Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/12

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Garnett
Garnett
6

nett in the see of Clogher, who was remarkable for promoting men distinguished for literary qualifications.' Elsewhere Lynam calls him 'a pious, humble, good-natured man, a generous encourager of Literature, kind to his domestics, and justly esteemed by all those who had an opportunity of knowing his virtues.' Campbell, in his `Philosophical Tour,' confirms this account. The only work of Garnett, besides some occasional sermons, is his `Dissertation on the Book of Job,' 1749 (second edition 1752), a work now perhaps best remembered from Lord Morton's remark on seeing it at the Duke of Newcastle's, to whom it was dedicated, that it was `a very proper book for the ante-chamber of a prime minister.' In fact it possesses other merits than the inculcation of patience; the author's theory, by which the book of Job is referred to the period of the captivity, and the patriarch regarded as the type of the oppressed nation of Israel, being remarkably bold and original for a divine of the eighteenth century. The execution is unfortunately in striking contrast, being prolix to a degree which would have taxed all Job's patience, and surpasses ours. Garnett died in Dublin 1 March 1782. His son, John Garnett, was appointed dean of Exeter in February 1810, and died 11 March 1813, in the sixty-fifth year of his age.

[Ross's Celebrities of the Yorkshire Wolds; Lynam's Memoir of Philip Skelton preflixed to his Works; Campbell's Philosophical Tour; Gent. Mag. 1782 and 1813; Grad. Cantabr.; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib.; Baker's St. John's Coll. pp. 706-8.]

R. G.

GARNETT, RICHARD (1789–1850), philologist, born at Otley in Yorkshire on 25 July 1789, was the eldest son of William Garnett, paper manufacturer at that place. He was educated at Otley grammar school, and afterwards learned French and Italian from an Italian gentleman named Facio, it being intended to place him in a mercantile house. This design was abandoned, and he remained at home, assisting his father in his manufactory, and teaching himself German, that he might be able to read a book on birds in that language. In 1811, convinced that trade was not his vocation, he became assistant-master in the school of the Rev. Evelyn Falkner at Southwell, Nottinghamshire, devoting his leisure hours to preparing himself for the church. Within two years he had taught himself sufficient Latin, Greek, and divinity to obtain ordination from the Archbishop of York, whose chaplain pronounced him the best prepared candidate he had ever examined. After a brief settlement in Yorkshire he became curate at Blackburn and assistant-master of the grammar school, and continued there for several years, engaged in incessant study and research. In 1822 he married his first wife, Margaret, granddaughter of the Rev. Ralph Heathcote [q. v.], and in 1826 was presented to the perpetual curacy of Tockholes, near Blackburn, he had some time before made the acquaintance of Southey, who in a letter to Rickman calls him `a very remarkable person. He did not begin to learn Greek till he was twenty, and he is now, I believe, acquainted with all the European languages of Latin or Teutonic origin, and with sundry oriental ones. I do not know any man who has read so much which you would not expect him to have read,' About this time he came before the world as a writer on the Roman catholic controversy, contributing numerous articles to the 'Protestant Guardian,' the most remarkable of which were extremely humorous and sarcastic exposures of the apocryphal miracles attributed to St. Francis Xavier. He also commenced and in great measure completed an extensive work in reply to Charles Butler on the subject of ecclesiastical miracles; but the extreme depression of spirits occasioned by the death of his wife and infant daughter in 1828 and 1829 compelled him to lay it aside. He sought relief in change of residence, becoming priest-vicar of Lichfield Cathedral in 1820, and absorbed himself In the study of comparative philology, then just beginning to be recognised as a science. Having obtained an introduction to Lockhart, he contributed in 1835 and 1836 three articles to the 'Quarterly Review,' treating respectively of English lexicography, English dialects, and Prichard's work on the Celtic languages. These papers attracted great attention, and were almost the first introduction of German philological research to the English public. He made the Celtic question peculiarly his own. His conviction of the extent of the Celtic element in European languages, and of the importance of Celtic studies in general was to have been expressed in an article in the 'Quarterly Review' on Skene's 'Highlanders,' which for some reason never appeared. In 1834 be married Rayne, daughter of John Wreaks, esq., of Sheffield, and in 1836 was presented to the living of Chebsey, near Stafford, which he relinquished in 1838, on succeeding Cary, the translator of Dante, as assistant-keeper of printed books at the British Museum. Though exemplary in his attention to his duties, he took little part in the great changes then being effected in the library under Panizzi, but was an active member of the Philological Society founded in 1842. To its 'Transactions' he contributed