~ Cheshire

©2009 Kathryn Gearhart (No portion of this web site may be reproduced, in any form, including Internet, electronic or print, in whole or in part.)

Chester in Cheshire

By the 15th century citizens in Chester had regular contact with Londoners, including skinners and fishmongers on their way to Ireland.  Londoners also sold woolen cloth, sweet wines, dyestuffs, paper, figs, and raisins in Chester.  Often London traders were kinsmen of resident families.    A few Londoners rented shops in the city but Chester never attracted the leading London merchants. London merchants may have provided loans for local merchants in order to facilitate trade.

Chester’s greatest trade and shipping rival was Liverpool. Competition was fiercest over the trade in yarn and cloth.  Chester’s Assembly prohibited by law any shipping by citizens of Chester through Liverpool and any bargaining with Irish merchants at Liverpool.  Leland wrote about Livepool in 1545 that …Yrisch merchants cum much thither, and moch yrisch yarn that Manchester men do by there. Liverpool quickly became the natural entry port for Irish yarn and by the mid 16th century Liverpool dominated the Irish yarn import trade, while Chester exported more cloth to Europe than Liverpool.  As a result of heavy custom fees levied by the Chester port, merchants from London and elsewhere chose other ports, including Liverpool to import and export goods.  Chester merchants, too, were driven away.  The level of trade through Chester and Liverpool during this period was never significant when compared to other major merchant ports such as London.

From 1538 to 1542, Chester experienced the height of its trading activity.  A few of the merchants were Chester freemen, but most were wealthy gentry.  Between 1500 and 1550 there were about forty Chester merchants who shipped through the port.  They imported iron and wine, and exported hides and cloth.  They also imported Irish cloth.  In 1532 Henry Gee, the mayor of Chester, was a partner in a cargo of canvas, buckram, glass, honey, black soap, velvet, trenchers, a round table and a bed case.

Gees of Chester, Cheshire

Henry Gee, the Reforming Mayor 1533/34-1539/40

Henry Gee, draper, and puritan in outlook, is listed as Sheriff of Chester, in 1527-28 with Thomas Hall, under Thomas Smythe, then Mayor.  He later was elected Mayor of Chester 1533-4, and 1539-40.   He is known today as the reforming mayor for his attempts to codify the office and city government, regulate moral behavior of citizens and office holders, and institute a measure of accountability to the populous.  Henry acted against unlawful gaming, drink, and excessive celebrations on Christmas Day. He introduced regulations over women’s proper dress. He outlawed unmarried women from keeping alehouses and forbade women aged 14 to 40 to serve ale so the city’s good reputation could be preserved.   He proposed to register beggars and required the able-bodied to present themselves for work each day.  He suppressed corrupt municipal practices and appointments, and put the markets under regulations.  He tried to establish a school board, and required all children from age six to attend school.

When, in 1533 King Henry VIII secretly marries Anne Boleyn and was excommunicated by the Pope, Henry Gee, ordered that …No manner person or persons go abroade in this citie mumming in any place within the said citie, their fayses being coveryd or disgysed (because) many dysordered persons have used themselves rayther all the day after idellie in vyse and wantoness then given themselves to holy contemplation and prayre the same sacryt holye and prynsepaul feast. He also ordered that ale, beer and wine were not to be sold after 9pm on any day or after Divine Service on Sundays.

At Chester, the Shoemakers Guild and the company of Drapers competed using a ball of leather, called a footeball, in a game to bring the ball to the house of the Mayor or the Sherriff.  It was a rough and tumble game, with many bruised and crushed bodies, broken legs, arms, crushed skulls and other maimings.  So in 1533, Henry banned football and replaced it on St. George’s Day, 1539 with what became the Chester Races.  In the tyme of Henry Gee, Mayre of the King’s citie of Chester, in the XXXI yere of King Henry Theght, a bell of sylver, to the value of IIIs IIIId, is ordayned to be the reward of that horse which shall runne before all others.

The Henry Gee Stakes are run in his honor every July in Chester.  It would seem the old, English nickname for racehorses, Gee-Gees, is a part of his legacy.  But more importantly, the British records are filled with comments, 500 years later, about his incorruptible character and moral qualities.  His life proves that a good name is to be prized above all other ambitions. Henry Gee was a reformer who was known to be incorruptible and unswerving in his reform efforts.

Henry was originally from Manchester.  It is noted that Henry Gee and James Shalcross were appointed in 1501 to receive the rents for the maintenance of the chantry of St. George at the Manchester Collegiate, established by Robert Cheetham.  In the will of Isabell, wife of Robert Cheetham, who died in 1523, she lists Henry Gee with others, to receive rents for the support of the chantry of St. George.  Charles Gee, priest, was at this time the cantor of St. Nicholas, at the Collegiate Church of Manchester.

When Henry arrived in Cheshire he was probably close to middle age.  He served first as Sheriff in 1527, and it was only fifteen years later, in 1542, that his son, Edmund, also served as Sheriff.  This would place Edmund’s birth around 1480 to 1490.  Henry Gee married Elizabeth Sneyd, daughter of Richard Sneyd of Bradwell, Staffordshire, who was the Recorder of Chester from 1512 to 1535.

A deed is recorded in 1530 from Edward, Earl of Derby to Henry Gee of Chester for property along the Watergate.  These building held his home and business.  In 1545 an Inquisition into the death of Sir Piers Dutton states that in 1543 he sold by indenture to Henry Gee, alderman of Chester, a messuage called Le Pele, in Little Mouldsworth of 100 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, and 20 acres of wood.  A Peel, or pele, meaning a small fortification.

In 1540 Henry Gee of Chester, was partner with Edward Janney in the purchase of iron from Robert Labrey of Manchester.  Five years later a suit was brought by Robert Labrey’s widow against Edward Janney, of Manchester, Henry Gee, of Chester, and Hugh Aldersey of Chester to pay to her the money owed for the purchase of iron from her husband.  In her suit she stated that while they were men of great substance, because of their ungodly and uncharitable disposition they refused to pay her in full, but offered to pay …by small parcels and at longe dayes over many year…, which would mean the plaintiff, …being a poor woman, and having nothing to live upon, would in the mean time be utterly undone.  This same year Henry died at Chester.

watergate chester

Edward Janney

Edward Janney was a wealthy merchant in Manchester.  In his will in 1553, he left his houses, shops and tracks in Manchester to his wife. After her death everything except the tavern at Smithy Door was left to Henry Allen.  Until that time, Henry was to have money to help his mother as she should need.

He left his portion of the Tavern at Smithy Door, purchased with Richard Shalcross to his godson, Edward Shalcross, son of Richard.  He left a sum to Alys Chatterton, daughter of George Chatterton, and indicated there were dealings between him and George. Also noted is a gift to the children of Randell Mainwaring, and forgiveness of any debts in recompense for any dealings between …my brother Gee and me.

Also receiving sums were the mother of Elizabeth Sutton for distribution to her children, servants Margery and Elizabeth Lees, servant Thomas Janney,  and to Elizabeth Janney, daughter of his Uncle James, wife of Richard Royle and Isabel her sister.   He then left numerous gifts to others he probably had business dealings with, as well as friends, and forgives many debts.  He forgave the debts of John Janney of Northerden and gave him the land he resided on in Tymperly.  Noting and leaving sums to his godson, Edward Janney, son of John, and to Raufe Janney and his children sums were also given.   He also founded a school at Bowden through his will, charging Robert Vaudry to pay a schoolmaster from land given him. He ended by giving a house in Tymperly to his sister Margaret, and her son Edward. Executors included Richard Shalcross, Henry Allen and Robert Vaudry.   Henry Allen died in 1598, leaving his estate, two messuages and a garden in Manchester, to his son George Allen, age 12 years.  The Janneys of Cheshire and Staffordshire later married into the Heath family and settled in Pennsylvania.


Henry Gee’s will was filed in Chester in 1545, and he appointed Edward Janney, his Manchester brother-in-law, to be the administrator of his estate and mentioned land in Manchester. It is unclear, but it would seem that they were connected through marriage.  At the time of his death, Henry was married to Elizabeth Sneyd, daughter of Richard Sneyd, Justice and Recorder of Chester, from Bradwell, Staffordshire.  Her mother was Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Foulshurst of Crewe, Cheshire.  Elizabeth clearly was not the mother of Henry’s children.

