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GEDDES, a surname, evidently the plural of Ged, those of this name bearing also three pikes in their arms. The estate of Geddes in Nairnshire belonged at one period to the Roses, one of whom, Hugh rose of Geddes, by his marriage with Mary de Bosco, heiress of Kilravock, became the founder of that ancient family. It now belongs to a family of the name of Mackintosh. There was at one time a family of Geddes of Geddes, as the Geddeses of Rachan are said to have been descended from them. In the parish of Nairn there is a hill called the hill of Geddes.

GEDDES, MICHAEL, an eminent divine of the church of England, and ecclesiastical writer, was born about 1650. He was educated at the university of Edinburgh, which city is supposed to have been his native place, and having taken the degree of M.A., he was, in July 1671, incorporated in the same at Oxford, being one of the first four natives of Scotland who were admitted to the benefits of the exhibitions founded by Bishop Warner in Baliol college. In 1678 he went to Lisbon as chaplain to the English factory there. In 1686 the Inquisition, taking offence at the exercise of his functions, cited him to appear before them, and, in violation of the privilege guaranteed by the commercial treaty between England and Portugal, prohibited him from continuing his ecclesiastical duties. The English merchants immediately wrote to the bishop of London, representing the hardships of their case, and showing their right to a chaplain; but before their letter reached that prelate, he was himself suspended by the ecclesiastical commission appointed by James the Second of England, who was then endeavouring to establish popery at home.

      In May 1688, Mr. Geddes returned to England, where he took the degree of LL.D., and after the promotion of Dr. Burnet to the bishopric of Salisbury, he was chosen by that prelate to be chancellor of his church. He died before 1714. Bishop Burnet speaks in very respectful terms of him in his ‘History of the Reformation.’ During his residence at Lisbon, Dr. Geddes had collected a mass of historical materials from scarce books and manuscripts in the Spanish and Portuguese languages; and in 1694 he published the ‘History of the Church of Malabar,’ in one volume, translated from the Portuguese; which was followed by other works, a list of which is subjoined.

      History of the Church of Ethiopia. To which are added, An Epitome of the Dominican History of that Church; an Account of the Practices and Conviction of Maria of the Annunciation, the famous Nun of Lisbon. Lond. 1696, 8vo.

      The Council of Trent no free Assembly; with an Introduction concerning Councils, and a Collection of Dr. Vorga’s Letters. Lond. 1697, 1714, 8vo.

      Miscellaneous Tracts. Vol. I. Lond. 1702, 8vo. Vol. Ii. Lond. 1705, 8vo. Vol. Iii. Lond. 1706, 8vo. The same, reprinted. Lond. 1714, 1730, 3 vols, 8vo. Containing, among other things, the History of the Expulsion of the Moriscoes out of Spain; History of the Wars of the Commons of Castile; View of the Spanish Cortes or Parliaments; Account of the Manuscripts and Reliques found in the Ruins of the uninhabitable Turpian Tower, in the city of Granada, in 1588, and in the mountain called Valparayso, near to that city, in 1595; View of the Court of Inquisition in Portugal; View of all the Orders of Monks and Friars in the Roman Church, with an account of their Founders.

      Several Tracts against Popery. Lond. 1715, 8vo.

GEDDES, JAMES, an accomplished essayist, the eldest son of an old and respectable family in Tweeddale, was born there about 1710. He was educated under his father’s roof, and afterwards went to the university of Edinburgh, where he particularly applied to mathematical learning, in wh8ch he made remarkable proficiency under the celebrated Colin MacLaurin. Having studied for the law, he was admitted advocate, and practised at the bar for several years with increasing reputation, but was cut off b y a lingering consumption in 1749, before he was forty years of age. He had devoted much of his time to the perusal of the ancient poets, philosophers, and historians, and in 1748 he published at Glasgow ‘An Essay on the Composition and Manner of Writing of the Ancients, particularly of Plato,’ in one volume 8vo. He is said to have left manuscript sufficient to make another volume, but it was never published.

