Tom and Edith Garnett’s Family🧵

Back towards the end of January last year (2021) I spotted a very beautiful old photo for sale on eBay taken out in someone’s very old and lovely greenhouse. A family group, they definitely caught my attention. So I looked at the sellers’ other photos for sale and there were more from obviously the same family, including another greenhouse photo. Lots of wonderful photos but I couldn’t afford them all so I plumped for my original two favourites taken in the greenhouse.

As usual, I put a watch on all the other ones I thought were connected and sent the seller a message to ask more about them. He replied that they came from an album that was mostly Yorkshire and Cumbria all with titles on them. Actually very distinctive writing with red ink and dated 1884. So very very lucky to have the other photos to look at, and collect the information about the family to help me research and identify the family correctly.

The Garnett family. Goodness me there is so much written and printed about them, where to start and of course for me, where to stop? Among the Garnett family were many individuals who stood out and made a name for themselves but the family were most well known for their interests in the cotton and paper mill trades (more on this later). I suspected that I had managed to identify the main couple in these photos already, so I started a tree for them.

Now I had to win the auction on them both, and after spending way much more than I intended I won them both! I was thrilled.

Taken in the greenhouse at Oakwood, Bingley.

I don’t know what it is about these two old photos but I absolutely love them, they are just a bit different, taken in the greenhouse, where there would be plenty of light, a view from each end. Both have Oakwood, Bingley and both are dated 1884.

Taken in the greenhouse at Oakwood, Bingley looking at the other end.

I have identified Edith Fanny Garnett and Tom Garnett (Not Thomas) from a couple of old photos that I have found online on the Oakwood Hall Hotel website, which was the Garnett family home, and also on other sites. But I am unable to confirm the identity of the three children and the young lady in the second photo, likely to be family I would think.

The owner of The Oakwood Hall Hotel has very kindly given me permission to share photos from their site on this blog, I really appreciate their help, they have some history of the place too. Here’s a direct link to their website, it looks beautiful and lovely that others can enjoy this beautiful building, what a fabulous place for a wedding!:

Oakwood Hall was constructed in 1865 by Knowles and Wilcox of Bradford.  Thomas Garnett (1832-1916) had the Hall designed by William Burges, Architect, who also contributed a fireplace to the interior, and also there were some designs by Morris & Co. Edward Burne Jones created the stained glass St George on the staircase window, whilst Morris himself has been credited with the surrounding images of The Four Seasons. The Hall is now a Grade II Listed Building.

Example of a fun day at Oakwood, Bingley in June 1884. The host was Tom (Thomas) Garnett who was Edith Fanny’s father.

WANTED Good Cook! Mrs F Garnett was Thomas Garnett’s wife Edith Fanny (Riley) known as Fanny.

The wedding celebrations of Edith Fanny Garnett and Tom Garnett who married in 1882, were held at Oakwood Hall. Edith and Tom were cousins. This account of their wedding day is mostly from the Shipley Times and Express on 20 May 1882.

Marriage of Miss Garnett. 17 May 1882. On Wednesday morning, not a little commotion was caused in Bingley by the intelligence that a fashionable wedding was to take place at eleven o’clock, at the Holy Trinity Church. And half an hour previous to the time fixed for the ceremony, a large stream of ladies and others interested in these proceedings set in that direction until at eleven o’clock the place was filled to overflowing, and outside the church, many people were gathered. The couple who were the centre of attraction and who were to be united in holy wedlock was Mr Tom Garnett of Clitheroe eldest son of James Garnett of Waddow Hall and Miss Edith Fanny Garnett daughter of Mr Thomas Garnett of Oakwood, Bingley.

The service was fully choral. As the party entered the church organist, Mr Howgate, played the “March of the Israelites” The hymns were taken from ‘Ancient and Modern’ and the responses by Tallis were fairly well sung. The Rev Charles Beanlands M.A, the vicar of St Michael’s Brighton, a relation of the bride, and chaplain to the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, officiated, assisted by the Rev H Williams of Keighley, and the curate of Holy Trinity, Rev J.Weedon.

Miss Garnett was given away by her father. She wore a magnificent dress of ivory satin, freely decorated with pearls, tulle veil and orange blossoms. There were eight bridesmaids, as follows: Misses Nellie Gillies, S.Garnett, Amy Garnett, Alice Garnett, Agnes Garnett, Eva Garnett, Daisy Garnett, and Godfrey. Their dresses consisted of pink sateen skirt, blue and pink pompadour polonaise* trimmed with cream lace, muslin and lace filigree. Each of the bridesmaids carried a beautiful basket of flowers and the bride herself carried a beautiful bouquet of choice blooms.

There were upwards of 60 relatives and friends of the bride and bridegroom present, including Mr H.M.T.Garnett (Otley) Mr C.Garnett (Cleckheaton) Mr H.Smith (Wakefield) Mr J.Addison (Bradford) Mr R.H.Kidd, Mr J.H.Leather (Cleckheaton) Miss Mitchell (Greenhill, Bradford) Mr W.Hirst (Ilkley) Mr J.Garnett (Otley) Mr Peter Garnett (Thirsk) Mr and Mrs Augustive Garnett (Bromley Cross) Mr and Mrs Wilkinson (York) Mr and Mrs Newstead (Horseforth) Mr C.J.Newstead (Otley) Mr A.Newstead, Mr A.Smith etc.

