previous next

The pedigree of the Lee family.

The Charlottesville Chronicle publishes the pedigree of the family of General Lee. Like everything else which says anything of the great chieftain, it is very interesting. It is from an old manuscript which has been shown to the editor. The Chronicle says:

‘ This venerable manuscript, which bears date 1750, was received by Mr. Mead (who is a gentleman of intelligence and character) from his mother, Mrs. Mead, (widow of Rev. Zachariah Mead, formerly of Richmond.) Mrs. Mead received it from her father, who received it from his father, General Hull. It consists of several large sheets, and is written partly in Latin and partly in English. Accompanying the pedigree are some mutilated deeds, which, although much injured, exhibit the descending rights and titles to various lands. These deeds are in Latin, and written on the old stamped paper of England, and, to the antiquarian, are a rare object of curiosity and interest.

’ The genealogy of the Lee's, of Virginia, from 1666--just where this pedigree breaks off — is well known, and may be found in Bishop Meade's well-known work on "The Old Churches and Families of Virginia."

The manuscript commences abruptly with the name of "Hugo de Lega, or de Le," without date. The first name with date is that of John de Lee, Miles, to whom Hugo de Hinton gave the lands, as by the old chart. Opposite this name is the date 1333. The father of John de Lee was Thomas de la Lee. The simple name of Lee occurs first as Ricardus Lee, of Langly, about the year 1500.--The first name of Robert is Robertus de la Lee, son of John de la Lee; he married Margarita, daughter and heir of Thomas Astly, of Nordly, about 1400.--The first name written in English is Thomas Lee, of Cotton, in King's Nordley, in the Parish of Alvely, who was the son of Johannes Lee.

There are several coats of arms on the manuscript. That of Ricardus Lee, of the direct line, is as follows: A shield with a crescent of a squirrel sejant, eating a nut or flower; a lion in rampant guardant in sinister chief; a star in precise middle chief; dexter chief, a blood-red field with embattled bars of blue and yellow. The dexter base, a black cross on white field, with a lion's head, crowned, in one corner. The middle precise base is a chevron of white, on a red field, a white bar, the fesse point on a green field. The sinister base the same as the dexter chief.

The Lancelot arms are a shield with crescent squirrel — dexter chief red field, with blue and yellow embattled bars. Sinister chief, a star on blue field. Dexter base same as sinister chief, and sinister base same as dexter chief. There are no middle divisions on this shield. The prevailing white indicates Royalty; the Star, grandeur; the Lion, courage; the Red, war; the Cross, religion, and, with the crowned lion, denotes the Church of England.

The pedigree was extracted from the London Tower, and is certified by Charles Townley, York, and John Pomfret, Rouge Croix, August 1st, 1750.

Richard Lee, who came to Virginia in the reign of Charles I., was of a good family, Shropshire; and his son, William Lee, speaks of his picture being (as he is told) "at Cotton, in Shropshire, near Bridgeworth, the seat of Lancelot Lee, Esq. " He came to the colony of Virginia as Secretary and one of the King's Privy Council. He settled permanently in Virginia, and exercised great influence. It was he who, with the assistance of Sir William Berkeley, on the death of Cromwell, had Virginia (which was independent under the Protectorate,) re-united with England — having Charles H. proclaimed King of England, Scotland, France, Ireland and Virginia--two years before the Restoration. It was in consequence of this step that the ancient motto of the Virginians was "En dat Virginia quintam. "

This Richard Lee had several children: John and Richard the two eldest. Richard was a great scholar, devoting his whole life to study, and a member of the Council of Virginia. He married a Corbin, and had five sons — Richard, Philip, Francis, Thomas, Henry — and one daughter (who married William Fitzhugh, of King George). Richard settled in London as a Virginia merchant. His children came back to Virginia. George married a Wormly — then a Fairfax. One daughter married a Corbin; another, a Turberville: Philip, the second son of Richard Lee, settled in Maryland. Francis, the third son, died a bachelor. Thomas, the fourth son, married a Ludwell--one of the most influential families in the Colony. The issue of this marriage was six sons.--Philip Ludwell, Thomas Ludwell, Richard Henry, Francis Lightfoot, William and Arthur — and two daughters. Philip Ludwell Lee married a Miss. Stepton. He succeeded his father on the estate of Stratford, in Westmoreland. He left two daughters. Matilda, the eldest, married General Henry Lee, of the Revolution; and Flora married Mr. Ludwell Lee, of Loudoun. Thomas Ludwell Lee settled in Stafford, and married a Miss. Aylett. Richard Henry Lee was educated in England. He married, first, a Miss Aylett, and then a Miss Pinkard. Francis Lightfoot Lee was almost as distinguished in the Revolutionary period as an orator and a statesman as his brother. He married the daughter of Colonel John Tayloe, of Richmond county. The fifth son, William, was sheriff and alderman of the city of London. Arthur, the sixth and youngest son, as a scholar, writer, philosopher and diplomatist, was one of the first men of his day.

Henry Lee, the fifth son of Richard Lee, married a Bland. This is the ancestor of our General Lee. His son Richard was Squire Lee, of Lee Hall.--His only daughter married a Fitzhugh. Henry, the third son, married a Miss Grymes, and left five sons and three daughters, viz: Henry, who was colonel in the Revolution; Charles, Richard Bland, Theodoric and Edmund; also, Mary, Lucy and Anne.

General Henry Lee married twice; first, with Matilda, daughter of Philip Ludwell Lee, by whom he had a son (Henry) and a daughter (Lucy); and afterwards with Ann, daughter of Charles Carter, of Shirley, by whom he had three sons Charles Carter, Robert Edmund and Sidney Smith, and two daughters, Ann and Mildred. General Henry Lee resided at Stratford.

Henry Lee, the son of the first wife, was a major in the war of 1812, and wrote the "Strictures on the Writings of Jefferson"; also, a Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Sidney Smith Lee was a commodore in the old United States navy, and is now chief of the Bureau of Orders and Detail, Navy Department, in Richmond. He commanded at Drewry's Bluff for a long time. Robert Edmund Lee is at Petersburg — the General Lee of this day.

He married Miss Custis, of Arlington, in Alexandria county, the daughter and heiress of George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of General Washington, who married Mrs. Custis, his mother.

General Lee has three sons--Brigadier-General G. W. Custis Lee, aid-decamp to the President (he passed No. 1 at West Point); Major-General W. H. F. Lee, commanding a division of cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia, and Robert Edmund Lee, who entered the army, at the instance of his father, as a private in the Rockbridge artillery. He is now on the staff of General Fitzhugh Lee. Besides these children, General Lee had four daughters — Mary, Anne, Agnes and Mildred — all of them unmarried, and one of whom (Anne) has died died during the war. General W. H. F. Lee married a Miss Wickham, who died a year or two since.

General Fitzhugh Lee, of the cavalry, is the son of Commodore Lee.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1812 AD (1)
August 1st, 1750 AD (1)
1750 AD (1)
1666 AD (1)
1500 AD (1)
1400 AD (1)
1333 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: