Washington and Lee University
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Richard Lee, the Emigrant 1613 (?)–1664
Ludwell Lee Montague

[Notes]

* Colonel Montague is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a Ph.D. of Duke University. Before World War II he was Assistant Professor of History at V.M.I. He presents this article as Historian of the Society of the Lees of Virginia.

1 These titles require acknowledgment that many Lees have flourished in Virginia who were in no way related to the Richard Lee who is our subject. The name of Lee, derived from a common feature of the English landscape, was common in seventeenth-century England and was known in Virginia years before the arrival of our particular Richard.

2 Of necessity this statement applies also to other works which treat of the Emigrant only incidentally: e.g., Ethel Armes, Stratford Hall: The Great House of the Lees (Richmond, 1936).

3 Mr. Forrest's research was sponsored by Mrs. Winder Laird, Colonel LeHardy's by the Society of the Lees of Virginia.

4 From OE leah, a grassy tract in the midst of the forest. Later forms of the word were lea, lega, lege, leigh, ley, and lay. It is of common occurrence in place names in those parts of England once heavily forested, as was Shropshire. Eibert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford, 1936), p. 278.

5 R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire (London, 1854–1860), VII, 273, 274; Lee of Virginia, p. 27. It is sometimes claimed that Reyner de Lega was the son of one Hugo de Lega and a great-grandson of Warin, the first Norman sheriff of Shropshire. Neither claim is tenable. Eyton, Antiquities, VII, 210, 273; Lee of Virginia, p. 23.

6 Wiliam Blackstone Lee in Lee of Virginia, pp. 24–29. Both families quartered the arms of Lee with those of Astley: azure, a cinq foil pierced ennine within a bordure engrailed of the second. The Langley arms included other quartengs, those of Coton only Lee and Astley.

7 Gladys Howard Thompson, The King's Ley Shrewsbury, 1951), pp. 1–2. Mrs. Thompson, the present lady of Coton, is a devoted student of the antiquities of the place. She has assembled an impressive array of ancient documents relating to Coton and to the four manors of Alveley Parish: Alveley, Nordley Regis, Astley, and Romsley.

8 Thompson, The King's Ley, p. 145. The tradition that the church at Coton was founded by King Oswald of Northumbria (633–642) is historically improbable. In the tradition the more famous King has probably been substituted for the later Bishop of the same name, who was a notable founder of churches in the region. The second paragraph of the Saxon deed mentions King Oswald incidentally, but is evidently a later gloss on the deed proper in the first paragraph. The Saxon tun was not a town, but rather a township or manor: i.e., a settlement and the lands pertaining to it.

9 Eyton, Antiquities, II, 258; III, 121–160; Thompson, The King's Ley.

10 Thompson, The King's Ley, pp. 1, 109, 115, 117, 140.

11 John Gibbon, Introductio ad Latinam Blasoniam (1682), p. 156, as quoted in Lee of Virginia, p. 40. The illfounded supposition that the Emigrant was descended from the Lees of Buckinghamshire was demolished by J. H. Lea in the New England Genealogical and Historical Register XLIV (1890), 103–111 and by William Blackstone Lee in Lee of Virginia, pp. 34–43.

12 This tankard is depicted in Lee of Virginia, p. 67.

13 Lee of Virginia, p. 50.

14 Eyton, Antiquities, III, 146; Thompson, The King's Ley.

15 This tombstone is still to be seen at the “Burnt House Field” near Hague in Westmoreland County. The inscription was recut in 1933.

16 Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, VI, 255–260, hereafter VMHB.

17 H. Edward Forrest, “Colonel Richard Lee's Pedigree,” Magazine of the Society of the Lees of Virginia, VIII, 6. This Lee Magazine, published during the period 1922–1939, was edited by Cazenove G. Lee, Jr. A complete file is available at the Virginia Historical Society.

18 The quotation marks and brackets shown above are in the Cobbs Hall Bible record, a photographic reproduction of which is in the Lee Magazine, VIII, 12.

19 Lee Magazine, VII, 37–38.

20 Lee of Virginia, p. 65.

21 Consider also evidence (post, pp. 11, 12, 26) regarding Richard Lee's familiar relations with John Lee of Coton, London, and Ankerwyck (1601–1683).

