Margaret Gatty

Margaret Gatty was born in 1809 as the second daughter of Rev Alexander Scott and Mary Frances Scott. Gatty

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Margaret grew up in the Vicarage at Burnham on Crouch where her father was curate and Vicar of the neighbouring Parish of Southminster.

The remarkable life of Rev Scott is listed on another page in this site

Mary Scott died when Margaret was only 2 years old which meant that she was brought up by her father with occasional stays with relatives.

Margaret and her sister Horatia were much influence by their father and from an early age learnt to paint and to read classical books in several languages.

In 1816 the family moved to a Catterick where life continued in similar terms to Burnham

Life was difficult as she was forced to accept most of the responsibility for family life as her father was often ill and at other time focused on his studies and her sister was unable or unwilling to participate.

In 1837 a major change occurred in that 31 year old Margaret met a young 24 year old Curate called Alfred Gatty and there was an immediate attraction.

When Alfred asked for permission to marry Margaret, Rev Scott denied permission mirroring the situation when he had asked permission to marry Margaret's mother.

After pressure from Margaret the Rev Scott gave approval  for the marriage and Margaret Married Alfred Gatty in July 1939.

The newly married couple were presented with the living at Ecclesfield near Sheffield

For the next few years Margaret lived a busy life with visits to her father at Catterick and giving birth to eight children.

Her father’s death in 1840 brought her creative talents to the fore and with her husband she wrote the life history of Rev A J Scott which was published by Saunders and Ottley

Although the book was not a big seller it stimulated the desire to right and started a flow of books that received critical acclaim.

The acclaim even reached the heights of Alfred Tennyson and Lewis Carroll who visited the Gatty's on several occasions to discuss literature.


The Fairy Godmothers


Five series of the Parables from nature


Proverbs Illustrated


Legendary Tales


The poor incumbent


Aunt Judy's tales


The human face divide


Travels and adventures of Rev Joseph Wolff


An Irish Holiday


Aunt Judy's letters


History of British seaweeds


History of a bit of bread


Children's introduction to anatomy and physiology


Domestic pictures and tales


Book of emblems


Book of sundials


Like her father before her Margaret encouraged her children to take up the arts and her second child Julia Horatia became an even more acclaimed writer of children's books that her mother.

Margaret developed ill health on died on 4 October 1873 being laid to rest in Ecclesfield churchyard near her father

The lives of Margaret and  Julia are remembered by a window in Ecclesfield church advertisement from 1859