Gee, Edward (1613-1660) (DNB00)

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GEE, EDWARD (1613–1660), presbyterian divine, was thought by Wood to be the son of Edward Gee, vicar of Tedburn [q. v.], and to have been born at Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1613; but it has since been proved that he was the son of Edward's brother George, who was minister of Newton in the parish of Manchester (Earwaker, Manchester Court Leet Records, iii. 302), and who probably lived at Banbury at the time of his son's birth. He was educated at Newton school and entered Brasenose College, Oxford, as a commoner on 26 Oct. 1626, taking the degree of B.A. in October 1630. He proceeded M.A. in June 1636, having in the meantime entered the ministry. He became chaplain to Dr. Richard Parr, at that time both bishop of Sodor and Man, and rector of Eccleston, near Chorley, Lancashire. In June 1640 Gee was married at Eccleston to Elizabeth Raymond. Three years later he succeeded Dr. Parr as rector of Eccleston, which living was in the gift of Lord Saye as guardian of Richard Lathom; but he left the choice of minister to the people, and they nominated Gee. In March 1647–8 William Ashhurst wrote to the speaker Lenthall, asking that Gee, ‘who had the approbation of all honest and good ministers,’ might be continued in the living, and the request was complied with. In 1644 (13 Dec.) he was appointed a commissioner to ordain ministers in Lancashire, and in 1646 was elected a member of the sixth classis (Preston) of the Lancashire presbytery; and ultimately attained a leading position in that body. Adam Martindale (Life, p. 91) calls him a ‘great knocker for disputation’ and a ‘solid and substantial man.’ In 1648 he signed the ‘Harmonious Consent of the Ministers of the Province of … Lancaster with their Reverend Brethren of … London.’ In February of the same year his name is appended, as scribe to the provincial synod held at Preston, to ‘A Solemn Exhortation made and published to the several Churches of Christ within the Province of Lancaster,’ London, 1649, 4to. He was also one of the signers of the answer to the paper called ‘The Agreement of the People,’ 1649. He is credited (Life of Martindale, p. 98) with writing ‘A Plea for Non (Sub) Scribers, or the Grounds and Reasons of many Ministers … for their Refusall of the late Engagement modestly Propounded,’ 1650, 4to, pp. 136. About this time he wrote two other anonymous pamphlets: 1. ‘An Exercitation concerning Usurped Power,’ 4to, without date. 2. ‘A Vindication of the Oath of Allegiance, in answer to a Paper disperst by Mr. Sam. Eaton,’ 1650, 4to. Soon after this he was suspected, along with other Lancashire divines, of corresponding with the Scotch party and of encouraging dissatisfaction with the existing government (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1651, p. 397). He was arrested pursuant to an order of the council of state of 2 Sept. 1651, but was released after a few weeks' confinement. In 1653 he published ‘A Treatise of Prayer and of Divine Providence as relating to it,’ 8vo, pp. 499, of which there was a second edition in 1666. He was joint author with Hollinworth of a preface to Brownsword's ‘Rome's Conviction,’ 1654, and in the same year became an assistant commissioner for ejecting ‘ignorant and scandalous ministers and schoolmasters.’ His last publication was ‘The Divine Right and Originall of Civil Magistrates from God Illustrated and Vindicated,’ 1658, 8vo, appa- rently written in favour of Charles II, then in exile. In November 1656 he preached a funeral sermon on Richard Hollinworth, and received the thanks of the Manchester classis. He died at Eccleston on 27 May 1660, and was buried in his church there.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 503; Wood's Fasti, i. 454, 489; Life of Martindale (Chetham Soc.); Newcome's Autob. (Chetham Soc.) i. 120; Life of Nath. Heywood, 1695, p. 5; Lancashire Church Surveys (Record Soc.), pp. 116, 117; Local Gleanings, i. 208, ii. 275, 300; Hibbert-Ware's Manchester Foundations, vol. i.; Raines's Notitia Cestriensis (Chetham Soc.), xxii. 372; Halley's Lancashire, its Puritanism, &c.; French's Chetham Church Libraries (Chetham Soc.), p. 178; Fishwick's Lanc. Library, p. 390; Fishwick's Kirkham (Chetham Soc.), p. 104; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

C. W. S.