William Whitehead Watts LL.D., D.Sc., M.Sc., F.R.S.

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Timeline[edit]

Date Details
1860 Born at Broseley in Shropshire.
School at Denstone. Scholarship to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
1881 1st class in Geology in Natural Science Tripos.
1881-1891 University extension lecturing and various deputy-professorships.
1891 Appointed to Irish Geological Survey. Given charge of Survey Collections in National Museum in Dublin.
Transferred to English Survey, acted as Petrographer till 1897.
1897 Resigned from Survey. Appointed to new assistant professorship at Mason College with Lapworth.
1904 Made Member of Senate and Professor of Geography in the newly constituted University of Birmingham.
1904 Elected to F.R.S.
1906 Succeeded Judd at Royal College of Science.
1906 Continued as Professor on reconstitution with Royal School of Mines and Central Technical College as Imperial College of Science and Technology.
1906 Worked on a succession of rocks in Shropshire, partly with Lapworth (paper in Q.J.).
1906 Survey work: (in addition to routine petrographical work)
1906 Examination of rocks collected by Jukes and others in Ireland and deposited in Survey Museum in Dublin.
1906 Description of Isle of Man rocks (in association with Lamplugh’s work on crush-conglomerates).
1906 Mapping and description of Charnwood Forest rocks.
1906 Handbook to Inst. rock collections

Biographies and obituaries[edit]

Spencer, L.J. Obituary - William Whitehead Watts. Born 7th June 1860, died 30th July 1947. Mineralogical Magazine. v. 28 p.225-226. 1947

Oldham, R.D. Obituary - William Watts. [In Anniversary Address.]. Proceedings of the Geological Society in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. v. 77 p.lxxii-lxxiii. 1921

Fearnsides, W.G. Obituary - William Whitehead Watts. Proceedings of the Geological Society in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. v. 105 p.lviii-lxii. 1949

William Whitehead Watts — Wikipedia article

Boswell Percy George Hamnall. William Whitehead Watts, 1860-1947 Obit. Not. Fell. R. Soc.6263–279 http://doi.org/10.1098/rsbm.1948.0030

Watts, W. (1915). I.—Eminent Living Geologists. Geological Magazine, 2(11), 481-487. doi:10.1017/S0016756800203622

Watts, Willian Whitehead. Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 – 2002

Watts, William Whitehead (WTS87WW). A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.

Barrett, A. (2004, September 23). Watts, William Whitehead (1860–1947), geologist and educationist. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 Aug. 2020, from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-51710.

Prof W. W. Watts, F.R.S.: President-Elect of the British Association. Nature 134, 410 (1934). https://doi.org/10.1038/134410b0

Boswell, P. Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. Nature 160, 355–356 (1947). https://doi.org/10.1038/160355a0

Publications[edit]

Contributed petrological notes to following Memoirs:

Memoir: Northumberland – Wooler and Coldstream (1895)

Memoir: Isle of Man (1903).

Memoir: South Wales Coalfield II

Memoir: Abergavenny

Memoir: Appleby (1897)

Memoir: Atherstone and Charnwood Forest (1900)

Works listed in the BGS Library catalogue

Survey publications[edit]

Gunn, W. ; Clough, C.T. ; Watts, W.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1895). The geology of part of Northumberland, including the country between Wooler and Coldstream, (...quarter-sheet 110SW...). (Memoir (Sheet) Geological Survey of Great Britain (England & Wales) - Old Series). London : HMSO.

Watts, W.W. (1947). Geology of the ancient rocks of Charnwood Forest Leicestershire; with which is included the area about Mountsorrel Parts of the one-inch maps (New Series) 141, 155 and 156. Leicester : Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society.

Dakyns, J.R. ; Tiddeman, R.H. ; Goodchild, J.G. ; Ward, J.C. ; Watts, W.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1897). The geology of the country between Appleby, Ullswater, and Haweswater (...Quarter-sheet 102SW). (Memoir (Sheet) Geological Survey of Great Britain (England & Wales) - Old Series). London : HMSO.

Strahan, A. ; Gibson, W. ; Dakyns, J.R. ; Watts, W.W. (1927). The geology of the South Wales Coalfield : part 2 the country around Abergavenny, explanation of sheet 232 New Series. 2nd ed. (Mem Geol Surv Eng Wales Geol South Wales Coalfield). London : HMSO.

Strahan, A. ; Gibson, W. ; Dakyns, J.R. ; Watts, W.W. ; Robertson, T. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1927). The geology of the south Wales coalfield. Part II, Abergavenny, explanation of sheet 232. 2nd ed. / by T. Robertson. (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. England and Wales). London : HMSO.

Strahan, A. ; Gibson, W. ; Dakyns, J.R. ; Watts, W.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1900). The geology of the south Wales coalfield. Part II, The country around Abergavenny, being an account of the region comprised in sheet 232 of the map. (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. England and Wales). London : Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

McHenry, A. ; Watts, W.W. ; Geological Survey of Ireland (1895). Guide to the collections of rocks and fossils belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland, arranged in room IIIE of the Museum of Science and Art, Dublin. London : HMSO.

McHenry, A. ; Watts, W.W. ; Geological Survey of Ireland (1898). Guide to the collections of rocks and fossils belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland, arranged in the Curved Gallery of the Museum of Science and Art. Dublin : HMSO.

Maps[edit]

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1905). Sheet 16 SE [drift] - Leicestershire. Drift ed.. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1905). Sheet 16 SE [solid] - Leicestershire. Solid ed.. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 17 SE - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 17 SW - Leicestershire - black and white photographic. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 17 SW - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 SE - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 NE - Leicestershire (black and white photographic). (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 NE - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 NW - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 SE - Leicestershire (black and white photographic). (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 SW - Leicestershire (black and white photographic). (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 24 SW - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

Geological Survey of Great Britain ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Watts, W.W. (1895). Sheet 30 NE - Leicestershire. (Geological Survey of England and Wales 6 inch [1:10 560] county series - Leicestershire). Southampton : Ordnance Survey for the Geological Survey.

External publications[edit]

Lapworth, C. ; Watts, W.W. ; Harrison, W.J. A sketch of the geology of the Birmingham District : with special reference to the areas visited during the Long Excursion of the Geologists' Association, London 1898 : REPRINTED FROM: Proceedings of the Geologists Association 15 1898 p313-416.

Bonney, T.G. ; Watts, W.W. ; British Association for the Advancement of Science. Geological Photographs Committee (1902-1904). British geological photographs. Birmingham, England : Geological Photographs Committee of the British Association.

Watts, W.W. (1909). The centenary of the Geological Society of London : celebrated September 26th to October 3rd 1907. London : Longmans, Green and Co.

Watts, W.W. Charnwood Forest : Geology in the field; the jubilee volume of the Geologists' Association (1858-1908); edited by H.W.Monckton and R.S.Herries, London; Edward Stanford, 1910; p770-785.

Watts, W.W. ; Fox-Strangways, C.E. ; Martin, W. F. (1902). Excursion to Charnwood Forest. Proceedings of the geologists' association Vol. 27 pt/no 7 & 8 (1902) p. 373-381 (1902) ; p. 373-381.

Watts, W.W. ; Gregory, H. H. (1937). Field meeting in Charnwood forest. Proceedings of the geologists' association Vol XLVIII pt/no 1 (1937) p. 1-12 (1937) ; p. 1-12.

Watts, W.W. Geological photography. Annual Report and Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field ClubAnnual Report and Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club 39-40 (1904-06) ; Annual Report and Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club vol.39 1904-05 p.120-121 (1905) ; p.120-121.

Watts, W.W. (1945). The Geological Society : its work and workers. In: Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London Vol. CI pt/no 3 & 4 (1945) p. liii-lxxi (1945) ; p. liii-lxxi.

Watts, W.W. (1903). Geology for beginners. 2nd ed.. London : Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Watts, W.W. (1919). Geology for beginners. 3rd ed.. London : Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Watts, W.W. (1929). Geology for beginners. 5th ed.. London : Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Watts, W.W. (1947). Geology for beginners. 6th ed.. London : Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Matley, C.H. ; Watts, W.W. The geology of northern Anglesey : part 1 , Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 55(3) 1899 p.635-680. Whitaker, W. ; Watts, W.W. (1889). List of works on the geology, mineralogy and palaeontology of Shropshire. Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 12 pt/no 1 (1889) p. 33-62 (1889) ; p. 33-62.

Watts, W.W. ; Newton, E.T. (1896). Notes on some rocks from Solomon Islands. Geological magazine, Decade IV Vol. 3 pt/no 386 (1896) p. 358-365 (1896) ; p. 358-365.

Watts, W.W. (1926). Notes sur la geologie de la Foret de Charnwood (Angleterre). Liege : H. Vaillant-Carmanne.

Watts, W.W. On the igneous rocks of the Welsh border : with special reference to the Long Excursion for 1905 : Geologists' Association, Supplementary and excursion papers, Vol II, editor's guide, The Association, 1905, p14-21.

Watts, W.W. (1916). Pre-Cambrian of England and Wales ; Cambrian and Ordovician of Great Britain. Heidelberg : Carl Winters Universitatsbuchhandlung.

