Gee, Edward (1565-1618) (DNB00)

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GEE, EDWARD, D.D. (1565–1618), divine, son of Ralph Gee of Manchester, was born in 1565. He entered as servitor of Merton College, Oxford, on 22 Feb. 1582–3, and was afterwards at Lincoln and Brasenose Colleges. He graduated B.A. in 1586, and two years after was elected fellow of Brasenose College. In 1590 he proceeded M.A., in 1598 was chosen proctor of the university, in 1600 took the degree of B.D., and in 1616 that of D.D. On 19 Sept. 1599 he was instituted rector of Tedburn St. Mary, Devonshire, on the presentation of Queen Elizabeth. He was also chaplain in ordinary to James I and a fellow of Chelsea College, appointed to the latter office by Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe, the founder. Lord-chancellor Egerton made him his chaplain, and presented him in 1616 to a prebend in Exeter Cathedral. He is characterised by Wood as ‘a person well known for his sincerity in conversation, generality of learning, gravity of judgment, and soundness of doctrine.’ In Prince's ‘Worthies’ and Polwhele's ‘Devonshire’ there is quoted a long epitaph on his wife Jane, who died at Tedburn in 1613. The brass containing the epitaph was removed from the church on rebuilding the chancel, and is now in the possession of the rector. He married again, for at his death, which took place at Tedburn in the winter of 1618, he left a widow named Mary.

Wood ascribes to him a manual of prayers entitled ‘Steps of Ascension to God; or a Ladder to Heaven,’ and states that this was printed in 24mo size, and that the twenty-seventh edition came out in 1677. It is, however, by his nephew, John Gee [q. v.], author of ‘The Foot out of the Snare.’ The first edition is dated 1625, and the initials of the author are on the title-page. After his death his brothers, John, vicar of Dunsford, Devonshire, and George, a minister in Lancashire, edited and published his ‘Two Sermons: One, The Curse and Crime of Meroz. Preached at the Asises at Exon. The Other, a Sermon of Patience, at St. Maries in Oxford,’ London, 1620, 4to. The second of these sermons was preached when he was fellow of Brasenose College.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 258; Wood's Fasti Oxon. i. 236, 251, 278, 285, 367; Prince's Worthies of Devon, 1701, p. 337; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 422, ii. 491; Register of the University of Oxford (Oxford Hist. Soc.), vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 125; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. ii. 71; information supplied by the Rev. J. Ingle Dredge, the Rev. C. W. E. Tothill, and Mr. Winslow Jones.]

C. W. S.