The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Across the stonework at the entrance to the chancel was the inscription in straw “The blessing of the Lord be upon you” on a ground formed of moss, fringed with ferns, yew, and laurel and with a wealth of forget-me-knots, rhododendrons, primroses of paradise and Hyacinths tastefully interspersed. On the altar was a large cross comprised of yew, broom in flower, ivy and laurel, bunches of the flowers of the rhododendron and scarlet geraniums being interwoven. There were also beautiful bouquets of tulips, primroses of paradise, adorned on either side. The baptismal font was covered in maidenhair and other ferns and flowers. The decorations were the work of Mrs Weodow, Mrs Williams and Misses Bradley, Cockerham and Pennington and certainly reflect the greatest credit upon those ladies, besides making the air redolent with their perfume. “The Wedding March” played on the organ as the happy pair left the church, closed the ceremony. The morning was beautifully fine, and the landscape around Oakwood, where the festivities were held, looked lovely in the sunshine, and every heart seemed glad, though some were doubtless sad.

* “The 19th-century polonaise was sometimes called the “Pompadour Polonaise,” in reference to the famous 18th-century tastemaker, Madame de Pompadour. It was a coat-gown with the fronts of the skirts pulled back over an underskirt” from The FIDM Museum and my copy of the Harper’s Bazaar 1867-1898. These are a couple pages showing the spring fashions of 1882. I bet the bridal party looked splendid!

Family History. Edith Fanny Garnett was born on 10 Feb 1863 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England as the first child of Thomas Garnett (3 Aug 1832-3 Apr 1916) and Edith Fanny Riley (20 Feb 1843- 30 Mar 1916). (GARNETT, EDITH FANNY RILEY GRO Reference: 1863 M Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 140). She had five siblings born, namely: Charles William 9 May 1864-22 Oct 1864, Frederick Horsfall 1866-1936, Mary Agnes 1869-1953, Helen 1870-1952, and Harold Addison 1873-1950. Edith Fanny Garnett was baptized on 21 Apr 1863 in Manningham, Yorkshire, England. She lived in Micklethwaite, Bingley All Saints, Yorkshire, England in 1871. Her parents died within days of each other, her father sadly on the day of his wife’s funeral. Photos below are from a public family tree on Ancestry likely taken on the 21 April 1863, Edith’s baptism date, they have been also shared on other sites. I would love to have seen the Album!

When Edith was 19, she married Tom Garnett, son of James Garnett and Emma Newstead, on 17 May 1882 in Bingley, Holy Trinity, Yorkshire, England.

The couple lived at Fairfield, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England in 1891, then at Radeclyffe, Pimlico Road, Clitheroe in 1901 and 1911, it was just a mile from Waddow Hall, the home of Tom’s family. In 1913 they moved into Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire after Tom’s father James Garnett (Diary writer) died on 20 February 1913. Tom was his eldest son. As time went on after World War 1 and into the 1920’s times changed drastically for the Cotton Mill trade. “Demand for British cotton slumped, and during the inter-war years, 345,000 workers left the industry and 800 mills closed“(Wikipedia) As trade obviously wasn’t as profitable for Tom Garnett and the rest of the family, they had to change their way of life. So in 1927, he rented out Waddow Hall to the Girl Guides Association, they used it as an activity centre. (Tom and Edith moved to Sussex). Then on 16 October 1928, they bought Waddow Hall from Tom Garnett, who was by then 71 years old, for £9,000 and they still own it today. (Info from Wikipedia) I would love to visit!

Waddow Hall, © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. From

By the time of the 1939 register Tom and Edith were living at Waddon, no 24 Boscobel Road in St Leonards on Sea, Sussex, England (More on the move down south later) Edith Fanny died at this address on 23 Jul 1952. She was buried with her husband in Jul 1952 at St Andrews Churchyard, Fairlight, Rother District, East Sussex, England. Her estate was probated on 29 Oct 1952 in Lewes. Kenneth James Milln was her son in law and John Kenneth Thwaites also her son in law, he actually died in December 1952 shortly after Edith, so her daughter Marjorie Geraldine Harriette would have been the receiver of his good fortune.

Equivalent to about £151,731.42 today

Family History. Tom Garnett was born on 22 Aug 1857 in Waddington, Yorkshire, England as the first child of James Garnett and Emma Newstead (GARNETT, TOM NEWSTEAD GRO Reference: 1857 S Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 227). He was known as ‘Birdie’ in the family as a boy and had ten siblings, one a stillborn sister, Mary (Cissy)1859-1927, Jeremiah 1862-1885, he died of a fever. Newspaper report below:

Then a girl stillborn 1864-1864, Newstead 1865-1955, William 1867-1947, Alice 1868-1914, Emma 1870-1947, Geoffrey 1873-1875, and Susan 1878-1940. Then his tenth sibling came along after his father had married for the second time to Emily Yates 1860-1911, a lady 30 years his junior, they had a son Hugh 1898-1972. Tom died very suddenly after a severe heart attack on 29 Sep 1932 at Warrior Square Railway Station, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England, the family had moved to Sussex in the late 1920s. I have found that he travelled to and from Lancashire, after their move to Sussex, his last visit just a month before his death. Tom was buried in Oct 1932 in St Andrews Churchyard, Fairlight, Rother District, East Sussex, England. His estate was probated on 28 Dec 1932 in Manchester, England. Henry was a son and Kenneth his son in law, married to daughter Mary Elspeth.

Equivalent to about £133,124.51 today

These are all photos of Tom that I have found. As a Mason, he was a Past Master of the Limestone Rock Lodge, No 369 (named after the rocky outcrop on which Clitheroe Castle was built) The lodge started in 1822 is still going strong 200 years later. Centre on a horse, he loved to ride with the hunt, being associated with the Pendle Forest Hunt and was joint Master with Lord Ribblesdale of the Ribblesdale Buckhounds. Then as Mayor, he was Mayor of Clitheroe five times.

Tom did quite a bit of travelling as I’ve found numerous records for him on the passenger lists. Canada, America and Australia are just three of the places he visited. He arrived in Quebec, Canada on 25 Jul 1914. The records also state that he lived in Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England in 1916. Then in New York, the USA after departing on 11 Oct 1916 from Liverpool, arriving back in Liverpool, England on 18 Nov 1916. He still lived in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England, in 1925. Then another he arrived on 11 Jun 1927 at Port Adelaide, South Australia.

I have found many many resources online with information about Tom and Edith and the wider family that have enabled me to fill in gaps or add to their story to share here including excerpts from a Diary written by James Garnett dated 1858-1865, mostly about Low Moor (more later) but also about the life and times generally and best of all some lovely information about his family, James Garnett 1828-1913 was Toms father.

Tom Garnett and Edith Fanny Garnett had the following ten children:

Violet Addison Garnett was born on 04 Apr 1883 at Oakwood Hall, Bingley, Yorkshire, England (GARNETT, VIOLETS ADDISON GARNETT GRO Reference: 1883 J Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 323). “James (her grandfather) recorded Violets’ first visit to Waddow Hall on the 3 May 1883. He writes “I received the baby formally, presenting her with an egg, some bread and salt and a sixpence” then on Sunday 3 June 1883, he wrote: “A charming day. Tom and Edith have had their little daughter christened, at St Mary’s Church, Clitheroe. Its name is Violet Addison.” From James’s Diary. (More later from the Diary) Violet died on 31 Jul 1952 in Kew, Victoria, Australia. She had married Geoffrey Syme on 15 Jan 1902 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. Geoffrey was born in Australia and they lived there all their married life. They had four daughters. Geoffrey became a Sir and there have been lots written about him and his family, some here from the Australian Dictionary of Biography:
Henry Heathcote Newstead Garnett was born in Oct 1886 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, HENRY HEATHCOTE NEWSTEAD GARNETT GRO Reference: 1886 D Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 304 ). He died in Apr 1958 in Hastings, Sussex, England. He had married May Maud Tomlinson in Apr 1915 in Ormskirk, Lancashire. Henry served in WW1, 1914-1917. 2nd Lieutenant Henry Heathcote Newstead Garnett served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Own during the First World War. There are papers for Henry in series WO 374 (officers’ personnel files)
Marjorie Geraldine Harriette Garnett was born on 07 May 1889 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, MARJORIE GERALDINE HARRIETTE GARNETT GRO Reference: 1889 S Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 337). She married John Kenneth Thwaites in Jul 1908 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. Then after John died in 1952 Marjorie married Harold Lever Rushton in 1959. She died on 04 Jan 1964 in St Joseph’s Hospital, Preston, Lancashire, England. This image below is just one of the wonderful to read newspaper reports of her first marriage to John K Thwaites. One report was headed Ten Bridesmaids! 500 guests too, bet that was such a spectacular sight. All those stunning Edwardian outfits and hats on display!

The guests in Open Landaus, how wonderful and what a sight that would have been!

Edith Margaret Emma (Greta) Garnett was born on 06 Feb 1893 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, EDITH MARGARET EMMA GARNETT GRO Reference: 1893 M Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 326). Edith married Arthur John Dixon Robinson in Jul 1916 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, United Kingdom. The couple had a son John Timothy born on 7 November 1917, the following year they had a daughter Virginia born on 31 October 1918, but tragically she died on 1 November just a day old and very sadly Edith died that day too, she was just 25.

Found on Find A Grave. Waddington, Lancashire.

Dorothy Eileen Victoria Garnett was born on 21 Nov 1897 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, DOROTHY EILEEN VICTORIA GARNETT GRO Reference: 1898 M Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 327). Dorothy like her sister Horatia never married and lived with their parents Tom and Edith in Sussex. In the 1939 register, she was a Voluntary Aid Detachment member, in V.A.D.Sussex 14. She died on 23 Oct 1961 in St Leonards-On-Sea, Sussex.
Mary Elspeth (Betty) Garnett was born on 15 Dec 1898 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, MARY ELSPETH GARNETT GRO Reference: 1899 M Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 310). She had married Francis Maurice Grosvenor Glyn in Jul 1941 in Westminster, Middlesex, United Kingdom. She died in 1966.

Interesting to see a photo of Mary on this temporary visa

Horatia Vincent Garnett was born in Jan 1902 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, HORATIA VINCENT GARNETT GRO Reference: 1902 M Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 292. Initially, I thought the first name was Horatio, a male, then when I couldn’t find the record of birth I realised it was Horatia and a female. Horatia never married and lived with her sister Dorothy and parents Tom and Edith in Sussex after they moved from Lancashire. She died on 09 May 1970 in St Leonards-On-Sea, Sussex, England (9 Combermere Road, St Leonard’s).
Thomas Horsfall Beaumont Garnett was born on 19 May 1904 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, THOMAS HORSFALL BEAUMONT GARNETT GRO Reference: 1904 S Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 291). He had married Florence Monica Donohoe in 1929 in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia. I had found Florence still living in Australia in later years. So I had to find out more and thankfully I found a public tree on Ancestry that answered some of my questions. There were two children from the marriage Peter and Violet Judy.

