|Volume 2, page 174, sitting number 1986.
Almost certainly Edward Spencer Mott, born at Wall, near Lichfield, on 17 April 1844, he was the second son of William Mott, JP, DL. [A portrait of his father is the following entry in the daybooks.]
Educated at Eton, by private tutor, and at the Royal Military College, he appears as E.S. Mott on the 1861 census. At the time of the census he was a seventeen-year-old "gentleman cadet" at Sandhurst. In February 1862 he received a commission in the 19th Regiment, and he served on the frontiers of India and Burma until 1867.
On returning to England he became a strolling actor, and in February 1877 joined the staff at the Sporting Times. He also contributed, under the pseudonym Nathaniel Gubbins, to Bailey's Magazine, the Pall Mall Gazette, the Lady's Pictorial, and many other publications.
His books, still written as Nathaniel Gubbins, include Cakes and Ale (1897), subtitled A Memory of many meals - the whole interspersed with various Recipes, more or less original, and Anecdotes, mainly veracious; and The Flowing Bowl (1899), subtitled A treatise on Drinks of all kinds and all periods, interspersed with sundry Anecdotes and Reminiscences. His war memoirs, covering his time in India, were published in 1898 as A Mingled Yarn. His sporting works include The Great Game (1900), Dopes, Bits of Turf (1901), and The King's Racehorses (1902). He also wrote and updated many pantomimes and burlesques. Who Was Who, 1897-1915 gives his recreations as "in earlier days, gambling; later gardening, trimming hedges, and country walks."
Edward Spencer Mott (Nathaniel Gubbins) died on 5 June 1910.
The following is taken from a review of his autobiography by an unnamed critic for the Times (10 May 1898):
It is lively reading, it is true, and may be profitable in the way of warning to those who are most likely to enjoy it, but it is throughout a record of absurd extravagance and folly and the blighting of a promising career. The author seems to have started with good birth, good friends, good talents, and good prospects as a soldier. He flung away by handfuls any money he had or could borrow; he backed bills freely for himself and others; and after a liberal education at Eton and Oxford, came down to the prodigal’s husks and a bed on the Embankment benches. Yet, though forever in grief, he was never disgraced. His brains kept him tolerably straight on the turf, and there is this to be said, that he always struck out pluckily, and though often submerged, never actually went to the bottom. In fact, after trying many things, from soldier to the stage, after writing canticles for the music-halls and metrical prophecies of the forthcoming racing events, he has latterly, he informs the reader, been earning an honourable livelihood as an advertising bookmaker, and contributor to the sporting journals. Mr. Mott is so frank as to his numerable indiscretions that in some measure he disarms personal criticism, but there is less excuse for his making piquant “copy” of the failings of old friends and raking up long-forgotten scandals or follies. Such records of hard drinking are rarely to be found, and the marvel is that any of Mr. Mott’s comrades survived to serve their country or to settle down.
There can’t have been many visitors to Silvy’s studio who ever slept rough on the Embankment!
condition: Some fine spotting in the area of the background.
price: not for sale
|Back to list...