As this is a history of Watsons Bay, it must include Robert Watson’s story. After all, the community was named for him. That said, Robert Watson doesn’t appear to have spent much time at Watsons Bay and certainly didn’t make any significant contribution to it as a community. Nevertheless, here we should relate the history of his life in the colony before we can move on to look at the men, women and families who made Watsons Bay their home and established a community that was resilient through to the 1970s.
Robert Watson had only just celebrated his 21st birthday when he arrived with the First Fleet on board HMS Sirius under the command of Captain Arthur Philip, the first governor of the new colony of New South Wales. He had set out as an able seaman and won promotion to Quarter Master during the voyage.
Just weeks after the arrival of the fleet, the HMS Supply was sent with 25 convicts and sailors to Norfolk Island. King George 111 was concerned that another European power might claim the island and had specifically instructed Philip to establish a settlement. It took them six days of circling the island to find a safe place at which to land the settlers. They had to be landed from longboats rowed through the surf. Another group of convicts were taken to the island over the next twelve months, and they were already shipping flour and maize back to the colony.
Meanwhile, Robert was back on-board HMS Sirius, sailing to the Cape Colony to load supplies to save the starving colony. It was an arduous seven-month voyage, and they weren’t back in Sydney Cove till April 1889. He was still serving on board HMS Sirius a year later when she was wrecked at Norfolk Island in March 1790.
Despite the fact that the convict ship Surprize arrived on the 1st August 1790 and delivered supplies and 35 male and 150 female convicts, she was a privately owned ship and was sailing on to Canton before returning to England, so Robert was unable to return to Sydney Cove.
Robert was stranded on the island for a year. HMS Supply was the only ship left in the colony, and they had no idea when another vessel would arrive. One of the new convict women who had arrived on the island was Sarah Dorsett. She had been on the Lady Juliana; the infamous “Floating Brothel”. She was already pregnant when she boarded, and give birth to a son while at Rio de Janeiro. After 309 days at sea, they arrived at Sydney Cove and within months were sent to Norfolk Island. It is highly likely that there, she became Robert’s mistress. There are no records of her and Robert marrying, however they had two sons and a daughter in the following years.
“John Nicol, the steward of the ‘Lady Juliana’ mentioned Sarah in his account of the voyage, which was published more than 30 years later. He said that she had been deserted by her lover and forced by want upon the streets. Her parents ‘decent looking people’ visited her before she sailed. He wrote of an emotional reunion with her parents who came on board ship to see her. ‘My lost child!’ said her father, hardly able to speak, as his sobbing wife embraced Sarah, who fainted. ‘The mother with streaming eyes, blessed God that they had found their poor lost child, undone as she was’, wrote Nicol, ‘She was young and pretty, and had not been two years from her father’s house; so short had been the course of her folly and sin. She had not been protected by the villain who ruined her above six weeks; then she was forced by want upon the streets and taken up as a disorderly girl’.
He said that on the voyage, one of the crew, William Power [sic], fell in love with her. He returned to NSW when she had served her sentence, married her, and took her back to England. His statements were not always accurate, and this was one of those instances. Powell did return to the colony aboard the ship ‘Bellona’ as a free settler in 1793, but he married Elizabeth Fish, a free woman who also sailed on that ship.” 1
After a year on the island, Robert returned to Sydney Cove on the HMS Supply, primarily to apply for a grant of land on the island and returned there just a month later to take possession of 60 acres at Cascade Run. He was soon selling provisions to the government, however within two years, when he found that his land had been incorrectly surveyed, he sold it to George Legg and returned to sea as Master of the colonial ship “Francis”.
With the exception of “Supply” and “Sirius”, all convict transport ships had returned to England and the government specified that no ships or boats were to be built in the colony. The East India Company controlled all trade and therefore shipping in the region. Nevertheless, Gov. Philip requested the government provide a ship urgently. They responded by sending a ship that had been built in “frame form” at Deptford Dockyard for the explorer George Vancouver. At Sydney Cove, it took 17 months to assemble the sloop and she was christened “Francis”. Robert was appointed as mate in 1893.
The “Francis” and “Britannia” immediately sailed to Dusky Bay where a sealing community had been established by Captain William Raven of the Britannia, just a year earlier. This was the first European settlement in New Zealand, on the far south western coast.
