Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/387

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Lee
Lee
381

the county of Tipperary (ib. c. 52). On the other hand, Archbishop Loftus admitted he had with his twenty-four horsemen ' done more good service than anyone captain in this land' (ib. lxxxviii. 26). In February 1588 Lee's band was discharged, but it was found that the horses and their equipment were his own 'proper goods' (ib. xcix. 74), and Fenton, when commending nim to Walsingham for further employment, did more than hint that he was not so much to blame as Ormonde wished to make out, 'though it may be.' he added, 'he is not without his portion of that common and secret envy which biteth most of us that serve here' (ib. c. 52). He had already greatly added to his possessions in the county by the purchase of custodians and other interests, including the castle of Beban, which he bought outright from the Baron of Reban, Sir Walter Fitzgerald, usually called Sir Walter de St. Michael (ib. Dom. Eliz. ccxxviii. 33), and he petitioned in April 1583 to have a grant of the castle in fee-farm at a reasonable rent (ib. Ireland, Eliz. ci. 47). At the same time he offered, if he might have twenty-five horsemen and fifty footmen, to defend the county ' from the incursions and spoils of the rebels, &c. (Morrin, Cal. Pat. Rolls, ii. 44). His petition was favourably received. The queen expressed her willingness to pant him the fee-farm of the lands he solicited, and commended his offer to the lords justices. Neither Loftus nor Wallop at first thought much of his plan (State Papers, Ireland, Eliz. cvii. 26), but a few months later the former confessed that Lee had certainly 'deserved what he asked for, having done better service than could have been expected . . . and hath so weeded those parts of that lewd sort of people as the inhabitants of their own report find great quiet and better security of their lives, goods, and cattle than of many years they have had' (ib. cix. 56, 57). In the winter of 1584-5 he served 'chargeably, with loss of horses to his great hindrance' (ib. cxv. 89), under Sir H. Bagenal and Sir W. Stanley, in the north of Ireland against Sorlev Boy MacDonnell [q. v.] After a brief visit to England, he was in the autumn of 1585 employed by the lord deputy, Sir John Perrot, to prosecute Cahir Ore Kavanagh, 'a notable traitor.' Following Cahir into county Kilkenny, Lee was met by the sheriff, who 'grew to words, and so to blows, with the said Lee.' In the skirmish Lee managed to capture the sheriff and killed several of his men. Perrot acknowledged that he had only done his duty, but Lee, fearing the consequences of having offended two such powerful noblemen as Ormonde and Eildare, appealed directly to Walsingham for his support, especially against the" former, 'of old being mine ancient foe' (ib. cxix. 11, 15). In October 1587 it was reported that a plot of Lee's against Walter Reagh, the head of the bastard Leinster Geraldines, had been frustrated through the treachery of Mrs. Lee, and that Lee had in consequence separated from her (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, iii. 428). There appears to have been little truth in the allegation, for Lee, having for some obscure reason shortly afterwards incurred Perrot's displeasure, and been by him deprived of his company and imprisoned for eight weeks in Dublin Castle (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. ccxxviii. 33), sent his wife over to England to plead his cause at court (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, Eliz. iv. 57, 62). Mrs. Lee's mission appears to have been in some measure successful, for in 1593 Lee, although no favourite of the lord deputy, Sir William Fitzwilliam, was actively employed in the expedition against Hugh Maguire,and was warmly commended for his bravery, not only by Tyrone (ib. v. 166), with whom he was supposed to be suspiciously intimate, but also by Sir H. Bagenal (ib. p. 172). In March 1594, when Archbishop Loftus, Sir Richard Gardiner, and Sir Anthony St. Leger were engaged in negotiating witn Tyrone, Lee, owing to his intimacy with him, proved a useful intermediary (ib. pp. 222, 225, 226). At this time he evidently believed in Tyrone's protestations of loyalty, and it was doubtless in consequence of representations made by him to this effect that he was summoned to England. Fitzwilliam, who cordially hated Lee, aid his utmost to damage his credit with Burghley, representing him to be 'indigent and desperate,' and desiring that 'he should be barred all access to her royal sacred person, sith her majesty may know otherwise all he can say' (State Papers, Ireland, clxxiv. 88). For the rest Fitzwilliam utterly denied his statement that Tyrone had been driven into rebellious courses by incursions into his country, 'unless haply he mean the service in Fermanagh and Monaghan' (ib. clxxv. 5). It was probably on this occasion that Lee wrote his 'Brief Declaration of the Government of Ireland.' Shortly after his return to Ireland he again, in September 1595, fell into disgrace, for what Sir Henry Harrington described as his 'cruel murder' of Kedagh MacPhelim Reagh and the 'sore wounding ' of his brother Dermot, 'who had led the draught for taking' Walter Reagh (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, v. 397). In consequence he was again, for a time, imprisoned inDublin Castle (ib. p. 432). His detention was apparently of short duration, for in March 1596 he accompanied the