LEE, Richard (1625-1704), of Winslade, Clyst St Mary, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



24 Dec. 1680

Family and Education

bap. 20 Aug. 1625, 4th but 1st surv. s. of William Lee of Pinhoe by Jane, da. of John Michell of Topsham. m. 22 Aug. 1655, Mary, da. of William Sydenham of Winford Eagle, Dorset, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 1663.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Devon 1657, Jan. 1660, 1677-80, 1689-90, capt. of militia ft. Apr. 1660, by 1697-?d.; alderman, Barnstaple to Jan. 1688, recorder Sept. 1688-?d.; commr. for inquiry into recusancy fines, Cornw. Devon and Dorset Mar. 1688; j.p. Devon June-July 1688, 1689-1703, jt. receiver of taxes 1690-1.2


Lee came from a minor gentry family that first registered its pedigree with the heralds in 1620. Nothing is known of his father’s politics or his own before he married the sister of the powerful Cromwellian, William Sydenham, and he held no office from the return of the secluded Members till 1677. He first stood for Barnstaple at the October election of 1679, and obtained over a hundred signatures to his indenture. But the mayor returned the court supporter Arthur Acland. When the second Exclusion Parliament met, Lee was seated on petition, and he was re-elected in 1681; but he left no further trace on the records of either Parliament. Although he was displaced from the corporation in January 1688 and from the county bench in the summer, he was approved as court candidate by the Whig collaborator Nathaniel Wade, and described as ‘right’ on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, as well as ‘of great interest’ in the borough. He was nominated as recorder in the new charter in September, and elected to the Convention. He was probably inactive again, and was not listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He lost his seat at the general election, but acted for a year as receiver of taxes for Devon and Exeter with John Elwill before being replaced by the Tory Christopher Bale. When he was removed from the county bench under Queen Anne, his estate was reckoned at only £600 p.a., though it was claimed that he had £5,000 in cash. His will was proved in December 1704. No other member of the family entered Parliament, and by 1720 Winslade had passed into other hands.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 527; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 703; PCC 175 Ash; Trans. Devon Assoc. lxxii. 263-4.
  • 2. Parl. Intell. 7 May 1660; Eg. 1626, f. 11; T. Wainwright, Barnstaple Recs. i. 75, 82; PC2/72/588; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 275; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 604, 975.
  • 3. Add. Ch. 32899; CJ, ix. 637, 693; HMC Portland, iv. 134; PCC 175 Ash.