In 1792 his daughter Rebecca was born. He also had two sons John and Edward. By 1802, Sarah had left Robert and her 3 children, and she was living with John Woodward. They had three children born between1803 and1807.
We will never knowif she or the children ever lived at Watsons Bay, however it is highly unlikely. Nor do we know who raised the children, however Robert did apply for his son in law Robert Murray to be appointed as the pilot to replace him. He assisted Edward as the newly appointed Master of the “Estramina”, on his first voyage to Newcastle. John and Rebecca filed a claim with the supreme court for Robert’s estate and in 1830, John was still applying to the court for his fathers house and land at Watsons Bay.
Looking at a copy of a painting by Alexander Hoey titled “Pilots House and Watsons Bay” which was sketched around 1810, it shows Robert Watsons house as being quite prominent. In fact, given that the house and land doesn’t appear in any formal documents prior to those maps showing the land grants to Humphries, Siddons and Thomas Watson, it looks like his house became the core for what we now know as Dunbar House. In 1805 he reported that aboriginals had stolen his crop of corn, and he could only have grown corn if his land was on the relatively flat and rock free land that is today Robertson Park.
In 1800 Robert was placed in charge of the Dawes Point battery on the east point of the western side of Sydney Cove. In 1801 he was also appointed Boatswain of the dockyard which was also located on the western side of Sydney Cove. Governor King granted him land in 1801 at South Head, later to become known as Watson’s Bay.
Robert however, remained with the “Francis” until she was wrecked at Newcastle in 1805, by which time he was her Captain. Only then did he take up a land grant at Watsons Bay. This had been made in 1801, however even in 1805, while officially appointed pilot, he worked at other jobs for the government. He was on occasions a dockyard boatswain, the harbourmaster and during the evacuation of Norfolk Island early in 1814 he piloted Kangaroo.
In 1800, several ships captains had fired their cannons outside the heads calling for a pilot. None arrived and they cautiously made their way into and up the harbour before registering complaints with the government and writing letters to the newspaper complaining about the poor service.
In 1803, Surgeon John Harris widened the aboriginal walking track from Sydney Cove along the ridges to South Head. This was snake infested country and the Gadigal and Birrabirragal had regularly burned the track to reduce undergrowth. These many years after the arrival of the first fleet and the death of so many of the people, the track was becoming overgrown, and Harris and his men cleared a 15 foot wide track. He claimed that he was only paid £20, despite having an agreement to be paid £100. This new track allowed access to the flagstaff for the building of a more substantial signal tower and a keeper’s cottage.
At Watsons Bay in 1805, Robert joined a very small community of soldiers manning the flagstaff. He recruited a crew to man his pilot boat and they would have been accommodated in the new stone house he had built. Although it is likely that he spent much of his time at a house he had at The Rocks which was where he died in 1819, he was certainly at Watsons Bay in May 1805 when he claimed that aboriginals had stolen his small crop of corn.
He was in more serious difficulties in June when the Provost Marshal seized three of his boats at Camp Cove. They remained at Camp Cove for some years.
With Robert occupied at various other jobs around the harbour, the governor appointed Thomas Reiby as the pilot in 1809, however as with Watson, he continued with his commercial activities and on returning from India in 1811 died. He was believed to have suffered sunburn and perhaps he died from skin cancer as his death was recoded as being “lingering” Reiby’s wife Mary continued the business and built it into one of the most substantial in the colony.
The only other person of note in the South Head area at the time was Sir Henry Browne Hayes. Sir Henry was the son of a wealthy brewer and miller in Cork and when his wife died, he decided upon marrying Mary Pike whose banker father had died and left her £20,000.
Sir Henry forged a letter from the Pike family doctor saying that her estranged mother was gravely ill and that she should come to see her. As Mary made her way by coach, Sir Henry abducted her and took her to the family home where he and his sister had arranged for a man dressed as a priest marry them.
Mary’s uncle rescued her and offered a substantial reward additional to the government’s reward of £1,000, for Sir Henry’s capture. For two years, Sir Henry evaded capture and eventually offered to surrender if the reward was rescinded. When it wasn’t, he went to an old family friend and suggested that he take him in and claim the reward.
