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Samuel Watson (1842-1911)

Samuel Watson

Samuel Watson

Samuel Watson (1842-1911) Superintendent Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution, Sydney.

As early as March 1853 in colonial New South Wales attempts were made to commence education classes for deaf children.[1] These efforts met with limited success and were short-lived until Thomas Pattison commenced his classes in October 1860. This developed into what became known as the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution (DDBI), later to be known as the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.[2] The first decade of the DDBI was beset with difficulties as the organising committee sought to find a suitable person to lead the work and it was not until Samuel Watson was appointed in 1870 that the education of the deaf and blind began to thrive.

Life in Ulster

Samuel Watson[3]  was born in Glenhue, Ahoghill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on December 22, 1842, the fourth and youngest son of the eight children of William Watson a farmer, and his wife Jane McMaster. By 1857, both of his parents had died and the eldest son James (1827-1878) had assumed the role of head of the family. In May 1861, aged 18, Samuel was employed by the Ulster Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, as an assistant teacher and he remained in this position for seven and a half years until 1868.[4] In this period of service he would, he said, ‘learn the art of teaching Deaf mutes and whatever power as well as impulses for good I have acquired.’[5] Samuel was well regarded by the Institution being considered by its Principal, the Rev John Kinghan, as ‘a young man of much amiable temper, good sense and good feeling, imbued with a sincere desire to Glorify God.’[6] In January of 1869, upon being recommended by Kinghan for the post, he commenced as a Teacher and Manager of the Church of Ireland Derry and Raphoe School for the Deaf and Dumb.[7]

This institution, founded in 1846 in Strabane, was supported both personally and financially by the hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander, the wife of the local minister.[8] The proceeds of some of her hymns, such as ‘There is a green hill far away’ and ‘All Things bright and beautiful’, contained in her publication Hymns for Little Children, went to the support of the institution.[9]  Samuel was highly regarded by the Derry and Raphoe School, though he only served 18 months as its master apparently seeing that he would have greater opportunities and financial security in the colony of NSW.[10]

Coming to NSW

John Goodlet and his wife Ann, secretary of the Ladies Committee of the Sydney DDBI, were in Scotland in 1869 and Ann corresponded with Samuel concerning his application for the position of Master of the institution.[11] Ann’s task in Great Britain was ‘to endeavour to obtain the services of a teacher and master who thoroughly understood the proper teaching of the blind as well as the deaf and dumb.’[12] The DDBI wanted to continue to admit both deaf and blind children and that it sought such a skill in its Master was due primarily to financial reasons as it could not, at this stage, afford extra staff to teach both blind and deaf children. There were numerous applicants, but upon the advice and recommendation of the Goodlets, and of Ann in particular, Samuel was eventually offered the position, his experience and ability to teach both the blind and the deaf being in his favour.[13]

Ann had hoped that the Directors would offer Samuel the position and believed that the only impediment to them doing so was the increase in salary that he sought.[14] The Committee was offering a salary of £150 with £60 for expenses[15] and Samuel did not consider this to be adequate. He already had a good position in his current employment and was evidently highly regarded; he did not need to go to the colony to seek work and wanted to be confident that this new position would prove satisfactory. Through the provision of an annual report of the Institution, Ann sought to point out to Samuel that it was a small organisation with limited funds at its disposal. Furthermore, she gently remarked that from her experience as Secretary for some four years

it is a good opening for any one interested in this most afflicted portion of the human race but here as in all other positions much must be done from pure love of this work as I consider no amount of salary could repay any one for the patience and self denial necessary. 16]

But while the salary offered might be modest, Ann assured Samuel that ‘any teacher would be treated with all the consideration and sympathy which his position demanded’.[17]

The Committee agreed to increase the salary offered to £200 and Samuel accepted the position.[18] Immediately upon the Committee’s agreement Ann wrote to Samuel, anxious that he should come as soon as possible, for she confessed that she ‘had no confidence in this present Master.’[19] More encouragingly she wrote that though she had previously indicated that he could not be accommodated in their present premises, it now seemed possible to provide that accommodation in the near future. The Government had promised a new site and some funds for the Institution so she hoped that by the time he arrived, or soon after that, they would have set about building the new premises.[20] As the plans for the building were already formulated before he arrived it is probable that Samuel had little input into the nature of the new building. The foundation stone was laid on April 3, 1871, and its first stage opened on April 15, 1872, some 17 months after his arrival.[21]

