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eminent for his skill in botany and electricity, was born in 1715, in

, eminent for his skill in botany and electricity, was born in 1715, in St. John’s-street, near Smithfield, where his father was a reputable tradesman. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ school, and in 1730 was apprenticed to Mr. Richardson, an apothecary. In his youth he had a strong propensity to the study of natural history, and particularly to that of plants. This led him to make frequent excursions in- a morning, several miles from London so that he became early well acquainted with the indigenous plants of the environs of London; and, during his apprenticeship, he gained the honorary premium given annually by the apothecaries company to such 'young men as exhibit a superiority in the knowledge of plants. In 1738 Mr. Watson married, and set up in business for himself. His skill and diligence in his profession soon distinguished him among his acquaintance, as did his taste for natural history and his, general knowledge of philosophical subjects among the members of the royal society, into which learned body he was elected in 1741; his first two communications being printed in the 41st volume of the Philosophical Transactions.