Nott, George Frederick (DNB00)

NOTT, GEORGE FREDERICK (1767–1841), divine and author, born in 1767, was nephew of Dr. John Nott [q. v.] His father, Samuel Nott (1740–1793), who proceeded M.A. from Worcester College, Oxford, in 1764, was appointed prebendary of Winchester (1770), rector of Houghton, Hampshire (1776), vicar of Blandford, Dorset, and chaplain to the king. His mother, Augusta (d. 1813), was daughter of Pennell Hawkins, serjeant-surgeon to the king, and niece of Sir Cæsar Hawkins. George matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 30 Oct. 1784, aged seventeen, and distinguished himself as a classical scholar. Graduating B.A. in 1788, he was elected a fellow of All Souls College, took holy orders, and proceeded M.A. in 1792 (B.D. in 1802, and D.D. in 1807). In 1801 he was proctor in the university, and in 1802 he preached the Bampton lectures, his subject being ‘Religious Enthusiasm.’ The success attending these sermons, which were published next year, brought him to the notice of the king, who appointed him sub-preceptor to Princess Charlotte of Wales. Much clerical preferment followed. He became prebendary of Colworth, Chichester, in 1802; perpetual curate of Stoke Canon, Devonshire, in 1807; vicar of Broadwinsor, Dorset, in 1808; fourth prebendary of Winchester in 1810; rector of Harrietsham and Woodchurch (in exchange for Broadwinsor) in 1813, and prebendary of Salisbury in 1814. He spent much of his private means in restoring the rectory-houses and in building schools in the parishes over which he presided. As prebendary of Winchester, he superintended the repairs of the cathedral. On 6 Jan. 1817, while engaged on this work, he fell a distance of thirty feet, and sustained severe injuries to the head, from which he never wholly recovered. Subsequently he spent much time in Italy, and at Rome purchased many pictures by contemporary artists. He wrote Italian with ease and accuracy. In 1825 he succeeded to the property of his uncle John. He died at his house in the Close at Winchester on 25 Oct. 1841. The sale of his valuable library, consisting of 12,500 volumes and many prints and pictures, took place at Winchester, and lasted thirteen days (11–25 Jan. 1842). Nott's coins, gems, and bronzes were sold in April in London.

Nott, like his uncle, devoted much time to the study of sixteenth-century literature, and produced an exhaustive edition of the ‘Works of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder’ (1815–16, in two large 4to vols.). The illustrative essays and appendices embody the results of many researches among manuscripts and wide reading in early Italian poetry, while his biographies of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey [q. v.], and of his son, Henry Howard, earl of Northampton [q. v.], despite their length and their neglect of many authorities since rendered accessible, supply much recondite information. But the text of the poems is not always accurate, and Nott displays throughout a want of literary taste. He unwarrantably assumed that nearly all Surrey's poems were addressed to the Lady Geraldine, and affixed to each a fanciful title based on that assumption (cf. Bapst, Deux Gentilshommes-poètes à la Cour de Henri VIII, 1891, for adverse criticism of Nott's ‘Life of Surrey’).

Besides the Bampton lectures noticed above and an occasional sermon, Nott also published some translations into Italian, and edited some Italian books. His Italian version of the English ‘Book of Common Prayer’ (‘Libro delle Preghiere Communi’) appeared in 1831. In 1832 he printed at Florence for the first time, with Italian introduction and notes, ‘Fortunatus Siculus ossia l'Avventuroso Ciciliano di Busone da Gubbio: romanzo storico scritto nel MCCCXI.’

[Gent. Mag. 1842, i. 106–7, 299; Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; Foster's Index Ecclesiasticus, 1800–40. In the Brit. Mus. Cat. many English works by his uncle are incorrectly assigned to him; with them are enumerated several Italian books, with manuscript notes by Nott, which were once in Nott's library, but are now in the Museum.]

S. L.