John Gell was born in 1593, the son of Thomas Gell of Hopton and his wife Millicent, daughter of Ralph Sacheverell. He was a Colonel in the Parliamentary Army raised a Regiment of Foot, took Derby and became Govenor of the town, and inflicted stiff penalties on Royalist families in the county. He was at the taking of Lichfield and the Battle of Hopton Heath in 1643. In 1645 he failed to intercept the King and his troops on their flight from Naseby and charges of misconduct were brought against him for this. In 1650 he was committed to the Tower and following his conviction, had his lands confiscated, but two years later he was pardoned in 1652. He was a signatory on the appeal to General Monck for parliament in 1660. He was Member of Parliament for Derbyshire, High Sheriff in 1635, and created a baroner in 1642. He died at his house in London in 1671. He married ????? Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Percival Willoughby of Wollaton; he married secondly Mary, daughter of Sir Frances Radcliffe of Ordsall, Lancs.