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Andrew Bent Andrew Bent i(A11606 works by)
Born: Established: 1790
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England,
c
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United Kingdom (UK),
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Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 26 Aug 1851 Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1812
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BiographyHistory

Andrew Bent, who had been an apprentice or 'errand boy' at the Public Ledger newspaper in London, was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey in October 1810 for burglary. His death sentence was commuted to transportation for life, and he arrived in Hobart Town on 2 February 1812. Bent's experience in the printing trade saw him assigned to George Clark, who had printed the first newspaper in Tasmania, the Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer. Clark was dismissed as government printer in 1814, and Bent printed the final numbers of the colony's second paper, the Van Diemen's Land Gazette and General Advertiser. Bent was then appointed government printer himself. On 25 May 1816, Bent received a conditional pardon, and on 19 September the same year, he married a nineteen year-old convict, Mary Kirk. 1816 was a momentous year for Bent. On 1 June he began publication of the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, with which Bent began a long and difficult career as a newspaper publisher in Tasmania. Despite struggling with a lack of type and other resources, changing the name of his paper several times, and facing persecution by the authoritarian lieutenant-governor George Arthur and numerous libel actions, Bent managed to keep his presses going until 1836.

In 1839 Bent left Tasmania for Sydney, where he published Bent's News and New South Wales Advertiser, which he soon sold to the editor W. A. Duncan (who changed the name of the paper to the Australasian Chronicle), Bent remaining as the printer until 1840. In 1841, Bent moved to the Macleay River, but his business interests here were plagued by bad luck. In 1844, Bent was forced to appeal to the colonial community for financial help to support his large family. Bent died in the Sydney Benevolent Society Asylum in 1851.

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Last amended 28 Nov 2006 17:00:10
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