Watson, Joshua (1771 -1855)
Joshua Watson was the second son of John Watson, a wine merchant and government contractor in the City of London, and his wife Dorothy Robson. He was educated at a commercial school, after which he joined his father's business at the age of fifteen and became his father's assistant and partner. In 1797, he married Mary Sikes, the daughter of a London banker. They had two sons who died in infancy and a daughter. His firm made a vast fortune from army contracting during the Napoleonic wars, and in 1814 he retired from business and devoted the rest of his life to voluntary work for the Church of England. The University of Oxford made him a D.C.L. in 1820 for his work for The National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, and he received a gold medal for his efforts on behalf of German children orphaned during the Napoleonic Wars. He was also active in the establishment of King's College, London, in missions, the administrative reform of the Church of England, and the building of new churches.