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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/359

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Gill
Gill
353

and an enlarged edition in 1825. Two essays on 'Hypocrisy' and 'Meditation,' and a small 'Manual of Baptism,' were also published in 1825. In 1826 was issued what has been considered his best work, 'Discourses on the dignity, grace, and operations of the Holy Spirit;' and he was occupied preparing his 'Treatise on Relative Duties' for the press when he died. He also contributed some articles to the columns of 'The Student,' a Glasgow University periodical, in 1817. A posthumous work giving a collection of his letters, chiefly to afflicted persons, to which a memoir was prefixed, was published in 1828 by his eldest son, the Rev. Dr. James Gilfillan [q. v.] of Stirling, himself the author of a work on ' The Sanctification of the Sabbath.'

Along with several other ministers of the same church Gilfillan in 1819 planned and put in execution a scheme for the erection of lending libraries in the highlands, to consist principally of religious books. Of such libraries fourteen were actually set in operation with good results. Gilfillan died on 15 Oct. 1826, from an inflammation produced by eating sloes. He was buried close beside the river Earn four days later. He was survived by his widow and eight out of twelve children. Two sons, James and George, are separately noticed.

[Memoir by the Kev. Dr. James Gilfillan (see above); the Rev. George Gilfillan's Remoter Stars in the Church Sky, 1867, p. 26; Christian Magazine, 1797-1820.]

H. P.

GILL, ALEXANDER, the elder (1565–1635), high-master of St. Paul's School, born in Lincolnshire 7 Feb. 1564-5, was admitted scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in September 1583, and proceeded B.A. 1586 and M. A. 1589. Wood believed that he was a schoolmaster at Norwich, where he was living in 1597. On 10 March 1607-8 he was appointed high-master of St. Paul's School in succession to Richard Mulcaster [q. v.] Milton was among his pupils from 1620 to 1625. 'He had,' says Wood, 'such an excellent way of training up youth that none in his time went beyond him; whence 'twas that many noted persons in church and state did esteem it the greatest of their happiness that they had been educated under him.' The escapade of his son [see Gill, Alexander, the younger] in 1628 caused him much disquietude, and he successfully exerted himself supplicating 'on his knees,' says Aubrey to obtain at the hands of Laud, with whom he was on friendly terms, a remission of the punishment inflicted by the Star-chamber. He died at his house in St. Paul's Churchyard 17 Nov. 1635, and was buried 20 Nov. in Mercers' Chapel. A transcript of his will, dated 30 July 1634, is among Wood's MSS. (D 11) at the Bodleian Library. His widow Elizabeth received a pension from the Mercers' Company till 1648. He had two sons, Alexander [q. v.] and George, who was in holy orders (cf. Masson, i. 211). A daughter, Annah Banister, received grants from the Mercers' Company in 1666 and (as a widow) in 1673.

Gill was not only famous as a schoolmaster, but 'was esteemed by most persons to be a learned man, a noted Latinist, critic, and divine.' He published:

  1. 'A Treatise concerning the Trinitie of Persons in Unitie of the Deitie ' (written at Norwich in 1597), London, 1601, 8vo; reprinted with 3 (see below), 1635. This was a remonstrance addressed to Thomas Mannering, an anabaptist, who 'denied that Jesus is very God of very God,' and said that 'he was but man only, yet endued with the infinite power of God.'
  2. 'Logonomia Anglica, qua gentis sermo facilius addiscitur,' London, by John Beale, 1619, 2nd edit. 1621; dedicated to James I. Gill's book, written in Latin, opens with suggestions for a phonetic system of English spelling by reviving the Anglo-Saxon signs for the two sounds of th and similar means. In his section on grammatical and rhetorical figures Gill quotes freely from Spenser, Wither, Daniel, and other English poets, with whose works he shows an intimate acquaintance. For Spenser he had a special affection, preferring him to Homer (pp. 124-5); nearly all his examples were taken from the 'Faerie Queen.'
  3. 'Sacred Philosophie of the Holy Scripture,' London, 1635, 8vo, a commentary on the Apostles' Creed, with a reprint of an attempted demonstration of the truth of the Apostles' Creed in opposition to the beliefs of Turks, Jews, and other heretics.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 597-600; Gardiner's Reg. St. Paul's School, p. 32; Masson's Life of Milton, i. 78-82; Aubrey's Lives, ii. 286.]

S. L. L.

GILL, ALEXANDER, the younger (1597–1642), high-master of St. Paul's School, son of Alexander Gill the elder [q. v.], was born, probably at Norwich, in 1597. He obtained a scholarship at St. Paul's School, London, of which his father became highmaster in 1608; matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, 26 June 1612; became an exhibitioner of Wadham College in 1612, and bible-clerk there 20 April 1613; proceeded B.A. 1616, and M.A. 1619. He afterwards returned to Trinity, where he took the degrees of B.D. (27 June 1627) and D.D.