Extract from Horsfield's History of Sussex
George Watson, the Sussex Calculator. This singular being, who, in every thing but his extraordinary powers of memory and calculation, is almost idiotic, was born at Buxted, in Sussex, in 1785, and has followed the occupation of a labourer. He is ignorant in the extreme, and uneducated, not being able to read or write; and yet he can with facility perform some of the most difficult calculations in arithmetic. The most extraordinary circumstance, however, is the power he possesses of recollecting the events of every day, from an early period of his life. Upon being asked what day of the week a given day of the month occurred, he immediately names it, and also mentions where he was, and what was the state of the weather. A gentleman who had kept a diary, put many questions of this kind to him, and his replies were invariably correct. Watson has made two or three tours into Hampshire, Gloucestershire, and Somersetshire, and has exhibited his singular powers in the principal towns in those counties; is familiar with every town, village, and hamlet in Sussex; can tell the number of churches, public-houses, &c., in each. Phrenologists, who have examined George's skull, state the organ of numbers to be strongly developed.
Extract from MacDermott's Buxted the BeautifulGeorge Dan Watson
, born in Buxted in 1783, was a farm labourer, who, although quite uneducated and unable to read or write, was gifted with a wonderful memory and extraordinary power of calculation. He could answer the most abstruse question in arithmetic, but never could explain by what method he arrived at his answers. He could state where he had been and whom he had met on any day for 30 years, on what day any date of the month occurred during that time and what was the state of the weather. Watson knew the name of every town, village and hamlet in Sussex, the size of every church and weight of its tenor bell, the number of public-houses as well as the acreage and population of each parish in the county.
To exhibit his strange powers Watson was taken on a tour to the principal towns in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. He died at Maresfield in July, 1838.