In order to broaden his appreciation of current practice, and before embarking for the colony of NSW, Samuel toured several similar institutions in England, Scotland and Ireland.[22]  He left England on the Nournahal on July 31, 1870, arriving in Sydney on November 7 of that year[23] and taking up his appointment at the DDBI on November 10, 1870.[24]

Watson the Educator

Watson set about the task of educating the children in his care.[25] His method for teaching the deaf was based on the use of the manual alphabet and required great patience. For the deaf child it was ‘a daily and often painfully tedious task’ for ‘each word, letter by letter, has to be spelled, over and its meaning explained in the same slow way’.[26] Watson primarily used the manual alphabet, but there was some use of ‘signs’ as well. As George King, chairman of the DDBI, was later to observe ‘the manual alphabet was reliable and expressive, and the signs used were quicker than speech. For instance, if soldiers were the subject, touch the shoulder where epaulets were, and they understood it immediately’.[27]

Watson also sought to educate the public concerning the process of deaf education[28] and explained the difficulties facing the deaf and their teachers in this way:

Though surrounded by intelligent companions, their language and manners are foreign to Him. He is like a stranger in a strange land. He begins to learn the language of his native country as a foreigner would. To this task he brings a mind hitherto lying comparatively dormant, and without a mother-tongue to aid him in his translation.[29]

He warned of common mistakes made in regard to the deaf:

some consider that the deaf and dumb are incapable of receiving instruction, whilst others think their want of hearing is made up to them by a greater share of mental powers. These are both extreme errors. The truth is that the scale of intellect in them is variously graduated, as in other persons.[30]

As an educator Samuel stressed the possibility and value of education to the deaf, but from his deeply held Christian convictions he stressed not just knowledge of this world but also of the world of the spirit:

without education he is enveloped in darkness, which obscures from him the knowledge of a God and future state; beyond the range of his vision he can have no clear views; of the precious soul in his possession he knows not; to the questions, “Where am I?” or “Where am I going?” he can afford himself no satisfactory answer. You may point out to an untrained deaf mute the sun or the stars, in the hope that he may be led to think of their Creator; but your kindly intention is vain. He sees the sun or other marvellous work in God’s creation, but his thoughts extend not beyond the objects pointed out. They are bounded by the sphere of his observation, and though admiration and reverence be excited in his mind, it is towards the object seen, and not it’s Maker.[31]

So Watson saw the need to teach the students the Christian faith, as revealed in the Bible, lest all they learnt from observations of the Creation was to be ‘an amiable Deist’ as there was ‘the danger, when attempting to point his thoughts to God’s works, of cultivating idolatry [rather] than the worship of the true God.’[32]

Watson and Articulation

By late 1877, the DDBI committee agreed that Watson should have leave for six months to travel to England, Europe and America, to recuperate his health and to study the latest methods of teaching the deaf.[33] He was absent for seven months, but returned with the latest news on a relatively new teaching technique called ‘articulation’ and ‘lip reading’. It has been said that when Watson, as a hearing principal, took over the DDBI from its deaf principal he ‘soon introduced articulation classes’,[34] giving the impression that Watson, as a hearing person, was keen to promote the articulation method.[35]  While he may have been the first to introduce articulation into deaf education in Australia,[36] his attitude to the ‘German method’ was both perceptive and cautious.[37] He thought the technique had potential and observed that in Germany, Austria and some parts of Great Britain, it was thought superior to the ‘sign and finger system’. Watson pointed out, however, that a combination of both systems was in reality usually practiced together with an emphasis either on signing or upon articulation. He considered that the main approach used at the DDBI should be signing, but there had been an articulation class in operation at the DDBI for over two years.[38] That such a class had existed for this length of time indicates that Watson sought to utilise what was considered the most advanced thinking about deaf education. He believed that the articulation method was a great boon for those who possessed some degree and power of articulation in early life. For others, such a method was a long and tedious process and in many instances an impossibility to learn whereas the manual alphabet came within the reach of all deaf mutes.[39]