At trial, he was found guilty of kidnapping and sentenced to death. This was commuted to transportation for life, and he was shipped on the Atlas in 1802.
It would seem that he hadn’t kidnapped Mary because he was desperately short of money. He paid the captain of the Atlas to be allowed to dine with him for the duration of the voyage. Unfortunately, he also fell out with the ship’s surgeon, and on arrival was sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Within months however, Sir Henry was meeting with Irish convicts and tried to establish a freemason’s lodge. Governor King regarded him as “a restless, troublesome character”, and was happy to see him somewhat isolated at what was then known simply as South Head. Wealth obviously meant you could buy your way out of ‘convict” punishment, because there is no evidence that Sir Henry did anything but purchased the Laycock and Cardel farms at “South Head”, build a cottage and begin farming. He named the estate Vaucluse.
He certainly wasn’t one for reading the newspaper. Either that, or he saw himself as superior to the governor. On May 7, 1803, the governor issued this directive:
“Mr. Thomas Moore, Master Boat Builder, to be Surveyor of Timber throughout the Colony for Naval Purposes, neither him, or any Person employed under his direction, is to be hindered or molested in marking, cutting down, and removing such Trees and Timber as he may ﬁx on.”
Nine months later, Sir Henry placed an advertisement offering a reward for information as to who had stolen timber from his Vaucluse estate.
Reward of Ten Guineas.
WHEREAS several highly ornamental TREES of Honeysuckle and She-oak have been lately cut down on the Lands of VANCLUSE, near the South Head (formerly called Lacock and Cardell Farm), supposed for Boat building as the crooked parts were only removed: I will pay a Reward of TEN GUINEAS to any person who will, within Six Months from the date hereof, prosecute to Conviction the Person or Persons concerned in the said Felony; and I Caution any Person in future from Cutting Grass or committing Trespasses on the said Grounds without my Permission
Jan 21st 1804
The theft of timber wasn’t his only concern. A year later he offered 5 Guineas reward for the recovery of, one black and white Boar, three Breeding Sows, and a fat Sheep. One suspects that the best method of concealing this crime was the butchering and consumption of the meat, and Sir Henry never saw his stock again.
In 1809, he again offered 2 Guineas reword for the return of a three-year-old Heifer and further added that if found with someone else’s herd, he would prosecute.
Henry Kable was a first fleet convict who was made the Chief Constable at Sydney Gaol at The Rocks. He supervised the convicts there, in building a boat which was christened “The Prisoner at Large”. Before she could be launched, he was dismissed for illegally importing and buy pigs from a ship in port.
This however was the beginning of a career in shipbuilding, and he became the longest serving partner of James Underwood who established the most successful ship building and trading business in colonial Sydney. Like many men of the time, Kable seems to have always had several jobs on the go at the same time. While still the Chief Constable, he, his son and the Harbour Pilot William Bowen were building a substantial boat in Sydney Cove.
In May 1803, they made the news when it took them two days to launch the new vessel.
On Sunday last, the new Vessel was launched after an indefatigable exertion of two days. On Saturday morning the props were knocked away from under her, and she was got down to the water’s edge, against the evening tide, when she began to stir, but the pall of the windlass, at which many persons were at work, suddenly giving way, had nearly been productive of the most serious consequences: One of the bars, which ﬂew with incredible force, struck the pilot, Mr. W. Bowen, across the thighs, which, from the violence of the blow, he at the moment conjectured to have broken. Mr. Kable’s son, by the sudden recoil, was thrown over‐ board, and one of the working hands received a severe wound in the neck: the project of getting her oﬀ was now necessarily abandoned until the tide should again serve. The whole of Sunday was occupied in forming a deep bason round the vessel and an open channel extending as far as the low‐water mark. This task was executed under an incessant and heavy fall of rain, though not without carrying the Dutchman’s theory into practice, That if the outside be wet, the inside should be so likewise. At night she was got aﬂoat without further accident; and every exertion is now making to ﬁt her out for the Straits, whither it is supposed, she will be ready to sail in less than a month. Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 29 May 1803, page 3
William Bowen was living at Watsons Bay some of the time and at other times, lived with his wife Ann at a house in The Rocks. In July 1803, he placed an advertisement offering a reward for the return of his dog “Tinker”. From the description, he sounds very much like the dog that again made the news in December:
Last week a very large black snake was attacked by a little terrier at South Head; and a contest of several minutes ensued. But a woman alarmed at the appearance of the snake shrieked aloud, and alarmed a boatman then at hand, who with a hoe severed the head from its body. The dog, though unable to overpower it, appeared desirous of checking its progress, and preventing the snake’s escape; but from the bites he received during the encounter, he only outlived his antagonist a few minutes. Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 11 December 1803, page 4
Also in 1803, he placed an advertisement warning people not to borrow his boat without permission. It appears that his main concern was that without his boat, he couldn’t return to Watsons Bay when required as a pilot.
