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Biographical entry Watson, William Spencer (1836 - 1906)

MRCS July 3rd 1857; FRCS Dec 11th 1862; MB Lond (Hons) 1860.

2 March 1836
17 September 1906
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born 2nd March, 1836, son of John Watson, who practised for fifty years in Bloomsbury; entered Merchant Taylors' School, Sept, 1843, gained the Warneford Entrance Scholarship at King's College, and the Senior Warneford Scholarship in Medicine. He practised at 8 Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, and was Surgeon to the Throat Department of the Great Northern Hospital, to the Central London Ophthalmic Hospital, and the Royal Eye Hospital, Southwark. He was in particular a pioneer in the surgery of the nose and nasal sinuses. He directed attention to the fact that suppuration might occur in the antrum without pain or external swelling. He was also held in high esteem as an ophthalmologist.

Failing eyesight compelled him to retire to 44 Chepstow Place, Kensington, and an operation for cataract failed to prevent almost total blindness. Yet he kept up his attendance at the Courts of the Sadlers' Company, where he had served as Master, and thus met his fellow-liverymen almost to the last. He died on Sept 17th, 1906. There is a photograph of him in the College Album.

Diseases of the Nose and its Accessory Cavities, 8vo, London, 1875; 2nd ed, with special sections by R LIVEING, W Adams, and A E CUMBERBATCH, 1890. A standard work.
"On the Influence of Nasal Stenosis." - Trans Med Soc, 1889, xv, 306.
"Case of Deflected Nasal Septum Successfully Treated." - Lancet, 1895, ii, 93.
"On Keratitis." - Med Mirror, 1864, i; also Ophthalmic Soc Trans, 1894, xiv, 77.
"On Traumatic Keratitis." - Medical Mirror, 1865, ii.
"On Abscess of Tumours of the Orbit." - Ibid, 1865-9, ii-vi.
Eye-ball Tension, 12mo, London, 1879.
The Anatomy and Diseases of the Lachrymal Passages, 8vo, London, 1892.
"Subacute Glaucoma Successfully Treated by Iridectomy." - Lond Med Times and Gaz, 1863, i, 481.
"Intra-orbital Dermoid Cyst." - Lancet, 1872, ii, 118.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Jour of Laryngol, 1906, xxi, 585, with portrait by his son, George Spencer Watson, ARA].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England