Despite his caution on the wholesale adoption of articulation and ‘lip reading’, Watson must have been convinced of its genuine potential for wider utilisation for a year later, at the annual meeting of the DDBI, it was reported that

there was at the present time in the German College, in London, a young lady undergoing a course of instruction in the articulation system for the purpose of qualifying herself to come out hither as a teacher in this institution.[40]

This young lady was Elizabeth Kernohan, Samuel Watson’s niece, who was studying at the ‘German College, in London’ set up by St John Ackers at Ealing in 1878.[41] This study was undoubtedly undertaken with Watson’s advice and encouragement, with the promise of a job in Sydney when she was qualified, and also with the agreement of the DDBI board for they paid her tuition fees.[42] Elizabeth arrived at the DDBI towards the end of 1880 and commenced teaching the articulation method on which she observed

that people have the notion … that deaf people are necessarily dumb, owing to some physical inability to speak, and do not realise that all speech is merely the imitation of sounds uttered by others. We utilise the same faculty of imitation, but transfer it to the sense of sight, since that of hearing is missing.[43]

In 1891, Kernohan was sent overseas by the board in order to make herself conversant with the most advanced methods adopted in the ‘old country’, but found that there was ‘but little to be learnt inasmuch as the methods adopted in this colony were as advanced as those adopted in Germany.’[44] It is clear that Watson’s leadership, together with the support of the board of the DDBI, kept the work in Sydney in line with what was considered to be best practice in the field at the time. This was important for the benefit of the children, but also satisfied the educational authorities as the DDBI was, in part, government funded. The general standards maintained by Watson and the staff were appreciated by the Inspectors from the Department of Public Instruction who noted that

the children are neatly and becomingly attired their demeanour is cheerful and attractive: they yield a prompt and willing obedience to their teachers, whom they evidently regard with a most friendly feeling, and their attention and mental effort under examination are very gratifying. The teachers are painstaking, patient, and zealous in the performance of their duties, and the methods of instruction they employ to overcome the enormous difficulties in reaching the minds of the children are highly intelligent.[45]

In August of 1893, it was reported that a paper by Mr Watson of the DDBI in Sydney would be read at the Congress of Charitable Institutions as part of the 1893 World Fair at Chicago. The paper was to discuss all the Australasian institutions which existed for the treatment of children afflicted with blindness or deafness.[46] As Watson was in Sydney at this time he did not personally present the paper and it may have been given by Arthur Renwick, the DDBI’s president, who was present at the Congress.[47] Watson clearly had a good knowledge of current practice in the colonies of Australia and the presentation of his paper in this forum was an indication of the stature he had obtained as an educator of the deaf.

In 1903, Watson was granted six months leave[48] and went to Britain, Europe and the United States and visited over 25 institutions for the education of the deaf. He summarised his observations by stating that:

  1. Both signs and the manual alphabet are used in the majority of British and American institutions;
  2. The combined system which professes to utilise the best elements in both the manual and oral methods is generally adopted; and
  3. The combined system does the greatest good to the greatest number of deaf pupils.[49]

While there were improvements that could be made at the DDBI in terms of classroom and dormitory layout, Watson was of the view that the DDBI was ‘scarcely outstripped by any in the British Isles, and is certainly ahead of some I visited both there and in France’.[50] He did concede, however, that better results were seen among older students in America, but noted they spent longer at school and enjoyed the ‘benefits of education continuously up to manhood and womanhood; and, finally, the advantage of a college course lies open to pupils of conspicuous ability.’[51] During the remainder of Watson’s time as Superintendent, though the oral methods increased in importance at the DDBI, he continued the practice of using a combined system of manual and oral methods.[52]

