An Old Suffolk Naturalist: Mr Garrett Garrett

Page 1



attitude (Fig. 6a) is peculiar : the hind legs are held straightly under the abdomen, and the M o t h has the habit of rolling its wings round into a tiny cylinder which is held out at right angles to the body, as if it were pointing with a finger in two opposite d i r e c t i o n s : hence the significance of another kind's name, rnonodactylus i.e. one-fingered. T h e males (Fig. 8, genitalia X 50, after Pierce), seem to be much more numerous than the females : out of twelve imagines, taken in flight on two successive nights, all were males. T h e venation (Fig. 7, X 10) is of special interest for, in spite of the deep fissures in the hind wings, the nervures (numbered) retain their noimal form. FOOD-PLANT (Fig. 5, nat. size, showing bracts) is exclusively Coltsfoot Tussilagofarfara, Linn., a widely spread plant and a weed difficult to eradicate.






MR. GARRETT GARRETT was born in Ipswich during 1808, son of J a c o b Garrett (1774-1833) of St. Margarets Green there. He was educated at Ipswich Grammar School in Foundation-street, under Dr. Riguad. And to him his father bequeathed the iron-works occupying no. 14-16 Cobbold-street in St. M a r g a r e t s ; he is described as iron merchant, though living in Victoria-terrace there in 1846 PO. Directory, but the firm is named as Elizabeth Garrett and Son, St. Margarets-green, in White's Directory of 1844, so presumably his mother died in 1845. His two sisters shared the partnership with him, who carried on the business of iron ' gate, palisade, &c, manufacturers ' at their desire though his heart was in scientific pursuits. ' If my father had been really interested in his trade, he could have been very successful, as his was the only such works in Ipswich when he took it over : no Ransomes, no T u r n e r s or Masons at that time. But he left the business to the mismanagement of a manager who, I fear, looked after himself and caused my father's failure : a case of the Square man in round hole,' his son considers in lit. White shows that by 1874 he had been replaced as owner by John Cooper and Co., ironfounders of the same address in St. Margarets, who in 1885 were still at no. 14 though now termed wheelwrights ; when ' M r . Garrett Garrett of 30 Palmerston-road ' is among Ipswich's principal inhabitants. T h a t year there were in the town also M r . John Garrett of Newtonroad and Abiather Garrett, corn-merchant's manager, of 45 Tanners-lane ; Jarrold's Direct. Ipswich 1890 shows Ilerman of

Mu rrdy c/e/,

/a ty fpti/id.

Jon od&ctyU-Schiff.



53 St. George-street, Mrs. Jane 6 Richmond-terrace Richmondroad, Walter Arthur of 19 Croft-street and William of Northill-road.* Our subject's marriage with Elizabeth daughter of James Smythe, a bank-manager of Ipswich, resulted in a family of seven sons and five daughters, to one of the former of whom we owe nearly all here detailed, the Revd. James R. Garrett, M.A., long rector of Helmingham, Suifolk ; now of The Hives, Beatriceterrace, Felixstow and ' well on the eighty-sixth year of my age,' he adds in lit. 28 Nov. 1941.—Member Mr. Harold Lingwood has been so good as to find in Ipswich cemetery the grave of ' Elizabeth, wife of Garrett Garrett, born 26 Nov. 1817, died Sept. 18, 1884,' with no husband but ' her daughter Emma, who died 23 June 1938 aged 91.'—Ed. My father became enamoured of Lepidoptera when a youth, I believe. His chief haunts were Dodnash Wood, Bentley Long Wood, Old Hall Wood in Belstead and Foxhall Heath near Ipswich ; I have no knowledge of his collecting out of Suifolk [despite the suggestion in the New Forest, Trans, ii, p. xxxv]. Old Hall Wood was his favourite sugaring-beat, whence he often brought home good catches in the next morning's early hours. His habitual companions upon such excursions were Dr. Long the medical Superintendent of Ipswich asylum, Mr. Fernley Bisshoppe who was diocesan architect, Dr. J. E. Taylor the Ipswich Museum curator, Revd. J. H. Hocking rector of Debenham and later Copdock next Belstead, and Mr. Harry Miller of Norwichroad in Ipswich. Once, when he and a friend went for lunch into the Belstead Bucks-horns Inn, then kept by a man named Hazleton [whose descendant does, or tili quite recently did, still keep it], on their way to the woods, they asked the barmaid serving them if any entomologists had called lately ; she answered ' Yes, one gentleman had been who told her he had caught a " Ncsilator " ! [doubtless Smerinthus ccellatus, excellent example of the SufFolk peasant's habitual clip of the final syllable ; less iikely Hydriomena ocellata], My father often caught Purple Emperurs in the middle glade of Old Hall Wood [cp. Trans, ivj ; for this purpose he used a large net mounted on enough successive sticks to reach the top of Oak-trees ; also he was wont to entice the Butterflies down by putting at the trees' foot a tin containing dead Worms or some decayed meat, to which they often descended. Once, when with my father there, I caught a White Admiral of normal underside but lacking any white bands above. There, too, a rough dealer, taxid.rmist Bird of Falcon-street in Ipswich, would often obstruct other collectors ; so one day Bisshoppe and Miller netted a lot of *In the late F. A. Crisp's ' Visitation of England & Wales,' NOTES vol. vi, pp. 47 et seqq., there is printed a long and detailed pedigree of M r . Garrett Garrett's family.—CHARI.ES PARTRIDGE Esq., M.A., F.S.A., in lit. 14 Nov. 1941.



