Wild, George (DNB00)

WILD or WILDE, GEORGE (1610–1665), bishop of Derry, born 9 Jan. 1609–10, was son of Henry Wild, a citizen of London. He entered Merchant Taylors' school in 1619, and was elected scholar of St. John's College, Oxford, in 1628. He matriculated on 13 Nov. 1629, was elected fellow in 1631, and graduated B.C.L. on 7 Feb. 1634–5, being incorporated at Cambridge in the same year. Several plays by Wild were acted at St. John's College between 1635 and 1637, among them ‘Euphormus,’ a Latin comedy, ‘Love's Hospital,’ and ‘The Converted Robber’; these are preserved in MS. in Brit. Mus. Addit. 14,047. Wild was chaplain to Laud, who presented him to the vicarage of St. Giles, Reading, and in 1640 to the rectory of Biddenden, Kent. When the civil war broke out he became preacher to the king at Oxford, and the degree of D.C.L. was conferred on him on 23 Nov. 1647. Wild preached in St. Mary's before ‘the great assembly of the House of Commons’ on 3 March 1642–3, and published his sermon at Oxford. He was turned out of his fellowship by the parliamentary visitors in 1648, and was sequestered from his living at Biddenden, but continued to officiate wherever he could during the Commonwealth. He preached in London at St. Gregory's on 15 March 1654–5 (Evelyn, Diary), and again on 25 Nov., being the last sermon allowed in a church under Cromwell's proclamation. ‘So pathetic was his discourse that it drew many tears from the auditory’ (ib.) After this Wild conducted the church of England service and administered the communion regularly in a house in Fleet Street (ib. 3 Aug. 1656, 2 Oct. 1658; Mossom). After the Restoration he was made bishop of Derry, and was one of twelve prelates consecrated by Bramhall in St. Patrick's, Dublin, on 27 Jan. 1660–1. Jeremy Taylor preached. Wild resided in his see, to which he was an active benefactor, giving away 500l. a year and preaching constantly (Mossom).

Wild had been considered a wit in earlier days, but was somewhat of an ascetic in his old age. Visiting Dublin to attend parliament, he died of heart disease on 29 Dec. 1665, and was buried in the choir of Christ Church Cathedral. Wild was unmarried, and bequeathed the little he had to various charitable purposes.

[Robinson's Reg. Merchant Taylors', i. 99; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Laud's Works; Ware's Bishops, ed. Harris; Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ; Funeral Sermon by Robert Mossom, D.D., the dean, who succeeded Wild as bishop of Derry.]

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