Marriage and Family

In 1887, Watson married Sydney-born Mary Jane Jones (1852-1930), the daughter of John Jones (1806-1866)[53] a shoemaker and Martha Margaret Geddes (1811-1899), and the sister of the Rev Henry ‘Harry’ Jones (1849-1910).[54] The marriage was a surprise to many as it was thought Samuel was married to his work, and as he had regularly visited the Jones home and known Mary for over ten years.[55] Prior to his marriage Samuel had lived within the DDBI, but on his marriage it was decided to build the Superintendent a residence adjacent to the Institution which Samuel called ‘Glenhue’ after his birthplace.[56] The couple had four children: William, who lived only a few hours (1888),[57] Mary (1890), Martha (1893) and Samuel (1894) (pictured with Mary). In 1896, Elizabeth Kernohan, resigned her position as a teacher at the Institution, married the Rev Theophilus Henry Biddulph and in 1898 gave birth to a son, Thomas.[58] Elizabeth died in 1900 and Thomas, known within the family as Treg, came to live with the Watsons to be raised as a younger brother to the Watson children. He died from tetanus in 1913.

Mary Jane Watson

Mary Jane Watson

Correspondence between Samuel and his children shows him to be a warm, affectionate, and caring father. His attitude to his own children was a reflection of that which he had shown for years to the children of the DDBI. Observers of Watson’s relationship with them remarked ‘how they loved their master and friend – that tender, big hearted soul who fathered all the afflicted little people under his care.’[59] It was said that when he appeared ‘he was immediately surrounded by small boys, all anxious to hold his hand or catch a smile from him’ and it was ‘clearly seen everywhere [that] the boys and girls alike adored him.’[60] Though the DDBI was a boarding school, a home-like atmosphere pervaded the whole place and this added significantly to its success. Watson’s philosophy was ‘patience, patience, infinite patience’, a virtue he had in abundance and which, under his example and guidance, was exhibited by all staff. It was noted that under Watson ‘patience had been lifted from its position as a virtue to rank among the fine arts’ in the DDBI and had achieved great progress with the deaf and blind children of the Institution.[61]

In 1889, Samuel suffered a ‘lung haemorrhage’ and was advised to rest; he was granted three months leave and went to Bowral.[62] The climate there proved too cold so the family moved to Picton which proved so successful that Samuel purchased a cottage in ‘Upper Picton’ which they called ‘Glenhue’. This property remained the school holiday cottage and an occasional weekend retreat for the Watsons until Samuel’s death in 1911.[63] It was quite near the Goodlets’ consumptive home and country house and the family often spent time visiting them.[64]

Religious Influence

Samuel Watson’s religious affiliation before coming to the Colony was with the Church of Ireland, but on his death he was buried according to the rites of the Church of England in the Anglican section of Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney. Those officiating at his funeral were all Church of England ministers: Rev R Noake, minister of Christ Church, Enmore; SJ Kirkby, Rector of St Albans, Darlington and acting Principal of Moore Theological College; HMA Pearce, the curate at St Stephens, Newtown; and at the graveside, the Rev Luke Parr, former minister at St Albans, Darlington, together with WJ Roberts, Rector of St Pauls, Castle Hill, but shortly before this time Rector of Picton.[65] All this is strongly suggestive that Samuel was a conscientious member of the Church of England when living in Australia. During their time in NSW Samuel and Mary associated with clergy from various churches, and this included close associations with the Wesleyan Church which was the church Mary grew up in. They sent their daughter Jean to a Methodist school and attended the Wesleyan Church in Picton when on holidays,[66] though Samuel was well enough known and friendly with the Rector of Picton for him to be involved in Samuel’s funeral. So while Mary’s family had strong and significant Wesleyan connections it would seem that Samuel retained his adherence to Anglicanism. Samuel’s daughter recalled him as a ‘deeply religious man – but did not talk about it.’ He did exude his religious convictions in various ways, however, which can be seen when he wrote to his boys:

I can fancy two fine lads busting about “Glenhue”, making it et la mere  as bright & winsome as possible, feeling proud all t[he] time to be able to show their chivalry & affection. God bless t[he] dear lads with both these beautiful virtues, & with hearts cleansed & quickened by His Spirit, “Create in me a clean heart”,[67] a heart free from impurity, from unbelief and selfishness or Sin “O, God”. This is my prayer tonight for myself – for you too and I feel sure it (the prayer) is not in vain.[68]

Watson was also diligent in encouraging the adult deaf in their worship of God, for Samuel’s daughter recalled that

every Sunday night as long as I can remember, he conducted a service for the Adult Deaf in the big hall at the Institute and in the building at the corner of Darlington Road and City Road which was built for the Adult Deaf Society.[69]

