Watkin, William Thompson (DNB00)


WATKIN, WILLIAM THOMPSON (1836–1888), archæologist, born at Salford on 15 Oct. 1836, was son of John Watkin, a native of that town. His mother, Mary Hamilton, daughter of Benjamin Brierley, was born at Portsmouth, U.S.A. He received his education at private schools, and was afterwards engaged in mercantile pursuits in Liverpool. From early life he was greatly interested in archæological studies, and was a member, and for some time had been honorary librarian, of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, a Liverpool institution. He was also an active member, and served on the council, of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society of Manchester. His numerous papers published in the transactions of these and many other societies, and in various journals between 1871 and 1888, dealt almost exclusively with the Roman occupation of Britain. A list of his writings, compiled by Thomas Formby and Ernest Axon, is printed in the ‘Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society,’ vol. vi. In 1883 he published his great work on Roman Lancashire, which was followed in 1886 by ‘Roman Cheshire,’ both full of the most careful research and accurate descriptions of objects which he had personally examined. Valuable unpublished notes on Roman remains in North Wales and in various English counties and other manuscripts were after his death purchased by subscription and presented to the Chetham Library, Manchester. He died on 23 March 1888 at 55 Prescot Street, Liverpool, and was buried at Anfield cemetery. He was three times married, and left a widow and several daughters.

[Liverpool Courier, 24 March 1888; papers mentioned above, and private information.]

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