Letters of Sir Patrick Heron Watson (1832-1907)

Scope and Content

The material is composed of letters written by Watson from his home in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. One is to Mr. Burn Murdoch for his 'charming and valuable gift' of 'a very beautiful woodland scene', and the other is to 'Dear Balfour' requesting that he 'kindly come tomorrow morning at 9 am and lend a hand at a breast case'. This latter letter asks 'Balfour' to 'forgive the address' (form of address at letter-heading) because his 'memory for Christian and other names' is not good.

Administrative / Biographical History

Patrick Heron Watson was born in 1832. He became Consulting Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, at Leith Hospital, and at Chalmers' Hospital. Watson was Attache to the Special Embassy of the Earl of Roslin on the occasion of the marriage of Alfonso XII of Spain to Princess Mercedes in January 1878. He became Professor of Surgery at Edinburgh University, and he was Surgeon-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria in Scotland. Watson had also been Honorary Surgeon to King Edward VII in Scotland. He resided in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Sir Patrick Heron Watson died on 21 December 1907.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who - 1897-1916. London: A. and C. Black, 1920.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to Watson related material (check the Indexes for more details): testimonial in favour of Dr. G. H. Pringle, 1854, at Dc.4.98/6, (27); testimonial to Sophia L. Jex-Blake, 1887, at SRI. Cyl.4, f.2. (Da.81.3); and, portrait carte de visite photographs, at Phot.Ill.90, Phot.Ill.157/28, and Phot.Ill.157/29.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: letters to his Relatives, mainly from the Crimea (11 volumes), 1854-1856, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Ref. NRA(S)1412 NRA 20261 Royal Coll Surgeons.