Beautiful photo of Florence from the public family tree on Ancestry.

There was an image on one public tree with photos of Florence that was very revealing, an account typed out from notes taken by her daughter before Florence had died on 18 Mar 2005 aged 100 years old in Perth, Australia. It is quite hard to read so this is a transcription: “My Mother. After I travelled to England I was very homesick as I had never been away from Australia. Peter was born on 23 October 1931. Then my father in law died suddenly of a severe heart attack in 1932. After this tragedy, things between my mother in law and I became very increasingly strained, so I decided to return to Australia. I travelled on the Union Largs Bay, but during the trip I suffered a severe nervous breakdown. Peter and Judy were cared for by the crew’s aboard the ship until our arrival in Sydney. I was admitted to hospital and Judy and Peter were cared for by their Donohoe Grandparents until I recovered. Due to the fact that there were no benefits in those days I had to find work to support my self and my children. If Peter couldn’t come be with me he went to Granny Donohoe. Judy was sent to St Joseph’s Convent, Hunter’s Hill as a boarder 1935-1943. That made it more easier for me to obtain work and care for my children.” Obviously, her father in law & mother in law were Tom and Edith Garnett, if you remember Tom had died suddenly on 29 Sep 1932. The most likely record for Florence is arriving on 30 Jan 1933 after leaving Southampton on 21 December 1932. A Florence Garnett, married, travelling with two children Violet 3 years old and Kenneth? 2 years old? It is not the ship Largs Bay though? It looks like Thomas H B Garnett did not abandon his wife and children as I first thought as I have him on the passenger lists of the ship Largs Bay arriving at Sydney, Australia on 28 November 1933? Did they have contact? Maybe they divorced in Australia? Florence remarried in 1943 in Randwick, New South Wales to Lavinge Ernest Serisier, so hopefully things became easier for her then. The couple had a son John 1945-1972. They lived in New South Wales until Lavinge died in 1989 then Florence moved to Perth. I’ve not found any more details of what happened nor a divorce record pre-1943. All very intriguing, more questions than answers as Thomas H B Garnett also continued to live in New South Wales and he died on 06 Aug 1982 in Port Adelaide Enfield City, South Australia.
Geoffrey William Lisle Garnett was born on 01 Mar 1907 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, GEOFFREY WILLIAM LISLE GARNETT GRO Reference: 1907 J Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 311). Military Enlistment Date 5 Jul 1940. He joined the West Surrey Regiment. He had married Dorothy Anne Barber on 02 Apr 1934 in Kodaikanal, Madras, India. In the 1939 Register, he was described as a Tea Planter. He died on 09 Jul 1962 in Guernsey, Channel Islands (Died on the way to Princess Elizabeth Hospital, Guernsey)They lived at 11 Blockley Road, Wembley, London. Geoffrey’s baptism was a double celebration as it was also Tom and Edith’s Silver Wedding on 17 May 1907. Newspaper report below:

Decima Agnes Garnett was born on 11 Jun 1908 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (GARNETT, DECIMA AGNES GARNETT GRO Reference: 1908 S Quarter in CLITHEROE Volume 08E Page 31). She married Eric James Stack Pembroke in 1931. She died on 17 Jan 1984 in Whitton Twickenham Middlesex. The last remaining child of Tom and Edith.

A Butler at Radeclyffe branching out and starting his own business:

Waddow Hall History. When researching the Garnett Family and their connection to Waddow Hall I came across this very informative description of the Hall and its history on the Ribble Valley Council website, written to go with a planning application to make repairs to the building in March 2017 by Sunderland Peacock Architects and Surveyors, a Heritage Statement. How wonderful to have some of the ‘House History’ too. It also matches with what I found from connecting the families to their places of residence.

It is thought that Waddow Hall was constructed during the time of the Tempest Family who controlled much of the area from the 13th century. The Tempest Family at what is now known as Waddington Old Hall, for which Waddow Hall was built as a dower house. The Tempest Family remained in Waddington until 1657 when the last surviving male heir Richard Tempest, died in prison as a debtor following the collapse of the estate due to his extravagant and lavish lifestyle. Following his death, Waddow Hall was acquired by Christopher Wilkinson, Out-bailiff for Clitheroe and a Member of Parliament for Clitheroe as well as a Justice of the Peace during the reign of Dutch Prince of Orange King William 3rd and Queen Mary 2nd. Christopher died in 1673 and bequeathed Waddow Hall to his nephew, John Weddell of Widdington, near York.

A painting of Waddow Hall dating from around 1690 currently hangs in the Hall and is painted directly onto wooden boards. The painting shows how small the Hall was then in comparison to the existing Hall today, as well its mixture of Tudor and Jacobean styles. The house was long and narrow with the hillside reaching down to the rear elevation of the Hall. The front elevation shown in the painting has since been concealed and is now the internal wall between the front elevation entrance and the rear unit of the Hall.

The last of the Weddell Family line to take up residence in Waddow Hall was Thomas Weddell who created the Georgian frontage of the Hall as it exists today(excluding modern additions) at some time around the 1780s and spent large sums of money on the improvement and enlargement of the Hall.

Following the death of Thomas in 1785, Waddow Hall and its estate were passed onto his wife Jane Weddell until her death. The ownership of the Hall then reverted to the Ramsden Family, relatives of the Weddells. Waddow Hall was occupied by the Ramsdens up until the 1830s, during their ownership it was decided that the Hall would be leased to the Garnett Family in 1831, to Jeremiah Garnett. The Hall was eventually acquired by the Garnett Family when it was sold by Sir John William Ramsden, 5th Baronet, to William Garnett of Low Moor. William then leased out the Hall to his brother James. James had married Emma Newstead in 1856 and they had ten children. James died in 1913 and Waddow Hall was passed on to his son Tom Garnett and wife Edith Fanny and their family.