Among the witnesses to Henry’s will was his sister-in-law Dame Jane Leigh.  Jane Sneyd married Sir John Leigh, of Knutsford Boothes, who was knighted with the army at Leith.  In 1597, John Gee of Manchester was among the witnesses to the will of Thomas Leigh, of Adlington, mentioning John Leigh, among others.  Richard Leigh, draper, was also the Recorder of Chester from 1551 to 1556 and M.P. (note: Legh, Leigh is the same family)

Elizabeth Sneyd Gee married Sir William Calverley of Calverley, York.  Sir William was knighted by Edward VI and served the office of High Sheriff for Yorkshire.  He married first, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Middleton of Stockeld and they had five sons and six daughters. Elizabeth Sneyd is supposed to be the mother of three Calverley daughters: Beatrice, who married Robert Hyde of Norbury; Jane married Mr. Anby; and Elizabeth who married Mr. Hallie.  (see Cheshire Townships)  When Elizabeth died years later, she was laid to rest next to Henry.  This inscription remembers her within the Church in Chester.

Dame Elizabeth heare interred is that ladie was of late to Calverley Knighte Bvt. first espoused. To Henrye Gee her mate who hvled heare a patron raer as cittie well can shewe. Thvs she in wvrship rvne her race and stille in vertew grew. And soe died Jan 28/[15]79.

Henry was buried at the Church in Chester where a brass plaque notes his burial.

Here under lyeth the body of Henry Gee twoo tymes mayer of this cetye of Chester whyche decessyd the vith day of September an. Dui. MV XLV on who is soulle Jhu hve mercy.

Will of Henry Gee of Cheshire

I, HENRIE GEE, citisin and alderman of the citi of CHEST’, beyng of whole mynd and in good p’fecte reme’branc’, laud and prayse be unto almyghti god, make and ordene this my p’nt testame’t co’tenyng herein my last will in man’ and forme followyng, that I to sауе ; first and p’ncipalie I co’mend my sioule unto christ Jesue my maker and redemer, in whome and by ye meryts of whos blessed passion is all my whole trust & (sic) alone remyssion and forgevnes of my sin’es. And my bodie to be buried where god shall dispose it. I will y’t my wiff shall haue my dwellyng in CHEST’R w’tont any rent payeng, makyng rep’cions, w’t all cubbarts, coffers, bedstocks, tables, benches hangyngs, & beds, as it dothe stand now; & A standynd cuppe y’t hir fath’ gave me, duryng hir lif, and then to remene to my dought’r ANNE, & to hir heires of hir bodie lawfully begotten ; & furth’ my sayd wif & my dought’ anne to have all my lands in
MOLDESWORTH, & my ferme in LITIL MOLDESWORTH & the mylls ; y’t is to saye, ij p’ts of all this same to may wiff duryng hir liff, & ye thrid p’te to my dought, ANNE : & if so be y’t my broth’ in laws do acquit out ye lands in MOLDESWORTH, then I will y’t my donght’ ANNE shall have to hir mariag’ the one half of they same money, which is a hundreth and v. pounds ; &
ye half of my farme in LITILL MOLDESWORTH, & she to receve ye same money at ye hands of my execut’s the[y] puttyng in surtie to my wiff & oth’ hir frends, as well for ye payment of ye same as for to be acoou’table for hir p’te of ye same, and my wif to have ye oth’ half, w’ch is a hundreth & v. pounds, & ye custodie of my dought’ ; and my execut’e to have & receve all such hir p’te of lands, goods, or taks unto such time as she be married, puttyng in surtiis as is above written, and payeng unto my wiff of ye same hir parte iijii. vjs. viijd. for hir table & apparrell so long as she dothe kepe hir.

And I will, if it plese god to call for my wif, y’t my donght’ shall have all my lands in MOLDESWORTH, my house in CHES’, & ye residue of my eres of LITILL MOLDESWORTH to hir & to ye heres of hir bodie lawfullie begotten; & if it plese god to cale for my dought’ affore my wiff, ye sayd dought’ dieng w’tout heres of hir bodie lawfullie begotten, Then I will my execut’s shall have ye p’te y’t my dought’ had to hir p’formanc’ of hir will.

