born: abt 1609 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England (some sources say Tilston, Cheshire)
died: 1661 in Northumberland Co., Virginia
Likely to be related to John Lee of Shropshire, ancestor of
Gen. Robert E. Lee
Spouse: Hannah Hewitt
1. Hugh Lee "of Blackwater"
Lee of Virginia
Author: Edmund Jennings Lee, M.D.
Call Number: R929.2 qL48
Biographical and Genealogical sketches of the descendants of Colonel Richard Lee who came from England to Virginia. page 51
There was a Mr. Hugh Lee, Justice for Northumberland in 1655, who patented 100 acres there in 1650, and 288 acres in 1654.
Family Archive #186 Virginia Genealogies #2, 1600s-1800s
Listed in: Genealogies of Virginia Families, Volume IV
Page number: 672
Mr. Hugh Lee stands indebted to the estate of Thos: Youell deceased.
ye sume of 1590 pounds of tob. & this debt is assigned by Ann Youel the Widdow & Relict of Thos: Youle unto Richard Sturman.
Northumberland Co., Orders 1652-1655. Feb. 25, 1655. After the death of Thomas Youell, Sr., Ann, his wife, married Augustine Hull.
Issue of Ann Sturman by her first husband, Thomas Youell, Sr.:
1. Thomas Youell, Jr., born 1644, will 1695. married Anne, dau. of Col. Richard Lee. She was a minor in 1663, married before June 23-1673.
The Washington Ancestry and Records of the
McClain, Johnson and Forty Other Colonial
American Families, Volume 1
Author: Charles Arthur Hoppin
Call Number: R929.2 qW318h v.1
RICHD WRIGHT WM BARKER FRANCIS CLAY
20th May 1656: Jurat in Cur.
Omnibus Christi fidelibus. [To all the faithful of Christ.] Whereas I Wm Barker Commander of the Shipp Wm of London was distressed by Extremity of Weather the 16th of February Anno 1654 being in the Latitude of 52 degrees & 160 Leagues Westward from the Lizard or thereabouts where wee lost our maine Mast. And haveing seaven Bayles of Goods Consigned to Jno Bateman the damage they rec'd was by Extremity of Weather (vizt.) what damage they received before the delivery of the said Goods out of our Shipp. And I the said Wm Barker prferred to deliver the said goods at Accomack in Virginia but the owners of the same would not receive them, I being afterwards forced to put them on shoare into Coll. Jno Mottrom's Store at Chicacoan whoe is nowe deceased. In Wittnes of this my sd Protest I the sd Wm Barker with the other officers belonging to the said Shipp have in the prsence of this Court made oath hereunto May the 21th 1656.
WM BARKER, RICH: COVELL.
[This Captain William Barker was of the parish of Ratcliffe in the County of Middlesex, England, near London and the River Thames. The Lizard is the last lighthousepoint on the southwest coast of England, near Land's End.]
This record indicates that the William was on the point of departure for London, and that Mr. Richard Wright did not sail in her. But within nine days of her departure, he had contracted to sail for Europe in the William, upon her return, and to take a cargo of tobacco. If he failed Page 314 to have the vessel back in Virginia in time to sail again for England by the end of the following February, he contracted to go in whatever other vessel he might have ready or could charter. The crop of tobacco to be transported was the one which Hugh Lee (founder of one of the Lee families of Virginia) was planning to plant, cure, and pack during the year 1656:
[Northumberland County Record Book,
1653-1685, p. 145]:
MR RICHARD WRIGHT | THIS Writeing
& MR HUGH LEE | Indenture made in
THEIR AGREEMT | the yeare of our
FOR FRAUGHT | Lord God May
OF TOBCO . . . | 29th 1656. Betwixt
Richard Wright of London, mercht being homeward bound on the one p'ty & Mr Hugh Lee of Virginia gent. on the other p'ty. WITTNESSETH that it is Covenated & agreed by & betweene the sd p'ties to these prsents for themselves their Exts & assignes that the sd Richard Wright or his assignes shall p'vide or cause to be p'vided to the takeing of
sixty hoggsds of Tobacco in some able Shipp yt Shall arrive in the Bay,(*) the William not deneyed in this obligacon, if shee or any other sufficient Shipp shall arrive here in the Bay at or before the 1th of March next ensueing the date hereof, where the sd Shipp being arrived the sd Tobco shall be all ready within fourty dayes after her arrival, to be fetched Aboard by the Shallops or boates belonging to the sd Shipp wch the sd Richard Wright shall p'vide or cause to be p'vided Mr Hugh Lee, paying fraught for the sd goods Seaven pounds p. tunn for England or Eight pounds p. tunn for Zeeland, & soe for a lesser quantity than a tun accompting foure Virginia hoggsds for a tunn wth primage & average accustomed, the danger of the seas excepted
(*) Chesapeake Bay.