Welfare of the Deaf Family

Watson was devoted to the welfare of both the deaf children and adults – his ‘deaf family’.[70] A silver tea service presented to him in 1909 illustrates his relationship to the children of the DDBI. The inscription indicated that the presentation was made by the parents of the children ‘as a mark of their esteem for his fatherly care of the pupils during his long career as Superintendent’. Watson was not a detached teacher, but cared deeply for his pupils and this care and concern extended into their adulthood. His daughter Jean remembered that

Father was interested & shared in all their doings while carrying on his duties as Superintendent of the Deaf School. We children were always around at the special doings. His silk Bell Topper hat came out for weddings & funerals at which he interpreted. The deaf came to him in their trouble. The buggy took him to town often to try & get work for [them].

Watson encouraged the adult deaf whenever he could being President of the Deaf Cricket team[71] and, with the Rev Luke Parr as Patron, the Deaf Mute Lacrosse Club.[72] Watson seemed to mix easily in both the deaf and hearing communities, and he and Mary exercised great hospitality as students, parents and strangers were often invited to their home for tea or a meal. In one year alone they entertained over 1000 guests, a role which Mary never seemed to resent.[73] Watson seems to have been respected by all sections of society and was well known and well regarded by the various governors of NSW who were patrons of the DDBI. His daughter recalled an occasion at the railway as they were leaving to go on holiday when

we had been put in the train and Father was in the midst of his variegated luggage when Vice Royalty walked by. Lord Chelmsford saw father. The Vice Royal procession halted while the Governor went over to renew acquaintance – shall I put it. Mother, when she heard, was a bit disconcerted at the luggage situation, but not so your grandfather. He (the Governor) would never have noticed it. Anyway what is wrong with the luggage? On another occasion, Sir Harry Rawson sent for your grandfather on his arrival from a visit to England – Lady R had died during this trip – & the Governor wished to give your grandfather a present she had bought for him in England – the little owl inkwell which we still have.[74]

Retirement and Death

In 1910, the Board of the DDBI agreed that Samuel could retire in June 1911[75] and a search for his replacement began.[76] Harold Earlam was appointed but, before he could take office and relieve Watson, Samuel took ill and after a short illness died at his ‘Glenhue’ residence on City Road in Darlington, Sydney, at 3:15am on Thursday April 27, 1911. He had faithfully served the DDBI and the Deaf Community for almost 40 years and was indeed ‘a wise Counsellor, a faithful friend, and beloved by all the Deaf and Dumb of N.S.W.’[77]

In being a ‘wise Counsellor, a faithful friend, and beloved by all the Deaf and Dumb of N.S.W.’, Watson had laid a firm and solid foundation upon which others would build and continue to give the deaf and the blind an enhanced quality of life. In more modern terms, as used by the current Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Watson fostered the work of an organisation which would provide quality and innovative education which would endeavour to achieve the best outcomes for current and future generations with hearing and/or vision loss. In the language of the nineteenth century, and in the understanding of Ann Goodlet, Samuel proved ‘a great blessing to all concerned and above all to the poor afflicted ones whom we desire to serve’.[78]

© Dr Paul Cooper, Christ College, March 2014 


The appropriate way to cite this article is as follows:

Paul F Cooper. Samuel Watson (1842-1911) Superintendent Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution, Sydney. Philanthropy and Philanthropists in Australian Colonial History, August 26, 2014. Available at

[1] Paul F Cooper, Sherrington Alexander Gilder (1825-1902) of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution, Unpublished paper, January 2014.

[2] The current name of this organisation is the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and this more appropriate name has evolved over time. The organisation in 1860 was called the Deaf and Dumb Institution and in 1869 it became the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution. In 1954 the Queen conferred the title Royal upon the Institution and the name was changed to The Royal New South Wales Institution for Deaf and Blind Children with the word ‘dumb’ being deleted.  In 1973 there was a further name change with “Institution” being replaced by “Institute” thus gaining its present name the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. For the period of this study the organisation was called the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution and that terminology is used.

