Rev Watson Hagger
Vicar of Canvey Island 1901-1909
Watson Hagger was the Vicar of Canvey from 1901 – 1909. We have not come across any photos of him so far but this page will be updated if we do. Watson was born in 1855 in Great Chesterford which is just north of Saffron Walden. The son of Thomas and Hannah Hagger, Thomas was a Builder employing 12 men (1871 census) and his family can be traced back generations in Great Chesterfield.
Watson entered St Johns, Cambridge on the 9 Oct 1875 graduating with a B.A. 1879; M.A. 1882. After University his life was a mixture of teaching Maths at schools and being a vicar. From 1879-1884 he was a Maths Master at Portsmouth Grammar School. He was a Curate of St George’s Portsea in 1883 becoming a priest in 1884 and went on to be the Head Master of Boys High School, Sunderland 1884 – 1892.
It is likely when Watson was in Sunderland that he met his wife-to-be Mary Ann Elizabeth Fenner as she was born in North Hylton, Sunderland in 1874. They were married in St Nicholas of Myra, Strood in 1893 during the time Watson was the Vicar of Tolleshunt Major (1892 – 1901).
Watson, with his wife and two sons Stanley and Harold, arrived on Canvey in 1901 taking up the position of Vicar of Canvey after the death of Rev Henry Hayes. His two daughters Gwendoline and Kathleen were born during his stay on Canvey. So far we have not discover anything about his service to the Island, Henry Hayes must have been a difficult act to follow. But it has been noted that when Rev Joseph Brown took over in 1909 the church was in a very bad state. Even Fred McCave does not mention Rev Watson Hagger in his book.
The Hagger family left the island in 1909, Watson becoming Vicar of St. John the Evangelist, North Woolwich until his death in 1916.
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