Lee, William (1815-1883) (DNB00)

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LEE, WILLIAM (1815–1883), archdeacon of Dublin, born on 3 Nov. 1815 at Newport, co. Tipperary, was son of William Lee, then curate of Newport, but afterwards rector of Mealiffe in the diocese of Cashel, by Jane, daughter of Richard White of Green Hall, co. Tipperary. In 1825 he was sent to the endowed school of Clonmel, whence he proceeded in 1831 to Trinity College, Dublin, and obtained the first (classical) scholarship in 1834. In August 1835 his father died, leaving to him the care of his mother and five young brothers and sisters. At his degree examination in 1836 he obtained the first senior moderatorship in mathematics, in 1837 the Law mathematical prize, in 1838 the Madden fellowship premium, and in 1839 he was elected a junior fellow. In 1841 he received holy orders. In 1857 he was created D.D., and chosen professor of ecclesiastical history in the university of Dublin, and in 1862 he was appointed Archbishop King's lecturer in divinity, and at the same time rector of the college living of Arboe in the diocese of Armagh. Towards the close of 1863 Dr. Trench, archbishop of Dublin, made him his examining chaplain, and in 1864 preferred him to the archdeaconry of Dublin and the rectory of St. Peter in that city. He became a prominent member of the house of convocation, and subsequently of the general convention, but when it was proposed to give the laity a share in legislating on matters of doctrine and discipline, he entered a strong protest and ceased to attend. In February 1870 he was elected a member of the New Testament Revision Company. He died on 11 May 1883. By his marriage to Anne, daughter of William English of Farmley, Castleknock, co. Dublin, he left two sons and three daughters.

Lee was a learned theologian, of strong conservative convictions. His influence was great as a lecturer and preacher. In private life few men were more fascinating. His more important writings are: 1. 'The Inspiration of Holy Scripture: its Nature and Proof.' 8vo, London, Dublin [printed], 1854; 5th edit. 1882. 2. 'Suggestions for Reform in the University of Dublin,' 8vo, Dublin, 1854. 3. 'Three Introductory Lectures on Ecclesiastical History.' 8vo, Dublin, 1858. 4. 'On Miracles: an Examination of the Remarks of Mr. Baden Powell on the Study of the Evidence of Christianity, contained in the volume entitled "Essays and Reviews,"' 8vo, London, 1861 (republished in 'Faith and Peace.' edited by G. A. Denison, 8vo, 1862). 5. 'Commentary on the Revelation of St. John,' 1882, forming the last part of the last volume of 'The Speaker's Commentary on the Holy Bible.' 6. 'University Sermons, with part of an Essay on Natural Religion.' edited by G. Salmon and J. Dowden, 8vo, Dublin, 1886.

He also published pamphlets on the 'Episcopal Succession in Ireland' and on the 'Position and Prospects of the Church of Ireland.' 1867.

[Life prefixed to his University Sermons, 1886; Athenæum, 19 May 1883.]

G. G.