What a treasure of a photo!

It looks possibly like William Garnett, James’s brother in the doorway with a white beard. James had a wife and nine living children. William had a wife and five living children. This is the PDF in full via the Ribble Valley Council Website:

Waddow Hall was designated a Grade 2 listed building on 16 November 1954.

Another great photo I found online of William (standing in the doorway in the above photo) was of The Low Moor Institute built by William Garnett 1825-1912 owner and partner of Low Moor Mill, in memory of his and James’s parents, Thomas 1799-1878 and Susannah (Atkinson) 1801-1876. The photo below shows William Garnett speaking to the crowd outside the institute at the opening ceremony on 19th June 1903. William was Tom Garnett’s uncle, his father’s elder brother.

Above is Thomas Garnett 1799-1878 and his wife Susanna Atkinson 1801-1876 they had married in 1822 and had 9 children Mary 1823-1842, William 1825-1912, James 1828-1913, Martha 1830-1876, Elizabeth 1832-1836, Susannah 1834-1881, Jeremiah (6) 1836-1906, Mary Elizabeth 1838-1881 and lastly

Thomas Gustav Schwabe 1840-1911, who during his life he was Chairman of Turton Local Board: 1886-89 (Conservative), first Chairman of Turton Urban District Council: 1895-1900 (Conservative)he died at Shefferlands, Halton, Lancaster 12 April 1911. He was a Cotton spinner.
Proprietor of Thomas & Jeremiah Garnett Ltd, Cox Green Mills, Bromley Cross and Clitheroe – cotton spinners and manufacturers in partnership with his brother Jeremiah Garnett.
He represented Bromley Cross Ward. He lived at Ousel Nest, Bromley Cross.

This is the entry in the Dictionary of National Biography for GARNETT, THOMAS (1799–1878) the brother’s father. Above: 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 at about the age of 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.

I then found this super later photo below was taken at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe on 19 June 1920. I love that the photographer has just got the maid in the doorway! Tom Garnett is 63 years old here but still a handsome man. Front row, third from left.

Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe 19 June 1920
1923. WANTED Thoroughly good plain Cook!
1924. The following year Waddow Hall was up for sale.
1926 July 2 Waddow Hall is still owned by the Garnett Family.

Getting back to Oakwood, Bingley for a moment, I had to share with you these wonderful images that I found on the RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects site, to be able to share these I first had to register, it’s free and then simply download the images, I imagine there are pages missing as these five images are all they have, but still amazing to see. Note the design on the fireplace for the then Dining Room.

Designs for interiors and furniture for Oakwood Hall, Lady Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire: title page of the album

I have found these two portraits online, taken from a guidebook somewhere, of Edith wearing a beautiful lace shawl and Tom wearing his red master of the hunt riding coat in later life but am unable to find out where they originate from?

Holy Trinity Church where Tom and Edith were married in 1882, was built in 1866-67, although the Spire was not constructed until 1881-82, just before or at the time of Edith and Tom’s marriage. The Spire caused problems from the beginning after a serious settlement, which happened before the church was reopened, caused the weight of the spire to need considerable repairs. This meant the church did not reopen until Tuesday 5th August 1884.

Low Moor Mill and Village
Low Moor, Clitheroe, Lancashire. The Garnett family’s interests in Low Moor, Clitheroe began in 1799 with Jeremiah Garnett (1) and ended in 1930 with Tom Garnett. The Garnett family is very complex with first names being repeated many times in the different branches of the family, especially Jeremiah, William, Thomas, Richard etc and it has taken me quite a while to build up the family tree to make sure that I have all the facts accurately noted, including who was married to who and who was involved in which business etc. Even so, there are many anomalies in the information I have found, but I have tried to find and confirm everything as much as I am able to here. Although I have now ended up with over 450 people on the tree, it makes them easier to identify and link with events. I’ve found many public trees on Ancestry that are not accurate, so as always, be aware of that if you are researching. Here’s just a little of what I’ve found in the story of the family, the mill and the village, through the years. I found some great resources during my research and this as I mentioned earlier, is one, THE DIARY OF JAMES GARNETT OF LOW MOOR, CLITHEROE, 1858-65 BY OWEN ASHMORE, M.A. 1967. The magic of this diary is that it’s not all about business, there are lots of wonderful personal family titbits too. This is just the first page of each of the 2 PDF files to give you some idea of what is included, the links to them both are below each first page if you wish to read them through. I found them a fascinating read.

Part 1 Years of prosperity 1858-1861 Full PDF here:

Also mentioned above is the Diary of the weaver John O’Neil.

Part 2 Full PDF for years 1861-1865 here:

Family History and the Low Moor Mill. It started with Jeremiah Garnett (1) who was born on 9 March 1731 in Otley, Yorkshire. (I’ve numbered the Jeremiah Garnett’s on the family tree according to birth date and on this blog) Jeremiah’s father was Richard Garnett 1691-1757 a labourer and his mother was Sarah Butler born in 1688. Sarah’s uncle had left her a property in Boroughgate, Otley, so I imagine that gave the family’s fortunes a boost that was well used. Jeremiah married into the Flesher family. I’ve found that a Mary Flesher owned a house & two others Wellcroft & Tealbeck. Jer (Jeremiah) Garnett rented Wellbeck. Was it his wife’s family who owned the houses?