& furth’ I will that if my broth’ do acquit out my lands, & my dought’ die afore she marie, my execut’s to have hir p’te of money to ye p’formyng of this my will, & to paye my detts : & furth’ I will y’t my dought’ shall not marie w’tout the advise of my wif & my execut’s, And [if] she dothe, to have but ye third part of my lands in moldesworth or ye third p’te of my money y’t is payed for ye same.

& where I latly purchased ye manor in MANLEY & certene lands & teneme’ts in MANLEY,  ELTON, & ALMONLEY, w’tin the cou’tie of LAWRENC DUTTON, late of MANLEY, I will y’t RAUF DUTTON of HATTON, late of MANLEY,  esquire, shall have ye same manor & ye sayd lands to hime & his heires and assinges for ev’, or to such p’son or p’sons as ye said RAUF shall name & appoint; & y’t my execut’s shall do & make all assurance & astat’s fo ye making sure of ye same, as shall be devised by ye sayed RAUFF DUTON, upon ye costs of ye same RAUFF; & y’t my execut’s shal hold & occupie ye sayd mano’r & oth’ ye p’myssess until ye feast of the an’unciacio’ of o’r ladie next cumyng, & y’t tyme to dep’te ffrom the same, & no furth’ to meddell y’with.

And furth’ I will y’t my execut’s shall have all my goods, movable and unmovable, corne, cattele, & all oth’ my fermes, lands or leases, and all such detts as is owing me whee soeu’ the be, or in whose hands, to ye paying of all my dets & to p’forme & fulfill my will, & bequests, & my burial.

& furth’r I will y’t my wiff shall make no till, nor clame, (to) vex or trowble my sone EDMUND nor my sone in lawe RIC’ SHALCROSSE, for any p’te of such lands as y’e have of my gyfte in CHEST’R & MANCHEST’R.  And if she do troble or vex them for any p’te of all such lands, good, & tacks as I have acco’dyng to ye lawe.

& furth’r I will y’t if my daughter ANNE do die w’tout heres of hir bodie lawfully begotten, y’t then all such lands, farmes, tacks, or what money shall be payed for the same, (my wiffes p’te during hir lif always p’served), shall remne to my sone EDMONDE & to my doughter M’GERET & to ye heres of y’r sev’all abodies lawfully begotten; and for defaulte of ye heires of ye one to remene to ye heres of ye oth’r & for defaulte of souche heires, then to remene to my right heires.

& furth’r I will y’t my execut’s shall paye unto EL’SAB’TH SHALCROSSE, dought’r unto my dought’r EL’SAB’TH, XX’ti noble at hir marriage, yn recompence of all suche rec’onyngs & demands betwixte hir fath’r & me at ye tyme of his marriage to my dought’r.

Also I will y’t if my dought’r ANNE do die w’tout heires of hir bodie lawfully begotten, y’t ye lands do discend & com to my sone EDMONDE & dought’r M’GERET or to y’r heires, and then y’e or y’r heires paye to ye foresaid ELIZAB’Z SHALLCROSSE xx/ti marks more, if she be alive.

& furth’r I will y’t if JOHN LIGHTFOOTE, of BROWNHILL, do ins’tly & truly fulfill all such bagens y’t is betwixte hime & me, y’t then my execut’s shall rebate hime at ye lase payme’te five marks. & furth’r I will y’t SALSE ye spanyerd for ye good love y’t I berre unto hyme, & in rec ‘ pence of all rekenyngs betwixt hym & me, shall have v’li.  I will y’t KATHERYN CHATTERTON shall have to hir marriage, in reco’pence of all rekenyngs betwixte hir fath’r & me, v marks.

I will my wif shall have all my household at ye PELE & at MANLEY, except such p’cell as I do assigne to my execut’s. ffyrst all ye remem’t belonging to m goodie to my execut’s.  It’m all man’ of workeloomes, as waynes & plowes & oth’r p’ticulrs y’rto belonging.  It’m my tow grett potts of Brasse.

