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Shankill Graveyard, Lurgan, Co Armagh

Watson of Lakeview


The Watsons of Lakeview were one of the leading manufacturing families in the town. Of particular interest is Francis Watson, who died 16 October 1877. A controversial figure, Francis presided at the opening of the Orange Hall in Castle Lane in 1859. In his inaugural speech the County Grand Master, Colonel Blacker of Carrickblacker, Portadown, paid tribute to Francis and the Watson family for the keen interest they had taken in the welfare of all classes and creeds in the area, and the great support they had given to the Orange cause.


In the 1860, the parish church, dedicated to Christ the Redeemer, was rebuilt and the principal window in the chancel by Beyer of Munich, which consisted of three lights featuring the four Evangelists, was presented by Francis Watson. The largest centre light some 28 feet high has full-length figures of the apostles Mark and Luke, and the others at 22 feet each, of Matthew and John. In 1878 when a peel of eight bells was installed in the church tower, the largest individual subscription of 200 was received from William Watson of New York.


The family headstone bears the inscription:


Sacred to the memory of Ann, wife of Robert Watson, who died 1st May 1831, aged 49 years. Also four of their children who died in infancy. Likewise Isabella, his second wife, who died 25th May 1840, aged 43 years. And the above named Robert Watson, who died 18th July 1848, aged 72 years. Likewise Francis Watson, eldest son of the above named Robert Watson, who died the 16th October 1877, aged 68 years. Likewise Mary Jane, wife of the above named Francis Watson, who died 17th December 1885. Also the children of Francis and Mary Watson: William Watson, died 18th December 1840, aged 11 months. Jane Watson, died 28th August 1854, aged 11 months. Arthur Wellesley Watson, died 6th October 1854, aged 2 years. Martha Stuart Watson died 19th March 1870 aged 11 years. William Watson, died 8th September 1875, aged 23 years. Francis Watson, died 14th June 1901, aged 55 years. Robert Watson, died 25th January 1925, aged 70 years. Joseph Stuart Watson, died 3rd February 1935, aged 86 years.

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