Jeremiah (1) married Martha Flesher in 1757 in Otley, Yorkshire. They had five children Mary 1758-1835, Richard 1759-1778, William 1760-1832, Sarah 1762-1837 and Jeremiah (2) 1775-1853. Jeremiah (1) died on 1 May 1815 in Otley, Yorkshire and was buried there.

Jeremiah and Martha’s daughter Sarah, married Timothy Horsfall 1764-1811 on 3 August 1785 in Otley, Yorkshire. The couple had 11 children Mary 1786-1858, John Garnett 1788-1848, Martha 1789-1821, Jeremiah 1791-1848, William 1793-1867, Timothy 1796-1877, Sarah 1799-1879, Michael 1801-1841, Thomas 1803-1861, Ann 1805-1887 and Charles 1807-1822.

Otley Paper Mill. Jeremiah (1) Garnett’s eldest son Richard (b1759) died in 1778 and of his two remaining sons the younger, William 1760-1832, had bought a share in a Paper Mill at Otley in 1774 and was made a partner there in 1779, later becoming the owner, he was still a Paper Maker in 1813 and until his death in 1832. This was Otley Paper Mill beside the River Wharf. William had married Ruth Naylor (1758-1783) in 1780, they had one daughter Mary (1780-1786) after Ruth died he then married Mary Rhodes (1759-1804) in 1784 and they had 11 children. Ann 1784-1872, Martha 1785-1818, Margaret 1787-1864, Richard 1789-1850, William 1791-1858, Jeremiah 1793-1870 (Editor of the Manchester Guardian 1844-1861), Peter 1795-1865 (Peter Garnett and his father William Garnett owned the leasehold for their life of Otley Paper Mill) Mary 1796-1850, Thomas 1799-1878, James 1800-1836 and Henry 1803-1803. Nine years after his wife Mary died he married Eleanor Chadwick (1766-1851) in 1813, she was a spinster and had no children.

This investment remained in the Garnett family throughout the generations right up until 2005. “In 2013 permission was given and the Garnett paper mills demolished except for the Mill Owner’s Cottage and part of the Main Mill building – both front onto the river. Paper production had finally ceased at Garnett Mill, whose origins stretch back to the 18th Century, in 2005.
David Wilson Homes began work to turn the riverside plot into a new, 194 home development – Garnett Wharfe – seven years later and that scheme has now been completed. 2019
“. More here: 2020 link

Edith Fanny was a granddaughter of Peter Garnett 1795-1865, Peter had married Mary Atkinson on 7 Sep 1817 in Otley, Yorkshire and they had ten children, one being Edith Fanny’s father Thomas Garnett 1832-1916 (Thomas described on one census as a ‘Stuff Merchant’, was part owner of Gillies Garnett, silk dyers of Bingley, and lived at Oakwood Hall, Bingley)

Tom was a grandson of Thomas Garnett 1799-1878, Thomas had married Susannah Atkinson on 2 November 1822 in All Saints, Otley, Yorkshire and they had nine children, one being Tom’s father James Garnett 1828-1913. So the couple shared great grandparents William Garnett and Mary (Rhodes), which made them second cousins.

Note. Although Both Peter and Thomas married an Atkinson, I have on my tree a George Atkinson for the father of Mary and a William Atkinson for the father of Susanna so I’m not sure if they were related, maybe? One account I’ve read says they were sisters?

Low Moor. In 1799 Jeremiah Garnett (1) 1731-1815 & Timothy Horsfall (his son in law) 1764-1811 became partners and owners of Low Moor, Clitheroe, Lancashire. At that time it consisted of an old mill and about 20 cottage houses known as ‘Brick Row’.

I have found that Timothy Horsfall’s sons, John Garnett Horsfall and his brothers, formed the company John Garnett Horsfall & Co in 1823 when they opened a worsted mill at North Wing in Bradford, Yorkshire. Maybe they sold part or all of their inheritance of Low Moor to form this company?

Jeremiah’s youngest son Jeremiah (2) had taken over the running of Low Moor from his father before he died. He had had plenty of experience as when his father took over the Low Moor mill he had begun work there as a cotton spinner. Here he is below in the 1851 census stating that there were 842 people working under him.

By the time of Jeremiah’s (2) death in 1853, there were three hundred cottages, a church with a school and a thousand people employed there. Jeremiah (2) son, another Jeremiah (4) 1811-1855 was a Cotton Spinner in the 1841 census and he was living at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe. So I was and still am a bit puzzled by this newspaper report on 27 March 1841. The premises were put up to be let? Did they have no takers and decide to carry on?

Jeremiah (2) had improved the site enormously. I found mentioned that in 1841 he had plans made for new schools to be built to cope with the rising population of Low Moor but there was just a ‘neat little church’ (Low Moor Church) built and a school building. After reading this I wondered if they had received extra funding to continue rather than give up the business maybe?

According to his glowing obituary in the local paper of 1853, in “April 1849 the partners of Mr Garnett determined to manifest their estimation of his character by giving a handsome treat to all the workpeople. Two rooms were prepared in the mill and the dinner party sat down to a splendid repast. There were 30 pieces of beef, 12 hams, 22 beef steaks and veal pies, 50 plum puddings weighing in the whole 720lbs. On this occasion an aged veteran named James Barret presented a beautifully engrossed address to Mr Garnett from the workpeople, in token of the kindly feeling existing between master and servants“. His obituary saysWe need to say little of Mr Garnett’s business habits. It is well known that as a merchant and a manufacturer he was a worthy example. He was sober and attentive and prosperity rewarded his efforts“. It also says “he was during the past 50 years associated with every public movement, he was on the bench, council chamber, a guardian of the poor, he was a bailiff to the borough then later an alderman till his death. Being instrumental for the redress of wrongs and the proper distribution of public rights“.

