Geddes, William (DNB00)

GEDDES, WILLIAM (1600?–1694), Scottish presbyterian divine and author, was a native of Moray, and graduated at the university and King's College, Aberdeen, in 1650. On 13 Nov. of the same year he became schoolmaster of Keith; was governor to Hugh Rose of Kilravock in 1652; and gave 20l. to the new buildings of King's College, Aberdeen, in 1658. He was admitted presbyterian minister of Wick about April 1664, was transferred to the parish of Urquhart, Elginshire, in 1677, resigned on refusal to take the test of 1682, returned to Wick, where he was readmitted minister in 1692, and died in 1694, aged about 94. Geddes published a volume of pious verse entitled ‘The Saint's Recreation; (third part) upon the Estate of Grace,’ Edinburgh, 1683, 4to, dedicated to Anna, duchess of Hamilton, and Margaret Lesley, countess-dowager of Weems, i.e. Wemyss, with prefatory verse by many hands. The imprimatur at the beginning of the volume (18 March 1683) states that Geddes had received permission from the privy council to print ‘Memoriale Historicum, or An Historical Memorial concerning the most remarkable occurrences and periods of Scripture; the Universal Histories of the Four Monarchs: the Scottish, English, French, and Turkish Histories;’ as well as ‘three other books which he intends for the press, viz. “Geographical and Arithmetical Memorials,” “Memoriale Hebraicum for facilitating the Hebrew Language,” “Vocabularium Latino-Hebraicum in Hexameter Verse,” and “Familiæ Famigeratæ.”’ In an ‘Apology for the Author's delay,’ which follows the imprimatur, Geddes acknowledges having received ‘the price’ of the books, and excuses himself for not having issued them. Hew Scott mentions the ‘Memoriale Historicum,’ which Geddes promises in his ‘Apology’ at an early date, as a published work. But no copy seems known. None of Geddes's other literary projects were carried out. George Park edited at Glasgow in 1753 a second edition of ‘The Saint's Recreation,’ adding ‘fifteen select poems on divine subjects from other approven authors.’

[Hew Scott's Fasti Eccl. Scot. v. 174, 370; Geddes's Saint's Recreation.]

S. L. L.