Thomas Gurney was born in Wobum, Bedfordshire, England back in 1705. His father had decided that Thomas would be a farmer, however his inclination for books and mechanics was so dedicated, when he put to farming he ran away. Moving to Newport he learned clock making before becoming a schoolmaster at Luton.
He was also interested in astrology, purchasing a lot sale of books he came upon one that will forever put him in the history books, more on that in a moment. In 1737, he moved to London and was hired by Old Bailey (the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales). In 1749, he returned to clock making while teaching, he died in 1770 at 65.
What you may not know about Thomas is that one of the books he bought was by William Mason. With that knowledge by reading the book by Mr. Mason he was given the first official appointment as a shorthand-writer, anywhere. Frankly, I never heard of William Mason before now, have you?
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