We hear no more about William until 1809 when he became the butt of colonial humour when the Sydney Gazette posted:
On the night of Sunday last, a Mr. B. of South Head, was alarmed by the suspected approach of thieves, who had paid frequent visits to the place, but too cautiously to endanger their own safety. Mr. B, provided with an excellent musket, charged with half a dozen bullets, advanced upon the foe, who still audaciously maintained his ground –but retribution was at hand–the contents of the surcharged piece were lodged within his body :-he fell of course, and groaned–until he groaned no more.–The victor, exulting in his skill and prowess, retired from the field, not doubting that the morning sun could bless his sight with same extended ruffian of the wood ; but as even Quixote had been known to blunder, this also chanced to be the case with Mr. B: for he now too late perceived that instead of a man he had unfortunately shot dead a little chestnut horse, to whose useful services he had often been indebted. Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 29 October 1809, page 2
Seven months later an inquest found that William had died of suffocation, having been found lying drunk in the street near his home at The Rocks and the Government Wharf.
He was replaced as Pilot at South Head by Alexander Mason. Like Bowen, Alexander maintained a home that he rented at The Rocks. During this period, whenever a new pilot was appointed, there always seemed to be an advertisement in the “The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertise”. It was an advertisement for a cottage or house at The Rocks that commanded and uninterrupted view of South Head. The point being, the pilot could live at The Rocks and see the flag on the flagstaff whenever a ship was approaching.
While there wasn’t yet a village at South Head, it was a regular destination for families and groups gathering for picnics.
In December 1809, Watsons Bay experienced weather that came to be quite common to the locals for the next 200 years. An afternoon electrical storm which was reported as: “Between three and four in the afternoon of Sunday last, a genteel pleasure party at South Head, consisting of 14 Officers and Ladies, experienced one of the most general as well as violent electric shocks that perhaps ever was experienced.
The company were preparing to take a cold collation beneath a fig tree; and from the threatening aspect of the weather, intended to make no further delay; several reports of very distant thunder had been heard, but no lightning yet discernible; when on a sudden a tremendous crash near to where they sat took place, occasioned by an immense ball of fire striking a rock not very far distant from the tree, and rending it completely; then glancing towards the sea, threw up a prodigious body of water by its immersion.
The consequences of this surprising phenomenon were nearly fatal to the whole of the above company; a part of the electric fluid being probably attracted by the knives and forks on the table, took its course that way, and at the same instant ten of the company were struck down, some to all appearance dead, and others strangely affected by delirium.
Captain PORTEUS sensibly felt the shock, but happily, was not otherwise affected ; Mr. HARRIS was knocked down, and supposed to have been killed, but soon recovered; on the right temple the hair were singed, and his right side and thigh were bruised severely; Mr. SLOANE was also knocked down, and remained some days in a dangerous and doubtful state : his breast and arm were singed, and much bruised ; Lieutenant LAYCOCK received the shock on the right side, and was much lamed ; Mr. G. Blaxland had a bottle knocked out of his hand, but escaped hurt. The principal sufferer, however, was a young lady, whose head was in a total blaze, and who must have perished in a state if insensibility had not assistance been at hand. The fire was extinguished by Mr. Blaxland; but no hope of her surviving could be entertained. She has nevertheless since recovered her faculties ; and out of the whole number that felt this tremendous shock it is a truly gratifying reflexion, that no single individual is likely to bear any lasting mark of its excessive violence.” Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 22 January 1809, page 1
There is no mention of the names of the “Ladies” who attended this “genteel leisure party”, nor the “FAIR visitors” who also ventured to Watsons Bay in 1803.
