William Gent (1850-1928)

Born in 1850 in Shepshed to parents Thomas and Anne Bond, the family were in 1851 living in Well Yard, Forest Street.

In October 1869, William Gent married Hannah Cooper (1847-1924), the daughter of William, a cotton framework knitter, and Mary.

By 1871, William was already working for Thomas Messenger as a painter, going on to become the paint and glass shop foreman[1] for Messenger & Co. In March 1871, at the time of the census he was working away in Abington, Northamptonshire, lodging with John Moore, a shepherd, and family, together with fellow employee John Lee, a plumber and glazier.

Meanwhile, his wife was living back in Loughborough at No. 23, Chapman Street[2] with her parents and one year old son, Arthur, born in Nottingham. William and Hannah continued living at No. 23, close to Taylor’s bell foundry for the rest of their lives where they had a further seven children, four of whom died young[3]. Hannah passed away in 1922, aged 75 and William on 19th January 1928, aged 77[4]. Their daughter, Mary Ann, born on 12th April 1879, continued living at the family home into the 1950s[5].

William left an estate valued at £210 8s. 4d., with his son Arthur, by now an engineer’s foreman, acting as the executor.


  1. A Century of Progress – a History of Messenger & Company, Limited. 1858-1958 (Unpublished).
  2. No. 23, sat on the north side of Chapman Street, which at the time, ran directly from Craddock Street to Cobden Street.
  3. 1911 Census Return.
  4. Probate Record.
  5. Loughborough Street Directory 1951.