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Watt, John Brown, was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales in June 1861, but resigned on leaving for England in March 1866. He was reappointed in Oct. 1874. In 1877 he presented the sum of £1000 to the University of Sydney to found an exhibition for students from primary schools. In April 1890 his seat in the Legislative Council became vacant owing to prolonged absence in England.