Minshull, Geffray (DNB00)

MINSHULL or MYNSHUL, GEFFRAY (1594?-1668), author, son of Edward Minshull of Nantwich, Cheshire, and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Mainwaring, was born about 1594, and admitted at Gray's Inn on 11 March 1611–12. In 1617 he was imprisoned for debt in the King's Bench prison, and while there occupied himself by writing a series of ‘characters,’ which he sent to his uncle Matthew Mainwaring [q. v.], who generously helped him out of his difficulties. These experiences of prison life were published in 1618, with the title of ‘Essayes and Characters of a Prison and Prisoners. Written by G. M. of Grayes-Inn, Gent.’ (small quarto). The volume was reissued without alteration in 1638; the title-page bears the inscription ‘with some new additions,’ but the contents are precisely the same as those of the 1618 edition; it was reprinted at Edinburgh in 1821. To this last edition, of which only 150 copies were printed, an introductory notice was prefixed by the anonymous editor. All these editions are in the British Museum Library. Minshull died in 1668 at Nantwich, where he was buried on 1 Nov.

[Brit. Mus. Cat.; Hall's Hist. of Nantwich, 1883, pp. 469, 471; Gray's Inn Admission Register (Foster), p. 129.]

C. W. S.