co., Glasgow, also - until quite recently - chairman of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company.
The deceased had been in failing health for some time, and on this account had to relinquish much of his public work. His resignation as chairman of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway was announced at the half yearly meeting of the company, held on the 13th ult. In that position he had rendered valuable service, and though relinquishing the chairmanship, be continued a director of the company.
Sir Renny Watson was a native of Hawick, where he was born in 1838, being thus in his sixty-second year. Having served his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer, he settled in Glasgow about thirty-five years ago as agent for Platt Brothers..."[More].
1900 Obituary