22 Lee Magazine, VIII, 12.

23 Thompson, The King's Ley, p. 123.

24 Forrest, Lee Magazine, VIII, 6–8.

25 Forrest, Lee Magazine, VIII, 6–8.

26 Thompson, The King's Ley, “Pedigree of Lee.”

27 Forrest, Lee Magazine, VIII, 7.

28 This statement was attributed to Edward Forrest by Ethel Armes in Stratford Hall, pp. 7, 53!.

29 Earlier students of this subject have given undue weight to Lancelot Lee's confused letter because they supposed that the Emigrant had come to Virginia in 1642, a date not likely to be misread as 1616. In manuscript, however, 1640 could readily be mistaken for 1616.

30 Lee of Virginia, p. 66. This expression on the silver tankard at Oxford is ambiguous. It could mean either born at Norley Regis or descended from the family seated there.

31 John Camden Hotten, The Original Lists . . . (London, 1874), pp. 73–75, as cited by Armes, Stratford Hall, p. 4.

32 Lee of Virginia, pp. 242–245.

33 See ante, pp. 9, 11.

34 Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers (Richmond, 1934), pp. 92, 96, 122. A Richard Loe (or Lee) was named as a headright in a patent of 1636 (ibid., p. 52), but he can be identified as a settler in Lower Norfolk, not the Emigrant. George Carrington Mason, Colonial Churches of Tidewater Virginia (Richmond, 1945), p. 155.

35 A note by John Gibbon in his copy of John Smith's Generall History, now in the library of the College of Arms, states “Cognomen Dominae Lei fuit Constable, but shee came into Virginia with Sir Francis Wiat and had lived with Sir John Thorowgood, one of the Gentlemen pensioners.” Photostats of Gibbon's notes in this book are in the Virginia Historical Society. The brick church at Jamestown was built about 1639. Mason, Colonial Churches, p. 7.

36 VMHB, II, 416; XVI, 110.

37 Hitherto it has been supposed that Anne Lee's maiden name was Hancock, chiefly because of the unusual name of her seventh son, Hancock Lee. The only other basis for this supposition was the will of one John Best, who left bequests to several Hancocks and to a Colonel Richard Lee who may have been the Emigrant. Lee Magazine, I, 10. It is possible, of course, that Anne Constable's mother was a Hancock.

38 VMHB, VIII, 70; William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., X, 140, hereafter W.&M. Quart.

39 VMHB, II, 175.

40 Robert Tindall was an explorer of 1608 who gave his name to what is now called Gloucester Point. Nearby Sarah's Creek was also called Tindall's Creek, and the land between it and the river, Tindall's Neck. In 1640 Tindall's Neck was granted to Argall Yeardley, who sold a portion of it to William Whitby. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 126, 555. In 1646 Richard Lee bought from Whitby 100 acres at the head of Tindall's Creek where Lee had lived before 1644. W.&M. Quart., 1st ser., XXII, 237.

41 There is no direct evidence regarding John Lee's birth date. One passage in his father's will implies that he was not yet eighteen in 1664, but another proves that he was then over eighteen. (The first may have been copied verbatim from a previous will.) To have been born at “Capahowasick Wickacomoco” (as he was), he must have been bom before April 1644. In view of the date of his parents' marriage, he is likely to have been born in 1641 or 1642. An earlier date than 1643 would be more consistent with his matriculation at Oxford in 1658.

42 William Wallace Tooker, “Meaning of Some Indian Place Names in Virginia,” W.&M. Quart., 1st ser., XIV, 63.

43 Alexander Brown, Genesis of the United States (Boston and New York, 1891), I, 188, 281, 456, 596; John Smith, The True Travels and Adventures . . . (Richmond, 1819), I, 149.

44 Land Patent Book 1 (2), p. 797, Virginia State Library; Lee of Virginia, pp. 53, 56; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 131, 343, 344. In all probability the actual acreage covered by this and subsequent Lee patents was considerably in excess of the acreage specified. VMHB, LX, 64.

45 Land Patent Book 2, p. 18; Lee of Virginia, p. 54.

46 VMHB, XXIII, 229–239.

47 Land Patent Book 2, p. 62; Lee of Virginia, p. 54; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 162, 244; Nathaniel C. Hale, Virginia Venturer (Richmond, 1951), pp. 250–251.

