LEE, George Henry, Visct. Quarendon (1718-72), of Quarrendon, Bucks., Ditchley Park and Spelsbury, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. 21 May 1718, 1st s. of George Henry Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield, by Frances, da. of Sir John Hales, 4th Bt., of Hackington, Kent. educ. Westminster 1728; St. John’s, Oxf. 1736. m. 16 Jan. 1745, Dinah, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Frankland, 3rd Bt. s.p. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Lichfield 15 Feb. 1743.
Custos brevium of the common pleas 1743-72; ld. of the bedchamber to the King 1760-2; high steward, Oxf. Univ. 1760-2, chancellor 1762-d.; capt. of gent. pensioners 1762-d.; P.C. 14 July 1762; dep. ranger of Hampton Court Park 1762-72.
Returned unopposed for the county as a Tory at a by-election in February 1740, Quarendon made his first recorded speech in December that year against the army estimates. In February 1741 he was among the Tories who abstained from voting on the motion for the dismissal of Walpole, which his father supported in the Lords. At the opening of the next Parliament he is described as speaking ‘often and well’ against the Government.1 He supported the motion for a committee of inquiry into Walpole’s Administration, to which he was elected, figuring on both the government and the opposition lists.2 He also spoke for Lord Strange’s motion of censure on the Lords for rejecting a bill indemnifying those giving evidence against Walpole. His last reported speech in the Commons was made in December 1742 against the Hanoverians. After his accession to the House of Lords in 1743, he gradually faded out of political life; but he was one of the prominent Tories who agreed to support the Prince’s programme in 1747.3 In the next reign Horace Walpole wrote of him: ‘If he did not make the figure that his youth had promised, the Jacobites could not reproach him, as he had drowned his parts in the jovial promotion of their cause’.4 He died 19 Sept. 1772.