Sir William Watson

Photo by Elliott & Fry, Ltd.

Photo by Elliott & Fry, Ltd.

 

Sir William Watson (1858 – 1935), was an English poet, popular in his time for the political content of his verse. He was born in Burley, in West Yorkshire.

He was very much on the traditionalist wing of English poetry. He was a prolific poet of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book, without ‘decadent’ associations. He was also a defender of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as he dropped out of fashion. On Tennyson’s death, Watson was a strong candidate for Poet Laureate but his earlier opposition to the Boer War had made him politically unsuitable and he was passed over for Alfred Austin.

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