Review: The Mott's of Lichfield 1756-1869 by Roger Mott

Title: The Mott's of Lichfield 1756-1869
Author: Roger Mott
Publisher: Indepenpress Publishing Limited UK 2011
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: 18th Century, 19th Century, England, Land Gentry, Debt, Society
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 274
Rating: 4 Stars

William Mott born 1756 was The Deputy Registrar of the Diocese to Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, England. He was a "conservative, dedicated, wise man". He built his fortune from hard work, conservative spending habits, and wise investments. His father had been a bricklayer.
William's son and heir John Mott born 1787 was a "spendthrift, idle", lazy, and a poor money-manager.
The fortune William Mott worked hard to create in the late 1700's and in to the early 1800's, his son John Mott flagrantly misused and lost.

Positive Points:
  • I know you're wondering who are the Mott's and why I would be interested in them. My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Mott. Her father was William Beckham Mott, a nice English name. Reading about a Mott family was personal to me. In addition, I was interested in the authors comment included as a summary of the book, "Rooted in a society where major changes were taking place, this is the story of two Mott's and of their different outlooks on life, showing how money and property acquired by one generation was lost by the next." I find it interesting that one generation that has worked hard and managed their money well, can be lost by the following generation that squanders it as if it's like water pouring through a sifter. This intrigued me and I was curious to learn about the Mott's of Lichfield. 
  • I was given an education about how the wealthy in the 19th century were treated when they were in debt. Those they knew helped them (other wealthy people), but then they were in debt to them. If they'd been of the lower society of people they'd gone to the poorhouse, instead they were treated with kid gloves. Later I learned what needed to be done financially for John Mott, to ensure his debts were paid, as well as leave him and his heirs something to live on.
  • William Mott was a man who was involved in charities. He inherited property and money from friends. William was a man of integrity and respect. His son John was the opposite. His reputation was of a spendthrift. Respect and integrity cannot be bought, they are earned through faithful actions. This point is an important lesson for then and for our era. 
  • I felt the book was written well, interesting, educational. 
Negative Point:
I enjoyed reading this book, although I feel it would not be of interest to many readers which is a pity. To learn about how people lived, regardless if they were famous, helps us to peer into the common man.

Thank you to Indepenpress and Roger Mott in the UK for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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