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(NOTT, Sir William.) STOCQUELER, J. H., ed.

Memoirs and Correspondence of Major-General Sir William Nott.

Commander of the Army of Candahar, and Envoy at the Court of the King of Oude. Edited at the Request of Sir William Nott's Daughters, Letitia Nott and Charlotte Bower, from Documents in their Exclusive Possession.

Published: London: Hurst and Blackett, Publishers, 1854

Stock code: 85949

Price: £1,500

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First edition. An uncommon memoir, and an important source for the First Afghan War. Nott was commissioned as ensign in the East India Company’s army in 1800, and posted to the 20th Bengal Native Infantry, serving with them in the expedition to the west coast of Sumatra in 1805. From 1811 until 1825 he served as “superintendent of native pensions and paymaster of family pensions at Barrackpore”, but after leave in England returned to India to take command of the 20th NI and despite having “been so long in a semi-military post, he brought his regiment into such a state of efficiency that his services were required to do the same for other regiments. He commanded a succession of native infantry regiments and on 1 December 1829 was promoted colonel” (ODNB). During the First Afghan War Nott commanded the troops at Kandahar and Quetta, sending out “small successful expeditions from both locales against rebellious tribes” (Riddick, Who was Who); and in 1842 was placed in command of “all the troops in Lower Afghanistan and Sindh, and of the political officers there”. His operations in defence of Kandahar, and in relief of Kabul were rewarded by his appointment to the residency and Lucknow with the title of envoy to the king of Oudh; and the presentation of “a valuable sword in the name of the British government” by Lord Ellenborough, who told Wellington that he considered Nott to be superior to all the other generals: “Ellenborough was right. Despite his cantankerous nature Nott was by far the best general in the Anglo-Afghan War. He was also a protagonist of the sepoy, whom he compared favourably with the British soldier.” In 1844 he was created GCB, voted an annuity of £1000 by the directors of the Company, and granted the freedom of the City of London. He died aged 63 on New Years’ Day 1845.

2 volumes octavo (217 135 mm). Recent half calf, marbled boards, to style, black lettering-pieces to the second compartments, volume numbers direct to the fourth, narrow bands, gilt milling, edges sprinkled red, light brown endpapers. Engraved frontispiece to each, portrait to volume I, a view of the fortress at Ghuzni to volume II. Light browning, some mild foxing, a very good copy, now suitably and pleasingly presented.

Bibliography: Bruce 4060.

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