After Jeremiah (2) death on 28 March, 1853 his son Jeremiah (3) continued as a partner/owner of Low Moor until he too died on 5 May 1855. I have found no record of a marriage or children for the son Jeremiah (3). After his death, the majority of the inheritance of the family fell to Jeremiah’s (2) “daughter Henrietta and she did not want to continue with the cotton spinning business and so the partnership was dissolved and all the extensive mill works, all machinery, dwelling houses and land were taken by Thomas Garnett 1799-1878, William Horsfall, Charles Horsfall, Timothy Horsfall, Thomas Horsfall, Mary Horsfall, John Horsfall and William Horsfall, with the exception of the little church and the surrounding grounds, Henrietta kept this in memory of her father. A clause was in the dissolution of the partnership that a new parsonage and the new schools be built“. These are notes I’ve taken from a letter sent to the Lancaster Gazette published on Saturday 16 Dec 1865 in response to complaints that the church was now shut up and falling into decay. I believe Mary Horsfall was Timothy Horsfall’s surviving daughter and William and Timothy were Timothy Horsfall’s sons still alive in 1855. The other mentioned Horsfall’s must have been other members of the large intended family. This tells me that the Horsfall family were obviously still involved actively with Low Moor after father Timothy’s death in 1811. Another report I have read says about Waddow Hall “Originally it had been bought by his great uncle Jeremiah Garnett, who lived at Roe Field, near Low Moor. Jeremiah, who died in 1853, intended Waddow for his own son, but the younger Jeremiah died just two years after his father. The death of the older Jeremiah precipitated a lot of family arguments. Particularly difficult was his daughter Henrietta, who was a pillar of St. Paul’s Church, Low Moor and continued to live at Roe Field. James Garnett, who was Thomas’ second son, moved to Waddow, leaving his elder brother William at the original house near the mill. On Thomas Garnett’s death, William became head of the firm“. Actually, in James’s Diary, he states that he and William had become partners in Low Moor on 14 May 1858.

James Garnett, Diary Writer. Tom’s father.

All this information following is a brief timeline of Low Moor from James’s diary and then after from newspaper reports:

1858 The company became Thomas Garnett and Sons.

1861. At the beginning of this year, the firm was in the hands of Thomas Garnett (1), aged 62 and his two sons William and James (Diary writer) Thomas lived at Low Moor House adjoining the Mill with their family. Toward the end of 1861 Son William married Elizabeth Thomasson. While sons Jeremiah married Mary Elizabeth Knowles in 1864 and Thomas Gustav Schwabe married 1863 Elizabeth Alice Dickinson. The last of Thomas’s children to marry in 1897 was Mary Elizabeth aged 58 to Cyril Tufnell Barrett (Minister of the Gospel) at 32 was 26 years her junior, I bet that caused some gossip!

As a result of the American Civil War there was a Cotton Famine and there was a strike at Low Moor in February of 1861, the Garnetts had been willing to increase wages the year before, it was a good year in the cotton trade but not so in 1861, it completely changed, “a growing shortage of raw cotton and a rise in price, a difficulty at the same time in marketing both yarn and cloth as a result of over-production, and a transformation in industrial relations typified by the strike at Low Moor in February and March“……………..”The evidence of the Diary suggests that the worst period of the cotton famine at Low Moor was the winter of 1862-3. This is confirmed by John O’Neil’s (the Weavers Diary), for, when he resumed keeping his diary in April 1864, he reported that the mill he worked in was stopped all the previous winter and that he received only three shillings a week paid by the Relief Committee. Just how long the mill was in fact closed is not altogether clear. On 18 October 1862, James Garnett recorded that the only hands employed were the weavers who lived at Low Moor and on 21 November he wrote: ‘We have got all our cotton worked up out of the Card Room. In a short time, the spinners will have finished.’ On 3 January 1863, the mill was almost entirely closed with not more than sixty hands at work, but later in the month the firm bought some yarn and restarted. ‘We have put Low Moor people into good spirits today’, James Garnett wrote on 27 January 1863, ‘as William has bought some yarn and we are beginning to work again, though the prospects are anything but cheering.” There was a slow recovery between April 1863 and December 1864. “1865 The End of the War. On 2 January James Garnett wrote down the news received via the Canada, the Confederates are sadly getting the worst of it. Sherman is at Savannah and will most probably take it.’ This was at the end of his march through Georgia and news of the capture of Savannah and the destruction of 25,000 bales of cotton followed five days later: ‘. . . no doubt this intelligence will depress cotton here still further’……………..”The supply of American cotton was only gradually restored and prices kept up until well after the end of 1865. It was not in fact until the summer of 1866 that the Diary contained information of a general lowering of prices“.

