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John Boyd Watson


1828 - 1889

Australian mining tycoon. Born in Paisley, the son of a cabinet-maker, Watson emigrated to Australia with his parents and siblings in 1841, settling in Windsor. In 1850 he travelled to California to try his hand as a gold prospector. He returned two years later and made a great fortune in the Australian gold-fields and became part-owner of a valuable mining company. He invested in property, farming, railways and shipping, as well as being a founder of the Federal Bank and of the Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney.

He died in Sydney leaving more than £1 million, a remarkable sum for the time. Glen Watson in the Musgrave Ranges was named in his honour. One of his daughters married Scottish-Australian shipping magnate Malcolm McEacharn (1852 - 1910).


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