George Nott 1780 – 1855

George Nott is described in the Carmarthen Census of 1851 as a “Landed Proprietor” He lived in Picton Place and had three servants one of whom was Ms Emma Daniel. George was the eldest of three brothers. George was born in 1780 his brother William* in 1782 and the youngest Henry in 1784. All were born in the small village of HOLT in Wiltshire and baptised in the neighbouring village church of Great Chalfield.

The Early Norman Font at Great Chalfield Church where George, William and Henry were all Baptised.
Copy of the Baptismal entry in Great Chalfield Church for William Nott. This original copy is in the British Library and was required by the East India Company as proof of Baptism before entry could be accepted as an Officer Cadet in the Bengal Army

For some inexplicable reason, all published material on the birth of these children in particular William gives the birthplace as Neath which it was not as can be proven from a copy of the Baptism register in Great Chalfield Church. George’s father Charles was a native of Shobdan in Herefordshire and was a well respected agriculturist. In the early 1790’s the family found themselves in Neath where Charles was employed to run the rural estate of Sir Herbert Mackwith of Knoll Castle. It was during this time that the boys were educated albeit briefly at Cowbridge Grammar School. In 1794 the family were on the move again – this time and for the last, to Carmarthen where Charles rented two farms in Johnstown and also became the proprietor of the “Old Ivy Bush Inn” in King Street, later to become the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel in Spilman Street, whilst also entering at the same time into the business of mail contractor (Post Office)

All Saints Parish Church Great Chalfield where George, William and Henry were all Baptised. copyright M Garlick.

The youngest brother Henry died at a very young age whilst serving as a junior officer in the Royal Army in 1799 aged just 15, and William the second and middle of the three brothers became one of the most famous Generals and Army Commanders in British military history rising to the rank of Major General in the Honourable East India Company taking charge of the Army in the first Afghan War of 1839- 1842. William was knighted for his services to his country and received the Knight Grand Cross of the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath on behalf of Queen Victoria from the hands of the Governor General of India Lord Ellenborough and also received a gold sword encrusted with diamonds, emeralds and rubies on behalf of a grateful British Government which has never been found to this day.

Major General Sir William Nott GCB by John Deffet Francis curtesy of the National Museum of Wales

Whilst serving in the mountainous terrains of India and Afghanistan William entrusted the education of his two eldest boys, Charles and William to his brother George in Carmarthen and correspondence dated 1818 refers to their being educated by a Mr Williams from the town. Later in life both boys went on to be educated at Eaton and subsequently had very successful careers in the legal profession and in the City of London. On the General’s triumphant entry into Carmarthen in 1844 after his retirement from the army the first person he called with was his brother George in Picton Place where it is recorded that upon reaching the house the General, helped from his carriage wept openly upon embracing his devoted brother, such was their bond despite not seeing each other for over twenty years. Sadly, in January 1845 Sir William passed away from heart failure and was buried alongside his parents in St Peters Church Cemetery in what was described as the largest funeral ever to have taken place in Carmarthen. George died unmarried In January 1855 aged 75 and rather interestingly the inscription on his memorial reads “GEORGE NOTT OF CARMARTHEN”

The damaged grave of George Nott before restoration

The restoration of George Nott’s grave in St David’s Cemetery was a complex one involving the complete dismantling of the structure due to its cast iron fixings becoming eroded and part of the structure having collapsed over time. The accompanying photographs give a good indication of the work involved from the beginning to end and this could not have been achieved without the help and assistance of Davies Cranes who gave their time and equipment freely, and also to Tumble Memorials and Philip Bowen the proprietor whose expertise was invaluable. Finally a mention must also be given The Right Honourable Sir John Nott KCB – direct descendant of the General and  whose generous donation made everything possible.

The restoration in progress

Elsewhere in the cemetery is also the headstone of Miss Emma Daniel, devoted servant of George. Very clearly she must have been well cared for, as she passed away nine years after George in 1864 and was provided with a very nice headstone and suitable inscription.

 

Almost complete

 

 

 

Completed restoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

The headstone of Miss Emma Daniel. Housekeeper to George Nott for 44 years