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Back Inscription: 26-April-2016 (Peter Williams)
Back Inscription: 26-April-2016 (Peter Williams)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Peter Williams

An inscribed stone seat erected on the waterfront at Watsons Bay, near the ferry wharf, commemorates Robert Watson the early nineteenth century seaman who had given his name to the locality. The monument was installed by Vaucluse Council at the suggestion of the Royal Australian Historical Society and was designed by distinguished local architect Leslie Wilkinson.

Robert Watson, after whom nearby Watson`s Bay was named had been quartermaster aboard HMS Sirius in the First Fleet. Macquarie Lighthouse was the first in Australia. Shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Governor Phillip ordered a flagstaff be erected to signal the approach of supply ships bound for Sydney Cove. A beacon, fired firstly by wood, later by coal, was built in 1791 to guide vessels to the harbour entrance by night, becoming Australia`s first marine light. This beacon, tended by convicts, provided guidance for shipping for the next 25 years.

As a memorial to perpetuate the name of Robert Watson, after whom Watson's Bay is named, the Vaucluse Municipal Council decided at its last meeting to erect a monument in its principal recreation area, Robertson Park. The memorial, which will be built of stone prepared to a design by Professor Wilkinson, of the Sydney University, will be erected at the entrance to the park overlooking the harbour. Robert Watson was a quartermaster of H.M.S. Sirius from 1786 to 1790; signal master at South Head from 1791 to 1811; pilot and harbour master, 1811; and lighthouse keeper, 1810. His death occurred on November, 1819. The unveiling ceremony will take place on November 2. under the auspices of the Royal Australian Historical Society.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 25 September 1929. 


Address:Military Road, Robertson Park, Watsons Bay, 2030
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.843464
Long: 151.281981
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:People
Designer:Leslie Wilkinson


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 2nd November, 1929
Front Inscription

To commemorate Robert Watson after whom this bay is named

Quarter-Master of HMS Sirius 1786 - 1790

Signal man South Head - 1791 - 1811

Pilot and Harbour Master 1811 - 1816

Superintendent of Macquarie Light House 1818

Died 1st November 1819


Back Inscription
Robert Watson
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au