48 Land Patent Book, 2, p 153; Lee of Virginia, p. 55. In this connection it is necessary to take notice of the assertion of the late William Carter Stubbs, in The Descendants of John Stubbs of Cappahosic (New Orleans, 1902), that John Stubbs patented the Capahosic area in 1652. This assertion has been widely accepted, particularly by the Virginia Conservation Commission (Historical Marker Q-10A at Gloucester C.H.), but there is absofutely no evidence to support it. In fact, W. C. Stubbs had no evidence that John Stubbs was in Virginia before 1671. From a Stubbs patent of 1714 he deduced that John Stubbs already held adjoining land and supposed that he had patented that land in 1652, since most land in the vicinity had been patented at that date! Both deductions are non sequiturs. Moreover, it is a pparent that W. C. Stubbs was misled by a false assumption that the Jones Creek mentioned inthe patent of 1714 was identical with the modern Jones Creek. Actually it was Bland Creek, four miles to the northwest. The earliest Stubbs landholding near Capahosic was the tract on Purtan Bay north of Bland Creek originally patented by John Jones in 1642, repatented by William Roberts in 1652, and finally patented by John Stubbs in 1714. The conclusion that Richard Lee patented the Capahosic area in 1648 is reached by actually plotting all contemporaryl and patents in the vicinity according to the procedure described in the VMHB, LX, 65, an is certain beyond dispute. By virtue of patents granted in 1648, 1651, and 1655 Richard Lee, at one time or another, held all the lands between York River and the River Road from Stubbs Mill Pond to Belroi.

49 W.&M. Quart., 1st ser., XXIII, 16, 273–275.

50 Inasmuch as Hancock Lee was the seventh son, he must have had two older brothers who died in infancy. They are most likely to have been born in 1644 (between John and Richard) and 1650 (see footnote 60). Richard is known to have been sixty-eight in March 1715 and therefore was probably born in the latter part of 1646. Francis' birth date is approximated by interpolation.

51 William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large . . . (Richmond, New York, and Philadelphia, 1809–1823), I, 360, hereafter Hening.

52 Lee of Virginia, p. 60.

53 VMHB, XVII, 134–141.

54 Land Patent Book 2, pp. 314, 338, Book 4, pp. 274 (375); Lee of Virginia, pp. 55–56; Polly Cary Mason, Records of Colonial Gloucester County, Virginia (Newport News, 1946), I, 45.

55 VMHB, VIII, 107.

56 He was still “Mr.” in October 1650, but was “Col.” in May 1651. Land Patent Book 2, pp. 250, 314; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 199, 213.

57 VMHB, XI, 32–40.

58 Hening, I, 363–368.

59 The Society of the Lees of Virginia has presented photostatic copies of these deeds to the Virginia Historical Society.

60 Hancock, the seventh son, is known to have been fifty-six in May 1709; he was probably born in the late summer or early fall of 1652. One older brother was probably already dead (see footnote 50). John Gibbon's Notes (photostatic copy, Virginia Historical Society) state that William and Hancock were twins and that William was drowned, but Gibbon admits that his recollection might be faulty in this particular. William definitely did not drown. The preferment of William over Hancock in their father's will suggests that they were not twins and that William's unknown twin was the boy who drowned.

61 Both Elizabeth and Anne must have been born between Hancock's birth (about September 1652) and their mother's departure for England in February 1654. They are therefore likely to have been twins.

62 Land Patent Book 3, pp. 7, 15, 27, 93; Nugent Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 137, 141, 230, 235, 241, 258, 288, 332; Lee of Virginia, p. 56. The 300 acres in Tindall's Neck adjoined the estate of Richard Jones. Many students have been misled by the assumption that this Jones tract must have been on the modern Jones Creek. Actually it was on the east side of Timbemeck Creek. Mason, Records of Colonial Gloucester County, I, 11, 62.

63 63 Land Patent Book 4, p. 47; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, p. 330; Lee of Virginia, p. 57.

64 In September 1655 Lee had been in England “about a year and a half.” Lee of Virginia, p. 61. On his return to Virginia he claimed headrights for his own third and his wife's second adventure, but none in the name of any of their children. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 343–344.

65 Public Record Office, Colonial Office, General Series (C.O. 1), vol. 12, f. 43. The Society of the Lees of Virginia has presented a photostatic copy of this petition to the Virginia Histoncal Society.

66 Public Record Office, Colonial Office, General Series (C.O. 1), vol. 12, pp. 499–'501. The Lee Society has presented photostatic copies of Richard Lee's affidavit and John Jeffreys' petition to the Virginia Historical Society.

67 Lee of Virginia, p. 61, quoting W. Noël Sainsbury, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 1574–1660 (London, 1860), p. 430.

