About William Lee of Coton Hall
William Lee was the son of John Lee of Coton Hall and wife Joyce Romney. William is one of the mystery children of this marriage. He is most likely the second son of eight, which gives him an approximate date of birth of 1555 (based on parent's marriage in 1553). There is no record of a marriage. He is not mentioned in his father's will, and is recorded on the Visitations as having no heirs. The most likely answer is that he died before his father, who died in 1603.
One popular but false theory is this: "born 1597, came to America, landing in the Va. Plantations in July 24, 1635, bought much land and died 1656, leaving everything to His oldest son by the same name. He came over in ship Assurance de Lo. See the ‘Original List of Emigrants From England to the Virginia Plantations’ from 1600-1700 by Hotton. William Lee, Gent, was granted 500 acres in Charles City County, on the south side of James River, Feb. 16, 1654. He had obtained much land before that, for he sold some land in 1636. Both he and Richard appear among those having headrights. William died 1656. No other grants were as large as these two."
False, because he was marked on the Visitation of Shropshire as dying S.P. One of the most common abbreviations in medieval genealogy is "sp", or "s.p.", which stands for either the Latin "sine prole", or the French "sans posterite". Both mean the same thing, "without issue" (that is, without children).
The ship "Assurance de Lo" did sail from London to Virginia in 1635 and did have a passenger aboard named William Lee, aged 36, but there is no additional information about this passenger to confirm or deny that he was from the Coton Hall family.
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