Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield

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The 1st Earl of Lichfield

Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield (4 February 1663 – 14 July 1716) was an English peer. He was a staunch Tory and followed James II to Rochester, Kent after the king's escape from Whitehall in December 1688.[1] His subsidiary titles were Viscount Quarendon and Baron Spelsbury.

Biography[edit]

Lee was the son of Sir Francis Henry Lee, 4th Baronet of Quarendon and his wife Lady Elizabeth Pope, daughter of Thomas Pope, 2nd Earl of Downe, who was later third wife of Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey. His great grandfather, Henry Lee, was the cousin and heir of Henry Lee of Ditchley. His father's half-brother was the libertine-poet the Earl of Rochester.

King Charles II contracted his daughter, Charlotte Lee (pictured), to Edward Lee when she was ten and he was eleven, and the two married at the ages of twelve and thirteen.

Lee was created Earl of Lichfield in 1674 at the age of ten, a result of his betrothal to the daughter of King Charles II. The Lady Charlotte Fitzroy was the fourth of six children born to the king's mistress, the Duchess of Cleveland. Sweet-natured and strikingly beautiful, Charlotte was adored by her father the king. She was contracted at the age of ten to Lee, who was one year older than his bride-to-be. Three years later, having reached puberty, the twelve- and fourteen-year-olds were married on 6 February 1677. He died two years before his wife, aged 53.

From 1687 to 1689, Lichfield served as Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. He commanded Lichfield's Regiment, an infantry regiment in the English Army until his dismissal for Jacobite sympathies following the Glorious Revolution. It later played prominent part in the Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691), going through a succession of new Colonels including Henry Wharton and Richard Brewer.

Issue[edit]

Lady Lichfield bore him at least eighteen children:

  • Charlotte Lee, Lady Baltimore (13 March 1678 (Old Style) – 22 January 1721),
  • Charles Lee, Viscount Quarendon (6 May 1680 – 13 October 1680).
  • Edward Henry Lee, Viscount Quarendon (6 June 1681 – 21 October 1713).
  • Captain Hon. James Lee (13 November 1681 – 1711).
  • Francis Lee (14 February 1685 – died young).
  • Anne Lee (29 June 1686 – d. 1716?), married N Morgan.
  • Charles Lee (5 June 1688 – 3 January 1708).
  • George Henry Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield (12 March 1690 – 15 February 1743).
  • Francis Henry Fitzroy Lee (10 September 1692 – died young).
  • Elizabeth Lee (26 May 1693 – 29 January 1739). Married:
    • (1) Francis Lee, a cousin. Had one son and two daughters, the eldest of whom, Elisabeth (d. 1736 at Lyon) married Henry Temple, son of the 1st Viscount Palmerston.
    • (2) Edward Young, in 1731, author of the Night Thoughts, by whom she had one son. It is said that he never recovered from Elizabeth's death.
  • Barbara Lee (3 March 1695 – d. aft. 1729), married Sir George Browne, 3rd Baronet of Kiddington.
  • Mary Isabella Lee (6 September 1697 – 28 December 1697).
  • Fitzroy Lee (10 May 1698 – died young).
  • Vice Admiral FitzRoy Henry Lee (2 January 1700 – April 1751), Commodore Governor of Newfoundland.
  • William Lee (24 June 1701 – died young).
  • Thomas Lee (25 August 1703 – died young).
  • John Lee (3 December 1704 – died young).
  • Robert Lee, 4th Earl of Lichfield (3 July 1706 – 3 November 1776).

Ancestry[edit]

Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield's ancestors in three generations
Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield Father:
Sir Francis Henry Lee of Ditchley, 4th Baronet of Quarendon
Paternal Grandfather:
Sir Francis Henry Lee of Ditchley and of Quarendon
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, 1st Baronet of Quarendon
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Eleanor Wortley of Wortley
Paternal Grandmother:
Anne St John, Countess of Rochester
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir John St John, 1st Baronet, of Lydiard Tregoze
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anne Leighton of Feckenham
Mother:
Lady Elizabeth Pope
Maternal Grandfather:
Thomas Pope, 2nd Earl of Downe, Ireland
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir William Pope, Knight (1596–1624)
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Watson of Halstead
Maternal Grandmother:
Lucy Dutton
Maternal Great-grandfather:
John Dutton of Sherborne
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Baynton of Wilts

References[edit]

  1. ^ K. Laughton, ‘Lee, Fitzroy Henry (1699–1750)’, rev. Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
Military offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Colonel of the Earl of Lichfield's Regiment of Foot
1686–1688
Succeeded by
The Lord Hunsdon
Preceded by
The Duke of Grafton
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
1688
Succeeded by
The Duke of Grafton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Abingdon
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
1687–1689
Succeeded by
The Earl of Abingdon
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Lichfield
1673–1716
Succeeded by
George Lee
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Francis Henry Lee
Baronet
(of Quarendon)
1667–1716
Succeeded by
George Lee