Three ꜰᴀɪʀ visitors on board the Surprise on Thursday evening, when orders for her
prompt departure were received, were without ceremony landed on the ﬁrst Point that
presented itself, with as little compliment as the emergency of the case seemed to require. Indeed the ʟᴀᴅɪᴇꜱ themselves were so agitated with the noise and bustle that in an instant prevailed, as to forget to enquire whereabouts their rude gallants intended to set them down; but to their extreme regret they found themselves at dark upon the open Beach at South Head, where in imitation of the sister Cyrens, they were under the necessity of exerting their vocal powers in hopes of attracting the attention of passing ﬁshermen, and were at length indebted to their feet for the accomplishment of a disagreeable journey in the dark.
Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 18 December 1803, page 4
There was also “A ᴘʟᴇᴀꜱᴜʀᴇ party designing on Sunday last to ᴛᴀᴋᴇ the water for South Head, inconsiderately engaged a boat, which was scarcely large enough to contain their luggage. In Cockle Bay the ladies, gentlmen, ﬁdler, &c. &c. committed themselves to the Cᴏᴄᴋʟᴇ‐shell, but in putting oﬀ, the little vehicle fortunately then literally ᴄᴀᴘꜱɪᴢᴇᴅ, by which early accident the lives of the Pleasurists were in all probability preserved. A mother and child were for some moments immersed, being directly underneath the boat, and were with some little diﬃculty timely extricated; Dogs, bottles, and baskets ﬂoated, but the unfortunate ﬁddle still remained invisible; personal apprehension gave way to the safety of the ᴄʀᴏᴡᴅ, which was at length recovered, to the satisfaction of all parties, who, wet and uncomfortable as they were, procured another boat, and accomplished their design of passing the day merrily.” Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 14 August 1803, page 2
Ships still regularly anchored off Camp Cove and sent boats ashore to gather rocks to act as ballast. On one occasion they also discovered 200 weight of pig lead that had been dumped by another ship, shedding ballast.
Convicts attempting to escape were often recaptured at South Head and the Governor regularly visited when seeing off other officers when they were retuning to England or Port Dalrymple (Hobart). More often than not, he had horses and carriages sent ahead to South Head and he and his party would leave the ship at South Head and travel back by road.
- Bateson, Charles. The convict ships 1787-1868. 2nd ed. Glasgow : Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd., 1985 ie 1969
|WATSON, Robert. Boatswain, Pilot and Harbour Master; Superintendent of Macquarie Lighthouse|
|Came free as Quartermaster of the “Sirius” in 1788; appointed Boatswain of the Dockyard, Pilot and Harbour Master of Port Jackson in 1811; resigned as Pilot in 1814 and dismissed as Boatswain and Harbour Master in 1816 for stealing canvas; Superintendent of Macquarie (South Head) Lighthouse from November 1818 to October 1819; died 1 November 1819. Watson’s Bay, the site of his land grant, was named after him.|
|1792 Jan 3-1797 May 1||On list of all grants and leases of land registered in the Colonial Secretary’s Office (Fiche 3267; 9/2731 pp.2, 24, 74)|
|1800||In charge of battery on the east point of the Cove (Reel 6041; 4/1719 p.53)|
|1810 Apr 6||Juror at inquest on Henry Giddes (Reel 6021; 4/1819 pp.219-20)|
|1811 May 30||To assist his son Edward, newly appointed Master of the “Estramina”, on his first voyage to Newcastle (Reel 6003; 4/3492 p.13)|
|1811 Aug 17||Appointed Boatswain of the Dock Yard at Sydney and Harbour Master of Port Jackson (Reel 6038, SZ758 p.225; Reel 6002, 4/3491 p.49)|
|1812 Apr 18-1814 Aug 6||His salary as Harbour Master paid from Police Fund (Reel 6038; SZ758 pp.291, 400, 517)|
|1814 Jan 28||To accompany John Martin on “Kangaroo” to assist in navigation of Norfolk Island waters for evacuation of the settlement (Reel 6044; 4/1730 p.159)|
