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George Dott Esquire

Born in Anstruther, George Dott made a successful career in teaching. He spent the greater part of his working life in Dundee, teaching Mathematics, at the Public Seminaries / High School.

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Personal details and history

Full name

George Dott

Date of birth


Place of birth

Anstruther Wester, Fife[1]



Marital status

Married[2] - wed on 23-08-1855[2]

Name of spouse

Elizabeth Mackie Millar[2]


Lillias Jane Dott[3]

Home address

6[4] 8[5] Hawkhill Place[5][4]
Perth Road

107[6] 109 Nethergate[7][6]

Age at death:

83 years[8]

Place of death:

Ashley Grove, Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry[8]

Date of death:



Barnhill Cemetery[9]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

United Free Church - Elder in East United Free Church, Broughty Ferry:[10]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Working Men's College - a supporter and teacher (1862):[11] Keen golfer and curler:[10]

Public offices

Local Marine Board - elected as Examiner in Navigation (1864):[12]

Related subscribers

  • Subscriber 49 – John Cuthbertson – a teaching colleague at the High School, Dundee
  • Subscriber 87 – James Glass – a teaching colleague at the High School, Dundee
  • Subscriber 88 – Messrs Gilroy Bros – Alexander Gilroy attended George Dott’s funeral

Career and worklife





Place of work

High School, Dundee[6]

Work address

Euclid Crescent[5] (circling the front and sides of the Public Seminaries)[5]

Career to date:

George Dott attended St Andrew's University, where he 'gained the highest place in the mathematics class at the close of his course.'[13] He was a graduate in Maths and Philosophy.[14] He went on to be a tutor in maths at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh[13][15] before becoming one of the masters at Perth Academy.[15][13] In 1855 (within a few months of his marriage), he was appointed to the staff of the Dundee Seminaries, as master of mathematics.[13][15] George Dott spent the remainder of his working life at the Seminaries, which later became known as the High School.

More information

George Dott was born in 1824 to Andrew Dott, shipmaster, and Lilias Dishington. From Anstruther Wester, George Dott, in his teens, would appear to have spent some time as a clerk, in East Wemyss,[16] before making his way to St Andrew’s University.[13]

Prior to his marriage to Lilias Dishington, in August of 1855, George Dott held teaching appointments at Merchiston, Edinburgh and Perth Academy. He joined the staff of Dundee Public Seminaries in September 1855, where he was to spend the following 34 years.

George Dott’s interests in Dundee extended beyond the walls of the High School. In the 1860s, he was involved with the ‘Working Men’s College.’[11] In April of 1862, a social meeting and presentation was held, at which George Dott was presented with a ‘handsome easy chair – presented to George Dott Esq. by the Algebra and Geometry class of the Dundee Working Men’s College as a mark of respect for him as their teacher.’[11]

Outwith teaching, George Dott was successful in an examination ‘before the officials of the Board of Trade in a highly satisfactory manner and has now entered on his duties at the Board.’[12] This enabled him to become an Examiner in Navigation. His father, having been a shipmaster, perhaps sparked his interest in this direction.

George Dott tendered his letter of resignation from teaching (at the same time as his colleague, James Glass) in June of 1889.[13] The Directors of the High School, ‘on learning that Mr Dott was to retire, were kind enough to offer him a retiring allowance, such as their finances could afford and which Mr Dott, from the state of his health, thought it would be judicious to accept.’[13] He was presented with £400 and a gold watch.[13]

In reply, Mr Dott felt compelled to draw attention to the fact that ‘These were the days of compulsory education and compulsory examinations.’[13] His own impression was that ‘the teachers’ profession was deserving of more sympathy and support and should stand higher in estimation, on account of the additional responsibility placed upon it.’[13] – a sentiment echoed by many today.

After his death in 1907, his daughter made a gift of £400[14] to reflect the fondness held by her father for  the High School. The Directors of The High School of Dundee used the donation to fund numerous medals and prizes, including the Dott Memorial Prize for Dux in Mathematics and Dux in Music.[14]


  1. Old Parish Registers. Wemyss. (1824). 403/50 13. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Statutory Registers. Wemyss. Marriages. (1855). 459/ 20. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1859). 282/2 1207. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1858-59. p.123. National Library of Scotland website.
  5. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1856-57. pp.60 and 88. National Library of Scotland website.
  6. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1861-62. pp.30 and 134. National Library of Scotland website.
  7. Census Returns. Dundee. (1861). 282/2 8/53. ScotlandsPeople Census website.
  8. Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Deaths. (1907). 310/95. ScotlandsPeople website.
  9. Dundee Evening Telegraph. 31 July 1907. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
  10. Local History Central Library Obituary Notices 1855-Oct 1909 Page 293
  11. Dundee Advertiser. 3 April 1862. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
  12. Dundee Advertiser. 29 August 1864. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
  13. Dundee Courier. 26 October 1889. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
  14. Named Prizes - a Brief History.High School of Dundee.
  15. Dundee Courier. 29 July 1907. p.7. British newspaper Archive website.
  16. Census Returns. East Wemyss. (1841). Parish No.459. Enumeration District.3. Page.9. Ancestry website.

The information above about George Dott has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.