Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

[GATTY, Margaret & Alfred, (eds.)]

Recollections of the Life of the Rev. A. J. Scott, Lord Nelson's Chaplain.

London: Saunders and Otley, 1842 Stock Code: 139306
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition of the only biography of Alexander John Scott, chaplain on the Victory and unofficial private secretary to Nelson, to whom he attended during his final hours at Trafalgar. A handsome copy of a decidedly uncommon book, co-edited by Scott's daughter, this with an intriguing provenance.

Stamped "editor's copy" on the title page. Whilst no other indicators or annotations are present, it is possible that this may perhaps be Margaret Gatty's copy; with the later ownership inscription on the title page of Major-General Mark Kerr (1864-1944), son of Admiral Lord Kerr. Mark Kerr joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1879 and served in the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882, the Mahdist War, and was Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Hellenic Navy at the outbreak of the First World War. In 1916 Kerr was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Adriatic Squadron, and recalled to the UK a year later to assist in the formation of the RAF.

Scott (1768-1840) was ordained as a priest in 1792 and the following year appointed chaplain of the third-rate HMS Berwick under Captain Sir John Collins. The Berwick joined the Mediterranean fleet commanded by Lord Hood, and this is where Scott likely first met Nelson, who was in command of the 64-gun Agamemnon, then blockading the French Fleet in Toulon. By 1800 Scott was competent in numerous languages, his diplomatically-useful linguistic talents leading Nelson to make a special request to hire him. In May 1803 Nelson was appointed to the Mediterranean, with Scott taking on an official role as chaplain of the Victory and an unofficial role as Nelson's private secretary and interpreter. "He was frequently sent, as though on leave, to Leghorn, Naples, Barcelona, or other places; the readiness with which he gained admission to fashionable society enabled him to bring back intelligence. He continued with Nelson on this footing for his whole time in the Mediterranean On 21 October he attended Nelson during the admiral's final hours, receiving his last wishes. On the return of the Victory to England, he attended the coffin as it lay in state at Greenwich, and until it was finally laid in the crypt of St Paul's." (ODNB)

Confused? Read our glossary


Large duodecimo (208 x 134 mm). Modern blue half calf, spine with five raised bands, red label, small gilt anchor motif in each compartment, marbled sides.


Engraved frontispiece portrait of Nelson after Jackson.


Nautical bookplate of Robert J Hayhurst to front pastedown. Bound without the half-title. Frontispiece foxed, occasional brown spots to text with a few uneven edges and chips; a very good copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book