Thomas Skottowe

Thomas, John Skottowe and Margaret Greentree’s second son, was baptized by his uncle, Robartes Carr, on St. Helena in 1775.[1]

Little is known about him, except that he was a Captain in the 46th Regiment of Foot, appointed on August 29, 1798.[2] In 1804, he died at Morne Bruce on the island of Dominica. British soldiers sent to these tropical islands typically did not survive long, with disease quickly carrying them off.

Morne Bruce was the main British garrison for the troops defending Dominica. What remains of the 18th century barracks are still in use as government offices.

The Gentleman’s Magazine recorded his death:

July … [ellipses are in the original] At Dominica, much regretted by the regiment, Capt. Thomas Skottowe, of the 46th foot.[3]

He has a permanent memorial on the island at St. George’s Church in Roseau.

To the memory of / Captn Thomas Skottowe / late of the 46th Regiment / Who departed this life / at Morne Bruce Dominica / on the 18th Day of July 1804 / Aged 29 Years.

The final item that remains of his short life is his handwritten will in The National Archives at Kew.

I do hereby will and bequeath at my [decease] the entire of my property between my sister Mrs. Henry Harding Parker, widow to Captain Henry Harding Parker late of the Navy and my youngest brother, Richard Skottowe, to be equally divided share and share alike. Thomas Skottowe Captn 46th Regt Cork December 11th, 1803.[4]

[1] St. Helena Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1767–1835. Microfilm no. 0498605, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[2] War Office. A List of the Officers of the Army and Marines… 48th ed. London: printed by C. Rosworth, 1800.

[3] Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 74, pt. 2, 1804, p. 881.

[4] Thomas Skottowe will (1804); Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills; PROB 11/1416/116.

3 comments to Thomas Skottowe

  • Clive OSullivan

    While researching the tombs in St Mary’s Chesham I came across a Thomas Skottowe on the tomb of John Skottowe and so looked him up in the parish register of Chesham. A Thomas Skottowe is noted as being buried in the family vault on September 5th 1804 which I presume is the same Thomas Skottowe who died in Dominica.

    • marian


      Again, thanks for this. I had assumed he would be buried in Dominica, but his body must have been transported to Chesham. I can see that I will have to visit Chesham again.


  • Clive OSullivan

    In my research into the tombs of St Mary’s Chesham I have came across other snippets of information that may be of interest to you.
    On removing all the ivy recently from the tomb of John Skottowe governor of St Helena.
    On the tomb itself:
    At the top of the tomb is:
    John Skottowe Esq died February … 1786 aged 61 (the 21st is hard to make out)
    Underneath the name of John Skottowe is a ‘Thomas Skottowe Esq’ mentioned but only the name is legible. The line underneath that mentions dates and ages has been damaged.
    Also the name Elizabeth is legible underneath Thomas Skottowe Esq.
    Underneath ‘Elizabeth’ the tomb inscription is badly damaged but an ‘M’ is readable. Underneath the ‘M’ is a number ’22’ below the ’22’ is ‘Tho’ and underneath ‘Tho’ is a ’29.’
    So I’m confident about John Skottowe Esq as I have recorded his entry in the parish register which reads for 1786:

    John Skottowe Esq brother and heir of the late Coulson Skottowe Esq of the Chesham parsonage, formerly an officer in the army for 20 years, governor of St Helena Africa. He was laid in the new vault made for eight persons-between the north ayle of the church and the garden wall. He died Feb 21st aged 61.

    The mentioned Coulson Skottowe Esq and his wife Ann both died in 1784 and they are recorded as being buried inside the church of St Mary’s Chesham on the south side of the communion table close to the wall. A monument on the wall also confirms this. It is likely that John Skottowe lived out his remaining years at ‘The Chesham parsonage’ also known as ‘Bury hill house’ after inheriting the estate from Coulson until his own death in 1786. The Lownde’s who owned the Bury on the opposite side of the church bought the estate in 1802 and had the house demolished.

    There is possibly two Thomas’s are buried in the family vault but so far only confirmed is a Thomas Skottowe who is buried in the family vault 5th September 1804.
    The parish register also revealed: April 29th 1805-Mrs Ann Skottowe widow of Augstine Skottowe Esq and daughter of John Gill Esq of …in Yorkshire, died at Dulwich at the house of Nath’l Bogle French Esq. Paid 11 23rd April and was buried in the family vault on the 29th of the same month at 6 in the morning in a heavy fall of snow. However she does not appear to be mentioned on the tomb of John Skottowe.

    1792 from parish register:
    Grace the lady of Nicholas Skottowe Esq aged 67 Februry 13th buried.
    1799 from Parish register:
    Nicholas Skottowe Esq aged 70 he died at Bath wither he had gone to reside in the spring of the year 98, he was deposited in the family vault on the north side of the church.

    Neither Grace or Nicholas are mentioned on the tombstone of John Skottowe.

    My guess at this time is the ‘M’ on the tombstone refers to John’s daughter Margaret who died March 22nd 1851 as the ‘22’ underneath may be that date. Therefore the ‘Tho’ would refer to a later Thomas as the Skottowe’s would likely to have been laid in the tomb as they died.
    The Elizabeth on the tomb of John Skottowe may refer to Elizabeth Bogle French who was the daughter of Augustine Skottowe who is mentioned as being buried in the family vault on the north side of the church at St Mary’s and died at Bath in 1803. However Nath’l Bogle French’s tomb is very close to John Skottowes tomb.
    The last Thomas most likely would have died before 1871 as a typhoid outbreak stopped pretty much all burials in the church yard as it was said that the leakage contaminated the well in church street causing many deaths. Also the cemetery was opened in 1858 and most if not all were interred there from that point.
    I hope all this makes sense and as more information comes to light I will send it to you if you desire.
    Clive O’Sullivan

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