And I doe make my sone RONDELL & my sonne EDMUNDE GEE my executors & my brother EDWARD JANNEY to be ov’sear.  And yf so be my executors will not p’forme this my will, then I will that my brother EDWARD JANNEY shall have all suche goods, and he to p’forme this my wyll.

Thos being p’nte in ye makinge of this my wil w’th my owne hand, the day & yere above written, Dame Jane Lee, my sister in law, Thomas Seyllya, Henry Wilkerson, John Sarrotte, James Chatreton of Moldeworth, w’th others.

The some of his debts w’ch he dyd owe is in ye inventory.

The children identified in this will were: sons Edmund (Edmond, Edward) and Rondell (Randell), daughters, Anne, Margaret, Elizabeth Shalcross, wife of Richard Shalcross, and their daughter Elizabeth, and brothers in law, not named.

Also receiving land was Rufe Dutton, of Manly. Sir Peirs Dutton held a messuage called Le Pele, in Little Mouldsworth, 100 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, and 20 acres of wood and by indenture between him and Henry Gee, alderman of Chester, Sir Piers Dutton granted the messuage to Henry Gee.  Evidently business dealings existed between Henry and Laurence Dutton, John Lightfoote of Brownhill, Salse the Spaniard, and the father of Katheryn Chatterton.  Land and estates mentioned were:  dwellings in Chester; land in Mouldsworth; farm in Little Mouldsworth and mills; manor in Manley, lands and tenements in Manley, Elton, and Almonley; lands in Pele; other farms, lands and tenements, and leases, cattle, and worklooms.

Roundell (Randall) Gee

In February, 1534, inquiry was made by the king if, on the above date, John Mobberlay of Plumley, Richard Hardey, John Barrow, Nicholas Newall, George Assheton, Richard Fathed, Ran’ Gee, Richard Weue, Richard Wilkynson, Ralph Holford, Thomas Coppock, John Chedle, Hugh James, Thomas Okes, William Jacson, James Mee and twenty others unknown, held a riot on the Moor of Plumley, Cheshire.

Elizabeth Gee, daughter

Elizabeth married Richard Shalcross, the son of James Shalcross.  James was noted as early as 1518 in a lease of land from Sir Hugh Brydde, priest.  Richard Shalcross died in 1554, and Elizabeth died before him.  The will of Edward Janney notes a godson Edward Shalcross, who may have been their son. Richard Shalcross married as his second wife, Anne daughter of George Trafford, and their two two sons were James and Richard.  James died in 1609 and Richard died in 1602.

Richard Shalcross was assessed in the fourth year of Edward VI on goods 12L, Edward Janney was assessed 25L, the highest amount for any resident in Manchester.  Shalcrosse and Janney jointly held a tavern at the Smithy Door in Manchester.

Richard Shalcross died in 1555 and his daughter Elizabeth inherited property that had originally been her mother’s through Henry Gee of Chester.  In 1555 the records of the Court Leet in Manchester stipulate that Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Shalcross and Elizabeth the daughter of Henry Gee, his first wife, was the heir to a burrage and appurtenances in the right of her mother.  In 1557 it is noted that Richard Shalcross and Edward Janney, both deceased, held two houses next to each other, one occupied by Hugh Travers.   Hugh Travers married Anne Trafford, the second wife and widow of Richard, in 1559. There would be problems removing the Travers from this property years later.  At the Court held October, 1561, Henry Gee, son of John Gee, deceased, was acknowledged to be the heir to two burages in Manchester, that had been the holding of Richard Shalcross, deceased.

Edmund Gee, Mayor Chester and Liverpool d. 1550

Henry’s son Edmund Gee was sheriff of Chester in 1542 when he was required to arrest Nicholas Colley, gentleman of Chester, accused of felony and murder.