GEDDES, ALEXANDER, a Roman Catholic divine, critic, and miscellaneous writer, was born in 1737 at Pathheads, in the parish of Rathven, Banffshire. His father, also named Alexander Geddes, the second of four brothers, was a small crofter on the estate of Arradowl. His mother, whose name was Mitchell, was a native of the neighbouring parish of Bellie. Both were Roman Catholics. The rudiments of his education were acquired in the village school, kept by a woman named Sellar. His parents being in possession of an English Bible, he applied himself, as soon as he could read, to the study of it, and is said to have known the historical parts by heart before he was eleven years old. The laird of Arradowl having engaged a tutor named Shearer, from Aberdeen, for his two sons, took young Geddes, with his cousin John Geddes, who afterwards became Roman Catholic bishop of Dunkeld, and another boy, into his house, to be educated gratuitously along with them. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the free Roman Catholic seminary of Sculan, in the Highlands, to be educated for the service of his Church. This seminary stood at the bottom of a gloomy glen, surrounded with mountains on all sides, and in allusion to their seldom seeing the sun in this dismal spot, he said in a letter to one of his fellow-students, who had obtained leave to visit his friends, “Pray, be so kind as to make particular inquiries after the health of the sun. Fail not to present my compliments to him, and tel him I still hope I shall one day be able to renew the honour of personal acquaintance with him.” At Sculan he remained till he was twenty-one, when he was removed to the Scots college at Paris. In 1764 he returned to Scotland, and was ordered to Dundee to officiate as priest among the Catholics of Forfarshire. In 1765, he accepted of an invitation from the earl of Traquair to reside in his family at Traquair House; where he regulated his studies so as to be preparatory to the plan he had long conceived, of making a new translation of the Bible for the use of his Catholic countrymen.

      Having formed an attachment to a female relative of the earl, which was returned by the lady with equal warmth, and not wishing to violate his vow of celibacy, he abruptly quitted the mansion of Lord Traquair, in less than two years after his arrival there, leaving behind him a beautiful little poem, entitled ‘The Confessional,’ addressed to the fair yet innocent cause of his departure. He left Traquair in the autumn of 1768, and proceeded to Paris, where he remained the following winter, engaged mostly in the public libraries, making extracts on biblical criticism from rare books, particularly Hebrew ones. In the spring of 1769 he returned to Scotland, and was appointed to the charge of a Catholic congregation at Auchinalrig in Banffshire; where in the summer of 1770 he erected a new chapel, on the spot where the old one, which was in ruins, stood, and repaired and improved the priest’s dwelling-house at Auchinalrig, making it one of the most pleasant and convenient abodes belonging to the Roman Catholic clergy in that part of the country. The liberality of his sentiments, and the friendships which he formed with persons of the Protestant faith, and especially his occasional appearance in the church of the Rev. Mr. Crawford, the minister of an adjoining parish, exposed him to the angry expostulations of Bishop Hay, his diocesan, who menaced him with suspension from his ecclesiastical functions, unless he became more circumspect in his life and conversation, and kept himself uncontaminated by heretical intercourse. At this period he had contracted debts to a considerable amount, which he was totally unable to pay, when the duke of Norfolk, to whose notice he had been introduced by the earl of Traquair, stepped forward and generously relived him of al his embarrassments. In the hope of improving his circumstances, he now took a small farm at Enzie, in Fochabers, in the immediate vicinity of Auchinalrig, to stock which he was obliged to borrow money, and the failure of three successive crops, with the building of a small chapel close to his farm, which added considerably to his liabilities, in less tan three years plunged him into deeper difficulties than ever. To free himself from his new embarrassments he published, in 1779, at London, ‘Select Satires of Horace, translated into English Verse, and, for the most part, adapted to the present Times and Manners,’ which produced him a profit of about one hundred pounds. This sum, with the proceeds of the sale of his household goods, he applied to the liquidation of his debts. Having carried his contumacy so far as occasionally to attend the church of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, minister of Cullen, Bishop Hay put his former threat into execution, and suspended him from his clerical functions within his diocese. This decided him upon going to London, and, accordingly, about the end of 1779, he quitted Auchinalrig, after having discharged there, for ten years, the various duties belonging to his pastoral office. From the university of Aberdeen he received, at this time, the degree of LL.D., being the first Roman Catholic to whom it had been granted since the Reformation.

