THOMAS GENTLE (1827 - 1902) EMILY INGREY (1829 - 1890)

Thomas Gentle, born in 1827, was the son of Richard and Sarah Gentle. They lived in the village of Ashwell which is situated in the north of Hertfordshire about 35 miles north of London. This area was then and still is farming country. Their home, which they rented, was one of a row of cottages known as "Workhouse Yard". Records show in 1838 the amount of two pounds, four shillings and sixpence was paid in rent for three-quarters of a year, then in 1839 one pound, eleven shillings and sixpence for half a year and later three pounds and ten shillings for the same duration. (It is interesting to note that this terrace still stands and has been attractively renovated.)

We know nothing of Thomas' childhood which obviously would have known no luxuries his father being an agricultural labourer.

In the 1851 census we find Thomas listed as a "groom in the family of Dr. Edward Tindale, Springfield Hall, High St., Ashwell". ( The term "groom" can be interpreted as either a servant or the one who is in charge of horses.) By this time he would have been about 24 years old.

On 13th November, 1852 Thomas married Emily Ingrey from the neighbouring village of Newnham. Emily, born in 1829 in that village was the daughter of Charles Colleton Ingrey and Sarah Ingrey (nee Reeves). One of Thomas and Emily's grand-daughters gave her second daughter the name of Ingrey. Her reason for this, she explained, was "because it was a name to be proud of", the only source blue-blood in the family. She said Emily's parents would not agree to a marriage between Emily and Thomas because he was in a much lower echelon of society and thus far beneath her. However as neither Emily nor Thomas were minors they   could not prevent the marriage so the couple eloped. This story gain credulity on two points. Firstly they were not married in Emily's village ( which was normal procedure) but in the village where Thomas lived. Then more convincing is the proven fact that about six weeks after their marriage they boarded a ship to sail to Australia. The ship was the "Calliope" which departed from England 3rd January 1853 and arrived at Geelong, Australia 26th May the same year. The ship's records state that they both could read and write and came on their "own accord" and that Emily was twenty-three and Thomas twenty-five ,they were both Wesleyan and could read and write. Thomas is described as an agricultural labourer.

They began their life in the new country in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, where Thomas purchased a two roomed wooden house on the north side of Crown Street. The council rates books show that he was the owner of that house until 1863 but for the last three years did not occupy the house himself - renting it to tenants. These records also tell us that between the years of 1857 and 1863 the rates rose from four to six shillings per annum.

A little more than twelve months after their arrival, Emily's brother Charles Ingrey with wife Hannah, and daughter Sophia arrived in Melbourne on July 26th 1854 aboard the "Ontario". They were "disposed to Mr. Gentle of Richmond for a term of three months at one hundred pounds including rations".

While living in Richmond four children were born - in 1855; George and Emma, 1857; Luke, 1858; Mark Manasseh and in 1860; Ann. Of these only George and Ann survived. The family then moved to Beechworth (about 1861) where they remained until 1867. Here three more children were born - Sarah Hannah 1862, Clara 1866 and Rachel 1867. The latter two children died in infancy, Clara in Beechworth and Rachel in Eldorado whence the family had moved in 1867 the year of her birth. The following year while still living in Eldorado another son - Mark, was born. Thus of their nine children only four namely George, Ann, Sarah Hannah and Mark lived beyond infancy and survived to a ripe old age.


Prior to 1880 Thomas and Emily made their final move. With their four children they went to live on a farm in Tangambalanga near Mt. Murraburrabong on the Kiewa River. In the book "The Kiewa Valley by Esther Temple" we find Thomas Gentle listed as one of the early settlers who made opportunity of the Selection Act of 1860.

Land Sales Act 1860                                    

The first Victorian legislation concerning the sale and selection of Crown land. Under this act three million  acres were divided into surveyed allotments of 80-640   acres and proclaimed available for selection.   Further acts and amendments in 1862, 65,and 69 amended   the terms of selection and resulted in the whole colony being opened for selection.           (The Lands Manual- Cabena, McRae & Bladin)

In the years between 1885 and 1894 he acquired seven more blocks of land in the same area which was the parish of Tangambalanga 2 in the county of Bogong.

All four of their children married, Mark being the only one who had no children, but the remainder of the family gave them 23 grand-children. Mark however followed in his father's footsteps and remained in the Kiewa Valley - a farmer all his life.

Emily died at Kiewa, Victoria, at the age of sixty-one on April 20th 1890 and was interred in the Yackandandah Cemetery. Thomas survived her by eleven years. After suffering for several weeks from paralysis of the brain, he died at the age of 74, on February 11th 1902 also at Kiewa. He was buried in the same cemetery as was his wife. 1862




Ashwell, 1

Beechworth, 1

"Calliope", 1

Eldorado, 1


GENTLE Clara, 1

GENTLE Emily, 1, 2

GENTLE Emma, 1

GENTLE George, 1

GENTLE Hannah, 1

GENTLE Luke, 1

GENTLE Mark, 1

GENTLE Mark Manasseh, 1

GENTLE Rachel, 1

GENTLE Richard, 1

GENTLE Sarah, 1

GENTLE Thomas, 1, 2

Hertfordshire, 1

INGREY Charles, 1

INGREY Charles Colleton, 1

INGREY Emily,1, 2

INGREY Hannah, 1

INGREY Sarah, 1

INGREY Sophia, 1

Kiewa Valley, 2

Mt. Murraburrabong, 2

Newnham, 1

"Ontario", 1

REEVES Sarah, 1

Richmond (Victoria), 1

Tangambalanga, 2

TINDALE Dr. Edward, 1

Yackandandah Cemetery, 2