Edmund Gee of Chester and Liverpool, was known as the chief man and head merchant of Liverpool.  Edmund requested the valuation of a ship called Barbara in 1544 and in 1545 he requested the valuation of 6 silver spoons. He convinced a Spaniard, Lope de Rivera, to import large amounts of wine into Liverpool in 1546.  In the records of the Duchy Court it is noted: Edmund Gee of the City of Chester, merchant, about the 12th day of March, 37 Hen. VIII. [1546], caused about sixty tuns of wines, which he had bought in parts beyond the seas, to be discharged into the haven of Liverpool, at which time Sir Alexander Radcliff, Knight, then holding the said office of butlership by Letters Patent, demanded of the said Edmund Gee two tuns of wine (parcel of the said threescore tuns) to the use of the King, but this he then and there flatly refused, and still refuses to do, contrary to the said usage. Likewise the said Edmund Gee, about the feast of the Purification last, caused four tuns of wine which he had bought abroad to be brought into the haven of Liverpool, and there sold the same, whereof his Majesty ought to have had two tuns, which the said Gee will not deliver. Plaintiff prays that process may be awarded against the said Edmund Gee, commanding him to make answer.

Edmund replied that the Spaniard, Lope de Rivera, had brought the wine in for inspection by the King’s Customs and paid the duty, and that he had afterward purchased the wine from the Spaniard and should not owe anything.  The court agreed.

That same year, Edmund Gee, merchant, took a lease for 8 years for 8 L. from Sir William Molyneux of Sefton, and Richard his son and heir, moiety (equal half) of the town and lordship of Liverpool, of the profits of Flesshamells, (butchers) stallage, and toll of market and of the custom and anchorage. (British History Online) In 1548 he was referred to as the Mayor of Liverpool.

Edmund served as Mayor of Chester in 1550, when he was ordered to summon a jury in the case of George Wodde, lawyer, and Lawrence Deodunt gentlemen who were charged with making an armed entry into the house of Robert Byrkhened in Chester and assaulting Robert Byrkhened and his servants. Edmund died in office …of sweating sickness that ravaged Chester… in 1550.  Sweating Sickness began in 1485 and disappeared in 1551.  It occurred in the warm months, and attacked young men, usually the affluent. It involved profuse sweating, sudden onset, and prostration followed by sudden death or recovery within 24 hours.  The cause has never been determined.

Edmund Gee married the sister of Manchester merchant Richard Shalcross, who was the executer of his will and the husband of his sister, Elizabeth.  Edmund’s daughter Elizabeth married Edward Conway.

Liverpool at this time was very small, even by 16th century standards.  The name means muddy pool.  In 1540 a traveler wrote that Ireland was Liverpool’s main trading partner and the men from Manchester came to trade for Irish yarn and merchandise. Skins and hides were imported from Ireland.  Liverpool exported coal, woolen cloth, knives and leather goods.  There were also many fishermen in Liverpool and the town consisted mostly of fishermen’s houses and the fishery.  In 1600 the population numbered about 2,000.  In 1643, during England’s Civil War, Parliamentary troops took over the town from Royalist supporters.  The Royalists returned to sack the town and kill many of the townsmen.  By the end of the 17th century the town was described as being newly built with 24 streets and fine structures after the London fashion, with a thriving trade and fashionable citizens.  There are no Gees in the church records of Chester Cathedral or Holy Trinity in Chester prior to the 18th century.  It could be that the records have not survived, or the young family removed after Edmund’s death.

St. Nicholas, Liverpool

Chapel of Ease to Walton Church.

German Air Raids, during WW II, destroyed the earlier records of St. Nicholas, after 1604.


1696 a son Thomas

1698 a son John

1699 a dau Anne

1708 a dau Mary


1703 a son Thomas


1705 a dau Ellin


1725 a son James

Thomas and James continued to reside in Liverpool, where it is recorded that James, was the father of a son James 1750, a daughter, Mary 1752, and a son John 1754.  James, evidently the son born in 1750 is noted for a son John, 1773. Thomas is recorded for a daughter Elizabeth, 1731, and a daughter Mary 1733, and 1735.