ffor the pformance whereof, I, Richard Wright of London, mercht doe bind myselfe heires & assignes in the sume of two hundred pounds Sterl unto Hugh Lee, gent., & to pformance of the sd Covenants & agreemts as above I Hugh Lee doe bind myselfe, heires & assignes in the like sume of two hundred pounds Sterling. In Wittnes whereof wee have sunderly putt our hands the day & yeare above written
HUGH LEE [the seale]
Scaled & delivered in the prsence of WM BARKER (ye marke), SETH
FFOSTER. 26 May 1658 this Writeing was Recorded
In his indicating himself on May 29, 1656, as "of London," "homeward bound," is reflected the fact that Mr. Richard Wright had not then married or definitely decided to make Virginia his permanent home. He had then been present in America but little over a year. The fifteen tons of tobacco of this contract to be transported to Holland at ¶8 per ton meant for Richard Wright, by the present monetary standard, over $2,000. Thus his percentage of profit was very large-- much larger than the profit of the tobacco grower, so high per
ton was the freight rate.
But the first day of the following March, 1656, duly arrived and found both Mr. Wright and Mr. Lee's tobacco still on Virginia soil. During the interim, important events had happily come about. "Mistress Ann Mottrom" and Mr. Richard Wright had married. Because of the added responsibilities of the Mottrom estate, the young husband was two months late in sailing with his cargo if he intended to sail in March; the ship seems to have been the William, though Captain Barker may have been succeeded by Page 315 "Capt. Wm Whittington," at least while the ship was visiting the ports of Holland. Although both Wright and Lee were under bonds in ¶200, the one to have the ship at hand in Virginia, the other to have his sixty great hogsheads of tobacco ready on the shore in March, 1656/7, there appears to have been no claim made by either party against the other before the ship finally sailed. Madam Lee, the wife of Hugh Lee, Gent., engaged for herself passage to Holland in this same ship with Mr. Wright, whom she was to pay for her passage and the freight for the tobacco upon their safe arrival in Europe, "the danger of the seas excepted."
On May 7, 1657, Richard Wright concluded some of his affairs in Virginia and made ready to embark for Europe. On November 1, 1656, preceding, the ship William was in the port of London, England, on which day her master, Captain Barker, there witnessed and received from Miles Cooke a letter for the latter's "trusty & welbeloved friend Richard Wright,
Merchant," which Captain Barker afterward delivered at Chicacoan. The powers conveyed by this letter not having been fully exercised by Mr. Richard Wright up to May 7, 1657, he delegated them to his young wife, and on the same day transferred to her and his attorney authority to act in Virginia in his absence abroad.
The hazards of a sea voyage then were not merely those of bad weather; pirates were the greater danger. Every ship that sailed to or from Virginia faced the prospect of a fight with pirates, and was armed. The Turks, Moors, and other marauders from the Barbary coast of northern Africa roamed at large upon the Atlantic. As late as 1682 these "land and sea
robbers" entered Chesapeake Bay. At this time, Mr. Richard Wright's brother-in-law, Colonel Nicholas Spencer, then Secretary of the Colony, wrote to the English Secretary of State that the pirates were so strong that it would be foolish for the Virginians to attack them. [British Colonial Papers, Vol. I, No. 30.] Captain Kidd was at the acme of his career in 1699,
and as late as the year 1700 a ship arriving from England had a desperate fight with pirates in Lynnhaven Bay near the present city of Norfolk, Virginia. Therefore, it is not surprising that freight rates were so high that the profit of a successful voyage was enormous. Dauntless, nevertheless, were the men, like Richard Wright, who attempted the voyages. "The little band of sea-captains, who were annually voyaging backwards and forwards . . . were a body of superior men, who were freely admitted to the tables of the foremost planters." [Bruce's Social Life, p. 147.]
