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Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield

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The Earl of Lichfield
Portrait by Godfrey Kneller
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
In office
Preceded byThe Earl of Abingdon
Succeeded byThe Earl of Abingdon
Personal details
Born4 February 1663
Died14 July 1716(1716-07-14) (aged 53)
(m. 1677)
ChildrenCharlotte Lee, Lady Baltimore
Charles Lee, Viscount Quarendon
Edward Lee, Viscount Quarendon
Captain Hon. James Lee
Hon. Francis Lee
Lady Anne Morgan
Hon. Charles Lee
George Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield
Hon. Francis Henry Fitzroy Lee
Lady Elizabeth Young
Barbara Browne, Lady Browne
Lady Mary Lee
Hon. Fitzroy Lee
Hon. FitzRoy Henry Lee
Hon. William Lee
Hon. Thomas Lee
Hon. John Lee
Robert Lee, 4th Earl of Lichfield

Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield (4 February 1663 – 14 July 1716) was an English peer, the son of a baronet, who at 14 years of age married one of the illegitimate daughters of King Charles II, Charlotte Lee, prior to which he was made Earl of Lichfield. They had a large family; Lady Lichfield bore him 18 children. 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.


Early life[edit]

Edward 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

In his youth, he was considered to be kind, charming, strong, intelligent as well as arrogant because of his position in the peerage.



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 thirteen and fourteen in 1677

Lee was created Earl of Lichfield in 1674 at the age of eleven, 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 nine to Lee, who was sixteen months older than his bride-to-be. Nearly three years later, having reached puberty, the thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds were married on 6 February 1677.

Public service[edit]

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.

Family and children[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).
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Henry Lee, Viscount Quarendon (6 June 1681 – 21 October 1713), a captain in the Colstream Guards
  • Captain Hon. James Lee (13 November 1682 – 1711).
  • Francis Lee (14 February 1685)
  • Anne Lee (29 June 1686 – d. 1716?), married N Morgan[2]
  • 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 1730).
  • Elizabeth Lee (26 May 1693 – 29 January 1741). 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).

Death and legacy[edit]

Lichfield died two years before his wife, on 14 July 1716, aged 53.


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
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


  1. ^ K. Laughton, 'Lee, Fitzroy Henry (1699–1750)’, rev. Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ She was living on 11 November 1714, when King George I paid a bounty of £100 to Lady Anne Morgan: Journals of the House of Commons, Volume 18 (House of Commons, 1803), p. 111; and in June 1716, when she received another £200: Calendar of Treasury Books: Jan.-Dec. 1716, p. ccviii
Military offices
Preceded by Colonel of the Earl of Lichfield's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Preceded by Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Lichfield
Succeeded by
Baronetage of England
Preceded by Baronet
(of Quarendon)
Succeeded by