Garnier, Thomas (1776-1873) (DNB00)

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GARNIER, THOMAS, the elder (1776–1873), dean of Winchester, second son of George Garnier, esq., of Rookesbury, Hampshire, and Margaret, daughter of Sir John Miller, bart., was born in 1776. Members of his family, which was of Huguenot origin, long held the office of apothecary to Chelsea Hospital. Isaac Garnier (d. 1 Feb. 1712) was appointed 1 Jan. 1691-2; his son Isaac succeeded 25 June 1702, and Thomas Garnier held the post from 10 June 1733 to 14 Nov, 1739. The dean's grandfather, addressed by Lord Chesterfield as 'Garnier my friend' in a poem published in Dodsley's collection, was appointed to the lucrative sine-cure of 'apothecary-general to the army' by William, duke of Cumberland, the patent, 'a most unjustifiable one,' the dean used to say, being continued, in spite of hostile attacks, to his son, the dean's father, till his death. His father served as high sheriff of Hampshire in 1766. His London house was regarded as one of the best for meeting celebrities. At his Hampshire residence he also used to entertain a distinguished literary society, including Garrick, Churchill, Foote, and Sotheby. The dean, after attending Hyde Abbey school, near Winchester, under 'flogging Richards,' where he had as his school-fellow George Canning, went to Winchester. He proceeded to Worcester College, Oxford, in 1793; was elected fellow of All Souls in 1796, and took his degree of B.C.L. in 1800 and D.C.L. in 1850. During the short peace of 1802-3 Garnier went abroad with Dr. Halifax, physician to the Prince of Wales. He attended a levée of Napoleon, then first consul, to whom he was presented, Napoleon 'smiling and looking very gracious.' HesawGeneral Dumouriez, Marmont, and other marshals of the staff, and heard Napoleon tell C. J. Fox that he was the 'greatest man of the greatest country in the world.' He was fortunately summoned to Oxford in November 1802, and thus escaped a long detention in France. He became rector of Bishopstoke, Hampshire, in 1807, and resigned the charge in 1868. In 1830 he was appointed a prebendary of Winchester Cathedral, and in 1840 he was nominated by Lord Melbourne, as successor to Dean Rennell, to the deanery, which he held for thirty-two years. He resigned his office about twelve months before his death, which took place at his official residence on 29 June 1873, when he had nearly completed his ninety-eighth year. In 1805 he married Mary, daughter of Caleb Hillyer Parry, esq., M.D., of Bath, by whom he had four sons and four daughters. An ardent whig in politics, he was the friend and near neighbour of Lord Palmerston, and was believed to have influenced his ecclesiastical appointments. The garden of his rectory at Bishopstoke was very celebrated, especially for rare shrubs. For some time before his death he was the father of the Linnean Society, of which he became fellow in 1798 on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks.

[Private information; cf, Athenæum, 12 Oct. 1889.]

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