Gill, Alexander

, son and successor to his father, the subject of the preceding article, was born in London, in 1597, and entered of Trinity college, Oxford, in 1612, on an exhibition from the Mercers’ company. When he had taken his master’s degree, he became usher under his father in St. Paul’s school, and under Thomas Farnaby, in his private school, but succeeded his father in 1635, and next year took the degree of D. D. He held the school only five years, being dismissed, as Knight thinks, for excessive severity. An allowance, however, was made to him of 25l. yearly, with which he set up a private school in Aldersgate-street, where he died in 1642, and was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate. Wood speaks of his “unsettled and inconstant temper,” and of his “many changes, rambles, and some imprisonments,” but upon what account he does not inform us. Some light, however, is thrown upon the circumstance of imprisonments at least, in a late publication of Aubrey’s Lives. In his account of Chillingworth he says, “Dr. Gill, films doctorisGill, schoolmaster of Paules school, and Chillingworth, held weekely intelligence one with another for some years, wherein they used to nibble at state-matters. Dr. Gill, in one of his letters, calls king James and his sonne, the old foole and the young one, which letter Chillingworth communicated to W. Laud, A. B. Cant. The poore young Dr. Gill was seised, and a terrible storme pointed towards him, which by the eloquent intercession and | advocation of Edward earle of Dorset, together with the teares of the poore old doctor, his father, and supplication on his knees to his majestic, was blowne over.‘’ Most of his Latin poetry, in which he excelled, is published in a volume entitled” Poetici Conatus,“1632, 12mo, but he has other pieces extant both in Latin and English, some of which are enumerated by Wood, who had seen others in manuscript. When usher of St. Paul’s school, he had the honour of having Milton under him, who was his favourite scholar. Three of Milton’s familiar Latin letters to him are extant, replete with the strongest testimonies of esteem and friendship. Milton also pays him high compliments on the excellence of his Latin poetry. He gave to the library of Trinity college the old folio edition of Spenser’s” Faerie Queene,“Brayton’s” Polyolbion,“by Selden; and Bourdelotius’sLucian,“all having poetical mottos from the classics in his own hand-writing, which shew his taste and track of reading; and in theLucian" are the arms of the Gills elegantly tricked with a pen, and coloured by him. He had two brothers, George and Nathaniel, who were both of the same college. 1

1

Ath. Ox. vol. II. Knight’s Colet Warton’s Milton, p. 430. Letters by Eminent Persons, 1813, 3 vols. 8vo.