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Sir Thomas Bazley, 1st Baronet (27 May 1797 – 18 March 1883) was a British industrialist and Liberal politician.

He was born at Gilnow, near Bolton, Lancashire. His father, also Thomas, was a cotton manufacturer, mathematician and journalist.[1] Following education at Bolton Grammar School, Bazley was apprenticed to the cotton-spinning business of Messrs Ainsworth and Company. He subsequently went into business on his own account as a yarn merchant in Bolton. In 1826 he went into partnership with Robert Gardner, and they took over mills in Manchester and Halliwell.[1] At Halliwell they established Barrow Bridge as a model non-sectarian industrial community.[1][2] Bazley became the sole owner of Barrow Bridge in 1847, and the company became the world's largest manufacturer of fine cotton and lace thread. He was a major employer who also built schools and reading rooms for his employees.[3]

In 1828 he married Mary Maria Sarah Nash, and they had one son, born in 1829.[3]

From the 1830s Bazley was an active member of the Anti Corn Law League, and from 1845 - 1860 was president of the Manchester Chamber of Trade, and was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Lancaster.[3][4]

His expertise on the cotton industry led to his appointment as one of the commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and of the Paris International Exhibition of 1855.[3] From 1853 - 1855 he was a member of the Royal Commission on assimilating the mercantile laws of the United Kingdom.[5]

In 1858 he was elected unopposed as one the members of parliament for the Parliamentary Borough of Manchester in the Liberal interest. He held the seat at subsequent elections until 1880. Due to the pressure of parliamentary work, he retired from business, selling his concern to William Romaine Callender in 1861.[1][3] Callender was later to become one of Bazley's colleagues as MP for Manchester.

In the 1860s he acquired estates in Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire. In 1870 he moved permanently to his Gloucestershire estates near Fairford.[1]

In 1867 he was admitted to the French Légion d'honneur. In 1869 he was created a baronet "of Hatherop in the County of Gloucester" for his services to public life and the cotton industry on the advice of the Prime Minister, William Gladstone.[3]

Sir Thomas Bazley died suddenly at his summer residence "Riversleigh", Lytham, Lancashire in March 1885 aged 88.[3] He was buried next to his father at St John's Church, Deansgate, Manchester.[1]


Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

  1. ^ a b c d e f A C Howe (2004). "Bazley, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1797–1885)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  2. ^ "Industrial history of Bolton". Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Death Of Sir Thomas Bazley, The Times, March 20, 1885, p. 11
  4. ^ Darryl Lundy (2008). "Sir Thomas Bazley, 1st Bt.". A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  5. ^ "List of commissions and officials: 1850-1859 (nos. 53-94)". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 9: Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1815-1870. British History Online. 1984. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Potter
James Aspinall Turner
Member of Parliament for Manchester
With: James Aspinall Turner 1858–1865
Edward James 1865–1867
Jacob Bright 1867–1874, 1876–1880
William Romaine Callender 1874–1876
Hugh Birley 1868–1880
Succeeded by
Hugh Birley
Jacob Bright
John Slagg
Preceded by
Joseph Warner Henley
Oldest Member of Parliament?
(not Father of the House)

Succeeded by
William Bulkeley Hughes
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
of Hatherop in the County of Gloucester

1869 – 1883
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley, 2nd Baronet


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