Anthony Lee, portrait painter d. 1767
Two of his portraits are in the National Gallery, Dublin, signed ALee, with the A and L conjoined. He married Martha Mahon in February of 1733 or 1734 in St Andrew's Church. She died in 1749. He died in his house in St Stephen's Green, in June 1767. His will is dated 28 June 1767, and proved 16 March 1768. In it he asked to be buried in the old churchyard in Kilcroney, near Bray, co Wicklow.
He had two sons, Edward and Anthony, and three daughters, Elizabeth Luther, Susanna and Martha. Martha, the daughter, was the chief beneficiary of his paintings in his will.
Benjamin Lee, Dublin merchant d. 1745
Thomas Lee, a farmer of Milltown, whose will is dated 1679, and proved 1680, had two sons, Thomas and Henry.
Thomas inherited the farm in Milltown.
Henry had premises in Ship Street, and houses in Kevin Street. He died in 1680, and in 1701, was moved to St Peter's graveyard. There is no record of children.
Thomas married Sarah Paris, daughter of Henry Paris, a founder, who was the eldest son of Nicholas Paris of Milltown, who died in 1709.
Thomas's will, dated 1699, named two sons, Thomas and Henry.
Thomas married a Mary Waters in 1715, and we have no further information about him.
Henry is probably the merchant who was a bricklayer, and had premises in Fleet Street, Jervis Street, Stafford Street, and Dawson Street, and also owned brickfields at Merrion. He died in 1713, leaving Elizabeth, his wife, and sons, William, d. 1732, James, d. 1735, Benjamin, and daughters Jane and Hester.
The third son, Benjamin, whose will is dated 1745, had three illegitimate children; Benjamin Lee alias Furniss, Jane, who married William White of Wexford, and had a daughter Elizabeth, and another Benjamin Lee, born in August 1745, two months after the death of his father.
Benjamin Lee born 1745, married Susanna Smyth, daughter of Rev John Smyth, and had a son, Joseph, and three daughters, Anne, Jane, and Rebecca. Benjamin moved to Bath, in England, where he died in 1781. He left all his property to his wife. His will was proved in 1786.
Miss Gertrude Thrift, a genealogist, who compiled this history, was unable to establish any connection with the Earls of Litchfield as described by Burke (ie Burke's Peerage).
Benjamin Lee's connection with Bath, near the Bristol channel, may signify ties with the merchant families who traded with Dublin.
Anne Lee, daughter of Benjamin Lee, married Arthur Guinness junior of Beaumont, Drumcondra, in Dublin, in 1793. He was one of the 21 children of Arthur Guinness senior, the founder of the brewery. The eldest son of Arthur junior and Anne, born in 1798, was Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness MP, owner of the brewery, Lord Mayor of Dublin and benefactor of St Patrick's Cathedral to the sum of £160,000 between 1860 and 1864. Also in the 1860's he bought numbers 80 and 81, St Stephens Green, and combined them into what is now Iveagh House, the Department of Foreign Affairs.
He was created a baronet in 1867, and he died in 1868. A statue of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, Baronet, was erected in 1875, and stands outside the cathedral, at the St Patrick's Close entrance.
The youngest of Benjamin's three sons, Edward, was the first Earl of Iveagh, and Edward's son, Rupert, the second Earl, gave Iveagh House to the state in 1939. Another son, Arthur Lee Guinness, lived at Stillorgan, co Dublin.
Iveagh is the region around county Down which was the territory of the Mac Aonghusa, or McGennis, family, from whence the name Guinness.
Charles & William Lee
GO Ms 262, p 211 records that Charles Lee, an officer, who was by family tradition, a descendant of a younger branch of the Earl of Litchfield's family, had a son, William Lee, who was born in England in 1708, came to Ireland as a child, and was a merchant in Dublin. He married Elizabeth, born 14 Jan 1704, daughter of Ralph Widdington of Northumberland. William died in 1783.
