Thomas Gent (1735) History of Kingston-upon-Hull – Armorial Binding


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Thomas Gent. Annales Regioduni Hullini: or, The Entertaining History of the Royal and Beautiful Town of Kingston upon Hull (Sold at the Printing-Office [of T. Gent] near the Star in Stone-Gate, York ; By Ward and Chandler, Scarborough, and at their shop in London ; by George Ferraby, Hull ; and by J. Wilford, London, 1735)

Octavo. 201 pages plus index, addenda, postscript and list of subscribers.  Six plates including frontispiece. Hardcover. Rebound in the late 19th/early 20th century in a green armorial leather binding stamped in gilt with what appears to be all maps and plates present. Marbled endpapers.  Five raised bands.

Condition: VG with some edge wear and wear to hinges. Top edge of text block slightly darkened with age. Handwritten list of plates tipped in on blank page in front. Nice condition.

Provenance: Armorial binding of a lion rampant crest with shield containing three lions rampant and the motto: “Dum Clavum Rectum Teneam” or “If only I go steady“, an invocation to do your duty, whatever the cost. A variation of the motto was used by William Penn “Dum Clavum Teneam“, though I do not represent this in any way to be a Penn family crest.

Thomas Gent (1693, Ireland – 1778, York) was a printer and writer, born in Ireland, who spent most of his working life in York. He authored several works, mostly histories, but was financially unsuccessful.

He married Alice Guy, widow of Charles Bourne, grandson of John White and inheritor of his printshop, in York Minster in December 1724, and by marriage, obtained a print business in York. Gent became publisher of Yorkshire’s only newspaper, the Original York Courant, or Weekly Journal, previously the York Mercury.

John White Jnr, printer of Newcastle, son of John White, who had hoped but failed to obtain the York Press for himself set up a rival business in York; the competition prompted Gent to begin to author his own works, and he published a history of York in 1730, followed by one of Ripon in 1733, and of Hull in 1735. Gent’s paper ceased publication in 1728, and White’s The York Courant became the predominant local paper. Also in 1735 he began publication of a journal Miscellanea Curiosa, concerned with mathematical and other problems – the publication was not a success.

He is best known for his local histories of Hull and York and Ripon, which contain information not noted elsewhere, and are the earliest discrete histories of those towns; Gent’s works are considered to be based on genuine research, observation or recording, and not based on a regurgitation of other accounts, and contain descriptions of objects not extant at the time of writing of later histories. – Wikipedia