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T/IO-' GEXT. PRINTER;
o_ytat/urr cftA& rftatorieJ of YORK



GENT'S

HISTORY of HULL

(Annates Regioduni Hullini,)

RE-PRINTED

In FAC- SIMILE of the ORIGINAL

OF 1735-
TO WHICH IS APPENDED

Notices of the Life and Works

OF

THOMAS GENT,

PRINTER, of YORK.



11 1 1 . 1 . .

•.!. ( . 1 ,10 M UtK] ["-PLACE,



TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE

THE

EARL DE GREY AND RIPON,

Lord High Steward of Hull,)

THIS VOLUME IS,

WITH HIS LORDSHIP'S ESPECIAL PERMISSION,

M'»s| RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,

BY HIS

OBEDIENT SERVANTS,

THE PUBLISHERS.



20G3852




ADVERTISEMENT.



I5|?SS|IIK Publiilicrs arc induced to undertake the prefent
ISJara Reprint, from the extreme rarity and value of the
tmt^am original work, of which very few copies are now extant,
and these so eagerly sought after as to have become a coftly
property, confined almoft exclufively to the Libraries of a few
antiquaries and connoiffeurs. No reprint of this curious and quaint
old volume has ever yet been made, and it is therefore compara-
tively unknown to the Inhabitants of Hull generally, to whom it
is believed the present publication will be most welcome, as
well as to the refidents of Scarborough, Whitby, and Bridlington,
the I liflory of which Towns is also treated of in the same work.

GENT'S HISTORY OF HULL has ever been a favorite
book with the " ingenious Lovers of Antiquity," (to whom the
author dedicated it), not only on account of its great merit as a
literary competition, but also from the curious and fanciful illus-
trations which embellifh it. The work- has additional claims upon
the Inhabitants of I lull as being the moll valuable and compre-
henfive earl)- Hiftory of the Town, its Churches, Monalleries,
tlace, &e. which has ever been published. The very
great amount of interesting and valuable matter contained in its



Advertifement.



i, (hows the object of the author has been tocrowd as much
anecdote and narrative into his book as poffible, (even the index
is full of amusement), and this is carried out in a manner totally
different from that adopted in the present age of book-making.

Lifts of the Mayors, Sheriffs, and Chamberlains, with ample
chronological details of all great events in the Annals of Hull
from the carlieft times to 1 735, — many facts and incidents throw-
ing light upon the career of "Mr. A. Marvell " and his family,
— the Founders of the Charter-House, the Hospitals, and the
ancient Charities, are given; as also the original list ofSubscribers
to Mr. Gent's book, in which will be found the name of " Mr.
Eugenius Aram,*' afterwards so celebrated as the " Eugene Aram "
of Bulwer's Novel and the hero of Hood's Poem.

This Book alio is superior in execution to the greater part of
Gent's other publications, the larger Illuftrations being executed
by the beft artifts of that day, and are remarkable for their accu-
racy and elegance — unlike the engravings in thehiftories of Ripon,
York, &c. which, although exceedingly curious and quaint, are far
from reliable pictures of the objects represented.

A minute examination of many copies of the original, has
discovered the interefting fact that Gent publifhed two editions
of this work, a circumftance before unknown. The variations
occur ( Preface V, pp 164, 172, 176,) and it is from the firjl and
rarer edition that the present reprint has been made ; the illuftra-
tions are reproduced in exact fac-simile, together with the entire
text in its integrity, both editions having been carefully collated.

The large and influential List of Subscribers they have
received to the present edition, has enabled the Publifhcrs to
include the interefting "Notices of the Life and Works of
THOMAS GENT" \>nich has been kindly contributed by the
Rev. Geo. Ohlsox, B.A., M-fter of the Hull Grammar School.




LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.



A

A. O. Atkinson, M.A.
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Vtkin
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W. E !
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B

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oisl r, //< salt
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ch, M.A .
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miby
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be
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W. B. B
Wd
'l

1 . Iby

J

ird Bell
A . Bi

i B Inton



J. Bryson, Mayor of Hull.

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Richard Baxter

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c

James Clay, M.P. London

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( •. W. ( larlton, Jan.