William and Elizabeth had a son, Thomas, born on 19 February 1732, who married twice, and whose will is dated 20 March 1786.
His first wife was Susanna, daughter of Michael Lewis of Tullagorey, Kildare, and she had these children: Michael, Robert Weldon, Thomas, and Richard.
His second wife, Katherine, daughter of Andrew Hamilton of Ballymadonell in Donegal, was still living in 1821. They had these children:
James, Major in the 92nd Regiment of Foot, served in Egypt, Holland, Portugal, Spain and France under the Duke of Wellington. He took the name and arms of Harvey by royal sign on 10 March 1821. He married Margaret, daughter of John Harvey of Castle Temple in Renfrewshire;
Henry, who married a Miss Shute; and
James and Margaret, now Harvey, had four children:
John, born 2 February 1817, married a Rea Harvey; James Harvey, born 1821, married a Miss Octavius Lee; Catherine; and Margaret.
George Alexander Lee 1802 - 1851
Born in London in 1802. He came to Dublin, where he began his career as a tenor singer and conductor in 1822. Soon afterwards, in 1826, he returned to London. In 1830 he became acquainted with a Mrs Waylett, and he married her in 1840, after her husband died. He was a musical composer, and a manager of a number of theatres, including the Tottenham Theatre, 1829-30, Drury Lane 1831-2, and the Strand Theatre 1834. From 1835-6 he had a music shop in Frith Street, and was a conductor at the Olympic Theatre 1845, the Vauxhall 1849, and a pianist at the 'Poses Plastiques' in Bow Street.
He died on 8 October 1851.
George John Vandeleur Lee 1830 - 1886
His legal parents
were Robert and Eliza Lee, of Kilrush in co Clare, although he claimed to be
the natural child of Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur, MP, JP, DL, of Kilrush
House, county Clare, and he may have benefited financially, on his maturity,
from a Vandeleur settlement.
Robert, who was a coal merchant in Dublin, died in January 1843, aged forty-one, and Eliza died in March 1860.
George John, as he was in his early years, had a brother, William, otherwise Harcourt William Nassau Lee, who had been born in 1831, and died in May 1862.
Lee wrote a book; 'The Voice, its Artistic Production, Development, and Preservation'. He was for many years George Bernard Shaw's mother's music teacher, and she sang Donna Anna in Lee's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Unable to play music in the house where his mother and brother had died, he moved into 1, Hatch Street, and Mrs Shaw and her family followed, except George Bernard, who continued to live at home, until he became estranged from his alcoholic father, and Vandeleur Lee, as he was known after about 1871, became his surrogate father and mentor.
Lee was forced to resign from a prominent position as conductor and organiser of the inaugural concert for the Dublin Exhibition of 1873, when his lack of formal qualifications became an issue, and he was denounced as an 'arrant impostor'. Humiliated, he left Dublin within a few days.
When he moved to London, Mrs Shaw again followed Lee a month later, on 17 June, 1873, her twenty-first wedding anniversary, giving rise to speculation that there was a romantic relationship between Mrs Shaw and Lee, although Shaw himself denied this. GB Shaw followed in 1876, and did not return to Dublin for 30 years.
Lee died on 28 November 1886, at his home in 'the unfashionable end' of Park Lane. No Shaw attended the funeral, and advertisements for relatives were not responded to. He left £602.
This curious mentor's relationship with Shaw is described in 'Shaw and the Charlatan Genius', by John O'Donovan, written in 1965. O'Donovan feels that Shaw's writings, which include many characters who question their parentage, indicate that he suspected, or hoped, that Lee was his natural father. Shaw certainly took delight in the destruction of the Public Records Office in 1922, as the documentary proof of his embarrassing relationship to his alcoholic father was now burned; clearly, he gave the matter a good deal of his attention.
Biographers are divided on the issue of whether Lee could have fathered GB; some cite similarities in appearance and mannerisms, while others are dismissive.