Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/365

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of Elerbridge, "Worcestershire, and had two daughters: Sophia Katherine, married in 1857 to the Rev. John Booker; and Susannah Sarah, who married in 1852 the Rev. Charles Evans.

He died at his residence, Mauldeth Hall, near Manchester, on 24 Dec 1869, aged 65, after suffering for some years from habitual ill-health, and was buried at the neighbouring church of Heaton Mersey. His library was bequeathed to Owens College, Manchester. Several valuable volumes reserved to his family have since been added to the collection, and his widow, in September 1875, left 1,000l. to provide two annual prizes for encouraging the study of the New Testament in Greek.

[E. W. Benson's Memorial Sermon, 2nd edit., with memorial notices by J. F. Wick en den and others, 1870; Manchester Courier, 27 Dec. 1869; Stanley's Life of Arnold, 1846, p. 226; Pole's Life of Sir W. Fairbairn, 1877, p. 393; Gardiner's Registers of St. Paul's School, 1884, p. 246; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), iii. 89, 334; J. Evans's Lancashire Authors and Orators, 1850, p. 153; Archdeacon (now Bishop) Durnford's Funeral Sermon, 1870; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. xii. 198; Owens College Magazine, April 1870, notice of Bishop Lee's benefaction by A. W. Ward; Catalogue of Lee's Library, bequeathed to Owens College, compiled under the direction of A. W. Ward, 1871; J. Thompson's Hist. of Owens College; Diggle's Lancashire Life of Bishop Fraser, 1889; Life of Bishop Wilberforce, vols. ii. and iii.; pamphlets — by Guttridge (1847), J. Irvine (1849), E. Fellows (1852), S. Crompton (1862).]

C. W. S.

LEE, JOHN (d. 1781), actor and manager of plays, is first heard of at the theatre in Leman Street, Goodman's Fields, where he played, 13 Nov. 1745, Sir Charles Freeman in the 'Stratagem,' and during the same month Ghost to the Hamlet of Furnival, and Hotspur in the 'First Part of King Henry IV.' He appeared during the following season, 1746-7, in 'Richard III', Cassio, Lothario in the 'Fair Penitent,' and Hamlet, and had an original part, 5 March 1747, in the 'Battle of Poitiers, or the English Prince,' a poor tragedy by Mrs. Hoper. His name appears, 14 Nov. 1747, at Drury Lane under Garrick, as the Bastard in 'King Lear,' and 3 Dec. as Myrtle in the 'Conscious Lovers.' During this and the following season he also played Ferdinand in Dryden's 'Tempest,' Belmour in 'Jane Shore,' Rosse in 'Macbeth,' Colonel Standard in the 'Constant Couple,' Young Fashion in the 'Relapse,' Young Rakish in the 'Schoolboy,' Paris, and Claudio in 'Much Ado about Nothing,' and in 'Measure for Measure.' Breaking his engagement with Garrick he made his first appearance at Covent Garden, 23 Oct. 1749, as Ranger in the 'Suspicious Husband.' He played during the season, among other characters, Axalla in 'Tamerlane,' Heartley in the 'Nonjuror,' the Dauphin in ' King Henry the Fifth,' Campley in the 'Funeral,' Romeo, Alexas in 'All for Love,' and Carlos in the 'Revenge.' The beginning of the next season saw him still at Covent Garden, where he played, 31 Oct. 1750, Granger in the 'Refusal.'

Garrick, however, compelled Lee to return to Drury Lane, where he reappeared, 27 Dec. 1750, as George Barnwell in the 'London Merchant.' Here he remained during this and the following season, playing secondary characters, except when he was allowed for his benefit on one occasion to enact Hamlet and Poet in 'Lethe,' and on another, Lear and Don Quixote. On 23 Feb. 1751 he was the original Earl of Devon in Mallet's 'Alfred.' Buckingham in 'Richard III,' Aboan in 'Oronooko,' and Lycon in 'Phædra and Hippolytus' were also assigned him. A man or extreme and aggressive vanity and of quarrelsome disposition, he fumed under the management of Garrick, who seems to have enjoyed keeping in the background an actor who was always disputing his supremacy.

In 1752 Lee went accordingly to Edinburgh for the purpose of purchasing and managing the Canongate Concert Hall. Through the interest of Lord Elibank and other patrons he obtained the house on exceptionally easy terms. He proved himself a good manager, reformed many abuses, and is said to have been the first to raise the status and morale of the Edinburgh stage. He set his face against gentlemen occupying seats on the stage or being admitted behind the scenes, and made improvements in decorations and scenery. 'Romeo and Juliet' was played in December 1752, and is held by Mr. Dibdin, the historian of the Edinburgh stage, to have probably been the unprinted version with which the memory of Lee is discredited. His adaptation of 'Macbeth' was printed in Edinburgh in 1753, and probably acted there. In February 1754 'Herminius and Espasia,' a new tragedy by 'a Scots gentleman' (Charles Hart), was produced with little success. In this Lee played. Mrs. Lee took her benefit 4 March 1754. On the 9th Lee played Young Devil in the 'Conscious Lovers.' A new alteration of the 'Merchant of Venice' (probably by himself) was given 15 April 1754, with Lee as Shylock and Mrs. Lee as Portia. In the summer Lee travelled with his company, and lost, he says, 500l. Unable to pay the third instalment of the purchase-money for the