Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/103

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miral Osborn, who hoisted his flag on board her, or of Sir Edward Hawke. In the summer of 1757, still in the Somerset, Geary was senior officer in command of a squadron sent out to Halifax as a reinforcement to Vice-admiral Holburne [see Holburne, Francis]; too late, however, to enable him to undertake any active operations. Early in 1758 Geary was appointed to the Lennox, one of the grand fleet under Lord Anson in the summer of that year. In the following February he was moved into the Resolution, one of the fleet off Brest under Sir Edward Hawke [q. v.] In June he was promoted to be rear-admiral of the white, receiving orders to hoist his flag on board the Resolution, from which in August he removed into the Sandwich. In the series of gales which, in the beginning of November, drove the fleet back into Torbay, the Sandwich sprung her mainmast, and, being also very sickly, was ordered into Plymouth to refit and send her invalids to hospital. She sailed again on the 19th, too late to share in the glories of the 20th. On her way to join the fleet she was met by orders to cruise off Ushant, which she did through almost continuously bad weather, till the end of December, when she returned to Plymouth, having been at sea for upwards of seven months without a break except the three or four days in November. In the following year, still in the Sandwich, Geary commanded a squadron detached from the main fleet to cruise off Rochfort, anchoring occasionally in Basque Roads. On this service he continued till the autumn, when he joined Hawke in Quiberon Bay and was sent home. He was shortly afterwards appointed port-admiral at Portsmouth, an office which he held for the next two years. In October 1762 he was promoted to the rank of vice-admiral, and in 1770 was again appointed commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. He had scarcely entered on this command before he was involved in a curious correspondence with Captain Elphinston, who, being there as a Russian rear-admiral and in command of a Russian squadron, took on himself to fire a morning and evening gun, a practice which Geary refused to allow [see Elphinston, John]. In 1775 he was advanced to be admiral of the blue, and in January 1778 became admiral of the white. In May 1780 he was appointed to command the Channel fleet, and hoisted his flag in the Victory; but, though Hawke in a private letter urged him to get to his old station off Brest, to ‘watch those fellows as close as a cat watches a mouse,’ and, if he had the good fortune to get up to them, to ‘make much of them,’ neither Geary's age nor health nor instructions permitted him to undertake so trying a service, and the season passed without any operation of importance. At the end of the summer cruise he was obliged by his weak health to resign the command. In August 1782 he was created a baronet, and, after some years spent in honourable retirement, he died on 7 Feb. 1796. He is spoken of as a man of a singularly calm and equable temper, and of a most kindly disposition, but without the restless energy or dogged determination of a great commander. He married in 1748 Mary, daughter and heiress of Mr. Philip Bartholomew of Oxon Heath in Kent, by whom he had issue.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. v. 175; Foster's Baronetage; Official Letters in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.

GED, WILLIAM (1690–1749), inventor of stereotyping, was born in Edinburgh in 1690, where he was subsequently a goldsmith and jeweller. Van der Mey of Leyden is credited with having in the sixteenth century produced a stereo block by simply soldering the bottoms of common types together. The expense connected with this method prevented its general adoption. The subject held the minds of printers until Ged took the matter actively in hand. In 1725 he took out a patent or privilege for a development of Van der Mey's method, which held the field until Carey of Paris supplied the idea of the matrix. At this period the best types were all imported from Holland at considerable cost, and only the coarser kinds were obtainable in London. In 1725 a printer asked Ged's opinion as to the feasibility of establishing a type-foundry in Edinburgh, and both agreed that if a cast could be taken from a made-up page of type, the inventors would realise a fortune. Ged made many experiments as to the best kind of metal, and at length decided on using a similar alloy to that employed in the manufacture of type. Clay and even copper were subsequently used by other experimenters. Ged succeeded in obtaining a fair cast of a page, thus producing a stereotype; but no Edinburgh printers would enter into the matter with him, and his endeavours to apply his invention were bitterly opposed by the compositors. Ged had to make his experiments in secret, assisted by subscriptions from friends and with the aid of his son James, who had been apprenticed to a printer. He tried his fortune in London, and made an arrangement with a stationer named William Fenner, and Thomas James, a typefounder, to start a partnership business. Ged accepted a challenge from a typefounder as to which of them should produce the best stereotype