block in eight days from a page of bible type. Ged gained a signal victory, but he set all the typefounders, like the compositors, against him and his art. The Earl of Macclesfield procured for him a contract (dated 23 April 1731) for printing prayer-books and bibles for Cambridge University. Only two prayer-books were completed, and the lease was surrendered in 1738. Ged came to utter grief in London through the dishonesty of Fenner and the strength of trade jealousy. Driven back in 1733 to Scotland, he struggled further to establish his invention, but failed, and became broken-hearted. In 1739 he published at Edinburgh an edition of Sallust from stereotyped plates, prepared in 1736 (2nd edit. 1744). A page of these stereotypes belonged to Sir P. M. Threipland, bart., at Fingask Castle, Perthshire. But distrustful compositors, when setting up the type, introduced bad work purposely to bring Ged's plates into disrepute. Ged died in poverty 19 Oct. 1749, after his goods had been shipped at Leith for removal to London, where Ged desired to join his son James. James Ged was a Jacobite, was captain in the Duke of Perth's regiment in the '45 rebellion, and was taken at Carlisle, but was released in 1748. He afterwards tried anew to work his father's invention. But defeated at every point he emigrated to Jamaica, where his brother William (d. 1767) had set up as a printer. Subsequently, Andrew Wilson, the Earl of Stanhope's practical man, starting where Ged left off, worked out the plaster-of-Paris plan that preceded the papier-mâché system, which has established stereotyping in its present position. Ged's daughter, in a narrative of his career, said: ‘He had offers from Holland repeatedly, either to go over there or sell to the Dutch his invention, but he would not listen, as he maintained that he meant to serve his own country and not to hurt it, as handing over his invention to Holland must have done, enabling the Dutch to undersell England.’
[Narrative of Ged, written by his daughter; Nichols's Biographical Memoir of W. Ged, 1781; Wilson and Grey's Modern Printing Machinery.]
GEDDES, ALEXANDER, LL.D. (1737–1802), biblical critic, born in 1737, was son of Alexander Geddes, a small farmer at Arradowl, in the parish of Ruthven, Banffshire, Scotland, by his wife, Janet Mitchel. His parents were Roman catholics, and the principal book in their scanty library was the ‘authorised’ version of the English bible, which he read ‘with reverence and attention,’ after attending the village school. Before his eleventh year he knew all bible history by heart. Afterwards he studied, together with his brother John [q. v.], subsequently a catholic bishop, under a tutor named Sheares. In 1751 he entered the catholic ecclesiastical seminary at Scalan in the highlands. There he acquired a knowledge of the Vulgate, but it was not till 1762 that he began to read the bible in the original languages. When twenty-one (1758) he was removed to the Scotch College at Paris, and attended lectures at the college of Navarre. He studied rhetoric with great success under Vicaire. In 1759 he attended the theological lectures of Buré and De Saurent in the college of Navarre, and those on Hebrew delivered at the Sorbonne by L'Avocat, professor of the newly founded Orleans chair. He devoted some attention to natural and experimental philosophy. Having reluctantly refused the proposal of Professor L'Avocat to settle in Paris and take work at the university, he returned to Scotland in 1764, and was ordered to Dundee to officiate as priest among the catholics of the county of Angus.
In May 1765 the Earl of Traquair invited him to reside in his house in Tweeddale. He was now able to devote all his time to biblical and philological studies, and to carry out the plan conceived at an early age of preparing a new version of the holy scriptures for Scottish catholics. After nearly two years in this peaceful retreat, he fell in love with a female relative of his patron, and in view of his sacerdotal vows deemed it his duty to beat a retreat, ‘leaving behind him a little poem addressed to the lady, entitled “The Confessional”’ (Good, Life of Dr. Geddes, p. 30).
After eight or nine months at Paris in a perturbed state of mind, he returned to Scotland in the spring of 1769 and accepted the charge of a catholic congregation at Auchinhalrig, Banffshire. For a time he gave much satisfaction, frequently discharging the double duty of the neighbouring mission at Preshome, and obtaining popularity as a preacher. His ultimate want of success was in great part attributable to money difficulties. He speculated in house property at considerable loss, and built a part of the present chapel at Tynet, on the eastern side of the park at Gordon Castle, leaving to his successor the task of completing it. In 1779 he published ‘Select Satires of Horace, translated into English verse, and for the most part adapted to the present times and manners,’ London, 4to. These happy imitations of Horace in Hudibrastic verse, praised by Dr. Robertson, Dr. Reid, and Dr. Beattie, of Aberdeen, established his literary reputation. Unfortunately he criticised some of Bishop Hay's