Alexander Bryson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Alexander Bryson (horologist))
Jump to: navigation, search
Alexander Bryson
Born 12 October 1816
5 South Bridge, Edinburgh[1]
Died 7 December 1866 (1866-12-08) (aged 50)
Hawkhill House, Edinburgh
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Institutions Partner, Robert Bryson & Sons, Clock and Watch-Maker, Edinburgh
Alma mater Edinburgh University
The Bryson family grave, New Calton Cemetery

Alexander Bryson FRSE FGS FRSSA FSAScot FRPSE (12 October 1816 – 7 December 1866) was a Scottish biologist, geologist and horologist who served as president of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (1860–61) and as president of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh (1863).[2]


He was born on 12 October 1816 in Edinburgh, the son of Robert Bryson FRSE (1778-1852), a watchmaker, and Janet Gillespie (1788-1858).

He attended the High School in Edinburgh then trained as a watchmaker and entered the family business, then renamed Robert Bryson & Son.[3]

His first wife, Elizabeth W. Gillespie (possibly a cousin) bore him two children who died in infancy and died 10 April 1855 aged 44.

His second wife, Catherine M. Cuthbertson, also died young in September 1859, aged only 32.

He was President of the Royal Scottish Society of Antiquarians 1860-1861. He was President of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh in 1863. He was also a member of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Geological Society.

In 1858 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was President of the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts 1860-61.[4]

He died on 7 December 1866 at Hawkhill House, a country villa between Leith and Edinburgh. He is buried in New Calton Cemetery with his two wives next to his parents.


  • On a Method of rendering Baily's Compensation Pendulum insensible to Hygrometric Influences (1854)
  • On an improved method of preparing siliceous and other fossils for microscopic investigation: with a description of a new pneumatic chuck (1856)
  • On a new method of measuring watch-glasses (1860)
  • Memoir of Rev. John Fleming, D.D., F.R.S.E. (1861)
  • Memoir of General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, G.C.B., & C. president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1861)
  • Notes of a trip to Iceland in 1862 (1864)