LEE, Thomas (1660-1702), of Hartwell, Bucks.
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Family and Education
bap. 17 Feb. 1660, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Lee, 1st Bt.* m. 12 Feb. 1686, Alice (d. 1729), da. and coh. of Thomas Hopkins, alderman of London, of Botolph Lane, Billingsgate, London, 4s. 1da. d.v.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 19 Feb. 1691.1
Lee cut his parliamentary teeth in the Convention of 1689, and at the 1690 election was joined as Member for Aylesbury by his father, an influential Whig leader in the Commons. Like his father, he was classed as a Court supporter by Lord President Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) at the beginning of the 1690 Parliament; and at the end of the year Carmarthen noted him as a probable supporter in the event of an attack upon his ministerial position in the Commons. In June 1692 he was seen as ‘not like to be a long-lived man’, although a few days later he was reported to be abroad again and ‘he being young may hold out many years if he be temperate’. In 1693 Grascome classed him as a Court supporter with a place or pension and in the 1694–5 session his name was on Henry Guy’s* list of ‘friends’, which probably related to parliamentary attacks on Guy, although he was marked as ‘doubtful’.2
Re-elected in 1695 after a contest, Lee was forecast as likely to support the government in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade, signed the Association, and voted for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In the following session he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Returned again after a contest in 1698, Lee was classed as a member of the Court party about September 1698 and voted on 18 Jan. 1699 against the disbanding bill, although his name appeared on one other list which may have been a forecast of those opposed to a standing army. On 7 Feb. his election was declared void, and he was defeated at the ensuing by-election, petitioning without result. Lady Gardiner, when discussing the January 1701 election, thought that Lee would be ‘no considerable an enemy to the Church, his lady being for the Church of England’, and considered that his mother had ‘no interest in him’. In any case Lee was successful for Aylesbury at both 1701 elections but did not stand in 1702, being reported early in July as unlikely to ‘hold out long’. He died shortly afterwards, his burial taking place at Hartwell on 13 Aug. 1702.3