Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Geree, John

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GEREE, JOHN (1601?–1649), puritan divine, was born in Yorkshire. In 1615, being then in his fifteenth year, he became either batler or servitor of Magdalen Hall, Oxford. He graduated B.A. on 27 Jan. 1619, M.A. on 12 June 1621. Having taken orders he obtained the living of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. For not conforming to the ceremonies he was silenced (after 1624) by Godfrey Goodman [q. v.], bishop of Gloucester, and reduced to live ‘by the helps of the brethren.’ In 1641 he was restored to his cure by the committee for plundered ministers, and remained there till, on 14 March 1646, he was appointed to the rectory of St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Here he engaged in friendly controversy with John Tombes, the baptist, who had been his fellow-student at Oxford. He left St. Albans in 1647, having been appointed preacher at St. Faith's, under St. Paul's, London. His residence in February 1648 was in Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row. In London, as elsewhere, his sermons were largely attended by puritans. He was strongly averse to episcopacy, and published his ‘Case of Conscience,’ 1646, to prove that the king might consent to its abolition without breaking his coronation oath. He was attached to the monarchy, and his veneration for the person of the king was such that he ‘died at the news of the king's death’ (Baxter). The exact date of his death is not given, but it was in February 1649. Wood supposes him to have been buried at St. Faith's.

He published: 1. ‘The Down-Fall of Anti-Christ,’ &c., 1641, 4to. 2. ‘Judah's Joy at the Oath,’ &c., 1641, 4to, 2 parts (includes answer to Henry Burton [q. v.]). 3. ‘Vindiciæ Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ,’ &c., 1644, 4to (for a further reformation, but against separatists). 4. ‘Vindiciæ Pædobaptismi … answer to Mr. Tombs,’ &c., 1646, 4to. 5. ‘Astrologo-Mastix … Iniquity of Judiciall Astrology,’ &c., 1646, 4to. 6. ‘The Character of an old English Puritane, or Non-Conformist,’ &c., 1646, 4to. 7. ‘A Case of Conscience Resolved,’ &c., 1646, 4to (see above; E. Boughen ‘sifted’ it in a reply, 1648, 4to). 8. ‘Vindiciæ Vindiciarum,’ &c., 1647, 4to (defence of No. 4, against Tombes and Harrison). 9. ‘Σινιοῤῥαγία. The Sifter's Sieve Broken,’ &c., 1648, 4to (defence of No. 7). 10. ‘Ἵππος Πυῤῥός, the Red Horse. Or the Bloodines of War,’ &c., 1648, 4to. 11. ‘Θειοφάρμακον. A Divine Potion … the cure of unnaturall health-drinking,’ &c., 1648, 4to. 12. ‘Kαταδυνάστης: Might overcoming Right … Answer to M. J. Goodwin's “Might and Right well met,”’ &c., 1649, 4to (against the arbitrary removal of members of parliament; answered by Goodwin and Samuel Richardson). He prefixed epistles to W. Pemble's ‘Vindiciæ Fidei,’ 1625, 4to; T. Shephard's ‘Certain Select Cases Resolved,’ 1648, 12mo; and W. Fenner's ‘The Spirituall Mans Directory,’ 1651, 4to. Urwick mentions his ‘Catechism,’ 1647.

Stephen Geree (1594–1656?), elder brother of the above, was born in Yorkshire, and in 1611 became a student in Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on 5 May 1615. He took orders, was vicar of Wonersh, Surrey, and about 1641 became rector of Abinger, Surrey. He was a strong puritan. He probably died in 1656 or soon after. Besides some sermons, including a funeral sermon for Elizabeth Machel (1639), he published: 1. ‘The Doctrine of the Antinomians … confuted,’ &c., 1644, 4to (answer to Tobias Crisp [q. v.]). 2. ‘The Golden Meane … Considerations … for the more frequent administration of the Lord's Supper,’ &c., 1656, 4to.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. 1691 i. 820, 830, 839, 1692 ii. 64, 132; Brook's Lives of the Puritans, 1813, iii. 102, 265; Urwick's Nonconformity in Herts, 1884, p. 131 sq.]

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