Newson Garrett

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Newson Garrett (31 July 1812 - 4 May 1893),[1] was a maltster and brewer instrumental in the revival of the town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, of which he became mayor at the end of his life. Two of his six daughters became famous as women's rights activists.

Born in Leiston in Suffolk,[1] Garrett was the grandson of Richard Garrett, who founded the agricultural machinery works at Leiston, and Elizabeth Newson, after whom he was named. He became a pawnbroker in Whitechapel, London.[2] where he married Louisa Dunnell, who bore their first child, Elizabeth (later Elizabeth Garrett Anderson), there in 1836. In 1840 he moved to the Uplands in Aldeburgh and in March 1841, he bought the business of Osborne and Fennell, barley and coal merchants at Snape Bridge. The business proved profitable and he built Alde House as a summer residence.

Malting began at the Snape Bridge works in 1854 and its success established Garrett as the preeminent business man of the Sandlings. In 1889, he was elected to the position of Mayor of Aldeburgh; fifteen years later his daughter Elizabeth became the first woman mayor in the United Kingdom by taking the same post.

He was buried in the parish church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Aldeburgh, where there is a commemorative plaque on the wall.

The maltings at Snape Bridge was closed in the 1960s but, through the leadership of the composer Benjamin Britten, was converted into the Snape Maltings concert hall, which has become the principal venue for the annual Aldeburgh music festival.