William Watson’s papers

Click on any map to enlarge and scroll through them all.

See the sub-menus for Malcolm Young’s “PAST TIMES” articles about William Watson.

We are fortunate to have some of William Watson’s original papers in the village – which have been digitised and are available below.

Map of Seaton Ross – 1811

Here is an image of William Watson’s map of Seaton Ross (1811) and a second image which gives a transcription of the text for clarity. Note that this is a transcription of the names in WW’s key. The names on the map adjacent to the houses do not correspond with these names in every case (although most do)!

This remarkable map superimposes (almost) exactly on to modern village maps – it is so accurate.

Churchyard plan – 1815

Plan of Seaton Churchyard surveyed Dec. 1815 by Wm. Watson. Reproduced with the permission of Beverley Archives and the depositor.

Unfortunately there is no extant key to the churchyard plan.

Book of Roads – 1828

Book of Roads KEY (left) and pdf download (4.7 Mb). Book of Roads compiled form various sources.

The book of roads is a stylised map of the parish along each of the roads and tracks. The adjacent land ownership, property and occupiers are clearly shown, The image above shows a small selection of the pages – to view and download the whole book as a pdf file (4.7 Mb) click on the image above.

Seaton Ross Parish map – date unknown

This map shows the field boundaries of Seaton Ross parish in the early 19th century. It is coloured to show ownership but the Key is missing. There are very similar maps in the Scrapbook (DDX1445/3) – also without a full key, but one with names. These are from different dates.

Memo book – 1845

The memo book is a miscellany of information – much of it fascinating, some of it mundane. The image shows one of the pages – click on the image to view and download the whole memo book as a pdf file (21.3 Mb).

From a photocopy given by Nan Preston to Dave Raffaelli

Notebook – 1848 (missing)

William Watson produced a town map of Seaton Ross in 1848 that included drawings of all the houses in the village. As late as 1958 this was still available in the village but at some point between then and now, it has disappeared.

A copy of one page survives and is shown. Whether is is permanently lost or will be found at some point we cannot know. Meanwhile, if you know of the whereabout os this lost record, please contact us!


The Beverley Archive holds all of the extant records of William Watson (except the 1811 map) and these may be viewed by visiting them. The records not included above are:

DDX1445/1Financial notebook of John Watson with additional notes
DDX1445/2Copy valuation book of lands and tenements in Seaton Ross
DDX1445/3Scrapbook of William Watson
DDX1445/4The Penmanship, Autographs etc.. of William Watson and his Friends book
DDX1445/5Seaton Ross select vestry book of orders
DDX1445/8Epitaphs notebooks
DDX1445/9Burials in Seaton Ross notebook
DDX1445/10Sarah Jackson’s recipe book

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