Watson, Samuel (DNB00)

WATSON, SAMUEL (1663–1715), sculptor, was born at Heanor, Derbyshire, in December 1663. He executed some of the fine wood-carvings at Chatsworth, commonly attributed to Grinling Gibbons [q. v.] The dead game over the chimney piece in the great chamber is by his hand, and for this and other decorations in the same chamber in lime-tree wood, all completed in 1693, he received 133l. 7s. The trophy containing the celebrated pen over the door in the south-west corner room is likewise his work. He also carved the arms in the pediment of the west front in 1704; the stone carvings in the north front, finished in 1707, and other decorations both in wood and stone. Walpole says that ‘Gibbons had several disciples and workmen … Watson assisted chiefly at Chatsworth, where the boys and many of the ornaments in the chapel were executed by him’ (Anecdotes, ed. Wornum, p. 557). But it seems clear, since he made out his own bill for the above-mentioned works, that he executed them on his own account. He died at Heanor on 31 March 1715.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

C. D.