Richard Henry Lee (1691 - 1735) MP

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Richard Lee of Ditchley's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia
Death: Died in Virginia
Managed by: Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, on break until June 1
Last Updated:

About Richard Henry Lee

Richard Lee August 18, 1691-1735

Parents: Hancock Lee, I c.1652-1709 and Mary Kendall 1651-1694

Wife: Judith Steptoe

Children:

These children were all named in his will:

  • Elizabeth Lee
  • Mary Lee
  • Judith Lee
  • Lettice Lee
  • Kendall Lee

There were two other children not mentioned by name in the will:

  • Anne Lee, who married Edward Kerr and settled in Isle of Wight County, VA.
  • A seventh child - see discussion below.

Correcting the date of death

Richard Lee died c.1735, and not the often quoted 1740. This is proven with the Court Sessions of May 21, 1735, when two pleas were made in his name. The first was regarding a warehouse at Indian Creek. The second was a will, presented by William Eustace, Gent., one of the executors. The confusion in dates occurred because William Eustace died before completing the administration of Richard Lee's estates. Widow Judith Lee then petitioned the court in 1740 to settle the estate. The court record reads Mrs. Judith Lee - Appointed for administration of the estate of Richard Lee, deceased (not yet administered by William Eustace, deceased) who was executor under the Will.

The Seventh Child of Richard Lee

As late as 1940, the name of the seventh child of Richard Lee and Judith Steptoe was a mystery. That there was a seventh child is proven. In 1740, at the same time widow Judith Lee received her her one-third share of Richard's estate, Maj. Peter Conway received his wife's one-seventh share of her father's estate. Maj. Peter Conway had married Elizabeth Lee.

So there were seven children. Who were they?

  • There was daughter Elizabeth, mentioned above, who married Peter Conway.
  • There was daughter Mary who married Charles Lee.
  • There was daughter Judith Lee who married David Galloway.
  • There was daughter Lettice who married Col. James Ball as his third wife.
  • There was daughter Ann who married George Kerr
  • There was son Kendall who married Betty Heale, and who inherited all of his father's land.

That's six children. The seven child is the disputed one. There are two theories. Either this child was a son, Stephen Lee, who emigrated to Kentucky, or this child was a daughter, Lucy, who witnessed two of her mother's documents.

Stephen Lee was accepted as the son of Richard and Judith Lee by the Lee Society in 1952 on what has been described as "thin" evidence. There are many records that prove Stephen Lee's life, but none that prove his birth. He has a voter record in Stafford County in 1755. He bought land in the same year in Fairfax County. He appears on the tax rolls for Prince William County for more than thirty years. He sold goods to England prior to the American Revolution and was owed money in 1774, as recorded in London. He emigrated to Kentucky c.1789, and died there, leaving a will dated 1791. He was buried at "Leewood," Maysville Kentucky. His tombstone has become difficult to read from age but it states his date of death in his 8?th year. The second digit is no longer legible. If he died in 1791 in his 80th year, he was born c.1710-11, which makes him too old to be Richard and Judith's son. A photo of his gravestone has been requested, but the cemetery is now on private property, and we may not be able to get one. [See http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GScid=2513102&CRid=2513102&pt=Lee%20Cemetery%20at%20Leewood&]

The alternate theory is that the seventh child was a daughter named Lucy. Judith Lee, widow of Richard Lee, became the third wife of Samuel Peachy, Gent., in 1749. Judith signed a marriage contract dated February 16, 1749, with Samuel. which was witnessed by John Leland, Kendall Lee, and Lucy Lee. It was customary in the Lee family to have close family members witness important documents. Judith's only son was a witness. Lucy, as an unmarried female, would have still been living with her mother, and would have been available to witness the contract. Then, in 1754, Judith Peachy writes her will, which is witnessed by Betty Conway, Kendall Lee, Ann Kerr and Lucy Lee. With three children as witnesses, why would Judith bring in a non-family member as a fourth witness? She did not. In the time between Judith's marriage to Samuel Peachy and the writing of Judith's will, Lucy Lee had married.

There is a gap in the marriage records from January 1745 to March 1756. There is no record of a marriage license but Lucy married Baldwin Matthews Smith between 1753, when she witnessed a codicil on a will, and 1754, when she witnessed her mother's will . The marriage is proven by other evidence. Both Baldwin and his father Phillip were business associates of Lucy's brother Kendall. Baldwin died intestate in 1761 but son John Smith, administrator for the estate, mentions "Mrs. Lucy Smith, Widow." Lucy remarried in 1772, where the licensed was issued for "William Montague and Lucy Smith, relict of Baldwin Smith.

This material was submitted to the Lee Society in 1967 by Grace McLean Moses and was officially accepted into the Society's records, naming Lucy Lee, officially, as the seventh child of Richard Lee and Judith Steptoe.

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Richard Lee of Ditchley's Timeline

1691
August 18, 1691
Virginia
1719
1719
Age 27
Cousins
1721
1721
Age 29
Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia, USA
1721
Age 29
Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia, USA
1725
1725
Age 33
Dividing Creek, Northumberland, Virginia, USA
1727
1727
Age 35
Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia, USA
1731
1731
Age 39
Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia, USA
1735
1735
Age 43
1735
Age 43
Virginia
1736
1736
Age 44
Ditchley, Northumberland, Virginia, USA