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Edwd. Chapman

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Thos. Cooper, Yorh

W. E. Carpendale

II. W. Cliambers

M. Carlin

.1. s ( iampion

.1. M. Cuthbert, Bedford

W. (

J. P. Chatham

Wm. Chatham

' iul

B. J. <
.Idlin <
J i lochrane

pii
Mi I

M. W. Clark<
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.i Chartei

i i '•■!!. j 8 ■ ' ;>
l . i lobb
T. B i






8



Lift of Subfcribers.



D

TheBt. Hon. EarldeGroy& Ripon

Win. Dryden

Wm, 1 lenison

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.i. 11. Donaldson

l,\ D'Orsey

Thoa. Dixiiii

w l.. Dixon, Beverley

.1. R. Duncan

Wm. Dowsing
X. P. Dobri ■
\V. Day
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H. Dnne
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C. J. I •onnison
E

Rev. R, .1. Ellis
Thos. Empringham
J. Ehlers
.1. 8. Easterby
.lnhn Egginton
G. H. Earle

F
i !ol. Francis
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\V. W. Fletcher
.1. P. Fea, 7/Vv/ Hartlepool
.1. Farrell (2 copies)
James Fargus
J. R. Ford, West Hartlepool
i'. J. 1' ■ .
.1. Fan

E. Foster
Thos. Foster

G

l;. \. F. F. Goe, M.A.

Rev. J. Gumhill, B.A. Hornsea

W. R. Gibbons, B

Robt. Garton

Chas. P. GKbson

Jno. Gubbins

I). ( Sibson

Robt. < Waitress

F. B. t trotrian
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J. Gough

11 I , Gleadow
Mi> - ( Meadow
\ I h mmell
II. G

W. L. Grantham
J. Guest, Hotherham



II
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I life rary I □ i\ it ate.
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Hull Savings Bank
Lieut. < lol. Haworth, Mai ion
< '. II eaven

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Geo. 1 [ardy
Wm. Hunt
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II. Haigh
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E. Harl

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B. E. I [eslewood, Hessli
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E. Haller

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('. A. Hornstedl
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I
Robi i 't Jam iff of Hull

R. W. Jameson, Cottingham
J. L. .1 i

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,7. Jackson

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Lift of Subscribers.



9



K.
Rev. H. W. Kemp, B.A.
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< lastle K
J. P.Kruger

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L

The lit. Hon. Lonl L indesborough

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Rev. T. Lesti r

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ggoti '-' l 0]
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II. I.

.1. I,' ggott, Jun.
G Legg
J.I
Thos. :
i Lcesl

i

.1.1. .xton
Mrs. Lamb it
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Thos. I

.1. I.; -. M
A. Lofbus
I). I

M

/doti
,it mi
W P. McBride

John Mal( olm
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.1. 1:. Mortinu r, l
\) MiddL
John

/ Uoughlon
.all

I ' I

Ed. MackriU
i. Q I tioll

I i :
8. .M H sd< ii
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1!. Mills
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o

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x- Mayor

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Hour]



IO



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ines, jun.
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pherd
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ilitt
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Jno. 8
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w

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'AV^



&



v



NOTICES



OF



THE LIFE AND WORKS



OF



THOMAS GENT,



PRINTER, OF YORK.




PLEASANT task lies before me. I have to
evoke from the fhadowy portals of the pad, an
image upon which the duft of centuries has be-
gun to accumulate — to bring it back, re-clothed
in its own individuality, amid wonted fcenes of
life and action — to trace the current of a life, at times calm and
uniform in its flow, at others fwollen by dreams of care and
forrow.

There are points of difficulty in the appreciation of every life ;
but they are confiderably leflened ards the fubjectofthe

prefent Memoir, from the fact that we poflefs many of tin- details

of the life of THOMAS GENT, written by his own hand. His

carl)- youth, which is miffing in the narrative pari of the
Manufcript, is detailed in fom< " ittempts to invoke thi Mi

who appear to hav< looked a little coldly upon their afpiring



12 Notices of the Life and // arks of

devotee. We learn that he was born in Ireland, in the year

1693, "of meek and gentle parents, — rich in grace, though not
in fliining ore."

