Clan Arnott People & Places

Clan Arnott People

Dr Neil Arnott (1788–1874)

Neil Arnott

A man of many talents including physician, public health reformer, inventor, patentee, lecturer and author. He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society on 5th January 1838 with the following citation “Neil Arnott MD of Bedford Square a Gentleman well acquainted with the various branches of science being desirous of becoming a fellow of The Royal Society. We the undersigned of our personal knowledge recommend him a deserving of that honour and as likely to prove a valuable and useful member”

He was born in Arbroath Forfarshire Scotland on the 15th May 1788. Educated by his mother at the parish school of Lunan, then at Aberdeen grammar school. In 1806 he graduated with an MD from Marischal College Aberdeen. He received his Diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1813 and was awarded his MD the following year.

He expressed his concern about what he called the four necessities of life, Air, Warmth, Aliment and Exercise. All these factors must have created his interest in heating and ventilating which started with his involvement in matters related to public health and the need for improved ventilation in buildings. This led in 1838 to his publishing of the book titled “Warming and Ventilating” which explained the principles used in the Arnott slow combustion stove. The Royal Society awarded him the Rumford medal on 30th November 1854. The medal citation read “For the successful construction of the smokeless fire grate lately introduced by him and for other valuable improvements in the application of heat to warming and ventilating of apartments”. In 1855 he published another book on the smokeless fireplace.

William Arnott - Gold Hunter and Baker

William Arnott

William Arnott was among the men who abandoned their former lives in Scotland to search for gold in Australia. William left his life as a young baker from Fife searching for a new life in Australia in October 1847. He arrived in Sydney 135 days later on 17 February 1848. William spent the next three years working as a baker and confectioner with his younger brother David. In 1851 William decided to leave the bakery and travel to the Turon River diggings to hunt for gold.

William Arnott was an excellent baker but he wasn’t a very good gold hunter. He didn’t find any gold but he did make a living making pies and bread for the gold miners.

The gold diggers worked long hard days in dangerous conditions. They often dug for hours in deep dark waterlogged pits.

Two years later William gave up the gold fields and returned to life as a baker. In 1865 he set up a small bakery in Newcastle, New South Wales. By 1882 Arnott’s biscuits were being shipped to Sydney. In 1894 William Arnott bought a factory in Sydney, employing hundreds of workers.

Clan Arnott Places

Arnot Tower

Arnot Tower is a ruinous 16th century castle built by the Arnott family. It is located in Perthshire & Kinross. The remains of the castle were first built around 1507, though there had been earlier constructions dating from the 15th century. The Arnotts abandoned the castle in the 18th century.