of knighthood at Greenwich. On 30 May 1581 he was appointed master of the rolls, when he received a letter of congratulation from the senate of the university of Cambridge. He was a member of the commission which tried on 16 Dec. 1583 John Somervyle, on 25 Feb. 1584–5 John Parry, and on 7 Feb. 1585–6 William Shelley, for the offence of conspiring the queen's death, and on 23 June 1585 he was one of the judges who assembled in the Star-chamber to take the inquest on the death of the Earl of Northumberland, who had committed suicide in the Tower three days before. At this time he represented Lancaster in parliament, having been returned on 16 Nov. 1584. He was a member of the tribunal that on 28 March 1587 tried Secretary William Davison for misprision and contempt in laying the death-warrant of the Queen of Scots before the council, and of that which on 18 April 1589 tried the Earl of Arundel, who was charged with having for some years carried on treasonable intrigues with Roman catholics on the continent. A letter from Gerard to Mr. Auditor Thompson, dated 2 July 1589, begging one of his fee bucks to give to his friend, Mr. John Lancaster of Gray's Inn, on occasion of his reading, is preserved in Harl. MS. 6994, f. 184. On 26 July 1591, at the Sessions House, Newgate, Gerard tried three fanatics, Hackett, Copinger, and Arthington, for the crime of libelling the queen and defacing the royal arms. Their defence was that they were moved to this conduct by the Holy Spirit. It did not, however, save them from conviction. On the death of Sir Christopher Hatton, 20 Nov. 1591, Gerard was appointed chief commissioner of the great seal, in which capacity he acted until 28 May 1592, when Sir John Puckering became lord keeper. The last state trial in which he appears to have taken part was that of Sir John Perrot, who was arraigned on 27 April 1592 on the charge of having, when lord deputy of Ireland in 1587, imagined the death of the queen (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1574–85, pp. 92, 161; Strype, Grindal (fol.), 208; Ann. (fol.), iv. 71; Metcalfe, Book of Knights; Dugdale, Chron. Ser. 97; Fourth Rep. Dep.-Keeper Public Records, App. ii. 272, 275; Cobbett, State Trials, i. 1095, 1114, 1229, 1251, 1315; Lists of Members of Parliament, Official Return of; Hardy, Catalogue of Lord Chancellors, &c., 67). Gerard died on 4 Feb. 1592–3, and was buried in the parish church of Ashley, Staffordshire. His principal seat was at Bromley in the same county, which he purchased from his kinsman, Sir Thomas Gerard of Etwall, Derbyshire, and where he built a house, described by Dugdale as a ‘stately quadrangular fabric of stone.’ The house is no longer standing, but an engraving of it is preserved in Plot's ‘Staffordshire,’ p. 102. Gerard married Anne, daughter of William Ratcliffe of Wilmersley, Lancashire, by whom he had two sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Thomas, was created Baron Gerard of Gerard's Bromley on 21 July 1603. From Gerard's second son, Ratcliffe, descended Charles Gerard [q. v.], created on 8 Nov. 1645 Baron Gerard of Brandon, and on 23 July 1679 Earl of Macclesfield.
[Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 417–18; Courthope's Historic Peerage; Foss's Lives of the Judges; Erdeswick's Staffordshire, ed. Harwood, p. 99.]
GERARD, GILBERT, D.D. (1760–1815), theological writer, son of Alexander Gerard, D.D. [q. v.], was born at Aberdeen 12 Aug. 1760, and studied at Aberdeen and Edinburgh. On being licensed he became minister of the Scotch church at Amsterdam, and during his residence there acquired a considerable knowledge of modern languages and literature, which he turned to account in contributions to the ‘Analytical Review.’ In 1791 he returned to Aberdeen to occupy the chair of Greek in King's College, which he filled admirably. On his father's death, in 1795, he succeeded him in the chair of divinity, and in 1811 he added to his professorship the second charge in the collegiate church of Old Aberdeen. He prepared for publication ‘A Compendious View of the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion’ (Lond. 1828), the joint production of himself and his father, being the substance of the lectures delivered by them from the chair of divinity. The only contribution to literature exclusively his own was ‘Institutes of Biblical Criticism’ (Edinburgh, 1808), in which he discussed elementary questions in connection with the interpretation of the sacred scriptures. The language of scripture, the text, the versions, the ordinary rules of interpretation, were considered, but the book does not even hint at the much more vital questions raised by modern critics. He was a king's chaplain, and filled the chair of the general assembly in 1803. He became minister of Old Machar 19 Sept. 1811, and died 28 Sept. 1815.
Gerard married, 3 Oct. 1787, Helen, daughter of John Duncan, provost of Aberdeen, by whom he had six sons and five daughters. Three sons, all Indian explorers and writers on geographical science, Alexander, James Gilbert, and Patrick, are separately noticed.
[Scott's Fasti, iii. 488; Darling's Cyclopædia Bibl.; Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen; Smith's Hist. of Aberdeen; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen.]