LEE, Gervase (d. aft.1623), of Southwell, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

1st s. of Reginald Lee of Southwell by Dorothy, da. of Edward Thurland of Gamston. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1569, BA 1574; M. Temple 1576. m. 1583, Bridget, da. of Robert Sotherby of Pocklington, Yorks., 4s. 3da.

Offices Held

J.p. in Notts. liberties of the archbishopric of York c.1583-d.; keeper, Norwood park from c.1599.1


Lee sat for Ripon in 1584 through his friendship with the archbishop of York, Edwin Sandys, who was especially fond of his residence at Southwell, where Lee also had his seat. Sandys made Lee a justice, and Lee named Sandys a benefactor of Southwell minster on a pillar he erected in the church in 1608. Later Lee acquired the keepership of Norwood park from the archbishop’s son, Sir Miles Sandys. This post, however, led him to start a number of Star Chamber cases against people who had illegally hunted deer in the park. Next he complained, in 1617, of slanderous statements made against him after serving as a justice in the archbishop’s liberties in Nottinghamshire for more than 34 years, ‘never in all that time hath any ways been impeached or touched in his carriage, credit or reputation’. Now attempts were being made ‘by all base means practised to deprave your said subject and to bring infamy and disgrace upon him, not only in the county where he dwelleth, but also to draw your highness’s favour from him’. In 1623 Lee brought another case concerning poaching in Norwood park, accusing a servant of Lord Stanhope. But the archbishop, Toby Matthew, asked for the case to be withdrawn and reprimanded Lee for acting beyond his authority, asking ‘what authority, claim or title you have to the keepership of that my park, which now I expect at your hands without delay for my better satisfaction and your indemnity’.

Described as ‘old’ Mr. Lee in 1617 it seems unlikely that Lee could have long survived his last sally into the Star Chamber. No will or inquisition post mortem has been found.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Vis. Notts. 1569 and 1614 (Harl. Soc. iv), 100; Al. Cant. i(3), 62; St. Ch. 5/L24/37; 8/204/5.
  • 2. DNB (Sandys, Edwin); Throsby, Thoroton’s Notts. iii. 89; St. Ch. 5/L24/37; 8/194/3; 8/204/5.