BGS archives[edit]

Ref No Title Description
GSM/DR/Ge Archibald Geikie Geikie was born in 1835. He joined the Survey in 1855 and became Director for Scotland in 1867. He was also the first Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh. His primary responsibility upon appointment as Director was to complete the mapping of the British Isles and wind up the Survey. He was keen to complete the mapping of Scotland and transferred staff from the England and Wales districts to Scotland for this purpose. Although H.H.Howell was appointed Director for Scotland, he worked mainly in the North of England and Geikie continued to supervise all survey work in Scotland. When Howell retired in 1899, Geikie did not appoint a successor.

Geikie began a series of stratigraphical memoirs, intended to be a comprehensive investigation of the rocks of a specific formation such as the Jurassic or Cretaceous. This differed from the usual regional memoirs which described the geology of an area and marked a significant departure in Survey publications. The first of these memoirs was 'The Pliocene Deposits of Britain' by C.Reid, in 1890. Geikie also contributed to the science of petrography and microscopic petrology within the Survey and set up a basic chemical laboratory in Edinburgh to undertake rock slicing and analysis. He appointed petrologists to the staff including J.J.H.Teall, F.H.Hatch, W.W.Watts and J.S.Hyland. Geikie also encouraged photography within the Survey and collected a large series of photographs of Scotland which were drawn on for memoirs and his own book 'The Ancient Volcanoes of Great Britain' published in 1897. During the last six months of his directorship, a Committee was established to enquire into the organisation and staff of the Geological Survey & Museum and report on its progress. It was chaired by J L Wharton and among other things it reorganised the staffing structure of the Survey to provide improved promotional opportunities to geologists.

GSM/DR/Ge/A/5 Correspondence on various matters: letters to J.Craik, J.Evans, F.H.Hatch, J.Horne, D.R.Irvine, B.N.Peach (225 items); C.W.Peach, A C Ramsay, T.Reeks, F.W.Rudler, A.Strahan, W.Topley, and W.W.Watts; also some letters to Geikie.
GSM/DR/Sb/7/3 Photographs and letter 1) E.S.Cobbold at Watling House, Shropshire, c1930; 2) 1) E.S.Cobbold at Watling House, Shropshire, c1930 2) G Delepine and Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, 19383) T H Clark and B F Howell, 1939 4) R Ruedemann , 1939 5) Letter from W W Watts to Stubblefield, 1937
GSM/DR/Sb/8/3 Publications "The Pleistocene History of the West Midlands" by Prof L J Wills; "The Pleistocene History of the West Midlands" by Prof L J Wills "Note on the water supply of Uriconium" by R W Pocock; "A Guide to the Roman City of Uriconium" by George E Fox; "The Geology of South Shropshire" by W W Watts; "Lead and Zinc Ores in the Pre-carboniferous Rocks of West Shropshire and North Wales" by Bernard Smith and Henry Dewey
GSM/GL/Cm/3 Correspondence: letters to Mr Brown, Jukes-Browne, Rudler (about Fullers Earth), W.Topley, W.W...
GSM/GL/Wt William Whitehead Watts Watts joined the Survey in 1891 as a Petrologist in Ireland, filling the vacancy left by Hyland. He produced a 'Handbook of the Rocks and Minerals exhibited in the Dublin Museum'. He transferred to London in 1893 when Hatch left the Survey and remained there until 1897 when he left to become Assistant Professor of Geology at Birmingham University.
GSM/GL/Wt/2 Correspondence: letters to T.Eastwood, J.S.Flett, E.M.Guppy, G.H.Mitchell, J.Pringle, C.J.Stubblefield, T.H.Whitehead; some letters to Watts.
GSM/GX/Bm/2/20 "Folklore" Envelope containing: Booklet "Ancient Carols", 1905; Article "Sacred Stones" by Grant Allen, from the "Fortnightly Revue", Jan 1890; Newspaper cutting about Wedgwood pottery, nd; Page from the "Illustrated London News" showing the Fountaine Collection on sale at Christie and Manson's, 21 Jun 1884; Photographs of ornate candlesticks and ornate [? door knockers] nd;

Page from a book catalogue advertising "George Frederic Watts: The Annals of an Artist's Life" by Mrs Watts, c1912; Page from an untitled publication [probably a publishers catalogue] with a sketch of W H Hudson on one side and a photograph of Professor Frederick Niecks on the other, nd [c1925]

GSM/GX/Z/456 Watts, W W Menu for complimentary dinner

Other archives[edit]

Watts, William Whitehead (1860-1947), geologist Entry at The National Archives

William Whitehead Watts - signed portrait. Royal Society

William Whitehead Watts[edit]

Watts joined the Survey in 1891 as a Petrologist in Ireland, filling the vacancy left by Hyland. He produced a 'Handbook of the Rocks and Minerals exhibited in the Dublin Museum'. He transferred to London in 1893 when Hatch left the Survey and remained there until 1897 when he left to become Assistant Professor of Geology at Birmingham University.