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Biographical entry Watson, James Frederick William (1878 - 1945)

27 June 1878
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
22 January 1945
Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia
Physician and Historian


James Watson began his working life as a medical practitioner. In a career change he became editor of "Historical Records of New South Wales" from 1912-1925. He urged the establishment of government archives offices at State and national levels.



Career position - Resident Surgeon at Toowoomba Hospital in Queensland
Education - Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Master of Surgery (ChM) completed at the University of Sydney
1903 - 1905
Career position - Assistant Medical Superintendent at the Hospital for the Insane in Toowoomba
1906 - 1908
Career position - Formed a partnership with surgeon Sir Neville Howse in Orange, New South Wales
Education - Studied X-rays and other techniques in Europe
c. 1910 - c. 1911
Career position - Private practice in Macquarie Street, Sydney
Career position - Honorary Acting Principal Librarian at the Public Library of New South Wales
1912 - 1925
Career position - Editor of Historical Records of New South Wales
Career position - A Brief History of Canberra published
1927 - 1940
Career position - Worked as a writer in Canberra

Published resources


  • Watson, J. Frederick, The History of the Sydney Hospital from 1811 to 1911, Government Printer, Sydney, 1911. Details

Book Sections

  • Mitchell, Ann M., 'Watson, James Frederick William (1878-1945), Editor, Historian and Medical Practitioner', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 398-399. Also available at Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker