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Kent, John (1809–1862)

from North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld)

A rumour was current in town during yesterday, which proved too true, that Mr John Kent committed suicide at Maryborough, a few days since, by cutting his throat, and created a painful feeling amongst all who knew him. The subjoined particulars from the Maryborough correspondent to the Courier under date the 27th instant:-

It is my painful duty to record one of those awful occurrences by which the whole community is agitated, and which will also, without doubt, create a considerable degree of sensation amongst the older inhabitants of Bribane and Ipswich. For some time past it had been noticed by the friends and relations of Mr John Kent, that he was in a desponding state of mind, so much so, in fact, that it is reported Mrs Kent had lately kept his razors out of sight. On the arrival of the Queensland on Christmas Day, he went on board and spoke to some old friends who arrived in her, and was noticed as being very quiet in his manner, and very abstemious. The day wore on, and the evening was spent with his wife under the verandah of his own house. About nine o’clock he appears to have left the verandah, and was thought to have gone into a sitting room to read, and it was not until something like three quarters of an hour had elapsed that any notice was taken of his absence. On enquiry being instituted, however, he was not to be found in the house, and alarm was felt, and a search was made in the garden. The unfortunate and misguided man was found with a wound about an inch long in the throat which had separated the jugular vein and the carotid artery, and must have caused instant death. The wound was inflicted by one of the pen blades of a four-bladed pocket knife. Alarm was immediately given, and the body was removed into the house. A magisterial enquiry was held before the Mayor yesterday morning, which terminated in a finding that death had resulted from the deceased’s own act in a fit of temporary insanity. Much sympathy is felt for the widow and children, as it is feared the pecuniary arrangements of the deceased are in a most unsatisfactory condition. The funeral is to take place at eleven o’clock this morning.

Mr Kent in early life entered the government service of Great Britain in connection with the Commissariat Department, and after being engaged in active service in different parts of the globe, arrived in Sydney almost twenty five years ago as Deputy Commissariat, and was about two years afterwards transferred to the Moreton Bay District, in which capacity he remained some years. He then returned to England, and was shortly afterwards ordered to the Cape of Good Hope, whence he again returned to England. After remaining in England a short time he finally left there for this colony, for the purpose of settling down as a colonist, and shortly after his arrival in conjunction with Mr. A. A. May, established the first saw mill in Moreton Bay at Shafston, on the Brisbane River. The speculation, however, proved a failure, and Mr Kent, who had previously been intimately engaged in connection with the Press, as correspondent in the West Indies, we believe to the London Times, and in Moreton Bay, as correspondent to the S.M. Herald, took the Editorship of the North Australian which position he occupied for between five and six years, until his appointment at the commencement of last year, as Police Magistrate, Maryborough. As a writer, Mr Kent was vigorous but sarcastic; thoroughly independent, severe in opposing what he thought to be wrong, and at the same time equally determined in upholding what he believed to the cause of right.

Original publication

  • North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld), 30 December 1862, p 3 (view original)

Other Obituaries for John Kent

Additional Resources

  • profile, Queenslander, 9 March 1918, p 14
  • photo, Queenslander, 9 March 1918, p 27

Citation details

'Kent, John (1809–1862)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/kent-john-17835/text29421, accessed 19 November 2019.

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