1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Palmer, George

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PALMER, GEORGE (1818–1897), British biscuit-manufacturer, was born on the 18th of January 1818, at Long Sutton, Somersetshire, where his family had been yeomen-farmers for several generations. The Palmers were Quakers, and George Palmer was educated at the school of the Society of Friends at Sidcot, Somersetshire. About 1832 he was apprenticed to a miller and confectioner at Taunton, and in 1841, in conjunction with Thomas Huntley, set up as a biscuit-manufacturer at Reading. By the application of steam-machinery to biscuit-manufacture the firm of Huntley & Palmer in a comparatively short time built up a very large business, of which on the death of Huntley in 1857 George Palmer and his two brothers, Samuel and William Isaac Palmer, became proprietors. In the same year George Palmer was elected mayor of Reading, and from 1878–1885 he was Liberal member of Parliament for the town. He died at Reading, to which he had been a most generous benefactor, on the 19th of August 1897. His sons, George William Palmer (b. 1851) and Sir Walter Palmer (b. 1858), displayed a like munificence, particularly in connexion with University College, Reading. George William Palmer, besides being mayor of Reading, represented the town in Parliament as a Liberal. Sir Walter Palmer, who was created a baronet in 1904, became Conservative member for Salisbury in 1900.