|1814 Jan 28||To William Hutchinson re despatch of “Kangaroo” to evacuate Norfolk Island (Reel 6004; 4/3493 pp.24-6)|
|1814 Apr 30||Paid from Police Fund for piloting “Kangaroo” from Norfolk Island (Reel 6038; SZ758 p.488)|
|1814 Sep 24||Circular re survey and inventory of sails of “Estramina” (Reel 6004; 4/3493 p.315)|
|1814 Oct||Called as witness in the matter of the ship “Surry”; in the Vice Admiralty Court (Reel 6040; 9/2735 p.31)|
|1814 Oct 1||To Joseph Ross re survey of “Estramina” (Reel 6004; 4/3493 p.326)|
|1814 Oct 10||Required to appear as a witness in the Vice Admiralty Court (Reel 6044; 4/1731 p.47)|
|1814 Oct 11||Testimony in the case brought against the “Surry” (Reel 6044; 4/1731 pp.67-70)|
|1814 Dec 10||Robert Murray appointed Pilot for Port Jackson in place of Watson (Reel 6038; SZ759 p.18)|
|1815 Jan 28-1817 Apr 30||His salary as Harbour Master paid from Police Fund (Reel 6038; SZ759 pp.34, 95, 124, 155, 180, 201, 240, 348)|
|1815 Apr 7||Re appointment to survey damaged rigging on “Estramina” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.13)|
|1815 Jun 3,9||Re appointment to committee to survey bread on “Emu” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 pp.86-8)|
|1815 Aug 16||Re Committee of Survey on damage to “Estramina” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.143)|
|1815 Aug 24||To Cossar and Ross re survey and inventory of Government Sail Room (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.149)|
|1815 Aug 24||Re weekly returns of stores and expenditure (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.148)|
|1815 Oct 23||Re windsails per “Emu” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 pp.239-41)|
|1815 Dec 28||Re committee to survey provisions and sails of “Emu” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 pp.295-6)|
|1816 Jan 1||On list of persons holding civil and military employments in New South Wales & its dependencies; as Harbour Master (Reel 6045; 4/1734 p.10)|
|1816 Jan 16||On list of persons to receive grants of land in 1816; at North Harbour (Fiche 3266; 9/2652 p.28)|
|1816 Feb 6||Re committee to survey cable and fore topsail of “Lady Nelson” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.343)|
|1816 Feb 12||Re survey of provisions and stores on “Kangaroo” (Reel 6004; 4/3494 pp.356-7)|
|1816 Feb 13||Survey and report on provisions on “Kangaroo” (Reel 6045; 4/1734 pp.32-3)|
|1816 Jul 16, Aug 15||Re his suspension as Boatswain & Harbour Master as criminal charges had been laid against him for embezzlement of Government stores; his duties to be handed over to William Cosar, Master Builder (Reel 6005; 4/3495 pp.33, 34, 101)|
|1816 Oct 7||Request by W H Hovell for position of Harbour Master to succeed Robert Watson (Reel 6045; 4/1735 p.153)|
|1818 Nov 28||Appointed Superintendent and Keeper of Light at Macquarie Tower (Reel 6038; SZ759 p.524)|
|1819 Jun 10, Aug 24||Salary as Superintendent, Macquarie Tower paid from the Police Fund (Reel 6038; SZ1044 pp.59, 89)|
|1819 Oct 28||Unable through indisposition to fulfil his responsibilities as Superintendent of Macquarie Tower and requesting that Mr Murray, Pilot, be allowed to do so (Reel 6020; 2/8130 p.407)|
|1819 Nov 12||Henry Cote appointed to succeed Watson as Keeper of Lighthouse, Macquarie Tower (Reel 6038; SZ1044 p.118)|
|1821 Oct 26||Memorial of his children, John Watson and Rebecca Murray, for land at South Head (Fiche 3040; 4/1827 No.145) WATSON, John. Born in the Colony; son of Robert Watson, former Pilot and Harbour Master; former seaman 1821 Oct 26 Memorial for land at South Head (Fiche 3040; 4/1827 No.145) 1824 Jun 8 Memorial for land at Broken Bay (Fiche 3116; 4/1840A No.1032 pp.155-8) 1824 Jun 23 On list of lands granted and reserved by Sir Thomas Brisbane (Fiche 3269; 9/2740 p.31|