Common Whites, daubed their wings with blue chalk, and started them flying again, as he was seen approaching. At first he believed he had secured great prizes, but soon became disillusioned! Another rather rough but less objectionable collector of that period was Timothy Last, who kept a beerhouse in Ipswich at Boroughroad. My younger brother and I were also prone to practical joking : when boys we caught a Shell Moth [Hydriomena bilineata, L.], set it out nicely and when dry painted a couple of small red spots on its upper wings. Our father considered it a wonderful Variety, put it under his microscope and still detected no fraud ; eventually he sent it up to Henry Tibbats Stainton esquire of Mountsfield, Lewisham, the great Lepidoptera authority of that day, who added it to his collection, without himself discovering that the spots were false. Thus the joke went so far that we never dared teil it t > our father, who was very hot-tempered and would have given us a severe thrashing for it. Later I have remembered that he did once take some Swallowtails [Papilio Machaon, L.] in Cambs ; and that, about seventy years ago i.e. circa 1870, while catching Red Admirals near the Umbrella at Ipswich promenade, he netted a Camberwell Beauty Vanessa Antiopa, L. [obviously the great year 1872 is intended : cf. Trans, ii, 85], In the large garden of his Woodbridge-road house there, he kept a breeding-cage, mainly supplied by the results of his frequent pupa-digging in the vicinity ; once I caught about six Emperor Moths [Saturnia pavonia, L.], flying round the cage to an attractive bred female. My father's scientific interests were by no means narrow, for he amassed a collection of local Beetles, possessed another of Fossils and was a Conchologist with a small show of recent Mollusca ; in Botany he had a large collection of dried Plants in his Herbarium [not in H.-Sk. or Hind]. He took great delight in his microscope and constructed slides for it, one containing the gizzard of a Flea [Pulex irritans, L.] ; in connection with it he successfully constructed a polariscope. At the iron-works he manufactured a large telescope, excepting the lens of course, which he often employed in his favourite study of Astronomy, carried on in close association with Colonel Tomline whose Observatory at Nacton he often visited when Mr. Plummer, M.A., was ir\ charge ; also I think with the Astronomer Royal, Sir G. Airey. He turned most marvellously on his lathe and, at the great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace, won a medal for such Tuining in Ivory. Taylor was appointed curator of Ipswich Museum in Museumstreet during 1872, the present building in Highstre t being opened in 1881, and at the latter date I bel'eve my 1 ther helped him to rearrange the Lepidoptera there, of \ rhich he 1 imself gave



a good many specimens. As far as I rememher his own collection, though insured against fire for 250/., was bought by the Museum for only twenty-five pounds ; I believe it to be there still, but my brother thinks part was sold by auction at Stevens' in Covent Garden : Ipswich Museum may retain the date of such a ransference. Mr. Garrett Garrett died at his youngest son's house at Clapham in 1890, aged eighty-two. Not long before his decease, this photo [here produced] was taken in Ipswich, well illustrating the invariable black clothes with long-tailed coat, no collar but the oldfashioned white scarf or stock ; he always wore a top-hat, but in it put no specimens for which he carried a corked collecting-box, wherein they were pinned immediately upon capture. As a boy I was interested in my father's scientific pursuits ; but after Ordination 1 had to give them up, because my timc was fully occupied as curate of a large industrial parish. [Hence the Revd. James makes no reference to the voluminous notes and records contributed by his father to the Revd. E. N. Bloomfield's 1890 ' Lepidoptera of Suffolk,' to the eight Queen-of-Spain Fritillaries Argynnis Lathonia he captured around Ipswich in 1868 (Entom. ii, p. 340), and other brilliant gesta. One now regrets the earlyVictorian collector was so d u m b : we have never seen a word in print from Mr. Garrett.]





YET another Suffolk treasure !—Our local Members had been working the marshes of the River Deben at Brandeston fairly continuously this year, since the profuse Angelica first began to blossom on 25 July ; so plentiful were these flowers and so attractive to multitudes of Diptera and Hymenoptera that one feit something really rare must inevitably appear upcn them. But a tedious procession of mediocrity persisted as their visitants through August and early the next month. And then, in hot sun and soft southerly air at 11.30 on 10 September, one's wildest hopes became fully realised. For, flying round one of the sevenfeet blossoms, I detected a truly glorified sort of an Eristalis-fly, whereof several species abounded ; but this was much larger and more sedate than E. tenax, and glittered gildedly. He caught my eye, as is the wont of Flies, and flashed off towards the next tall head ; but had no time to alight ere my net enmeshed him. Even so, not tili a lens showed the niveous tip of his sooty antennae,