GEERS, Thomas (c.1643-1700), of Hereford.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1643, 1st s. of Thomas Geers of The Marsh, Bridge Sollers, Herefs. by Sarah, da. of Thomas Snowdon of London. educ. Wadham, Oxf. matric. 22 Mar. 1661, aged 18; I. Temple 1661, called 1668, m. (1) 1671, Sarah, da. and coh. of Timothy Colles of Hatfield, Herefs., 1s.; (2) 1676, Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Cope of Iccomb, Glos., wid. of Thomas Whitney of Whitney, Herefs., 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1675.1
J.p. Herefs. 1670-?89, commr. for assessment 1673-80; common councilman, Hereford 1682-3, dep. steward 1683-Oct. 1688, alderman 1683-Oct. 1688; bencher, I. Temple 1685; second justice, S. Wales circuit 1685-6. Brecon circuit 1686-Nov. 1688, c.j. Nov. 1688-9.2
Geers’s great-uncle, a proctor of Doctors’ Commons, bought the manor of Bridge Sollers, six miles from Hereford, in 1622. The family were inactive during the Civil War and Interregnum, prudently tending and increasing their estates, until Geers’s father was appointed an assessment commissioner by the Rump in January 1660. Both Geers’s marriages brought him land and connexions. He took up residence in Hereford, no doubt to forward his legal practice, and was named to the corporation in the new charter of 1682. In the following year the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset) appointed him deputy steward of the borough, and he became a Welsh judge in 1685. Geers was elected as a court supporter to James II’s Parliament. He was moderately active, with six committees, of which the most important was on the bill for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees. Presumably the King was satisfied with his conduct, for he was raised to the coif in 1686. With regard to the Test Act and Penal Laws, Beaufort reported that Geers retained ‘the same mind he was of when the King spoke to him’, and thought he commanded enough interest at Hereford to stand on a repeal platform, though he was not sanguine of success. He was duly approved by Sunderland for re-election as a court candidate. On 10 Sept. 1688, however, Robert Harley II wrote that, although the Hereford electors had their reservations about (Sir) William Gregory ‘they like him better than Geers’. On Beaufort’s recommendation he was somewhat tardily promoted chief justice of his circuit, but in the following month he subscribed £30 to the loan for William of Orange. He never stood again, losing all his offices under the new regime, and probably becoming a non-juror. He died in November 1700; his grandson was elected for Hereford as a Tory in 1727 and 1741.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Edward Rowlands
- 1. C. J. Robinson, Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 39, 302; Cooke, Herefs. iv. 30.
- 2. Duncumb, Herefs. i. 360-1; CSP Dom. Jan.-June 1683, p. 346; W. R. Williams, Great Sessions in Wales, 141-2.
- 3. Cooke, 26; Bodl. Carte 130, f. 24; HMC 7th Rep. 348; BL Loan 29/184, f. 121; HMC Portland, iii. 417; Beaufort mss, Richard Hopton to Beaufort, 20 Apr. 1683.