Andrew Bent

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Andrew Bent (1790 – 26 August 1851) was a printer, publisher and newspaper proprietor, active in Australia.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bent was born in London, England, and was apprenticed at an early age to a printer.[1] In October 1810 Bent was convicted of burglary and, common for the time, his death sentence was commuted to transportation for life.[1]

Australia[edit]

Bent reached Sydney aboard the Guildford in January 1812, was the transferred to the Ruby and arrived at Hobart Town Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) on 2 February 1812.[1] Apparently Bent gained employment under George Clark, publisher of the first Tasmanian newspaper (1810), the short-lived Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer. Clark, with Bent assisting, published the Van Diemen's Land Gazette and General Advertiser, soon after, Clark was dismissed and Bent became Government Printer. [1] In 1816 Bent began the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, he changed the title of his paper to Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser on 1 January 1821. Governor George Arthur claimed the government ownership of the Hobart Town Gazette, but Bent sent evidence against this to Governor Thomas Brisbane in Sydney, who decided in Bent's favour.[1] Arthur's instigation of the appropriation of the title of Bent's paper was "an act of literary piracy and breach of copyright"[2][3] In December 1818 Bent published Michael Howe, the Last and Worst of the Bushrangers of Van Diemen's Land by Thomas E. Wells.[1]

On 1 August 1825 Bent was sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined £500 for libel, the result of comments on the actions of government officers.[3] In 1836 Bent was again prosecuted for libel for articles in Bent's News and Tasmanian Threepenny Register which ceased publication.[1]

Late life[edit]

Bent left Tasmania in 1839 and headed for Sydney. On 13 April 1839 Bent published Bent's News and New South Wales Advertiser as a weekly paper. Bent soon sold the paper and it became the Australasian Chronicle. Bent moved to the Macleay River in 1841 where he kept a hotel and was a cedar merchant. The hotel burned down, the cedar was swept away in a flood and Bent was incapacited for six months after a fall. Destitute, Bent entered the Sydney Benevolent Society Asylum, where he died on 26 August 1851, leaving a large family.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pretyman, E. R. (1966). "Bent, Andrew (1790–1851)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Historical Records of Australia ser. III, vol. IV, p. 15
  3. ^ a b Serle, Percival (1949). "Bent, Andrew". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 

External links[edit]