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In the parliament which met on 2 April 1571 he sat for Malden, became a serjeant-at-law on 2 June 1584, and was appointed a baron of the exchequer on or before 1 Feb. 1586, on which day a commission of oyer and terminer for Suffolk in the ‘Baga de Secretis’ contains his name as a judge. Dugdale wrongly dates his elevation 28 June 1588. A special exemption was made in his favour from the act 33 Hen. VIII, c. 24, which forbade a judge from acting as a justice of assize in his own county. He was a member of the high commission in causes ecclesiastical, and appears to have been on circuit in Devonshire in February 1592 (Green, Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1591–4). He died in January 1593, and was buried at Steeple Bumpstead. He married twice, first, Elizabeth, who was only daughter and heiress of Sir John Swallow of Bocking, and was buried at Steeple Bumpstead on 12 May 1585, by whom he had seven sons and five daughters; and second, in April 1586, Elizabeth, widow of Roger Hogeson of London, and sister of Morgan Robyns, by whom he had no issue. His arms are engraved in Dugdale's ‘Orig. Jurid.’ p. 227, from a window in the Middle Temple Hall. His character is highly praised by Newton in his ‘Encomia.’

[Baga de Secretis; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1858; Cal. Chanc. Proc. temp. Eliz. i. 383, 384; Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales and Chron. Ser.; Foss's Judges of England; Harl. Misc. ed. Malham, ii. 18; Morant's Essex, ii. 336, 344, 354; Newcourt's Repert., ii. 62; Newton's Encomia, p. 121; Willis's Not. Parl. iii. 91; Wright's Essex, i. 632–4; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr.]

J. A. H.

GENT, THOMAS (1693–1778), printer, was born in Ireland on 4 May 1693, ‘of meek and gentle parents … rich in grace, though not in shining ore’ (Life, p. 23). His father was an Englishman, descended from a Staffordshire family. About the age of thirteen Gent was apprenticed to Powell, a Dublin printer, ‘a Turk’ and ‘tyrant,’ with whom he ‘strove to live’ three years (ib. p. 26). He absconded from his master, and arrived in London during August 1710, and got employment with Edward Midwinter of Pie Corner, Smithfield, a producer of ballads and broadsides for hawkers. Here he stayed three years, and then did ‘smouting’ or jobbing work for one or two other printers. Afterwards he went to John White of York, leaving London on foot on 20 April 1714, and performing the journey in six days. He remained at York a year, when the fact of his having run away from apprenticeship became known. His old master, Powell, drove him from Dublin when he visited his parents. In 1716 he was working for Midwinter in London again. Gent was made a member of the Company of Stationers on 9 Oct. 1717, and admitted to the freedom of the city by virtue of his service with Midwinter (Gent, Historia Compend. Anglicana, Preface, p. 1). He worked with William Wilkins of Little Britain, a proprietor of newspapers, and subsequently with John Watts, printer, of Covent Garden, known as the partner of Jacob Tonson and the employer of Benjamin Franklin. Gent left Watts to enter the service of Francis Clifton, a Roman catholic, with whom he paid a mysterious visit to Dr. Atterbury at Westminster about some illicit printing (Life, pp. 87–90). Clifton issued for Gent a satirical jibe upon his fellow-workmen, entitled ‘Teague's Ramble,’ 1719 (reprinted by Owen, Univ. Mag. i. 194). He resumed employment with Midwinter, and set up an abridgment of ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ 1722, 12mo, with thirty woodcuts from his own rude designs. Together with Clifton and Midwinter he incurred suspicion for printing seditious libels. He opened an office in Fleet Street, and produced some books, besides Grub Street ballads and other compositions of his own, among them ‘A Collection of Songs,’ ‘The Bishop of Rochester's Effigy,’ &c. In 1724 he printed a Latin ode on the return of George I from Germany, and ‘Divine Entertainments,’ a book of emblems, with woodcuts, the last work he did in London of any consequence. The secret list of printers in London and Westminster presented to Lord Townshend in 1724 enumerates ‘Gent, Pye-Corner,’ among those ‘said to be high-flyers’ (Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, i. 303). Among his employers were Henry Woodfall and Samuel Richardson. On 10 Dec. 1724 he married Alice, widow of Charles Bourne, printer of York, whose business he had taken up. On 23 Nov. he issued the first number of the ‘Original York Journal,’ which he continued with an altered title to 1741 (Life, p. 193). He had now a fair prospect of commercial success, being the sole printer in the city and county of York. Newcastle was the only town in England north of the Trent which possessed a printing-press and local newspaper. Gent met with opposition from John White, a relative of his wife, who set up as printer in the city, but suffered more from the effects of his own quarrelsome temper. The first of his York printed books was a sermon by Thomas Clarke, 1724, 8vo. Two years later he issued several translations by John Clarke, schoolmaster in Hull. In 1730 appeared the ‘History of York,’ the first of his own works there printed and published. Proposals had been circulated the previous year, and a list of about 170 subscribers obtained. The ‘History of Rippon,’ on a similar plan, came out in 1734. About 16 June of