Garnett, Thomas (1799-1878) (DNB00)

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GARNETT, THOMAS (1799–1878), manufacturer and naturalist, younger brother of Richard and Jeremiah Garnett [q. v.] was born at Otley, Yorkshire, on 18 Jan. 1799. In his early days he supported himself by weaving pieces on his own account, but about the age or twenty-one he obtained employment in the great manufacturing establishment of Garnett & Horsfall, Low Moor, Clitheroe, founded and then directed by his uncle, Jeremiah Garnett, esq., of Roe Field. He successively became manager and partner, and at the time of his death had for many years been head of the firm. He possessed an inquiring and speculative intellect, and was an unwearied observer and experimenter in agriculture, medicine, and natural history. He was one of the first to propose the artificial propagation of fish, on which he wrote in the 'Magazine of Natural History' in 1832; he also first discovered the economical value of alpaca wool, which he failed in inducing his partners to take up; and he was one of the earliest experimenters with guano. His papers on natural history and kindred subjects, which evince a faculty of observation comparable to that, of Gilbert White, were collected and privately printed, under the editorship of the present writer, his nephew, in 1883. His character was strong and decided; he was an active, useful citizen, and several times mayor of Clitheroe. He died on 21 May 1878.

[Garnett's Essays in Nat. Hist. and Agriculture, 1883; personal knowledge.]

R. G.