CFHS code : ML85

Parish : St Mary the Less

Inscription : HENRY CHARLES WATSON Lieutenant Colonel APD First Bursar of Selwyn College b Jan 14 1819 d Oct 19 1883 JANE BLAIR WATSON d Feb 13 1924

Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202681, 0.13737236 – click here for location

Watson grave
Watson monument



Henry Charles Watson (14 January 1819 – 19 October 1883)

Henry was born in Charlton by Dover in the Cinque Ports of Dover.  His parents were Henry Norris Watson and his wife Amelia.He was baptised at St Peter and St Paul Church on 16 March 1819.  Henry was a soldier and served with the 47th and 81st Foot brigades.  Records shoe he sailed to New York in September 1854, and was listed as a Lieutenant in the British Army on his entry records.

He married Jane Chermside on 25th April 1853, most probably in Boulogne, France.  The couple had three children: Henrica Jane (1855-1919), Agnes Amelia Jane (1857-1937) and another child who died as an infant.  Henrica was born in France, and Agnes in Malta, so the family clearly travelled as part of Henry’s army role.  By 1871 they were back living in Rochester in Kent, and Henry was a Major in the army and paymaster of HM Services.  In 1881 they were living in Hampshire where he was also a Major in the pay department.

Selwyn College opened its doors in October 1882, and Henry Watson was employed as its first Bursar.  He died in October 1883 at his home of 4 Newnham Terrace aged 64 years old. His funeral took place on 23 October.  The Cambridge Independent Press reported that ‘His residence at Cambridge had been of too brief a character for him to be publicly known’. The service was conducted at St Mary the Less Church, where a full choir sang and the hymn ‘O Paradise’ was sung.  The Master of Cavendish College and of Claire College attended the service.


Jane Blair Watson (née Chermside) (c.1832 – 23 February 1924)

Jane was born in France, and was the daughter of Sir Robert Alexander Chermside and his wife Jane. Her father was an army surgeon, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo.  After she was widowed she went to live in London, along with her unmarried daughter Agnes.  She died aged 92 years old at 37 Bassett Road in North Kensington, and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery with her husband.





Newspaper archives



by Claire Martinsen

[If you have any further information about this family, please contact us at]

Henry Charles Watson; Jane Blair Watson