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
Date of birth
Place of birth
Anstruther Wester, Fife
Name of spouse
Elizabeth Mackie Millar
Lillias Jane Dott
Age at death:
Place of death:
Ashley Grove, Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry
Date of death:
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
United Free Church - Elder in East United Free Church, Broughty Ferry:
Clubs / societies
Local Marine Board - elected as Examiner in Navigation (1864):
Career and worklife
Place of work
High School, Dundee
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.' He was a graduate in Maths and Philosophy. He went on to be a tutor in maths at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh before becoming one of the masters at Perth Academy. In 1855 (within a few months of his marriage), he was appointed to the staff of the Dundee Seminaries, as master of mathematics. George Dott spent the remainder of his working life at the Seminaries, which later became known as the High School.
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, before making his way to St Andrew’s University.
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.’ 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.’
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.’ 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. 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.’ He was presented with £400 and a gold watch.
In reply, Mr Dott felt compelled to draw attention to the fact that ‘These were the days of compulsory education and compulsory examinations.’ 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.’ – a sentiment echoed by many today.
After his death in 1907, his daughter made a gift of £400 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.
- Old Parish Registers. Wemyss. (1824). 403/50 13. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Statutory Registers. Wemyss. Marriages. (1855). 459/ 20. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1859). 282/2 1207. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1858-59. p.123. National Library of Scotland website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1856-57. pp.60 and 88. National Library of Scotland website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1861-62. pp.30 and 134. National Library of Scotland website.
- Census Returns. Dundee. (1861). 282/2 8/53. ScotlandsPeople Census website.
- Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Deaths. (1907). 310/95. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. 31 July 1907. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Local History Central Library Obituary Notices 1855-Oct 1909 Page 293
- Dundee Advertiser. 3 April 1862. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Advertiser. 29 August 1864. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 26 October 1889. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Named Prizes - a Brief History.High School of Dundee. http://www.highschoolofdundee.org.uk
- Dundee Courier. 29 July 1907. p.7. British newspaper Archive website.
- Census Returns. East Wemyss. (1841). Parish No.459. Enumeration District.3. Page.9. Ancestry website.
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