Richard Watson was born in 1781 at Bartonon-Humber. His father realized early the exceptional intelligence of his son and provided Watson with a classical education. They moved to Lincoln in 1789 to continue his training. Following his conversion in 1795, Watson chose to serve in the Methodist Society where his gift of prayer and exhortation became known. At age 15 , Watson preached his first sermon in a village near Lincoln. His professional life consisted of preaching, Serving as Secretary and President of a Methodist Conference and developing the Wesleyan Missionary Society. Watson died in 1833 in Myddelton Square, London.
George John Stevenson , in his Methodist Worthies ,vol. 2, describes Watson as follows:
"Richard Watson’s dignified form and countenance were striking expressions of his intellectual greatness. He had a profound acquaintance with the Bible, and his convictions of its truth were deep and intense. He was in doctrine an orthodox Trinitarian and an Evangelical Arminian; his mind was intensely spiritual; he was of devotional habits, and mist conscientious in the use of his time. Amongst his characteristics were disinterestedness, zeal, philanthropy and perseverance. Hi acknowledged having yielded his own freedom of will to the utmost commands of those in office in the Connexion, as the penalty of his return to the Connexion. In conversation he never failed to instruct and charm those he met; and to those in whom he could confide in friendship he was a friend indeed. His portrait appeared twice in the Methodist Magazine; but it does not convey any adequate idea of the man, as compared with the portrait which forms the frontispiece to his “ Life” by the Rev. Thomas Jackson. His “Life” of John Wesley has been a standard book in Methodism ever since it was published in 1831. For his collected works published in twelve volumes, the Wesleyan Book Committee gave Mrs. Watson £2000. Mr. Watson’ works have contributed largely to raise the tone of Methodist literature to a much higher standard than it had ever reached before." (p. 248) 1
1. George John Stevenson, M.A., Methodist worthies. Characteristic Sketches of Methodist Preachers of the Several Denominations, with Historical Sketch of each Connecxion. (London: Thomas C Jack, 45 Ludgate Hill. Edinburgh: Grave Publishing Works, 1886). Also available at http://books.google.com/books?.