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Gee of Leicester

Evidence points to this line descending from Gee of Rothley. Sometime after the mid-16C the family left Rothley. One group became Gee of Hull (see the history of Gee of Hull, which gave rise to Gee of Bishop Burton (see the history of Gee of Bishop Burton. By mid-18C this line moved to Leeds and one branch later returned to Leicestershire.

The earliest identified ancestor of this line is William Gee (1781-1851), hosier of Leeds. (See history of Gee of Leeds.) He married Sarah, the daughter of John Fearne, gent. in 1805. Fearne lived at Eastrington, not quite halfway between Hull and Leeds.

It is very likely not a coincidence that Sir John Fearne was co-secretary with Sir Wm7 Gee on the Council of the North in the early 17C. Sir John was connected with Leeds, his papers are stored in the archive at Leeds.

They were married in Holy Trinity, Hull in 1805. William6 Gee, twice Sheriff and thrice Mayer of Hull in 17C, had rebuilt the great window of Holy Trinity. Sarah had brothers who were drapers at Lowgate in Hull, within a few doors of property that had been in the Gee family since William6.

Common surnames relate the Gee hosiers in Hull, the Gee shippers in Hull and the Gee of Cottingham Hall. The three families must be connected.

William died in Ostbaldwick in 1817.[1] His wife had died two years before at the birth of their eighth child, leaving him with up to eight children, the oldest only age 11. He may have been in Ostbaldwick to get help from his family or his wife’s family.

Two of William and Sarah’s sons married daughters of John Simpson. Simpson’s son Edward founded Stead and Simpson, a small tannery in Leeds. William and Sarah’s grandson, Henry Simpson Gee (1842-1924), moved the company to Leicester and evolved it into one of the first vertically integrated footwear businesses in England. He became chairman of the Leicestershire Banking Company, a colliery and an agricultural engineering company. He merged the bank with London City and Midland Bank (later HBSC), becoming a director.

He was one of the principal founders of the University of Leicester and worked tirelessly for its development in its formative years.[2] At his death his legacy to the University of Leicester of ₤20,000 worth the equivalent of ₤6.5 million in today’s terms.[3] The Percy Gee Building on the campus honors his son Percy, who also worked steadfastly for the University in its early days, as did his brothers, Ernest and Cecil.

[1] Hull Packet, May 20, 1817 (deaths). This information was furnished by Barbara Holmes.
[2] Caroline Wessel, "Sir Cyril Clarke".
[3] Dictionary of National Biograph

Owner/Source  Clive Simpson Gee 
Latitude  52.602815 
Longitude  -1.11863 
File name  Harry Simpson Gee.jpg 
ID  70 
Dimensions  x  
Linked to  Harry Simpson Gee, JP 

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