Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/359

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Lee

353

Lee


at the British Institution in 1822 and the following years. His pictures were favourably noticed, and on one occasion he obtained a premium of 50l. He exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy in 1824, and was from that time a prolific contributor to both exhibitions, and to others elsewhere. His favourite subject was the scenery of Devonshire, but he also painted Scottish and French landscape. Lee had a house at Pilton, near Barnstaple, but being from early life devoted to the sea, he lived a great deal on board his yacht, in which he visited the coasts of France, Spain, and Italy. Among interesting pictures of the sea-coast were 'The Coast of Cornwall at the Land's End' and 'The Bay of Biscay.' both exhibited in 1859, some views of Gibraltar, 'The Breakwater at Plymouth' (1861), and some views of Caprera, the home of Garibaldi, whom Lee visited in his yacht in 1864. His English landscapes were, however, his most popular works. In some of them the figures or cattle were introduced by his friend Mr. Thomas Sidney Cooper, R.A. For Mr. Wells of Redleaf, Kent, he painted some pictures of dead game, fish, and still life. There are four pictures by him in the National Gallery, two being from the Vernon collection, including 'The Cover Side.' in which the dogs, figures, and game were inserted by Sir Edwin Landseer. At the South Kensington Museum there are three pictures in oil and two in water-colour by Lee. Lee was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1834, and an academician in 1838. He exhibited for the last time in 1870, and became an honorary retired academician in the following year. Lee died at Vleesch Bank, Herman station, in the division of Malmsay, South Africa, where some of his family were living, on 5 June 1879, in his eighty-first year.

[Ottley's Dict. of Recent and Living Painters; Art Journal, 1879, p. 184; Pycroft's Art in Devonshire; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880.]

L. C.

LEE, Sir GEORGE (1700–1758), lawyer and politician, fifth son of Sir Thomas Lee, second baronet, who married Alice, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Hopkins, citizen of London, was born in 1700. His elder brother was Sir William Lee [q. v.], the judge. He was entered at Clare College, Cambridge, but migrated to Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated 4 April 1720, and took the degrees of B.C.L. 1724 and D.C.L. 1729. On 23 Oct. 1729 he was admitted advocate at Doctors' Commons, and soon obtained much business. He was returned to parliament as member for Brackley, Northamptonshire, on 25 Jan. 1 732-3, and represented it until March 1741-2, when he accepted office. Afterwards he represented in turn Devizes (1742-7), Liskeard (1747-54), and Launceston (1754-8). He acted with the adherents of Prince Frederick, and his election as chairman of committee of privileges and elections on 16 Dec. 1741, when he defeated the ministerial nominee, Giles Earle [q. v.], by four votes, presaged Walpole's downfall. Through Lord Carteret's influence, and to the chagrin of the Prince of Wales, he was appointed a lord of the admiralty on 19 March 1742, and when Carteret lost his place of secretary of state, Lee refused the oners of his opponents and followed him into retirement. In the little band of advisers of Frederick, prince of Wales, at Leicester House his opinion was most frequently adopted, and the prince often toasted him in social life as the future chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the House of Commons. Immediately on the prince's death he joined the widow in burning all his private papers, and, in spite of the opposition of the Pelhams, was made treasurer of her household (1751). From 1751 until his death he held the offices of dean of arches and judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury, and he was duly knighted (12 Feb. 1752) and made a privy councillor (13 Feb.) In 1757 Lee resigned his place of treasurer to the princess dowager in consequence of the rise into favour of Lord Bute, but his defection attracted little notice, as the princess's adherents had for some time slackened in their opposition to the ministry. When the Duke of Newcastle proposed in to form an administration, with the exclusion of Pitt from office, Lee reluctantly agreed to be chancellor of the exchequer but the duke, almost at once and without the least notice ' to those who had agreed to join him, abandoned his scheme. On 18 Dec. Lee died suddenly at his house in St. James's Square, London, and was buried on 28 Dec. in the family vault underneath the east end of Hartwell Church, Buckinghamshire. He married, on 5 June 1742, Judith, second daughter of Humphry Morice of Werrington, near Launceston, Cornwall, by his wife, a daughter of Thomas Sandys of London. She died on 19 July 1743, aged 33, and was buried on 1 Aug. in the vault of the Lee family in Hartwell Church. Sir George died without issue, and left all his fortune to his nephew, Sir William Lee, the fourth baronet.

Lee was an effective speaker, with an impressive voice, but his success in his profession disqualified him for the highest posts in the ministry. Many volumes of his notebooks are in Hartwell library, and his deci-