68 Public Record Office, Colonial Office, General Series (C.O. 1), vol. 12, p. 502.

69 Hale, Virginia Venturer, p. 237.

70 VMHB, XXIII, 249–250; Hening, I, 352.

71 Lewis Burwell's patent of 1650 for lands on the Machodoc refers to Richard Lee as an adjoining landholder. Lee's patent of 1651 for lands on Dividing Creek refers to adjoining lands already held by him. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 199, 390; Lee of Virginia, pp. 55–56.

72 Hening, I, 515.

73 Land Patent Book 4, p. 375; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 390; Lee of Virginia, pp. 55–56.

74 These Machodoc lands are now in Westmoreland, the boundary having been moved eastward in 1664,

75 The Cobbs Hall Bible record states that Charles Lee was born at Cobbs Hall on May 21, 1655. This entry was not a quotation, as was the first entry in the record. “Cobbs Hall” appears to be a substitution of the later name of the place for the less distinctive “Dividing Creek”; “1655” must be an error in transcription, for Charles's mother was in London on May 21, 1655.

76 Cazenove Lee, Lee Magazine, V, 41.

77 Land Patent Book 4, Pp. 123–124; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 343–344; Lee of Virginia, p. 57.

78 No patent for this land could be found, even in 1710, when Richard Lee II proved that his father had held it and perfected his own title by obtaining a patent for it. Lee of Virginia, p. 72; Lee Magazine, V, 40.

79 Land Patent Book 4, pp. 139, 372, Book 5, p. 448; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 346, 390, 522; Lee of Virginia, pp. 58–59; David W. Eaton, Historical Atlas of Westmoreland County (Richmond, 1942), pp. 70–72.

80 Land Patent Book 5, p. 177; Lee of Virginia, pp. 56–57.

81 Land Patent Book 3, p. 337, Book 5, p. 333, Book 9, p. 603; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, pp. 306, 502; Mason, Records of Colonial Gloucester County, I, 45, 46, 59.

82 Armes, Stratford Hall, pp. 4, 7.

83 Lee Magazine, I, 108. Robert Porteus has acquired some latter day fame as an American ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II.

84 Lee of Virginia, p. 66.

85 Public Record Office, Colonial Office, General Series (C.O. 1), vol. 13, f. 48. The Lee Society has presented a photostatic copy of this petition to the Virginia Historical Society.

86 Public Record Office, Chancery Close Rolls, C. 54/4015–4016. There is no doubt that this “Richard Lee of London” was the Emigrant. He was identically described in a deed of sale given by his heirs, their description of him in such terms evidently corresponding with that in his deed of purchase. Essex County Record Office, D/DC, 23/350, Sept. 16, 1678. It should be noted, however, that “of Shropshire” or “of Virginia” would have had no relevance to the purchase of London suburban real estate.

87 1t was so described in his will. Lee of Virginia, p. 62.

88 Lee of Virginia, p. 246.

89 Essex County Record Office.

90 Lee of Virginia, p. 60; John Gibbon's Notes, photostatic copy, Virginia Historical Society.

91 VMHB, XXIII, 312; Lee of Virginia, p. 60; Gibbon's Notes, photostatic copy. Virginia Historical Society.

92 Gibbon's Notes, photostatic copy, Virginia Historical Society.

93 VMHB, XXIII, 312.

94 Gibbon's Notes, photostatic copy, Virginia Historical Society. Totopotomoy, the last successor of Powhatan as paramount chief of the Tidewater Indians, was killed at the battle of Bloody Run (at the site of Richmond) in 1656, fighting as an ally of the English against the intruding Rickahockians.

95 His participation in the Quarter Court held in October 1660 (VMHBI, XII, 205) shows that he was again serving on the Council, which must have been by election in I66o rather than by virtue of his former appointment.

96 Land Patent Book 4, p. 447; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, p. 404; Lee of Virginia, p. 58. This patent was already badly mutilated when copied into the Land Book: its date appears there as November 26, 166–. That the year was 1660 may be deduced from the facts that a related grant to Peter Jennings was dated in 1660, that the grantor in both cases was Sir William Berkeley, and that Lee's patent was renewed verbatim in 1663–i.e., Lee's patent was granted by Sir William Berkeley as elected Govemor of Virginia and was subsequently renewed to give it royal authority.

97 Fairfax Harrison, Landmarks of Old Prince William (Richmond, 1924), 1, 57–62.

98 Lee of Virginia, p. I74; Hendrick, The Lees of Virginia, pp. 101–105.

99 Forrest, Lee Magazine, VIII, 9–10.

100 Lee of Virginia, p. 60; Gibbon's Notes, photostatic copy, Virginia Historical Society. Gibbon ever afterward regretted his decision to leave Virginia.

