LEE, Robert atte, of Reading, Berks.
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Family and Education
m. bef. 1379, Alice.1
Tax collector, Berks. Nov. 1377, Mar., Dec. 1380, Nov. 1383, May 1384, Dec. 1385, Nov. 1386.
A brazier by trade, atte Lee contributed to the 1379 poll tax the comparatively large sum of 8s., which suggests that he was well-to-do. His frequent appointments as a tax collector for Berkshire between 1377 and 1386 confirm this impression, and when, in October 1386, he was elected to Parliament for Reading, one of his sureties was John Farham†, a former MP and twice mayor. How atte Lee came to find, on Hounslow Heath, ‘a certain sum of money which belongs to the King by reason of his prerogative’ is unknown, but in May 1384 a commission was set up to inquire, of a Berkshire jury, the exact circumstances of the case.2
After 1386 mention is rarely made of atte Lee, but most surviving references indicate that he was resident in Reading. In 1390 he entered into a recognizance with Walter Haywoode of Stratfield Saye, Hampshire, under a bond for £160, leviable in Berkshire and Wiltshire. Three years later he witnessed a Reading deed, and in 1396 he was a member of a local jury which presented their fellow townsman, Thomas Denby, before the county j.p.s at Wokingham. He was still alive in 1410, when he gave 4s.4d. towards the re-roofing of the church of St. Laurence at Reading.3