The stanzas that pourtray the image of his mother glow with
the true verve ofpoefy. She was a gracious and gentle Matron,
and one who appears to have ruled well her children, for " fhe
would not," he fays,

" excufe the ] ■■> > '•■' ! ■

She'd make a\ ■ rod, right ufed with art,

Y.'i furiously, as fimple mothers ufe it,
But mild, correct, and never once abuse it.

did she whip her < I ildr< n dear,
But she would wound us with her kinder fpeech ;
Ne'er gave a ftripe, but we might fee a tear
In her fwoln eye, as if she would befeech
That, for the future, we might take great care
No more t'offend, that she the birch might fpare."

At the age of fourteen, Gent was removed from maternal in-
fluence, and apprenticed to a Dublin Printer, whom he pourtrays
in his verfe as a "Turk," a "Tyrant," a very "Nero." After
three years of ill ufage, the young apprentice formed the
defperate refolution of abandoning his Matter, his Parents, and
his Country; and fet out for London, with two or three penny
loaves, feventeen-pence in his pocket, and his Sunday suit.

His voyage was rife with adventure. JBeing anxious to efcape
detection before the ftarting of the veffel, he crept down into the
hold, where he lay very fick, and without any to help or comfort
him. A three days' voyage reduced him to fuch miferable plight,
that the Captain, far from infifting on his paffage-money, gave
him fixpence, with the admonition to "take to good ways."

From the moment that the young Printer turned his back
upon Ireland, life opened before him as an earned and fober
reality, lie quickly found employment in London with a Mr.



THOMAS GENT, Printer, of York. i



3



Edward Midwinter, of Pie Corner, Smithfield, with whom he re-
mained three years. He fpeaks in grateful terms of his mailer,
and left him, with his full confent, when he had ferved ("even years
at his trade, to leek advancement.

He had already worked for fevcral Printers, and done a little
on his own account, when he heard from his fir ft master, Mid-
winter, that Mr. White, Printer, of York, was willing to engage
him for the tempting fum of eighteen pounds a year, "besides
board, lodging, and wafhing." Thefe terms were agreed to, and
on Sunday, twenty-fifth of April, 17 14, a glow of enthufiafm fired
the breaft of the now weary traveller, as he came within fight of
the walls and towers of ancient Ebor.

"The firft houfe I entered, to inquire for my new mailer, was
"in a Printer's, at Petergate, the very dwelling that is now my
"own by purchafe; but not finding Mr. White therein, a child
"brought me to his door, which was opened by the head maiden,
"that is now my dear fpoufe. She ufhered me into the chamber,
"where Mrs. White lay fomething ill in bed; but the old Gentle-
"man was at his dinner, by the firefide, fitting in a noble arm-
"chair, with a good large ; re him, and made me partake

"heartily with him."

The " head maiden," whom Gent mentions here, was hence-
forth to be the riling fun of his affections. Love gives wings to
the hours, and the twelve months of his engagement with the
York Printer glided rapidly by. II'- could not be induced to re-
new it until he had \<:cn his friends in Ireland, although the prof-
I offeparation from the "lovely Miftn fs Alice," was a fource
of great regret to him. He refolved, however, upon the journey;
and, after iniihaps both by land and sea, reached Dublin

I [arbour in fafety.

"When I earn to my father's hi \ our dutiful cuftom i;

there, I Nil on my knee to ask his blefling. 'I In- good old man



i4 Notices of the Life and Works of



took me up, with tears in his eyes, killed me, saying "Tommy, I
fcarcely knew thee." 1 lis mother received him with no lefs affec-
tion, undutiful as he had been. Not fo, however, his former
mafter, who employed officers to feize him for abfeonding from
his apprenticeship.

This induced Gent again to leave his native country, and re-
fpond to a letter that he had received from " his deareft at York,"
inviting him thither. Of this fecond period of his refidence in
York, we poffefs fcarcely any details.

We meet with him a lhort time after in London, in the employ
of his former mafter, Midwinter, through whose influence he was
admitted a freeman of the Company of Stationers in the year
1717. On the 9th of October in the fame year, he was enrolled a
freeman and citizen of London, and he appears to have been alfo
a member of the fociety of Freemafons, from his many allufions
to the Fraternity, into which he was probably received during his
refidence at York.

1 lis chief afpiration now was towards a fettlement in life ; but
motives of prudence forbade him to enter into Matrimony,
'• fearing fo great an expenfe as that Hate of life requires." Work
was not fo brisk as could have been desired, and "I was fome-
times at a loss" says Gent, " how to fpend my time well, and pro-
cure an honeft livelihood, in a troublefome world." After fome
time (pent in cafual labour, Gent again vifited Ireland at the
requeft of his parents, who were now old and infirm. I le obtained
employment there, though not on fuch favourable terms as in
London.

On his return to the great city, we meet witli him in the em-
ploy of a Mr. Clifton, a Roman Catholic, whofe fervice was far
more profitable than fafe. Clifton undertook to print pamphlets
for perfons under fufpicion of the Government ; and Gent relates
a curious adventure that befel him while in Clifton's employ.



THOMAS GENT, Printer, of York. 15

Some fheets frefh from the prefs had been entrufted to his care ;
and accompanied by his mafter, he was driven in a coach to a
monadic-looking building in Wcftminfter. "Being ufhercd into
"a fpacious room," says Gent," we fat near a large table cover-
ed with an ancient carpet of curious work, and whereon was foon
"laid a bottle of wine for our entertainment. In a little time we
"were vifited by a grave Gentleman in a black lay habit, who en-
tertained us with one pleafant difcourfe or other, and bid us be
"fecret." Not long after, Dr. Atterbury, Biiliop of Rochefter, was
being driven in a coach, guarded, to the Tower, and Gent recog-
nised in him his former pleafant and hofpitable entertainer.

Gent was now ftrongly preffed by his former mafter, Midwin-
ter, to return to his employ ; but although he experienced much
trouble and annoyance in Clifton's fervice, he could not be in-
duced to abandon it. He fometimes frequented the Affize Courts,
as fpecial correfpondent, taking notes of the trials, and forwarding
them to his mafter to be prepared for publication.

At length the inextricable difficulties, both pecuniary and po-
litical, in which Clifton became involved, obliged our author to
feek work elfewhere, and he renewed his engagement with Mr.
Midwinter. This revived in him the hope that he might fhortly
become his own mafter, and fettle with "his dearefl " in London.
Hi- little ftock of cafh however, was exhaufted by the purchafe
of two new founts <>f Pica, with a view to having a I'rcfs of his
own, and he was obliged Hill to look upon matrimony as a future
contingency.

An event, too, happened at this time, which quenched his ten-
der afpirings, and was likely to be attended with ferious refults.
He had retired to reft one night, ill in health, and depivfled in
fpirits on account of a dream lie had had, which he thought fore-
-1 evil. A fweet slumber crept upon him, bringing with it
iblivion of all hia care^ and miferies. In the dead of night,



16 Notices of I he Life and II orks of

however, he was ftartled by a ftrange thundering noife at the

door of his chamber. Before he had time for parley, his room
was forcibly entered, and he found himfelf in the grafp of a
King's Mefienger, who informed him that his concurrence in cer-
tain treafonable publications required his immediate removal to
prifon.

"I called him, blockhead," fays Gent, "and told him, had I
"been in another condition, I might, perhaps, have laid him by
"the heels; at which he fcornfully faid, he never fhould fear a
" ghoft, intimating, that I teemed little better than a fpirit at
"that time."'

All spirit that he was, poor Gent had to hurry on his clothes,
and prepare for removal. He befqught his intruders to fee the
door faftened which they had broken, that he might not be rob-
bed during his confinement, "of what he had fo honeftly and
painfully earned.'' On defcending the flairs, he found the paff-
ages below, and the court-yard, filled to the very gate, with
conftables, watchmen, and others; and, with one of thofe gleams
of religious feeling, which brighten at intervals the pages of his
memoir, he records, that the fight of thefe men, and the circum-
ftances of his arreft, "called to my remembrance, my injured
"Saviour's apprehenfion in the garden of Gethfemane."

