LEE, Henry (c.1657-1734), of Dane John, nr. Canterbury, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. c.1657, 2nd s. of John Lee alias Warner, DD (d.1679), archdeacon of Rochester, being 1st s. by 3rd w. Anne, da. of Henry English of Maidstone. educ. Balliol, Oxf. matric. 4 July 1673, aged 16; I. Temple 1676. m. lic. 13 Oct. 1679, Dorothy (d. 28 July 1727), da. of (Sir) George Grobham Howe, 1st Bt., of Berwick St. Leonard, Wilts., 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 4da. 3 other ch. suc. half-bro. 1699.1
Alderman, Canterbury 1684-Jan. 1688, freeman 1685, mayor 1687-Jan. 1688; dep. lt. Kent 1684-Feb. 1688, 1694-?1714; lt.-col. of militia ft. Canterbury by 1684-?Feb. 1688, col. by 1697-?1714; j.p. Kent 1689-?1715.2
Commr. for victualling 1704-6, 1711-14.3
Lee’s grandfather, an attorney of New Inn, married the sister and heir of John Warner, the munificent bishop of Rochester from 1637 to 1666. His father took orders and managed to retain his living in Kent from 1642 to his death long after the Restoration. Lee bought the manor of Dane John, just outside the walls of Canterbury, in 1680 and was nominated to the corporation under the new charter. He was first returned for the city in 1685, and, except in the third Parliament of William III, retained the seat for 30 years. An active Member of James II’s Parliament, ‘Colonel Lee’ was appointed to 11 committees, including those for the supply of fresh water to Chatham and Rochester, to reform the bankruptcy laws, to establish a land registry, to relieve poor debtors, and for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees. A churchman and a Tory, Lee was removed from the mayoralty in January 1688, and from county office after replying to the lord lieutenant’s questions that:
Although his private opinion be for taking off the Penal Laws and the Tests, yet, if he should be a Parliament man, he does not know upon hearing the debates what reasons he may have for altering it. ... As near as he can, he shall assist to the election of an honest man, but for his opinion relating to the Penal Laws and Tests he thinks it not proper for him to examine.
The King’s electoral agents correctly judged that his interest in the city, thanks to his constant hospitality, remained unshaken. He rallied to the Prince of Orange in the autumn, and was duly reelected to the Convention. An inactive Member, he was appointed only to the committee of elections and privileges and to that to consider the charges against William Harbord, though he may have been the ‘Mr Lee’ who acted with (Sir) Joseph Tredenham as teller against printing the votes of the House. He is said to have supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations; but this may have been an error for Thomas Lee II, as he remained a Tory under William III and Anne. His son Henry Lee Warner was returned for Hindon in 1711, but after the Hanoverian succession the family moved to Norfolk and abandoned parliamentary ambitions. He died on 6 Sept. 1734, and was buried at Little Walsingham.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. liv), 98; E. L. Warner, Life of John Warner, 66-67; HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 425.
- 2. Hasted, Kent, xi. 26; Canterbury Archives, A/C7, f. 81; Roll of the Freemen ed. Cowper, 31; CSP Dom. 1684-5, p. 153; Eg. 1626, f. 22.
- 3. Beatson, Pol. Index, ii. 94-95; Luttrell, v. 411; vi. 54.
- 4. Warner, 76, 80; Hasted, xi. 150; N. and Q. (ser. 3), vi. 2; Blomefield, Norf. ix. 274; Gent. Mag. iv. 511.