[3] The adjacent portrait of Samuel Watson was painted by Joseph Arthur Bennett not long before Watson’s death. Bennett was an artist employed to teach drawing at the Institution from 1889. The portrait was exhibited at Royal Art Society’s 32nd Annual Exhibition, Sydney. SMH, August 26, 1911.

[4] John H King to Samuel Watson, November 26, 1868, Watson Papers. King was incumbent of Dungannon, co. Tyrone, Ireland.

[5] Samuel Watson to the Committee of the Ulster Institution for Deaf and Dumb and Blind, December 1, 1868. Watson Papers. The apprenticeship for a teacher of the deaf was seven years commencing on  £15 for the first year and increasing  £5 every year reaching  £45 on completion of the apprenticeship. Teachers were then engaged for £50 with free board and lodging. This pay scale was less than that of a school teacher despite it requiring as much if not more skill, Alison Jordan, Who Cared? Charity in Victorian and Edwardian Belfast, (Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, The Queens University, 1993), 69-70.

[6] John Kinghan, Reference for Samuel Watson undated but about 1868. Watson Papers.

[7] SMH, April 28, 1911. Rev John S McClintock, Secretary, Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, June 9, 1870.

[8] Cecil Frances Alexander (1818 – 1895): Hymn writer and poet. The Dictionary of Ulster Biography. [accessed August 19, 2013]. Alexander lived in Strabane from 1860-7.

[9] H Dominic W Stiles, All things bright and beautiful… Fanny Alexander and a disastrous fire, January 27, 2012, [accessed August 18, 2013].

[10] Rev John S. McClintock Testimonial in favour of Mr Samuel Watson [1869].  McClintock was the minister of the parish of Clonleigh near Strabane, Ireland. Watson Papers.

[11] Ann Goodlet was a leading figure in the DDBI from 1863 until her death 1903. For their contribution see Paul F Cooper, John and Goodlet, a study in Colonial Christian Philanthropy. (PhD Thesis, Macquarie University, 2013), 144-152. Ann and John remained friends and supporters of Watson throughout his time at the DDBI.

[12] Empire, October 25, 1870.

[13] The Ulster Institution taught both blind and deaf children.

[14] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, October 27, 1869. Watson Papers.

[15] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, August 9, 1869. Watson Papers.

[16] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, September 1, 1869. Watson Papers.

[17] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, September 1, 1869. Watson Papers.

[18] Minutes DDBI, February 24, 1870.

[19] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, February 25, 1870. Watson Papers. She was referring to Sherrington Alexander Gilder who was appointed to replace Thomas Pattison.  For more detail see Paul F. Cooper, Sherrington Alexander Gilder.

[20] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, February 25, 1870. Watson Papers. £2000 had been placed on the forward estimates by the Government and £1300 had by October 1870 been raised by donations. SMH, October 25, 1870. The Government had also made a grant of 5 acres at Newtown.

[21] In Samuel’s time further additions were made to the original building of Benjamin Backhouse in 1878-9, 1883-4 and 1891-2.

[22] SMH, October 25, 1870.

[23] SMH, November 8, 1870; Empire, November 8, 1870.

[24] SMH, April 28, 1911.

[25] For more detailed information on the educational approach of Watson see Jean Walter, The History of the New South Wales Schools for Deaf and for Blind Children. (1860-1960) unpublished manuscript [1961] Renwick Library RIDBC North Rocks NSW, 29-35.

[26] SMH, October 14, 1872.

[27] SMH, October 15, 1878.

[28] An excellent example may be seen in SMH, October 14, 1872.

[29] SMH, October 14, 1872.

[30] SMH, October 14, 1872.

[31] SMH, October 14, 1872.

[32] SMH, October 14, 1872.

[33] SMH, December 21, 1877.

[34] Jan Branson and Don Miller. Damned for their Difference. The Cultural Construction of Deaf People as Disabled. (Washington; Gallaudet University, 2002), 143.

[35] Watson did not, however, take over the DDBI from its deaf founder Thomas Pattison but followed some five years after Pattison was discharged in 1866. Sherrington A. Gilder, a hearing person, being the principal from March 1866 until October 1870.

[36] Sir Arthur Renwick made this claim of Watson. SMH, October 19, 1896.

