Genest, John (DNB00)

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GENEST, JOHN (1764–1839), writer, was the son of John Genest of Dunker's Hill, Devonshire. He was educated at Westminster School, entered 9 May 1780 a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. 1784 and M.A. 1787. He took holy orders, and was for many years curate of a retired Lincolnshire village. Subsequently he became private chaplain to the Duke of Ancaster. Compelled by ill-health to retire, he went to Bath for the benefit of the waters. Here he appears to have remained until his death, which took place, after nine years of great suffering, at his residence in Henry Street, 15 Dec. 1839. His body is buried in St. James's Church. During his stay in Bath he wrote ‘Some Account of the English Stage from the Restoration in 1660 to 1830,’ Bath, 10 vols. 1832, 8vo, a work of great labour and research, which forms the basis of most exact knowledge concerning the stage. Few books of reference are equally trustworthy, the constant investigation to which it has been subjected having brought to light few errors and none of grave importance. Genest is not undeservedly hard on his predecessors who followed one another in error. The index to the book is ample, but its arrangement does not greatly facilitate research.

[Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ix. 109, 231.]

J. K.