William Whitehead Watts

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William Whitehead Watts FRS[1] (7 June 1860 – 30 July 1947) was a British geologist.[2] He was born at Broseley, Shropshire, son of farmer Isaac Watts,[3] and educated at Denstone College, and at Sidney Sussex College, of which he was a fellow in 1888–94, and he was also an extension lecturer of the university in 1882–91.[3] He gained first class honours in geology in 1881, graduated BA in 1882 and MA in 1885, and became ScD in 1909.[3] He lectured for the Cambridge University Extension Scheme for ten years. He began to study the geology of Shropshire and his first paper on the subject was published in 1885. He worked with Charles Lapworth on Shelve and the Corndon and taught at Mason College (which later became Birmingham University) during Lapworth's absence.

He taught geology at Oxford in 1888, and from 1891 to 1897 he joined the Geological Survey, working first in Ireland and then on Charnwood Forest. He taught at Mason College and Birmingham University from 1897 to 1906, when he accepted the chair of geology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, South Kensington. Watts served as secretary (1898–1909) and as president (1910–12) of the Geological Society.

He edited British Geological Photographs, and published Geology for Beginners (1898). Professor Watts was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1904.[1] He won the Murchison Medal (1915)[4] and the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Boswell, P. G. H. (1948). "William Whitehead Watts. 1860-1947". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 6 (17): 263–226. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1948.0030. JSTOR 768922.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Watts, W. W. (2009). "I.—Eminent Living Geologists". Geological Magazine. 2 (11): 481. doi:10.1017/S0016756800203622.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Watts, William Whitehead (WTS87WW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. New International Encyclopedia

Further reading

  • "Professor W. W. Watts, ScD., LL.D., F.R.S." in The Denstonian; July 1927, pp. 84–86

External links

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