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British Industrial History

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Thomas Bazley

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Sir Thomas Bazley, first baronet (1797-1885), cotton spinner and politician

1797 born on 27 May 1797 at Gilnow, near Bolton, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Bazley (1773–1845), sometime cotton manufacturer, mathematician, and journalist, and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Charles Hilton of Horwich, near Bolton.

Educated at Bolton grammar school

1812 Apprenticed in 1812 to Ainsworth and Co. of Bolton

1818 Started his own business as a yarn agent

1826 he moved to Manchester, having entered a partnership, Gardner and Bazley, with Robert Gardner to control the New Bridge Mills, Manchester, and the Dean Mills, Halliwell, Bolton.

1828 Married Mary Maria Sarah Nash, daughter of Sebastian Nash, a calico printer, of Clayton Mills. Their only child, Thomas Sebastian (1829–1919) married the daughter of his father's partner, Elizabeth Gardner.

Gardner and Bazley created a model community comprising a factory canteen, steam kitchens, showers, housing, a sick and burial society, and a co-operative store at Dean Mills, Barrow Bridge, Halliwell.

1835-40 Held several local offices in Salford where he lived

With Richard Cobden, Henry Ashworth, and other cotton masters campaigned for free trade.

1847 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting between the undersigned, Robert Gardner, Thomas Bazley and Richard Gardner, as Cotton Spinners and Merchants, at New Bridge Mills, in Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, and at Dean Mills, in Halliwell, near Bolton, in the said county, under the firm of Gardner and Bazley, was dissolved by mutual consent on the 27th day of February 1847, so far as regards the said Robert Gardner, who then retired from the said concern.—Dated this 6th day of July 1849. Robert Gardner. Thomas Bazley. Richard Gardner.[1]

1847 Bazley became the leading partner on Gardner's withdrawal; the business continued under his direction until 1862, when it was sold to W. R. Callender junior.

1858 Elected Liberal MP for Manchester

By 1861 Gardner and Bazely's fine-spinning and linen-thread concern became the most extensive in this branch of Lancashire's textile industry, employing some 1400 hands in 1861.

He established family estates in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire

1880 Retired from Parliament

1885 Died in Lytham, Lancashire.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 10 July 1849
  • Biography of Thomas Bazley, ODNB