November 1863. After spending three months at Oxford, whither his schoolmaster had removed, he went to the Manchester grammar school, then under the mastership of Mr. F. W. Walker, afterwards of St. Paul's School. From this school he was elected to a scholarship at Balliol College, where he matriculated on 26 March 1863. He graduated B.A. in 1867, and was appointed assistant-master at the Manchester school. Ill-health compelled him to relinquish his post. He went abroad, and settled for a time at Athens, where he occupied himself as a teacher, and acquired a remarkable knowledge of the language and ideas of modern Greece. On his return to England he married Charlotte F. S. Andler, daughter of a Würtemberg government official. In 1869 he again accepted a mastership of classics and modern languages at the Manchester grammar school, and at the same date was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Manchester, and became curate of All Saints Church, Manchester. Two years later he took a curacy at St. George's Church, Everton, Liverpool, but did not retain it long, as his religious views underwent a change, and in 1872 he joined the unitarians. He graduated M.A. in 1873, and from the summer of that year until 1877 he acted as minister of the Hope Street Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, and then removed to Croydon, where, after officiating as substitute for the Rev. R. R. Suffield [q. v.] at the Free Christian Church, he was appointed pastor of that church. He was esteemed an able and original preacher, and a man of pure motive, transparent character, and unselfish purpose. A year or two before his death he became imbued with socialistic opinions, and in his enthusiasm for ‘humanity’ went much further than his congregation thought prudent. Early in 1885 his connection with the Croydon Free Church terminated. He had been in ill-health, and on 10 April 1885 he left home for Paris for a holiday. He embarked at Newhaven, but was never heard of again, and it is supposed that he was lost on the night voyage to Dieppe. He was author of: 1. ‘Modern Greek in relation to Ancient,’ Clarendon Press, 1870. 2. ‘The Living God,’ 1872, one of the tracts issued by Thomas Scott of Ramsgate. 3. ‘The Church at Peace with the World: a Sermon suggested by the Death of David Friedrich Strauss,’ 1874. 4. Translation of the second volume of Keim's ‘Jesus of Nazara,’ 1876. 5. ‘Faith and Freedom: fourteen Sermons,’ 1881. 6. ‘A Son of Belial: autobiographical Sketches by Nitram Tradleg,’ 1882. This is a real autobiography, although the names are hidden under a slight disguise. Some of the characters are drawn with a very caustic pen. ‘Nitram Tradleg’ is his own name reversed. 7. ‘A Guide to Modern Greek,’ 1883; also a key to the same. 8. ‘Simplified Grammar of Modern Greek,’ 1883. 9. ‘Sunday for our Little Ones: Unsectarian Addresses to the Young,’ 1883. 10. ‘The Gospel according to Paul: an Essay on the Germs of the Doctrine of the Atonement,’ 1884. 11. ‘Let there be Light: Sermon delivered at the opening of the New Free Christian Church, Croydon,’ 1884. 12. Translation of Hahn's ‘Folk-Lore of Modern Greece,’ 1884. 13. Translation of Zacher's ‘The Red International,’ 1885. 14. ‘Echoes of Truth: Sermons, &c., with Introductory Sketch by the Rev. C. B. Upton. Edited by Mrs. Geldart,’ 1886, with portrait of Geldart.
[Biog. Sketch by John Morgan, reprinted from the Croydon Advertiser of 12 Dec. 1885; Inquirer, 2 May 1885; Unitarian Herald, 24 April 1885; Foster's Alumni Oxon. ii. 516; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1872.]
GELDART, JAMES WILLIAM, LL.D. (1785–1876), professor of law at Cambridge, eldest son of the Rev. James Geldart, rector of Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, who died 12 Nov. 1839, by Sarah, daughter of William Williamson of Linton Spring, Wetherby, Yorkshire, was born at Swinnow Hall, Wetherby, 15 Feb. 1785, and educated at Beverley grammar school. He was admitted at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 5 May 1800, and became a scholar in December 1803. On 16 Feb. 1808 he was elected Skirne fellow of St. Catharine's Hall, but returned to Trinity Hall as a fellow and tutor on 4 Oct. 1809, and resided there as vice-master until 1820. He took the degree of LL.B. in 1806 and became LL.D. in 1814. On 28 Jan. 1814 he was admitted regius professor of civil law at Cambridge, on the nomination of the Earl of Liverpool, and continued to fulfil the duties of that post until 1847. After the death of his father, and on his own presentation, he became rector of Kirk Deighton in January 1840, and held that benefice until his death, which took place in the rectory house there on 16 Feb. 1876. He was buried in Kirk Deighton churchyard on 19 Feb. His literary work consists of ‘An Analysis of the Civil Law. By Samuel Halifax, bishop of Gloucester. A new edition, with additions, being the heads of a course of Lectures read in the University of Cambridge by J. W. Geldart,’ 1836.
Geldart married, 4 Aug. 1836, Mary Rachel, daughter of William Desborough of Kensingford Grey, Huntingdonshire, who survived him. He left two sons, the Rev. J. W. Geldart, rector of Kirk Deighton, and H. C. Geldart, who was sheriff of