LEE, Sir Francis Henry, 4th Bt. (1639-67), of Quarrendon, Bucks. and Ditchley, Oxon.
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Family and Education
bap. 17 Jan. 1639, 2nd s. of Sir Francis Henry Lee, 2nd Bt., of Quarrendon by Ann, da. of Sir John St. John, 1st Bt.†, of Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts. educ. Hayes, Mdx. (Dr Thomas Triplett); travelled abroad 1654-7; académie du Veaux, Paris, 1655-6. m. by 1663, Lady Elizabeth Pope, da. and h. of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Downe [I], 2s. (1 d.v.p.). suc. bro. Sir Henry Lee, 3rd Bt., 21 Mar. 1659.1
Commr. for assessment, Oxon. Jan. 1660-d., Bucks. 1661-d., militia, Bucks. and Oxon. Mar. 1660; j.p. Oxon. Mar. 1660-d., Bucks. July 1660-d.; commr. for corporations, Oxon. 1662-3.2
Originally of a Cheshire family, Lee’s ancestors had been at Quarrendon since the beginning of the 14th century, taking a crown lease of the manor in 1499, and regularly representing Buckinghamshire from 1542. Lee’s father died at York on active service in the first Bishops’ war, and in 1644 his mother married Henry Wilmot (later 1st Earl of Rochester). In 1654 Lee visited the exiled Court at Aachen, and in May 1659 he promised to aid Lord Falkland (Henry Carey) in the abortive Cavalier rising, after which he seems to have gone abroad again.3
Lee’s mother, as guardian to his nieces, enjoyed one of the principal interests at Malmesbury. On 2 Mar. 1660 she wrote to Sir Ralph Verney:
the town of Malmesbury sent to my son Lee that if he would come in person they did hope to choose him, though there were at least 13 that did sue to be chosen for that town, so my son means to go thither at the election for fear of the worst.
The worst did not occur, and Lee was returned. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was named to the committee of elections and privileges and to five others, of which the most important was that entrusted with recommending the legal forms necessary for the Restoration (1 May). Doubtless a court supporter, he was proposed for the order of the Royal Oak with an estate of £3,000 p.a.4
Lee was re-elected in 1661, but was equally inactive in the Cavalier Parliament. He was named to 17 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in seven sessions. He was not among those appointed to consider the corporations bill, but acted as teller for the unsuccessful motion that all Members should be able to attend and vote in the committee. On 18 May 1663 he was teller against giving retrospective effect to the bill to prevent abuses in the sale of offices. His only important committee was for the five mile bill. He died on 4 Dec. 1667. His widow married the 3rd Earl of Lindsey (Robert Bertie I), and his son, after marriage with a natural daughter of Charles II, was created Earl of Lichfield. The next member of the family to sit in the Commons was his great-grandson, who represented Oxfordshire as a Tory from 1740 to 1743.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. PCC 105 Penn (will of Thomas Triplett); Add. 34015, f. 123; Thurloe, ii. 528, 569; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 166; Nicholas Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. l), 263.