[37] A particularly good account and critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the method and the movement it was encouraging is given, on the return of Watson, by Rev George King, chairman of the DDBI. King here is surely echoing Watson for it shows an acquaintance with the subject that was the result of close study. SMH, October 15, 1878.

[38] Australian Town and Country Journal, October 14, 1876 – it would appear this attempt began in late 1875; SMH, October 15, 1878.

[39] SMH, October 15, 1878.

[40] SMH, December 20, 1879.

[41] Jan Branson and Don Miller. Damned for their Difference, 197.

[42] Minutes DDBI, March 10, 1879. Correspondence was received from a Mr Ackers concerning her fees.

[43] Australian Town and Country Journal, February 15, 1896.

[44] SMH, October 20, 1891. Elizabeth married in 1896 and tragically died in 1900 and the board in 1901 sent another teacher Miss Beaumont to Britain and Europe to learn the oral method of teaching. SMH, December 18, 1902.

[45] SMH, December 15, 1889.

[46] The Brisbane Courier, August 22, 1893.

[47] Minutes DDBI, August 14, 1893.

[48] He was absent from February 20, 1903 to September 4, 1903. S. Watson, Report of visits to various Institutions for Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in Great Britain and America. Sydney 1903.

[49] S. Watson, Report, 5.

[50] S. Watson, Report, 13.

[51] S. Watson, Report, 14.

[52] The increase in usage of the ‘oral method’ is seen by the fact that in 1888 it was decided to appoint another pupil teacher to learn the articulation methodology, SMH, October 16, 1888. By 1898 in addition to Watson there were five staff in the ‘oral branch’ and two in the ‘manual branch’, SMH, December 17, 1898. In 1902 Miss Beaumont a DDBI trained teacher and a member of the ‘manual branch’ was sent to England to learn the art of ‘teaching articulation, and lip reading’, SMH, December 18, 1902.

[53] SMH, January 12, 1866.

[54] The wedding took place on January 11, 1887.  SMH, February, 12 1887.

[55] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, written by Jean Vickery (nee Mary Isobel Jane Watson) to her nephew Ken Watson circa 1973, Watson Papers. Jean was married to Kenneth Vickery whose father Ebenezer was the eldest son of Ebenezer Vickery (1827-1906), SMH, June 28, 1918. From 1910-14, Jean was an Assistant Teacher at the DDBI. Greg Ogle, personal communication 20/9/2013.

[56] SMH, September 21, 1887.

[57] SMH, October 17, 1888.

[58] Kernohan submitted her resignation to the DDBI Committee meeting of July 13, 1896. She had served the DDBI for 16 years.

[59] SMH, September 18, 1922.

[60] Evening News, February 7, 1907.

[61] Evening News, February 7, 1907.

[62] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 1. Watson Papers. Evening News, October 22, 1889 gives the figure as three months.

[63] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 2. Watson Papers.

[64] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 2. Watson Papers.

[65] SMH, May 1, 1911. The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, July 5, 1919. As Noake took the primary role and was minister of a church close to the Institution it may be assumed he was Watson’s local minister. Parr who was formerly a Wesleyan minister seems also to have a close relationship with the work of the DDBI and Watson as he and Mrs Parr attended DDBI picnics. The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, February 16, 1878; SMH, October 5, 1894; May 15, 1922.

[66] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 1. Watson Papers.

[67] A reference to Psalm 51:10.

[68] Samuel Watson to Boys and Wife, June 19. 1910. Watson Papers. Watson was fond of using French phrases in his private correspondence.

[69] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 2. Watson Papers.

[70] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 1. Watson Papers.

[71] Referee, October 21, 1908.

[72] SMH, May 29, 1897.

[73] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 1. Watson Papers.

[74] Samuel Watson (1843-1911) Notes, 2. Watson Papers.

[75] Evening News, April 27, 1911.

[76] SMH, October 25, 1910.

[77] Obituary Samuel Watson, unidentified newspaper but probably The N.S.W. Deaf Journal: the organ of the Adult Deaf Association. Watson Papers.

[78] Ann A Goodlet to Samuel Watson, February 25, 1870. Watson Papers.

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