During these troubled times a second weaving shed was built in 1863 the first looms there being run on 21 April 1864. Also in 1863 there was an increase in Steam Power. “There is evidence that during the cotton famine quite a considerable number of new mills were built and existing mills re-equipped. Short time and closure provided an opportunity for making alterations to buildings or putting in new machinery, assuming financial resources were available” …….”There was an episode of crime in the factory in 1864. On 22 January James Garnett was ‘. . . surprised to learn on my journey to Manchester . . . that a system of fraud is going on in some of the mills in Clitheroe and that somebody is stealing and disposing of yarn’. The following day he learned that the receivers of the stolen property, Dick Hanson of Waddington and one Suthers of Bacup, had been arrested in Blackburn and that ‘Jim Robinson of Low Moor was drinking with them the previous night.Other business interests: The Garnetts had shares in various companies, including Railway, Banking, Insurance and also Marine Shares.

How lovely to read this: “In May 1865 James Garnett went to London on behalf of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co. to give evidence against the projected West Riding Railway from Clitheroe to Elslack. He left Clitheroe by the 8.20 a.m. train on Thursday 4 May arriving ‘punctually at 5.15 by the L & NW Ry’. The Saturday he spent at the ‘. . . Zoological Gardens with which I was very much pleased, the collection of animals and birds is very good indeed and they appear so healthy and strong. He appeared before the House of Commons committee on the railway bill on Tuesday 9 May, when the chairman decided that the preamble had not been proved. The following morning he left London by the 9 a.m. train for Manchester where he arrived soon after 2 p.m., in time to catch the 2.30 to Clitheroe. ‘The children were very pleased with the toys I brought them … I am glad to get home as I was thoroughly tired of London life.

There is a huge amount of information written on the two PDF’s of James’s Diary, packed with everyday life at the Mill and beyond. What I’ve written above is just a very brief account of what they contain.

Now I turn to Tom and Edith Garnett who as we know rented out Waddow Hall to the Girl Guides in 1926 as they were unable to sell it. Later in 1927, it was sold to the Girl Guides Association. The couple with some of their children still living at home moved to Sussex.

Now we also have the downfall of Low Moor played out in the newspaper reports of the time. Starting with this report on 4 July 1930.

The sad end of Low Moor as it was………………

Tom died in 1932 and Edith in 1952.

Here is the direct link to Tom and Edith Garnett’s public Family Tree on Ancestry:

As always OnLine Parish Clerk records are a must and Lancashire is no exception and enabled me to confirm Mary Elizabeth Garnett’s marriage in 1897, here are their records free and online for marriages for St Paul’s Low Moor 1871-1901:

Marriage: 20 Apr 1897 St Paul Low Moor, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England
Cyril Tufnell Barrett – 32 Gentleman Bachelor of Sutton in Ashfield
Mary Elizabeth Garnett – 58 Spinster of Clitheroe
Groom’s Father: Tufnell Samuel Barrett, Clerk in Holy Orders
Bride’s Father: Thomas Garnett, Manufacturer (Cotton)
Witnesses: Garnett; James Garnett; WPS Tomlinson; Nancy Hampshire; Isabella Jane Coulison;
Married by Banns by Tufnell S Barrett assisted by John B Waddington
Register: Marriages 1871-1901, Page 59, Entry 117. Source: LDS Film 1471152

Horsfall Mystery. Another mystery in the family was this I came across dated 23 February 1848 concerning Jeremiah Horsfall b1791-died sometime after 1840:

Jeremiah Horsfall was one of Timothy Horsfall (original joint partner in Low Moor)and Sarah (Garnett’s) eleven children. Jeremiah had married Ann Tomlin (1799-1844)on 4 August 1820 in Clitheroe, they had eleven children, the last one being born in 1840. Bankruptcy is a terrible tragedy for any family, what happened to Jeremiah I wonder, where did he go? This report above was after Ann’s death in December 1844, the cause of which was a hernia. What happened to the younger children? At his daughter, Elizabeth’s wedding on 17 April 1851 it says on the newspaper report the ‘late’ Jeremiah Horsfall Esq. There was a meeting of creditors on 30 January 1849, so maybe he was presumed dead as he couldn’t be found?

Here’s a peek at some of the photos that I didn’t buy! Including a super one of Oakwood, Bingley, top row centre.

Till next time then……….


  1. OMG what a lot of work you have put into this fabulous family history Lynn. I love it and the photo’s are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing ,it is so interesting. Hope all is well with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lynn, have just come across you page which is excellent. My partner is Jeremy Wickham Villeneuve Garnett. He is Thomas Horsfall Beaumont’s son from his second marriage. Like you he is very interested in finding out why his father left England in the first place. He has asked me to let you know his father died in the South Australian suburb of Parkside on the dates you have and is buried in his local church in Parkside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Vicki, thank you so very much for getting in touch with me. What was the name of his second wife? I did find a possible second marriage but I wasn’t sure, so that is really interesting to know that Thomas did marry again. It’s certainly a mystery isn’t it? I would like to think that he went to Australia to be near his children from his first marriage but I know nothing about them really. Have you had contact with them at all? If you prefer you can send me an email to
      Kind Regards Lynn x


      • Hi Lynn, Thomas Horsfall Beaumont Garnett (38) married Lindley Ray Villeneuve-Smith (33) born North Adelaide South Australia. They were married on the 1st April 1943


  3. I am doing my great grandmother’s family tree the Garnett married Riley.I love what you have done well done.
    Would love to hear from you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Lynn – just came across this terrific “waffle”. Have been delving into sister in law’s family (nee Bickersteth, Grafton, Garnett-Robinson and Revd Edward Orme who married Jeremiah (2)’s daughter Mary c1830) Congratulations on a brilliant effort. Geoff in Victoria, Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for getting in touch Geoff & so pleased you enjoyed reading about the Garnett family. I will add Rev Edward Orme to my Public Ancestry tree. Kind Regards Lynn x


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