Ann Gee, of Little Mouldsworth

Anne Gee married in 1560 Henry Hardeware, who was mayor of Chester in 1559 and 1575.  Henry was the son of William Allcock, who took the name Hardeware.  Anne was mother of 13 children, and her will was filed in 1593.  She mentions property in Chester and Pele.  Her children were Henry Hardeware, Mayor of Chester 1599, John Hardeware, who died young, Jane the wife of Thomas Harbottle, sheriff of Chester 1588, Elizabeth wife of John Cowper, alderman Chester, then wife of John Bruen, Ellenor wife of Gerard Massy, Rector of Wiggan, and Margaret wife of Edward Dutton, Mayor of Chester 1604, and Katherine who married Mathew Henry.  Little Mouldsworth was located 7 miles northeast of Chester and adjacent to Manley.  The Hardewares were Puritans.

* Edmund Gee or Edward Gee occurs in the books of transcribed records I have used and I have determined they are the same person.  In viewing the original documents, transcribers had little choice but to guess.  Often first names were put down in abbreviated form. Edmund and Edward was often just Ed or Ed with some obscure Latin ending.  (old clerics who didn’t know Latin loved to make it up!)  The same was done for the name Ralphe, Rauffe, Raphe.  In most cases by treating these names as synonymous the need to account for a mystery Gee who is otherwise undocumented has been removed while at the same time improving the clarity and common sense reading of the information presented.  In every case it has been the best and most logical course.

Note: In the settlement of the estate of Robert Nowell is the charitable payment in 1571 to Mr.Gee of Chester, who was then deprived of his living.  It is a mystery who this cleric was.

Chester Gee Memorials with Merchant’s Mark




Historical Persons of Interest

Referring back to the wife of Henry Gee of Chester, it will be recalled that Henry married Elizabeth Sneyd, daughter of Richard Sneyd of Bradwell, Staffordshire, who was the Recorder of Chester from 1512 to 1535.  Her sister, Jane Sneyd married Sir John Leigh, of Knutsford Boothes, who was knighted with the army at Leith.  In 1597, John Gee of Manchester was among the witnesses to the will of Thomas Leigh, of Adlington, mentioning John Leigh, among others.

Sneyd: Richard Sneyd was granted the manor and lands of Bradwell, in Staffordshire and Tunstall by Lord Audley during the reign of Hevry IV (1500) in fee. He was the descendent of Henry de Sneyde of Tunstall, Staffordshire (noted 1310); Nicholas de Sneyde, alias Tunstall (noted 1333), Richard de Tunstall alias Sneyde, (1356), who fought with Lord Audley at the battle of Poictiers, earning the fleur-de-lis in his arms, and through four more generations at Bradwell was the son of William Sneyde citizen of Chester, member of the Linendrapers’ Company, who married the daughter of Roger Ledsham, Gentleman of Chester.  Richard Sneyd was the recorder of Chester and married Ann Fowlehurst of Crewe, Cheshire. His sister, Ann, married Edward Massey of Broxton, Cheshire.  His sons were Sir William Sneyde, Richard M.P. of Chester, Ann wife to William Leycester, Esqurie, Jane wife to Sir John Legh, Knutsford Booths and Elizabeth wife to Henry Gee, Chester and Sir William Calverley of Calverly, Yorkshire.

Hyde: Robert Hyde, who died in 1616, held half the manor of Hyde and the messuages and lands of Robert Leigh, Esquire, which were the manor of Norbury, a moiety of the manor of Huyde, (Hyde), of Edward Leigh, Esquire of Bagalegh. This was not the first union between the families as in In 1353 John de Hyde had married Isabel, daughter of Sir William de Baggelegh.  Their son, John de Hyde fought under the Earl of Chester leading archers at Poictiers and married a daughter of Sir Thomas or Sir John de Davenport.  Robert Hyde inherited the manor of Norbury, also half the manor of Hyde, and the messuages and lands aforesaid of Robert Leigh, Esquire which was left to his son Hamnet Hyde (named for his his ancestor Hamon Mascie), who outlived is son Robert, husband to Margaret, daughter of  Sir Edward Fitton, of Gawsworth.  Edward Hyde, grandson of Hamnet inherited the estates and died in 1669, and his son Robert died the following year.  They were both buried at Stockport.  Edward Hyde sold the estates and went to America as Governor of North Carolina, where he died during the yellow fever epidemic, and his sons died unmarried.

