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Nott, Dr. George

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1820
Place of birth Westminster, London, England
Date of arrival 1852
Principal occupation Physician
Date of death 1872
Place of decease Gawler, South Australia

Doctor George Nott (M.R.C.S.E.). Mayor 1865

In the first 70 years of Gawler three books were published on the town’s history, the earliest being by Doctor George Nott in the 1860s and titled – A Short Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Gawler. Doctor Nott was a member of Gawler’s infamous Humbug Society, which spawned The Bunyip Newspaper, and also that paper’s first editor. He was said to be “…a clever, versatile writer, and was never guilty of a dull sentence.”

Born in Westminster, London, England on May 3, 1820 to George Eade and Hannah Nott, George Nott married Sarah Williams in England, where they had two children before migrating to Australia on the “Amity Hall” in 1850.

Firstly located in the Lyndoch Valley, he moved to Gawler in May 1852 where he lived out his life, and had a further seven children, including twins in 1864.

Originally a Physician and surgeon – located on High Street, Doctor Nott eventually turned his hand to writing, and was heavily involved with the Gawler Institute. He was President of the Institute four times, and gave lectures at the Institute, including on “Microscopic Studies”. Dr. Nott’s “literary tastes, large mindedness, enthusiasm, and capacity for work did much to give the institution that stamp of progressiveness which attached to it.”

A genial, versatile and public-spirited man, Doctor Nott was popular and well-respected in Gawler. Besides excelling as a writer of wit, he was also a gifted artist, theatrical actor and poet, and took great interest in municipal and friendly society work. He also had radical tendencies, and was active in political matters. In his year as Mayor, Doctor Nott helped instigate two foot-policemen for the town, and the first telegraph poles connecting Adelaide to Sydney were erected, including in Gawler.

Doctor Nott was a public lecturer on scientific subjects in the major cities of England and Scotland. He died on December 9, 1872 and is buried in the Willaston Cemetery, where a beautiful monument of Aberdeen granite was erected over his grave by his fellow-townsmen. In 1878 the Gawler Friendly Societies presented an oil painting of the late Doctor to the Institute.

Dr George Nott, MRCSE, was born in 1820 in Westminster, London. He migrated to Australia on the Amity Hall in 1850 with his wife and two children. They first lived in the Lyndoch Valley and arrived in Gawler in 1852. During the 20 years he resided in Gawler, he became one of the most popular and well-respected citizens of the town. He was said to be "genial, versatile, public-spirited and a skillful surgeon and physician with a generous disposition". Dr Nott was a gifted artist, theatrical actor, poet and writer of wit. As the member of the Humbug Society, he became the first editor of The Bunyip and his "A short sketch of the rise and progress of Gawler (1860s)" was the earliest published history of Gawler.

George Nott was interested in political matters and served as Mayor of Gawler (1865). He died on 9 December, 1872. The monument of Aberdeen granite which marks his grave was erected by the residents of Gawler.

This information was extracted from 'Gawler's Cemeteries' Historical Leaflet. Researched and written by Anne Richards, Librarian, Reference and Research Services

Number 16 in a Series of Historical Pamphlets produced by Gawler Public Library © 2008 Gawler Public Library

Please click here to view the document, with reference to Dr George Nott on Page 12.

Please click here to see photos of Dr Nott.

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Dr. George Nott, Mayor 1865
Dr. George Nott, Mayor 1865
Painting by Dr. G. Nott, 1855
Painting by Dr. G. Nott, 1855

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