William Arnott was Manager of the Gas Works in Cape Town in 1892 when he gave a lecture at Cape Town and Woodstock which was published as Coal and its products: A lecture dealing with formation and facts about coal, and having special reference to South African and colonial coals; the discovery and manufacture of gas and bye-products of coal, tar, etc. (Wynberg, 27p). The South African bibiography to the year 1925 which contains these details gives his dates as 1860-1929, but it seems that he was confused with another William Arnott, farmer, soldier, and politician, who spent all his life from 1879 in Natal (see Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 4). The author of the lecture, on the other hand, was associated with the Gas Works in Port Elizabeth from 1903 or earlier to at least 1911. He joined the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1903, served on its council during 1907/8 and 1908/9, and was one of the vice-presidents of the association in 1912/3. He was a member of the management committee of the Port Elizabeth Museum in 1906 and 1907, representing the subscribers. In 1908 he similarly represented subscribers on the management committee of the King William's Town Museum.