      Dr. Geddes arrived in the metropolis of England about the beginning of 1780, and officiated for a few months as priest in the Imperial ambassador’s chapel, till it was suppressed in the end of that year, by an order from the emperor Joseph the Second. He afterwards preached occasionally at the chapel in Duke Street, Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, till Easter 1782, when he relinquished altogether the exercise of clerical functions. He now resumed his early project of completing a new version of the Bible; and he had the good fortune to meet with a patron in Lord Petre, who allowed him a salary of £200 per annum while employed upon the translation, and to be at the expense of whatever private library the Doctor might think requisite for his purpose. In a short time he published a sketch of his plan, under the title of an ‘Idea of a New Version of the Holy bible, for the use of the English Catholics,’ which excited considerable attention to his undertaking.

      In the summer of 1781 Dr. Geddes paid a visit to Scotland, during which he wrote ‘Linton, a Tweeddale Pastoral,’ in honour of the birth of a son and heir to the noble house of Traquair. He soon after accompanied the earl and countess on a tour to the south of France, and on his return to London, wrote an entirely new prospectus, detailing, fully and explicitly, the plan which he proposed to follow in his translation of the Bible. This he submitted in manuscript to Dr. Lowth, bishop of London, on whose recommendation it was published in 1785. In November of the same year, Dr. Geddes was elected by the society of antiquaries of Scotland, one of their corresponding members, an honour which he acknowledged in a poetical epistle to that body, written in “geud auld Scottis phrase.” He afterwards contributed to the Society’s Transactions, ‘A Dissertation on the Scoto-Saxon Dialect,’ with translations into Scottish Verse of the first Eclogue of Virgil, and the first Idyllion of Theocritus.

      On the commencement of the ‘Analytical Review,’ in May 1788, he became a contributor to it, and during five years and a half that he wrote for that periodical, he is known to have furnished to its pages forty-seven articles, principally in the department of Biblical criticism and ecclesiastical history.

      At length, after having been pioneered for years by many proposals and prospectuses, the first volume of his long-expected translation of the “Bible, containing the first six books of the Old Testament, made its appearance in 1792, dedicated to his patron, Lord Petre. This volume was keenly attacked by Christians of all denominations, and the vicars-apostolic of the Western, Norther, and London districts, issued a pastoral letter prohibiting its use and reception among the Catholics. Against this prohibition the Doctor remonstrated in vain. He first published an ‘Address to the Public,’ vindicating the impartiality of his translation. He then wrote privately to the vicars-apostolic, and, receiving no answer, he published a ‘Letter to Bishop Douglas, Vicar-apostolic of London,’ complaining of their conduct as uncharitable, illiberal, and arbitrary. The only notice that was taken of his remonstrances was his suspension from all ecclesiastical functions. In 1797 appeared the second volume of his Translation; and in 1800 ‘Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures, corresponding with a New Translation, Vol. I., containing Remarks on the Pentateuch.’ In these works Dr. Geddes denies the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, and assails the credit of Moses in every part of his character as an historian, a legislator, and a moralist. He even doubts whether he was the author of the Pentateuch. He styles the history of the creation a fabulous cosmogony, and the story of the fall an allegory. Can it be wondered at, then, that both Romanist and Protestant united in rejecting and denouncing his New Translation of the Bible?

