Garnet, Thomas

, an ingenious English physician, was born at Caste rton, near Kivkby Lonsda’le, Westmoreland, April 21, 1766. About the age of fourteen, after having received the first rudiments of education at his native village, he was placed as an apprentice under the tuition of Mr. Dawson, at Sedbergh, in Yorkshire, a celebrated mathematician, who was at that time a surgeon and apothecary, | Here he laid the foundation of his medical and philosophical knowledge. After this he proceeded to Edinburgh, and took his degree about 1758. During his residence there, he became the pupil of Dr. Brown, whose new system of medicine Dr. Garnet, from this time, held in the highest estimation. Soon after he visited London, and attended the practice of the hospitals. He had now arrived at an age which made it necessary for him to think of some permanent establishment. With this view he left London, and settled at Bradford in Yorkshire, where he gave private lectures on philosophy and chemistry, and wrote a treatise on the Horley Green Spa. In 179J he removed to Knaresborough, and in summer to Harrogate, and was soon engaged in an extensive practice. As this, however, was necessarily limited to the length of the season, which lasted only three or four months, Dr. G. soon after his marriage, which took place in 1795, formed the design of emigrating to America. At Liverpool, where he was waiting to embark, he was strongly solicited to give a chemical course of lectures, which met with a most welcome reception, as did also another course on experimental philosophy. He then received a pressing invitation from Manchester, where he delivered the same lectures with equal success. These circumstances happily operated to prevent his departure to America, and he became a successful candidate for the vacant professorship of Anderson’s institution at Glasgow, in 1796. In Scotland, his leisure hours were employed in collecting materials for his “Tour through the Highlands;” which work was in some degree impeded by the sudden death of his wife in child-birth; an event which so strongly affected his feelings, that he never thought of it but with agony. Dr. G. was induced to relinquish the institution at Glasgow, by favourable offers from the new Royal Institution in London, where, for one season, he was professor of natural philosophy and che-p mistry, and delivered the whole of the lectures. On retiring from this situation, which was far too laborious for the state of his health, at the close of 1801, he devoted himself to his professional practice, and took a house in Great Marlborough-street, where he built a new and convenient apartment, completed an expensive apparatus, and during the winter of 1801 and 1802, he gave regular courses on experimental philosophy and chemistry, and a new course on “Zoonomia,” or, “the Laws of | Animal Life, arranged according to the Brunonian theory.” These were interrupted in February, for some weeks, by a dangerous illness, which left him in a languid state; though he not only resumed and finished the lectures he had begun, but also commenced two courses on botany, one at his own house, and the other at Brompton. In the midst of these, he received, by infection, from a patient whom he had attended, the fever which terminated his life, June 28, 1802. His “Zoonomia” was afterwards published for the benefit of his family. “Thus,” says his biographer, “was lost to society a man, the ornament of his country, and the general friend of humanity. In his personal attachments, he was warm and zealous. In his religion he was sincere, yet liberal to the professors of contrary doctrines. In his political principles he saw no end, but the general good of mankind; and, conscious of the infirmity of human judgment, he never failed to make allowances for error. As a philosopher and a man of science, he was candid, ingenuous, and open to conviction; he never dealt in mystery, or pretended to any secret in art; he was always ready in explanation, and desirous of assisting every person willing to acquire knowledge.” Besides his “Tour in Scotland,” and the other works mentioned before. Dr. Garnet contributed many papers to the Memoirs of the Medical Society of London, the Royal Irish Academy, and other scientific societies. 1


Preface to his “Zoonomia.”—Gcnt. and European Mag. for 1802.