1842 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gent

C. H. Timperley, in Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (1842) 2:742-43.



1778, May 18. Died, THOMAS GENT, printer, in the city of York. The name of Gent is well known to the collectors of English topography, and of typographical curiosities, as that of a printer who sometimes employed his press upon productions of his own; and who, in his character of author, produced numerous volumes, which are far from being destitute of merit. He was a native of Dublin, and served his apprenticeship to Mr. Powell, a printer in that city, but, unfortunately, no farther can be known of his early history. On his arriving in London he was employed by Mr. Daniel Midwinter and Mr. Mears, in Blackfriars. In 1714, April 20, he left London on foot, and walked to York in six days, where he was engaged by Mr. White, with whom he remained a year, and then visited Dublin, and found employment with Mr. Thos. Hume in Copper-alley; but returned to London about the latter part of 1716, and worked with Mr. Wilkins in Little Britain, in company with Samuel Negus. He than worked for Mr. Watts. In 1718, he again visited Ireland, but soon returned to London, and commenced master. In 1724, Mr. Gent removed his printing-office from London to York, and married a relation of Mr. White's, with whom he had become acquainted during his former residence in that city. His residence was in Petergate, the same that had belonged to Mr. White. The imprint to one of his books states that his printing-office was in Coffee-yard, "where that useful art, to which the sons of learning are infinitely obliged, is performed after a neat manner." He pursued his business with diligence until he had attained the advanced age of eighty-seven years, being at that time the oldest master printer in England, and a freeman of the cities of London, York, and Dublin. He was interred in the church of St. Michael le Belfrey, in York. Mr. Gent was the author of a great number of small tracts in verse and prose, and published a useful compendium, containing some things not in larger histories, entituled, The antient end modern History of the famous City of York; and in a particular manner of its magnificent cathedral, commonly called York-minster, &c. &c.