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Gurney, Thomas (1705–1770), stenographer, was born at Woburn, Bedfordshire, on 7 March 1705, the son of John Gurney, a miller, and his wife, Hannah Young. The young Gurney, more interested in scholarly and mechanical arts than in agriculture, twice ran away from home. About 1720 he bid successfully at auction for a book on astrology. The lot also included a popular treatise on the art of shorthand, ...