In 1760 Gerard was appointed professor of divinity in Marischal College, and likewise minister of the Greyfriars Church in Aberdeen. In 1771 he resigned both these offices, on his appointment to the chair of divinity in King's College. He was a member of a well-known literary and philosophical society in Aberdeen with which Drs. George Campbell, Thomas Reid, James Beattie, Blackwell, Gregory, and other distinguished men were connected, and where not a few papers were first produced which proved the germs of important contributions to literature. He was one of the chaplains of the king, supported the ‘moderate’ party in the church, and filled the chair of moderator of the general assembly in 1764. Gerard died 22 Feb. 1795. Other works published by him were: 1. ‘The Influence of the Pastoral Office on the Character examined; with a View especially to Mr. Hume's Representation of the Spirit of that Office,’ Aberdeen, 1760. 2. ‘Dissertations on Subjects relating to the Genius and the Evidences of Christianity,’ Edinburgh, 1766, a defence of the manner in which the evidence of Christianity was presented by its great author, and a contention that Christianity is confirmed by the objections of infidels. 3. ‘An Essay on Genius,’ London, 1774. 4. ‘Liberty a Cloak of Maliciousness, both in the American Rebellion and in the Manners of the Times,’ Aberdeen, 1778. 5. Sermons, 2 vols. 2nd edit. London, 1782. 6. ‘The Corruption of Christianity,’ Edinburgh, 1792. 7. ‘The Pastoral Care’ (posthumous), London, 1799. His son, Gilbert Gerard, D.D. [q. v.], assisted him in the last-named book.
[Scott's Fasti, iii. 475; Darling's Cyclopædia Bibl.; Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen; Smith's Hist. of Aberdeen; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen.]
GERARD, ALEXANDER (1792–1839), Himalayan explorer, was son of Gilbert Gerard, D.D. [q. v.], grandson of Alexander Gerard, D.D. [q. v.], and brother of James Gilbert [q. v.] and Patrick [q. v.] He was born in Aberdeen 17 Feb. 1792, and probably was the student of that name who appears in the album of the King's or Marischal College in 1804. He received a Bengal cadetship in 1808. He was appointed ensign 13th Bengal native infantry 9 Sept. 1808 and lieutenant in that corps 28 Nov. 1814. He was employed in the survey of the route to Lahore in 1812, and as surveyor to the board of commissioners in the ceded provinces in October 1814, and was adjutant of the second battalion of his regiment in 1815. He was surveyor of Seharunpore in 1817; was posted to the Sirmoor battalion 12 June 1820; was assistant to the resident in Malwa and Rajpootana 29 June 1822; was surveyor of the Nerbudda valley 19 Nov. 1825, and surveyor in Malwa and Rajpootana from 11 Sept. 1826 to 18 Aug. 1827 (information supplied by the India Office). In the course of his service Gerard carried out many arduous and important survey duties, especially in the Himalayas, where he ascended heights previously believed to be inaccessible, and penetrated into Thibet as far as the frontier picquets of Chinese would allow. To him we are indebted for our earliest notions of the geological structure and remains of the Himalayan ranges. The first notice of him appears in ‘Asiatic Researches,’ xv. 339, as the companion of Major Herbert in the survey of the Sutlej. The same volume contains Gerard's ‘Observations on the Climate of Subathoo and Kotguhr’ (ib. pp. 469–88). His labours in completing the geographical survey of the Sutlej valley were subsequently described by Henry Thomas Colebrooke [q. v.] in ‘Transactions Asiatic Soc. London,’ i. 543. (See also ‘Edinburgh Journal of Science,’ v. 270–278, vi. 28–50.) In 1817–18 Gerard was exploring the Himalayas with Dr. Govan, and in 1819 with his brother, Dr. James Gilbert Gerard [q. v.], 1st Nusseerabad battalion. In 1821 he performed the most important of his Himalayan journeys. Leaving Subathoo he ascended the Himalayan upper ranges, carefully noting the places inhabited by the way, determining with the aid of the barometer, checked by trigonometrical admeasurements wherever practicable, their ranges of elevation above the level of the sea, the temperatures, natural productions, and character of the tribes dotted about on ledges previously supposed to be uninhabited and uninhabitable. Gerard and his company reached the Borendo pass, 15,121 feet above the sea-level, on 15 June. Here the native guides refused to proceed further, and Gerard had to shape his course to the source of the Pabur by another route. The Charang pass, at an altitude of 17,348 feet, was ascended on 9 July, half a mile of the slope being so slippery with gravel and half-melted snow that Gerard had to crawl upwards on all fours, burying his arms deep in the snow to secure his hold. Another ascent was that of the Keeobrung pass, 18,312 feet above the sea. Yet another was that of Mount Tahigung, where part of the ascent was at an angle of forty-two, an incline declared by Humboldt to be impracticable. The height ascended was 19,411 feet, and the total computed altitude of the mountain 22,000 feet. A small collection of geological specimens, made by Gerard in Chinese Tartary during this journey between lat. 31° 30′and 32° 30′ N.