George Symes Catcott

30 February 1739 - 19 November 1902

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Much more than Rowley's Nursemaid

George Symes Catcott played a hugely important part in the Chatterton story. He is, perhaps, the major reason Chatterton became known to a wider audience.

George was a bit of a manipulator who could clearly see the main chance when it came along. His correspondence with William Barrett and others, as well as some of his letters to the periodicals, show him as a man born with a well-greased stirring-stick in his left hand, although he would have preferred to have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Unfortunately for George, that privilege passed to his older brother, the Reverend Alexander, vicar of Temple church (with its famous leaning tower), and author of A Treatise on the Deluge. 

George spent an inordinate amount of time writing about Chatterton (I know how that feels) and transcribing (and editing/amending) his works over and again; this was not an altruistic endeavour, for he was actually maintaining a trade in transcriptions of  'Rowley's' works - good on you George! 

One of George's dearest wishes was to be remembered in after-times and it seems to me that his wish has been granted but in ways he could not possibly have imagined;  I hope to treat George as an important and main character in the Chatterton saga, rather than as a simpleton of a side dish. So, all of George's manuscripts, his  letters and transcripts etc., will be uploaded here.  I will also add, when time allows, my own transcripts of some of his productions, this will facilitate ease of reading as some of his Ms. are quite faded.

This is a big job, which is a little onerous and time consuming, but strangely enjoyable at the same time. 

Yere we goes then! Ooops, no we don't; I am putting this part of the project on hold, and  going back to uploading Mss., will return to this section soon.


Over The North Porch of

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

Is a Large Hexagonal Room

Once Known as the Treasury House

Or the Muniment Room,

Now Known as Chatterton's Room.

It Still Holds the Iron-bound Coffer

Which Contained Ancient Archives

Belonging to the Church.

This is Where Chatterton Claimed

To Have Found the

Rowley Manuscripts.

canynges iron bound chest 1.jpg

The following montage by QE!,

pictures, for the very first time

the famous meeting

of  three Great Minds,

George Catcott, Samuel Johnson

& James Boswell.

The New Bristol Bridge 1768

Can be seen in the 'engraving'

On the wall behind Catcott

 Said Catcott, 

To Boswell & Johnson.

This Much is True!

(Well, it is the one in the room now)

George Catcott & Henry Burgum

Partners in Pewter

Two of the pewter items produced during their short-lived and acrimonious partnership are shown below.

waddingtons pewter inkstand 2.jpg
catcott pewter pot.jpg

St Nicholas Church & the Pewter Plate

George is famous for climbing the spire during its construction and placing a pewter plate, etched with his and his brothers details, within a cavity of the spire. It is still there waiting for the day it is rediscovered - it might be a while George! 

The image below also shows Bristol Bridge; George paid 5 guineas to be the first person to cross over it back in 1768.

st nicholas church samuel jackson waterc

George Catcott v S. T. Coleridge

George was, for a time, a Bristol Librarian.

catcott newspapersmall.jpg

(.QE!.) is currently working on this page