Gent was hurried into a coach, and driven towards Newgate. On
the way he was joined by other prifoners, amongft whom, to his
great aftonifhment, were Clifton, and his mailer. Midwinter. They
were finally taken to Manchefter Court, a large houfe in Weft-
minfter, from Gent's defcription of it, and near the Thames, fince,
from the room in which he was confined, he could hear the plalh
of its waters, as they laved the lower part of the edifice.

Gent's imprifonment lasted five days; at the expiration of
which, as nothing could be proved againft him, he was honour-
ably difcharged.



THOMAS GENT, Printer, of York. 17

He ftill continued to work for hirnfelf, and for Mr. Midwinter,
who feems to have been imprifoned upon a false fufpicion. Things
were now fo profperous with him, that he hoped in a very fhort
time to have occasion to invite "his dear" to London. Alas! for
human frailty, Phillis proved faithlefs. A friend, who had been
on a vifit to York, happening- to meet Gent in the ftreet, broke to
him the cruel tidings that the "lovely Alice" had given her hand
to a Mr. Charles Bourne, the grandfon of the Printer for whom
Gent had worked at York.

"I was fo thunderftruck," he fays, " that I could fcarcely return
" an anfwer, all former thoughts crowding into my mind. My
"old vein of poetry flowed in upon me, and I wrote a copy of
"verfes agreeing to the tune of " Such charms has Phillis," then
" much in requeft, and proper for the flute, that I became ac-
quainted with," Thefe verfes arc not to be ranked among
Gent's happieft efforts, fuffice the reader to know that they con-
tain a proper amount of fentimentality.

Soon after this event, the affairs of Mr. Midwinter became in-
volved, and he was forced to remove within the liberties of the
Fleet. Gent continued to work at his own Press, fecking occa-
fional employment to fill up his leifure. His la ft epoch of fervice
was with a widow named Dodd, and it would feem that more ten-
der relations than thofe of bufinefs were on the point of fpringing
up between them, when an unforeseen event entirely changed his
pofltion in the world, and opened up a wider and more promifing
fphere for the developement of his energies.

It fhall be told in his own words : " It was one Sunday morn-
" ing, that .Mr. Philip Wood, a quondam partner at Mr. Midwin-
ter's, entering my chambers, "Tommy," said he, "all thefe fine
"material of yours muft bemovedto Vbrk:" at which, wonder-
"ing, "What mean you ? " aid [, "Aye," faid he, "and you muft
toOj for your full fweetheart is now at liberty, and left in



1 8 Notices of the Life and IVor/ts of



"good circumftances by her dear fpoufe, who deceafed but of

" late." Gent did not think it expedient to "trifle with a widow,
as he had done with a maid," fo he ordered all his goods to be
privately packed up, that they might he forwarded to him, if
neceffary, and let out for York.

Ten years had elapsed since they laft met, during which, the
fcythe of time had reaped much of the bloom, and many of the
graces of the Alice of his youth. Still, he loved her, and the tide
of her returning affection inundated his foul with a tranquil peace
and ferenity, which he had never experienced amid the ftruggles
of his former unquiet exiflence. A few months were allowed to
pafs, and the dim twilight of a December morning, though fcarcely
able, through the rich deep tints of the windows of theMinfter, to
chafe the (hadows that lingered within, yet revealed the perform-
ance of a bridal ceremony, which cemented a union long deferred,
now happily confummated.

Gent had now reached the climax of all his hopes and afpira-
tions. The bufinefs eftablifhed by his wife's late husband in
York, was now become his own, and the working power of the
eftabliihment was confiderably increafed by the addition of the
stock-in-trade that he had purchafed in London. Thus a new
career was opened under the happieft aufpices, Gent became pro-
prietor of the only Newspaper as yet publifhed in the County of
York, the "Original York Journal, or Weekly Courant" and his
was the only Prefs that had been let up, as yet, in thofe parts.

Unfortunately, Gent was not the man to improve opportunities.
His unyielding and irascible temper brought upon him many
miferies, that otherwife he need not have experienced. He began



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