Getsius, John Daniel (DNB00)

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GETSIUS, JOHN DANIEL (1592–1672), divine and tutor, born at Odernheim in the Palatinate in 1592, was a descendant of the ancient family of the barons of Goetz, orig- inally driven from France during the persecution of the Albigenses. His father took refuge in Hesse when the emperor invaded the Palatinate, but died in his son's infancy. His wife placed the son under the care of Daniel Tossanus, a learned protestant divine, and sent him afterwards to the university of Marburg, where he took the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1618. Religious difficulties forced him to fly from Hesse to his mother's brother, Justus Baronius; but his uncle, himself a convert from protestantism, quarrelled with the nephew for refusing to follow him. Getsius, after a short stay in Holland, proceeded to London, and finally, at the end of 1619, to Cambridge. Here he remained for more than two years under the protection of Dr. John Preston, and took the degree of B.A. In 1623 he went to the Hague to solicit the help of the king of Bohemia. At the king's desire the university of Oxford granted to him and four more of his countrymen a pension of 18l. per annum. This was paid to him for four years, and enabled him to study for seven years at Exeter College, where he gave lessons in Hebrew and was permitted to take pupils. On 15 July 1628 he was incorporated B.A. of Oxford. In 1629, by the advice of Dr. Prideaux, he went with Robert Jago, an M.A. of Exeter College, to Dartmouth in Devonshire, where he ‘taught school and preached at Townstall, the mother church, for about seven years.’ In 1636 he was presented to the vicarage of Stoke Gabriel, about five miles from Dartmouth, where he continued his school, preparing gentlemen's sons for the university. One of his pupils, Valentine Greatrakes, out of gratitude for his care, gave him a small life annuity from certain rents in Cornworthy, near Stoke Gabriel. In October 1643 he preached by command before Prince Maurice, who had been sent by the king to reduce Dartmouth. He was afterwards arrested by the parliamentarians, and threatened with banishment. Finally, by the aid of Arthur Upton of Lupton, who had made his acquaintance at Exeter College, he was released with a severe reprimand for the obnoxious sermon.

He died on 24 Dec. 1672, and was buried in his church at Stoke Gabriel, leaving two sons, the youngest of whom, Walter, vicar of Brixham, Devonshire, supplied Wood with the facts of his father's life. Getsius wrote: 1. ‘Tears shed in the Behalf of his dear Mother the Church of England, and her sad Distractions,’ Oxford, 1658, 8vo. 2. ‘The Ship in Danger,’ sermon on Acts xxvii. 21, 22 (the discourse preached before Prince Maurice). 3. ‘Syllabus omnium Vocum Græcarum Nov. Test. una cum Etymologia Verborum et Nomenclatura omnium Troporum, Nominum propriorum et Vocabulorum Hebræorum, Syriacorum, Græcorum, Latinorum, aliorumque, quæ in N. T. occurrunt.’ 4. An abstract of the Bible in Latin heroic verse. 5. ‘Treatise about the Quinquarticular Controversy that was canvassed in the Council of Dort.’ Of these only the first seems to have been published; 3 and 4 were for the use of youths in schools.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iii. 973; Fasti, i. 443.]

R. B.