Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/375

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Lee
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regarded her perception of ordinary matters, while the higher intellectual faculties were so little affected that the 'Essay on Government,' which she published in 1808 under the pseudonym of 'Philopatria,' was, De Quincey assures us, read twice through and highly commended by a reader so chary of his time and his praise as Wordsworth. Some morbid eccentricity is apparent where the authoress alludes to herself, but otherwise it is a sound, well-intentioned, and rather commonplace composition. In 1807 Mrs. Lee published a 'Vindication of her Conduct,' and in 1808 she returned to London on hearing of the death of her husband, who had committed suicide. About 1810 she assumed the title of Baroness le Despenser, to which she had, of course, no claim. The rest of her life seems to have been spent in a series of disputes with various persons, including Mrs. Dashwood, a relative, another relative or connection named Fellows, Bolaffy, who assisted her Hebrew studies, and one Marshall, an amanuensis whom she accused of treachery. She was undoubtedly partially of unsound mind, and evinced it by the morbid suspiciousness which usually accompanies insanity. Her quarrels produced a number of pamphlets from her pen appealing to the public, but they are of no interest at the present day. She died early in 1829.

[Memoirs of B. F. A., about 1812, and Mrs. Lee's other publications; Apology for the Conduct of the Gordons, by Loudoun Harcourt Gordon, 1804, which contains a report of the Gordon trial; De Quincey's Autobiographic Sketches, chap.iv.; Gent. Mag. 1820, pt. i.p. 040.]

R. G.

LEE, Sir RICHARD (1513?–1575), military engineer, eldest son of Richard Lee and of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Hall, belonged to a Hertfordshire family called indiscriminately Lee, à Lee, and à Leigh. In 1528 Lee was page of the king's cups, and on 20 Aug. of that year a grant was made to him by the king of an annuity of 6l. In 1533 he was serving with the army at Calais. In July 1540 he was sent by the council of Calais to carry a letter dated 27 July to the king, explaining the progress made with the defences. Lee was sent back to superintend the destruction of a roadway near Calais which belonged to the English but was used by evil-disposed persons on the border of both the English and French pales. The French retaliated by building a strong castle on their boundaries at Arde, and a bridge from it into the English pale, which, although demolished by Lee and his companions, was rebuilt, and formed the subject of much official correspondence. One result was the making of a map of the neighbourhood of Calais for the information of the king ; it is now in the British Museum.

In the autumn of 1540 (Cotton MS.) Lee was appointed surveyor of the king's works. On 8 Sept. 1541 he and seven others, one of them being Lord Maltravers (deputy of Calais), were appointed a commission for surveying and letting the marches of Calais. In July 1543 Lee was instructed to aid Sir John Wallop [q. v.], lieutenant of the castle of Guisnes, in an invasion of the neighbouring French territory. Wallop, in a letter to the privy council, narrates that with the attack on the castle of Fiennes Lee 'toke very gret payne.' He appears to have returned to England when the expedition was over. On 7 Jan. 1544 the manor of Hexton, Hertfordshire, was granted him, and the same year a lease for eighty-one years of the manor of Newland Squillers, Hertfordshire.

In February 1544 Lee spent some weeks in inspecting the fortifications of Tynemouth, and in May he was present at the attack on Leith and Edinburgh. From the chapel of Holyrood he carried off a massive brazen font, which he presented to the abbey church of St. Albans in Hertfordshire, inscribing on it in Latin a statement of its recent history. The font disappeared during the great civil war. Sir Walter Scott ridiculed the incident in his 'Border Antiquities' (1814). Lee also brought from Scotland a brass eagle lectern, which he presented to St. Stephen's Church, St. Albans. Lee, who, according to Hertford, the commander-in-chief, served in this (Scottish) journey both honestly and willingly, presented to the king in May 1544 a plan of Leith and Edinburgh, to enable Henry to 'perceyve the scituacions of the same, which is undoubtedly set fourth as well as possible.'

Lee accompanied the main body of the northern army from Newcastle-on-Tyne to Calais in 1 544. From Calais he went to Boulogne, where he had charge of the defences during the siege in September, and when the siege was raised in October, Lee was left there with only three thousand men and some pioneers. On learning his situation, the king ordered the immediate return of the chief part of the English force to Boulogne, but before the direction could be obeyed the enemy, five thousand strong, were between Calais and Boulogne. Boulogne, although nearly taken managed to repulse the attack owing to the strength of the defences and the gallantry with which they were held. Lee had already been knighted for his services in Scotland, and now for his brilliant services at Boulogne the king presented him, among other property, with the greater part of the monastery domains of St. Albans and with the nunnery