Private scholar, biographer and historian of Italian Renaissance art. Waters was the son of William Waters whose family traced its Norfolk, lineage back to Elizabeth I. He was educated at Ipswich Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford where he won student awards for his historical scholarship. Independently wealthy, he settled in London writing, traveling and entertaining. He married Charlotte Leeder (d. 1868). After her death, in 1880 he married a second time to Emily Paton, an author and collector of cook books. He actively translated historic important scholarly texts beginning with Salernitano Masuccio's stories from the fifteenth century in 1895. In 1901 he published a small volume in Bell's art book series, Great masters in painting and sculpture on Piero della Francesca. Afterward he advised another amateur scholar, Evelyn Sandberg, for her book on the same subject and may have recommended the neophyte author to her Italian publisher. He died at age 83.
- The Novellino of Masuccio London: Lawrence and Bullen, 1895;
- Piero della Francesca. London: George Bell and Sons, 1901;
- Five Italian Shrines: an Account of the Monumental Tombs of S. Augustine at Pavia, S. Dominic at Bologna, S. Peter Martyr at Milan, S. Donato at Arezzo, and of Orcagna's Tabernacolo at Florence. London: J. Murray, 1906;
- Travellers Joy. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1906;
- Italian Sculptors. London, Methuen & Co.;1911;
- and Waters, Emily (Paton). The Vespasiano Memoirs: Lives of Illustrious Men of the xvth Century. London. G. Routledge & Sons, 1926
[obituary:] "Mr. W. G. Waters." Times (London), June 18, 1928.