Booth: The Booth family of Dunham Massey was an ancient aristocratic family that married into most of the neighboring families by the time Henry VIII came to power.  George Booth (1515-1543) married Elizabeth de Trafford.  The Booths were large landholders.  Sir George Booth, a strong supporter of the Parliamentarian cause during the Civil War was elected MP for Cheshire in May, 1645.  However, by 1659 he led Booth’s Rebellion and played a roll in restoring King Charles II.

Davenport: Ormus de Davenport was given the manor of Davenport from the Venables of Kinderton.  The family developed several branches including Bramhall Hall in Stockport, and Davenport.  They intermarried with the Suttons of Sutton Hall about 1590.  In 1623 the daughter of Humphrey Davenport of Sutton married Sir Cecil Trafford.

De La Warre: The de la Warre family held the Manor at Mancheseter and in 1422 Thomas founded a collegiate church and a college.  The church, originally Roman Catholic, would become over time Manchester Cathedral.  The state of Delaware carries their name.

Fitton:  From the early 14th century this family held influence in Macclesfield Hundred and Gawsworth.  Known as the fighting Fittons, they married into the family of Sir Hamon Massey.

Legh (Leigh): Hamo de Leigh, was Lord of the Manor of High Legh in Knutsford, Cheshire in 1215.  In 1315 the Robert de Legh (Leigh) held Adlington Hall near Macclesfield.  In 1442 Sir Piers Legh held Lyme Hall and Park in Cheshire in Stockport. They also owned the Manor of Newton, in Wigan.  They held extensive property in Cheshire, Staffordshire and Debyshire. Thomas Legh of Adlington, in Cheshire married the daughter of Sir John Savage of Clifton, and sister to Thomas Savage, Archbishop of York.

Mainwarings: The family has held the Manor at Peover Hall since the Norman Conquest.  Sir Randle Mainwaring built the existing hall in 1585.  The Mainwarings provided lords and knights as well as Sheriffs of Chester and Lords of the Manor.  They possessed a large number of Cheshire townships.   (pronounced Mannerings)

Mosleys: The Mosleys (Moseleys) held Ancoats Hall in Manchester and built Hough End Hall in Manchester.  Sir Nicholas Mosely was Lord of the Manor of Manchester and one-time Lord Mayor of London in 1599.  Manchester had a near monopoly on woolen manufacturing and Mosley and his brother were merchants involved in the manufacturing.  As the business expanded Nicholas went to London to handle the trade and export agreements

Trafford:  the Trafford were old family, dating before the reign of Edward the Confessor.  The Traffords had large holdings throughout Lancashire and Cheshire.  There was a close relationship between the Trafford family of Trafford and the Leghs of Adlington.  In 1586 Margaret Trafford married Thomas Legh’s son and heir.  Edmund Trafford married Margaret, daughter of John Booth of Barton, which gave him half of the township of Barton in Eccles.


2 thoughts on “~ Cheshire

  1. geesnmore says:

    Elizabeth and Henry were married before she married Calverley…
    She is not the mother of Henry’s children… They were adults at the time of his death… and she went on to have children with her second husband.. although the visitation of Cheshire in 1613 clearly has ? marks when allocating her as married first to Henry, then to Calverley. I find it extremely odd that she should marry a knight of Yorkshire, and after his death… return to Chester. Certainly, having three children after 1544… and living to 1579.. would likely require that she be born after 1510, I should think, and probably even later. I believe they were married about 1527 as it is then that the arms of Sneyd impaling Gee are recorded in Alderman Ince’s House, Watergate. Frankly… while I have not investigated this too much… I wonder if Burke hasn’t confused the Calverley and Calveley families. The Calveleys are from Cheshire and were associated with the Gee family in Leicestershire among others. Certainly others have confused these families. Just a thought..

  2. Rebecca says:

    William Calverley, husband of Elizabeth Sneyd (Burkes, A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain….) is stated to have died circa 1575 (13 Eliz). From the dates you have given for Henry Gee, died 1545, it is more likely that she married Henry Gee first.
    Her inscription could be read that way, late of Calverley (most recently), but first espoused to Henry Gee…

    Do you have a marriage date for Henry and Elizabeth?, if the order of marriages is in this order, Elizabeth could be the mother of Henry Gee’s children.

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