      Owing to the heavy expenses attending the works on which he was engaged, Dr. Geddes became involved, for the third time, in pecuniary difficulties, and a subscription was set on foot for his behalf, when the sum collected and expended upon his account, from the commencement of 1788 to the middle of 1800, amounted to about £900. He had commenced a new translation of the Book of Psalms, and had already printed in octavo 104 of them, when a painful and excruciating disorder terminated his life on February 26, 1802, and his remains were interred in Paddington churchyard. Besides the more important works above mentioned, he was the author of numerous other publications both in prose and verse, a list of which is subjoined. He was also the author of the popular Jacobite song, ‘O send Lewie Gordon Hame!’ The life of this learned but eccentric divine has been written by Dr. John Mason Good.

      Dr. Geddes’ works are:

      Select Satires of Horace, translated into English verse, Lond. 1779, 4to.

      Linton; a Tweeddale Pastoral. Edin. 4to.

      Cursory Remarks on a late Fanatical publication, entitled, A full Detection of Popery. Lond. 1783, 8vo.

      Letter to the Bishop of London; containing queries, doubts, and difficulties relative to a vernacular Version of the Holy Scriptures. Lond. 1787, 4to.

      Letter to the Rev. Dr. Priestly, to prove that the Divinity of Jesus Christ was a Primitive Tenet of Christianity. Lond. 1787, 8vo.

      Letter to a Member of Parliament on the Case of the Protestant Dissenters. Lond. 1787, 8vo.

      General Answer to Queries, Counsels, &c. Lond. 1790.

      An Answer to the Bishop of Comana’s Pastoral Letter, by a Protestant Catholic. 1790, 8vo.

      A Letter to the Archbishops and Bishops of England, pointing out the only sure means of preserving the Church from the evils which threaten her. 1790, 8vo. Anon.

      Epistola Macaronica ad fratrem, de iis quae gesta sunt in nupero Dissentientium Conventu. Lond. 1790. 4to. Allowed to be one of the happiest attempts extant in the macaronic style. An English version for the use of the ladies and country gentlemen, was published the same year by the author.

      Carmen Seculare pro Gallica gente, tyrannidi aristocraticae, erepta. 1790, 4to.

      The first book of the Iliad of Homer, verbally rendered into English verse; with Critical Annotations. 1792, 8vo.

      An (ironical) Apology for Slavery. 1792, 8vo.\

      L’Avocat du Diable, The Devil’s Advocate, &c. 1792.

      The Holy Bible; or the Books accounted sacred by Jews and Christians, otherwise called the Books of the Old and New Covenants, faithfully translated frm the corrected text of the original; with various Readings, Explanatory Notes, and Critical Remarks. Lond. 1792-7, 2 vols, 4to. These two volumes include the historical books from Genesis to Chronicles, and the Book of Ruth.

      Carmina Saecularia tria, pro tribus celeberrimis libertatis Gallicae epochis. 1793, 4to.

      Ver-Vert. From the French of Gresset. Lond. 1793, 4to.

      A Norfolk Tale; or a Journal from London to Norwich. 1794, 4to.

      Ode to the Hon. Thomas Pelham, occasioned by his Speech in the Irish House of Commons on the Catholic Bill. 1795.

      The Battle of B(a)ng(o)r; or the Church Triumphant; a Comic-heroic Poem. 1797, 8vo.

      A New-year’s Gift to the good People of England; being a Sermon, or something like a Sermon, in defence of the War, &c. 1798, 8vo.

      A Modest Apology for the Catholics of Great Britain. 1800, 8vo.

      Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures, corresponding with a new Translation of the bible; containing Remarks on the Pentateuch. Lond. 1800, vol. I., 4to.

      Bardomachia; Poema Macaronico-Latinum. Lond. 1800, 4to. Bardomachia; or the Battle of the Bards. Translated from the original Latin. Lond. 1800 4to.

      Paci Feliciter reduci, Ode Sapphica. 1801, 4to.

      A new Translation of the Books of Psalms, from the original Hebrew; with various Readings and Notes. Lond. 1807, 8vo. A posthumous publication, edited by Dr. Disney and Charles Butler, Esq.

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