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James Watney: Wikis


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James Watney (18 December 1800–1884) was a brewer and landowner who resided at Haling Park, Croydon, and Beddington, Surrey. He was born to Daniel Watney (1771–1831) of Mitcham, Surrey and Katherine Maria Gresham (1770–1808) daughter of Sir John Gresham, 6th Baronet of Limpsfield (or Titsey). He was the grandson of John Watney (1747–1814) and great-grandson of Daniel Watney (1705–1780) of Wimbledon, Surrey.


Professional life

The Watney family were the main partners in the Stag Brewery of Pimlico for much of the 19th century.[1] In 1837 James Watney became a partner in the brewery with John Lettsom Elliot and Charles Lambert, as later did his sons James and Norman in 1856.[1] The brewery was known as Elliot, Watney & Co from about 1849. John L Elliot withdrew from the business in 1850 and for 8 years remained a partner in name only. He finally retired in 1858 and the firm became known as James Watney & Co. James Watney then kept the management almost entirely to himself until his death, well over eighty, in I884. After his death in 1884 Watney & Co Ltd became a private limited company in 1885.[1][2]

In 1898 it acquired Messrs. Combe Delafield and Co. and Messrs. Reid and Co., and was thereafter known as Messrs. Watney Combe & Reid.[1]

James Watney was Master of the Mercers' Company in 1846, but had few other interests outside business.

James Watney contributed several thousands of pounds towards building a new church just as his father had done at Mitcham.

Family life

On 15 October 1829, at St. Saviour's Church, Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral), James Watney married Rebecca Spurrell, elder daughter of the brewer and hop merchant James Spurrell, of Park Street, Southwark, who was employed by Barclay & Perkins's Anchor Brewery, Southwark.

They had nine children. All five daughters remained unmarried. Of the four sons, one (Frederick) died young, aged 8 in 1846. The other three were:

The east window in Emmanuel Church, Croydon was given by his son Norman in 1899 to the Glory of God and in loving memory of his parents James and Rebecca Watney. It was destroyed by enemy action in 1944 and replaced in 1954.


  1. ^ a b c d British History on-line
  2. ^ Janes, Hurford (1963) The Red Barrel - a History of Watney Mann - Published by John Murray

See also

Master of the Mercers' Company

Watneys Red Barrel



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