HistoricaLeigh: Coffe and Crackers —Elimentary Dr Watson

February 20, 2018 by Carole Mulroney


Until the 1920s there was no Broadway West—it was the site and grounds of Leigh House the home of Dr Watson—eminent physician in Leigh.

Dr Watson also dabbled in property and literally paved the way for Broadway West to be constructed, thus creating the triangle of roads and shopping area we know today.  

So who was William Douglas Watson? Have you ever been to Dublin and sat in the palatial Bewleys Coffee Lounge in Grafton Street? Well Dr Watson’s mother, Isabella Bewley, was the granddaughter of Samuel Bewley, who with his son, Charles, was the founder of Bewley’s and the first to import tea to Ireland.

From its origins in the tea trade the Bewley’s business expanded into coffee importation, roasting and distribution and the operation of coffee shops, most notably the legendary Grafton Street Café, which was opened in 1927.

Dr Watson’s maternal grandmother was Dorothy Jacob, also Irish, and a cousin of William Beale Jacob, who in 1851, with his brother, Robert, started the Jacob’s Biscuit business. Both the Bewley and the Jacob families were Quakers.  

So next time you take the cheese platter with a Jacob’s cracker with your post prandial coffee in Leigh you are carrying on a local connection.


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