, an eminent improver on English manufactures, was a native of Derbyshire,
, an eminent improver on English manufactures, was a native of Derbyshire, and in his early days, followed the humble occupation of a barber at Wirksworth, where, if we are not mistaken, his father had carried on the same trade. About the year 1767, he quitted both his occupation and residence, and went through the country buying hair. Soon after he became acquainted with a mechanic, with whom in concert he contrived, or, from whom, as some think, he learned the structure of a machine for spinning cotton, which after various adventures, and incredible perseverance, he brought to such perfection, as to become of the greatest advantage to the commerce of his country. He afterwards erected cotton works at Crumford in Derbyshire, and realized an immense fortune. In 1786, he served the office of high sheriff for that county, and was knighted on presenting an address to his majesty. He died at Crumford, August 3, 1792. Various opinions have been entertained of his right to the honour of inventing the machines by which he became enriched, and the kingdom so essentially benefited; but it is universally allowed that he discovered that spirit and perseverance in bringing them to perfection which were wanting in all preceding attempts.