James Prince Lee

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James Prince Lee
Bishop of Manchester
James Prince Lee
Mezzotint by Thomas Lupton (after a contemporary portrait by Sir John Watson Gordon)
Elected11 November 1847
Installed11 February 1848
Term ended24 December 1869
SuccessorJames Fraser
Consecration23 January 1848
Personal details
Born(1804-07-28)28 July 1804
Died24 December 1869(1869-12-24) (aged 65)
Mauldeth Hall, Heaton Norris, Lancashire
BuriedHeaton Mersey churchyard
DenominationChurch of England
ResidenceMauldeth Hall
ParentsStephen and Sarah Lee
SpouseSusannah Penrice
ChildrenTwo daughters: Sophia ; Susannah[1]
Alma mater

James Prince Lee (28 July 1804 – 24 December 1869) was an English clergyman and schoolmaster who became head master of King Edward's School, Birmingham, and later the first Bishop of Manchester.

Early life[edit]

Born in London, he was educated at St Paul's School, London and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he displayed exceptional ability as a classical scholar, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 1828; later graduating with a master of arts in 1831 and doctor of divinity in 1861.[2][3] He married Susannah, elder daughter of George Penrice, of Elmbridge, Worcestershire, on 25 December 1830, and they had two daughters.[2] After his ordination in the Anglican ministry in 1830, he served an assistant master under Thomas Arnold at Rugby School, who thought highly of him.[2][3] In 1837, he became rector of Ayot St Peter, Hertfordshire, and in 1838 headmaster of King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he had among his pupils Edward White Benson, Joseph Barber Lightfoot and Brooke Foss Westcott. There is also a house named after him. He was also appointed an honorary canon of Worcester in 1847.[2][3]

Episcopal career[edit]

On 23 October 1847, he was nominated the first bishop of the newly constituted Anglican Diocese of Manchester by Queen Victoria, on the advice of Lord John Russell.[3][4][5] His election took place on 17 November 1847,[5] followed by consecration on 23 January 1848, and enthronement at Manchester Cathedral on 11 February 1848.[4]

Lee's schoolmasterly manner was an irritation to his clergy.[3] However, he carried out great work in church extension.[3] During his twenty-one years' tenure of the see, he consecrated 130 churches. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1849.[6] He took a foremost part in founding the Manchester free library in 1852, and bequeathed his own valuable collection of books to Owens College.[2][3]

He died at his home, Mauldeth Hall,[7] Stockport, in 1869, and was buried in Heaton Mersey churchyard. His memorial sermon was preached by the Rev. Edward Benson (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury) and was published with biographical details by J. F. Wickenden and others.


  1. ^ Who married the Rev. John Booker and the Rev. Charles Evans respectively; South Manchester Reporter; 28 February 2013; p. 19
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lee, James Prince (LY824JP)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm 1911, p. 136
  4. ^ a b Fryde et al. 1986, p. 260.
  5. ^ a b Horn, Smith & Mussett 2004, p. 121.
  6. ^ DServe Archive Persons Show[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Mauldeth Hall". Parks & Gardens UK. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2011.


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Horn, J. M.; Smith, D. M.; Mussett, P. (2004). "Bishop of Manchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857. Volume 11, Carlisle, Chester, Durham, Manchester, Ripon, and Sodor and Man Dioceses. London: Institute of Historical Research – via British History Online.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)


Further reading[edit]

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