GEE, William (c.1648-1718), of Bishop Burton, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1648, 1st s. of William Gee of Bishop Burton by 1st w. Rachel, da. of Sir Thomas Parker† of Willingdon, Suss. m. (1) 23 Feb. 1664, Elizabeth (d. 1684), da. of Sir John Hotham, 2nd Bt.†, of Scorborough, Yorks. 5s. 6da.; (2) settlement 8 Oct. 1685, Elizabeth, da. of Charles Cracroft of Louth, Lincs., wid. of John Ellerker of Risby, Yorks. 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1678.1
Freeman, Kingston-upon-Hull 1679.2
A Whig who had come over to England with William of Orange, Gee took as his first wife the daughter of Sir John Hotham, who had a strong interest at Beverley. He later strengthened his links with that family when his daughter married, in 1690, Sir Charles Hotham, 4th Bt.*, the heir to Scorborough. Returned unopposed for Beverley in the election of that year, Gee was listed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). In April 1691 he was noted by Robert Harley* as a Country supporter. However, Gee was not a particularly active Member. During the 1691–2 session he was granted leave of absence on 27 Jan. 1692 (for three weeks). In the following session, when the House was considering the proposals from the committee of ways and means on 27 Jan. 1693, Gee told against a motion for laying an additional duty on rabbit-fur. He was granted leave of absence once again on 25 Jan. 1694. In the 1694–5 session his younger brother, Richard, a commissioner for licensing hackney coaches, was at the centre of a parliamentary inquiry into corruption. In a related incident, on 7 Mar. 1695, Gee presented information to the House relating to the bribery of a Member. Edward Clarke I* recorded that the actual circumstance arose when John Brewer*, chairman of the inquiry committee, was about to make a report strongly condemning Richard Gee, among other commissioners: ‘Mr [William] Gee . . . said he had received a letter importing that a Member had received guineas for promoting a bill in a former session. He was presently forced to name Mr Brewer.’ However, the ploy failed as Brewer was acquitted of this charge, and Gee’s brother was dismissed from the hackney coaches commission.3
Gee did not stand for election in 1695. However, in 1698 he stood for Beverley once again, though he was unsuccessful. His name was recorded erroneously, and then struck through, in a comparative analysis in 1698 of the old and new Parliaments. It was not until the second 1701 election that Sir Charles Hotham stood jointly with him, on which occasion Hotham, who had not been able to attend the election, was defeated, while Gee was returned. His election was considered by Lord Spencer (Charles*), as a ‘gain’ for the Whigs, while Harley* also noted Gee as a Whig. Re-elected unopposed in 1702, he was forecast as a probable opponent of the Tack at the beginning of the 1704–5 session, and did not vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704. He did not stand for re-election in 1705. Thereafter he and his brother Richard devoted themselves to the management of their Yorkshire property. Gee died in 1718, being buried at Bishop Burton on 15 Oct. By his will he left the Mapleton-in-Holderness estate to his second son, James, his principal heir. Gee’s lands in Bishop Burton were to be charged with £1,500 for his daughter, Dorothy, and £10 for the widow of his deceased son, William. The lands themselves were inherited by James. One of Gee’s sons married the daughter and co-heir of John Moyser, who had succeeded him as Member for Beverley in 1705.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath
- 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, iii. 24, 263.
- 2. W. J. Davies, ‘Trade and Shipping of Hull during 17th Cent.’ (Wales Univ. M.A. thesis, 1937), App. D.
- 3. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 302, 323, 470; iv. 181; Centre Kentish Stud. Stanhope mss U1590/059/3, Robert Yard* to Alexander Stanhope, 5 June 1694; Som. RO, Sanford mss SF 2980, Clarke to Ld. Capell (Sir Henry Capel*), 23 Mar. 1695; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 148–9; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 895.
- 4. Hull Univ. Lib. Hotham mss DDHO/13/4, Sir Charles Hotham, 4th Bt., to [Sir Michael Warton*], 30 Aug. 1698; Add. 29599, ff. 193, 197; Borthwick Inst. York, wills, Prerog. Ct., Nov. 1718.