Reading Comprehension Level A2

Samuel Watson (1635 – 1710)

Samuel Watson, was a horologist (clock and watch maker) who invented the 5 minute repeater, and made the first stopwatch. He made a clock for King Charles II and was an associate of Isaac Newton.

Before reading make sure you know the following words:

  • Coventry – Ковентрі
  • reliability – надійність
  • by hand – вручну, власноруч
  • to make ones name – стати відомим
  • clamour – попит на …
  • to take up – займати місце
  • testament – заповіт
  • standing – репутація
  • master – господар, володар
  • trailblazer – новатор, піонер

Read about Samuel Watson, King of the Watchmakers

For a peiod of its history, the city of Coventry had a cosiderable reputation as the main centre of clock and watchmaking in Britain. Coventry timepieces made then were synonymous with both quality and reliability. Few people in the city today have heard of Samuel Watson, the king of the watchmakers, but he al,ost by hand paved the way for Coventry‘s involvement in the clock and watch business.

He was at the frontier of the watchmaking revolution in the 1680s, and although it is not known how Watson became involved in the trade, he was a trailblazer for others.

Watson made his name in 1682 when he sold a clock to King Charles II and was invited to be the King’s mathematician. The following year he began work on an astronomical clock for the King, complete with planets and signs of the zodiac, which took seven years to make. It not only told the time of the day but also the positional changes of the palanets. Queen Mary acquired it in 1691 and it is still in the ownership of the Royal Family.

Samuel Watson made several other clocks, and by 1690 the clamour for Watson’s clock was such that he left Coventry and took up residence in London.

He became Master of the London Clockmakers’ Company in 1692, which was testament to his standing in the growing industry.

In 1712, Samuel Watson’s name disappeared from the records of the London Clockmakers’ Company, and the likelihood is that he died in that year.

Task 1. True or False Statements

  1. The most important events in the history of Coventry are connected with the clock and watchmaking.
  2. Some kinds of timepieces were known as the products of high quality and reliability.
  3. It was Dr. Watson who helped to pave the way for the development of clock and watch business in Coventry.
  4. There is a detailed description of Samuel Watson’s watchmaking business.
  5. Samuel Watson made his name as a trailblazer for others.
  6. He was appointed a King’s mathematician.
  7. His astronomical clock was decorated with planets and signs of the zodiac.
  8. The astronomical clock only told the time of day.
  9. The second owner of this unique clock was Queen Mary.
  10. It is supposed that Samuel Watson died in 1710s.

Task 2. Multiple Choice Questions

  1. The text is primarily about …
    • the history of Coventry.
    • the reputation of Samuel Watson.
    • the history of clock and watchmaking in Coventry.
    • a period of Britain’s history.
  2. The city of Coventry was…
    • famous as the main centre of watchmaking.
    • one of the growing industrial cities.
    • known as the centre of astronomy.
    • a trade centre.
  3. The clocks and watches made in Coventry were …
    • of low degree quality.
    • of high degree quality.
    • reliable to some degree.
    • not demanded.
  4. … people know the name of pioneer of this business in England.
    • Few
    • A few
    • Many
    • A lot of
  5. Samuel Watson’s name became known in …
    • 1618
    • 1680
    • 1681
    • 1682
  6. It took Samuel Watson … years to make an astronomical watch.
    • some
    • seven
    • seventy
    • seventeen
  7. The astronomical clock was made for …
    • the Royal family.
    • Queen Mary.
    • King Charles II.
    • the city tower.
  8. Samuel Watson, king of watchmakers, left Coventry …
    • when he became famous.
    • after he had built several clocks.
    • when he bought a residence in London
    • because of the clamour for his clocks.
  9. In 1692 Samuel Watson became … of the London Clockmaker’s Company.
    • the Man
    • the Manager
    • Master
    • the Main person
  10. Samuel Watson’s name … the books of the London Clockmaker’s Company.
    • appeared in
    • disappeared from
    • was registered in
    • was underlined in