Introduction
 The Life of Thomas Gent

 

Welcome

Introduction

Preface

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Notes

Text-only version

Portraits

  Introduction

I originally prepared this text of Thomas Gent's autobiography as a gift for my family, and printed twenty copies for them. The text is that of the 1832 edition, using the copy I inherited from my great grandfather, less two long and, to the modern reader, uninteresting poems that do not help the story, and some of Thomas Gent's topographical correspondence. The 1832 edition was prepared by the Rev. Joseph Hunter, who omitted numerous passages. For example, on the first page of his autobiography, Hunter omits a passage giving the reason for Thomas Gent leaving Dublin. In the words of Robert Davies: 'The well-favoured youth had inspired with tender passion a damsel who had been one of his master's servants, and she had pressed her claims upon him with so much ardour and persistency that he was afraid of being drawn into a connection that would have been utterly ruinous to him.'

The original manuscript is now in York Minster Library. There is a full entry for Thomas Gent in the Dictionary of National Biography. Robert Davies's A Memoir of the York Press, which gives a very full account of Thomas Gent and his work, has been reprinted. I am still working on an annotated version of the autobiography, and although I have visited York Minster Library, I have yet to see the original manuscript or Thomas Gent's commonplace book. I have kept on trying, and soon shall be working on microfilm copies of the manuscripts of Thomas Gent's autiobiography and commonplace book, and shall add these later to this site.

In recent years I have bought copies of books printed by Thomas Gent, his own History of Hull; the parallel text of the History of Rome, by Lucius Annæus Florus; the Prologue to Jane Shore; the History of York; the History of Ripon. They give me much pleasure to own, hold and inspect.