101 West Ham Parish Register, West Ham Public Library. The delay in Charles Lee's christening is attributable to the disorganized state of the Church in remote Northumberland during the Commonwealth period.

102 Cazenove Lee, Lee Magazine, IV, 77, 81.

103 Sir Henry fought for the King during the Civil War and in 1650 emigrated to Virginia, where he married the widow of Ralph Wormeley and settled in what is now Middlesex County. He was in England in 1660, however, for he was among the gentlemen who sailed with Admiral Montagu in the Royal Charles (ex-Naseby!) to bring Charles II home from exile. He was afterwards Deputy Governor of Virginia, 1678–1682.

104 Public Record Office, Treasury Papers, 51/9, 91, 104. It is of interest that the Earl of Southampton deemed Sir Henry Chicheley and Colonel Richard Lee equally worthy of mention by name in his warrant, which did not name the other petitioners. Lee owned a one-eighth share in the Susan. Presumably the other petitioners were also shareholdersin that vessel.

l05 Philip Alexander Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (New York, 1896), I, 389–390.

106 VMHB, XVIII, 409. They also asked for a prohibition against further shipment of tobacco from the Chesapeake colonies until May 1663.

107 Public Record Office, Colonial Office, General Series (C.O. 1), vol. 16, f. 233. The Lee Society has presented a photostatic copy of this note to the Virginia Historical Society.

108 Lee of Virginia, p. 59.

109 Richard Lee devised these properties in his will. The order in which he referred to them there indicates that they were his most recent acquisitions.

110 Lee of Virginia, p. 59; Thomas J. Wertenbaker, Virginia under the Stuarts, 1607–1688 (Princeton, 1914), p. 122. The later history of this idea demonstrates the difficulties inherent in intercolonial cooperation. In 1666 Sir William Berkeley personally persuaded the Maryland Assembly to prohibit any planting of tobacco for one year, provided that Virginia and North Carolina did likewise. The Virginia Assembly acted promptly, but North Carolina, distracted by an Indian war, delayed so long ttat Maryland repudiated the agreement. Another year all three colonies took timely action to like effect, but Maryland's participation in the scheme was then vetoed by the Lord Proprietor.

111 111 The complete text of Richard Lee's will is in Lee of Virginia, pp. 61–64.

112 Hendrick, The Lees of Virginia, pp. 24–26.

113 One passage, probably copied from an earlier will, implies that John Lee was not yet eighteen. Another proves that John was over eighteen. The references to his Maryland lands out of logical sequence are evident additions to an earlier text.

114 Lee of Virginia, p. 64. The Cobbs Hall Bible record states that Richard Lee died at Dividing Creek on March 1, 1664. Its authenticity has been challenged on the ground that it would have been impossible for him to have made the crossing from England in 24 days. It will be remembered, however, that in 1659 he did make it in 24 days. There can be no doubt that he died at Dividing Creek during March 1664. As to the exact day of the month, the Cobbs Hall Bible record may contain a minor error in transcription, though it would seem quite possible for Richard Lee to have reached Dividing Creek by March 1.

115 Essex County Record Office, D/DC, 23/350. The Lee Society has presented a photostatic copy of this deed of sale of 1678 to the Virginia Historical Society.

116 Lee of Virginia, p. 64.

117 Lee of Virginia, pp. 67–69.

118 Lee of Virginia, pp. 74–77.

119 Lee of Virginia, p. 71. In 1672 the Capahosic plantation was apparently in the possession of Peter Jenings. Land Patent Book 6, p. 411.

120 Cazenove Lee, Lee Magazine, V, 40. The actual acreages were greater than those indicated. For example, the Ditchley tract was found to contain 1,000 acres by resurvey in 1716.

121 How this loss occurred can be traced only with respect to the 1,000 acres at the site of Mount Vernon. See Cazenove Lee, Lee Magazine, IV, 55–57; Douglas S. Freeman, George Washington (New York, 1948–), I, 20–22.

122 Cazenove Lee, Lee Magazine, V, 10–17, 40; Lee of Virginia, pp. 79, 97.

123 Lee Magazine, V, 15; Lee of Virginia, pp. 521–524.

124 For example, Douglass S. Freeman, R. E. Lee (New York, 1934–1935), I, 168–169.