Thomas Agnew was born in 1794. In 1850 he became Mayor of Salford. Agnew was influential in the creation of Salford Museum and Gallery and throughout his life donated several paintings and a great many etchings. After his death in 1871 his family continued to donate to the museum. Out of these Edward William Cooke’s The Bay of Tangier, Morocco is still in the collections today.
Agnew promoted the sale of paintings by new artists to the industrial classes and was founder of the successful art dealers ‘Thomas Agnew & Sons’.