the Spaniards by Sir George Rodney on 16 Jan. immediately preceding. Towards the close of the year he was ordered to the West Indies, under the orders of Sir Samuel Hood; but the ship being dismasted in a violent gale, and compelled to return to England, he was afterwards sent out to the East Indies, where, as one of the squadron under Sir Edward Hughes [q. v.], the Monarca took part in each of the five indecisive engagements with the French under M. de Suffren. In 1784 she returned to England, and was paid off. During the Spanish armament in 1790 Gell commanded the Excellent for a few months; and on 1 Feb. 1793 was advanced to the rank of rear-admiral. He was then ordered out to the Mediterranean, with his flag in the St. George, in command of a squadron of four ships of the line and a frigate. On the way, off the coast of Portugal, they fell in with and captured a French privateer, the Général Dumourier, convoying a Spanish treasure-ship, the Santiago, which she had taken a few days before. The prizes were sent home, and, after some doubt in respect to the Santiago, were both condemned. The Spanish ship was of immense value, and her condemnation, under the circumstances, caused much dissatisfaction in Spain, and is said to have been one of the principal causes of the total change of Spanish policy and of the war with England (James, Naval History, ed. 1860, i. 100).
Gell's squadron was but the advanced division of the fleet which, in several detachments, went out to the Mediterranean, and which, by the end of June, was collected at Gibraltar under the command of Lord Hood [see Hood, Samuel, Viscount]. As a junior flag-officer Gell was present with this fleet at the occupation of Toulon, and in October was sent with a small squadron to Genoa, where he took possession of the French frigate Modeste, the slight opposition offered being quelled by a volley of musketry, which killed one man and wounded eight (James, i. 97; Schomberg, Naval Chronicle, ii. 253). French writers have represented this as a wholesale massacre, which excused, if it did not warrant, as a measure of retaliation, the butchery in cold blood of the crew of the merchant brig Peggy nearly a year afterwards (Brun, Guerres Maritimes de la France, Port de Toulon, ii. 261). In the following April Gell was compelled by ill-health to resign his command, and in doing so ended his active service. He became a vice-admiral on 4 July 1794, admiral on 14 Feb. 1799, and died of an apoplectic seizure on 24 Sept. 1806. There is a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.
[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 579; Gent. Mag. (1806) vol. lxxvi. pt. ii. p. 984.]
GELL, ROBERT, D.D. (d. 1665), divine, was a member of the family of Gell at Hopton, Derbyshire. He appears to have been educated at Cambridge, and after that to have held the living of Pampisford in Cambridgeshire. He was for some time one of the chaplains to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and frequently preached before the university of Cambridge, in 1631 before Charles I, and in 1641 before the lord mayor and aldermen of London in the Mercers' Chapel. About this time he appears to have been appointed to the rectory of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, London, which he held till his death on 20 March 1665. He seems to have taken much interest in astrology, and at least twice (1649 and 1650) preached before the Society of Astrologers. His works exhibit wide and varied learning, much wit, considerable critical power, and a fund of curious allegorical illustrations; the ‘Remaines’ are especially valuable as a collection of most ingenious skeleton discourses. He wrote:
- ‘Ἀγγελοκρατία Θεοῦ, or a Sermon (Deut. xxxii. 8, 9) touching God's Government of the World by Angels,’ 1650.
- ‘Noah's Flood returning,’ a sermon (on Matt. xxiv. 37–9) preached before the lord mayor, &c., 1655.
- ‘Stella Nova, a new Starre leading wise Men unto Christ,’ a sermon (Matt. ii. 2), no date.
- ‘An Essay towards the Amendment of the last English Translation of the Bible. The first Part, on the Pentateuch,’ 1659.
- ‘Gell's Remaines: or Several Select Scriptures of the New Testament opened and explained; collected and set in order by R. Bacon,’ 1676.
[Baker's Hist. London, art. ‘St. Mary, Aldermanbury;’ Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 562; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. iii. 19.]
GELL, Sir WILLIAM (1777–1836), classical archæologist and traveller, born in 1777, was the younger son of Philip Gell of Hopton in Derbyshire, by his wife, Dorothy, daughter and coheiress of William Milnes of Aldercar Park, a lady who afterwards married Thomas Blore, the topographer [q. v.] William Gell's paternal grandfather, John Eyre, had assumed the name of Gell from his mother's family, the Gells of Hopton. (Gent. Mag., new ser. v. 665). Gell was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, became a fellow of Emmanuel College, and graduated B.A. 1798, M.A. 1804 (Grad. Cantabr.) He at one time studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, but does not appear to have exhibited (Nagler, Künstler-Lexicon; Redgrave, Dictionary of Artists).