Jonathan Gent (1785-1851)

St Leonard, Walton le Dale, Lancashire

Jonathan Gent (1785-1851) was the fourth son of Jonathan Gent (1749-1795)

Jonathan Gent was born on 25 March 1785 and christened in St Leonard, Walton le Dale on 17 April 1785. (see picture)  He married Elizabeth Towers in Blackburn, St Mary 6 March 1809.  Both Whittle le Woods and Walton le Dale are no more than about 10 miles from Blackburn (see map below).

Jonathan worked as a reedmaker. Within weaving a reed is a metal comb fixed in a weaving frame, with the closeness of the wires determining the fineness of the cloth. The reed keeps the warp threads spaced evenly and forms a guide for the back of the shuttle. Both hand loom machines as well as power driven ones needed reeds so Jonathan may not have been too adversely affected by the mechanisation of the weaving industry.

1818 Preston & Blackburn_labels 660
Greenwood’s Map of Lancashire, 1818 (extract) 1-inch to the mile

(Lancashire County Council Old Maps)


Jonathan Gent had 5 sons and we are descended from his 3rd son John.

Name Place(s) of Residence Life Dates Married
Henry Medcalf Gent Bolton 1809-1875 Alice Lawson (1810-1876)
James Gent Liverpool & Manchester 1811-1880 Alice Whiteside (1813-1885)
John Gent Whittle le Woods 1814-1891 Ann Bamber (1815-1885)
George Gent Manchester 1816-1872 Elizabeth Shaw (1814-1841) & Sarah Ann Hilton (1811-1860) & Mary Elizabeth Winder (1828-1882)
Jonathan Gent Manchester 1827-1867 Susannah Midgley (1824-1879)

Chart: Family of Jonathan Gent (1785-1851)


Death of Jonathan Gent

An article in the Manchester Guardian of 11 January 1851 (page 7) describes the death of Jonathan Gent, a reed maker who died 4 January 1851. He was married in Blackburn to Elisabeth Towers who is described as a proprietor of houses in the census of 1861. His occupation of reed maker is verified in his Will witnessed by his wife Elisabeth (Betty) and his son George in Manchester.

“DEATH FROM A FALL – On Tuesday last, an inquest was held by Mr Herford, borough coroner, at the Sherwood Inn, Temple-street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, on the body of a man named Jonathan Gent, reedmaker, 64 years of age, who lived at No 5, Thomas-street.  – John Boden, a reed maker, stated that the deceased was in the habit of calling at warehouses for work.  On Tuesday, the 24th ult, the deceased told him he had had occasion to call on the previous day at the warehouse of Messrs J T and T Walker, silk manufacturers, York-street, and in consequence of the staircase being so spiral and dark, his foot slipped in coming down stairs, and he fell against the wall, by which he injured himself.  One of his eyes was very badly bruised, as were also his knuckles, with protecting himself against the wall.  On the Friday following, the deceased was obliged to give over working.  He was a sober, regular man. – Jonathan Gent, the deceased’s son, said that on Monday week the deceased was so much worse that Mr Williamson, one of the surgeons of the Chorlton-on-Medlock Dispensary, was sent for.  Erysipelas came on, and he became much worse on Friday.  He died about half-past one o’clock on Saturday morning last.  The jury returned a verdict of ‘Accidental death.'”

Luckily for our research (although not for him!) he died from a spectacular fall which required an inquest and a report in the local newspaper.  He could have died in bed and we would never have found evidence of him working and dying in Manchester.

Erysipelas is an infection, usually of the face, caused by streptococcal bacteria, which are thought to enter the skin through a small wound or sore. Young children and the elderly are most often affected.

The disorder starts abruptly with malaise, fever, headaches, and vomiting. Itchy, red patches appear on the face and spread across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose to form an inflamed area with raised edges. Within this area, pimples develop that first blister, then burst, and then crust over.

Treatment today would be with penicillin drugs, which usually clear the condition within a week.

Administration of estate – Jonathan Gent dated 12 August 1851
John Gent Probate
Probate of Jonathan Gent 1851

(click image for enlargement)

John Gent (1814-1891)…

Gent Family in Manchester…