Born at Denbigh, 24 January 1815, son of Thomas Gee, printer, and Mary Foulkes of Hendre'r Wydd. Educated at Grove Park school, Wrexham, and Denbigh grammar school, he was apprenticed to his father at the age of fourteen. When he had completed his apprenticeship he was employed from 1836 to 1838 by the firm of Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, returning to his father's business at Denbigh in 1838. The same year he began to preach in the Calvinistic Methodist chapels and continued to do so while carrying on with his business as a printer and publisher, [though ordained in 1847, he never undertook a pastoral charge]. His particular interests were the Sunday schools and the temperance movement. In 1845 his father died leaving him in control of the business and the same year he began to publish the Traethodydd, a quarterly edited by Lewis Edwards of Bala. In 1854 he started another great venture - the publication of Y Gwyddoniadur, an encyclopaedia completed in ten volumes by 1878 at a cost of about £20,000. A second edition of this work was published in 1896. On 4 March 1857 the first number of Baner Cymru, a weekly paper, appeared and in October 1859 this was amalgamated with Yr Amserau (see under William Rees, 1802 - 1883); thereafter the name of the paper was Baner ac Amserau Cymru and from July 1861 it was, for many years, published twice a week. Through Y Faner Gee exercised great influence on the political, social, and religious life of Wales for a long time. Although at first he was not its editor 'it is scarcely necessary to say' writes T. Gwynn Jones, 'that he left his impression on Y Faner from the very beginning,' and before long he took over entire control of the paper. He was not himself a great littérateur but he gathered round him a distinguished band of writers and created a paper with a character and message of its own. In addition to working through Y Faner for Liberalism and reform he took a prominent part, both on the platform and in the committee room, in the political, educational, and religious movements of the day. He died at Denbigh, 28 September 1898, and was buried in the new cemetery. He married October 1842, Susannah, daughter of John Hughes of Plas Coch, Llangynhafal; they had six daughters and three sons. He was succeeded in control of Y Faner by his son HOWEL GEE who died in 1903.
Published date: 1959
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