The young and adventurous marinermerchant had an interesting story to tell how the unbusinesslike Madam Lee misunderstood her obligations to him with respect to the payments for her passage and for the "fraught" of the tobacco. Unfortunately for her, he was obliged to relate his experiences with her in Holland Page 317 and England before the justices of the County Court of Northumberland. She had also returned to Virginia, though in a different vessel. The action was precipitated by the lady's husband, who may have imagined that the failure of Wright to depart for England before May 7, 1657, might excuse Madam Lee's actions in Holland. The record reads:
[Northumberland County, Order Book, 1652-1665, p. 84]:
(COURT OF JANUARY 21, 1657.)
MR HUGH LEE | Hannah Lee ye AGT. | Wife & Attorney MR RICHARD WRIGHT | of Mr Hugh Lee being arrested to this Cort at the suite of Mr Richard Wright hee not declaring agt the sd Mrs Lee It is therefore ordered that the sd Mr Wright be Non-suited and shall forthwith pay 50 li of Tobco to the sd Mrs Lee with Cort charges als Execucon.
Following this entry is an order indicating that Mr. Richard Wright was ready for the legal contest and that he was not in the least degree submissive:
Ordered yt ye Sheriffe forth wth Sumon ye appearance of Hannah Lee the Attorney of Hugh Lee before this Cort to answere the suite of Richard Wright, Mercht.
Mr. Wright produced valuable evidence, viz.:
[Northumber land County Court Record Book,
1653-1685, p. 145d]:
WM WHITTINGTON | The Deposicon of DEPO: | Capt Wm Whittington aged 37 yeares or thereabouts sworne Sayeth that yor Depont being at Midleburgh in Zealand(*) was there required by Mr Richd Wright (*) In Holland. to goe along with him to fflusing & comeing there yor Depont & the sd Wright went to a Taverne where wee mett with one Mrs Lee (as
he called her) & hee the sd Mr Wright demanded of her certaine sume of money for fraught(+) of Tobacco, whereupon Shee answered that if Shee did not pay him there, hee knewe well enough where to be paid, then hee answered againe, I doe not knowe where it should be paid but here for here my money is duc, then shee answered Shee could on the
morrowe following come to him to Midleburgh to make an end (or words to that purpose), three dayes after wee went to Midleburgh againe to looke the sd Mrs Lee meeting wth her Brother hee told us that Shee was gone for England, & further sayth not; This was in the moneth of August or thereabouts.
Wittness my hand this 14th of May 1658
Sworne before us ye day abovesd
JNO STRINGER WM KENDALL
26th May 1658 This depo: was Recorded
MR RICHD WRIGHT HIS | Novembr ye 29th
ACCT. CHARGED TO | dy 1657 Mrs Lee
MRS LEE | is Dr
The court order book adds the legal aspect of the case:
[Northumberland County Order Book 1652--1665,
At a Cort held for ye County of Northumberland at ye house of Mr Richard Wright the 26th of May
MR RICHARD WRIGHT | Whereas it doth AGT | appeare unto this MR HUGH LEE | Cort by a Covenant & obligacon from under the hand & seale of Mr Hugh Lee that hee is indebted unto Mr Richd Wright, Marcht, the sume of Seaventy two pounds one shilling six pence Sterl. for the fraught of 30 hoggsds of Tobco his Wife's passage & other charges accrewing as by accot. further appeares to the truth whereof the sd. Mr. Wright before this Cort deposed upon his oath: It is therefore ordered that Hannah Lee, the wife & Attorney of the sd Mr Hugh Lee, shall by the next Cort held for this County ye 20th of July make payment of the sd debt of 72li 1s 6d Sterl. unto the sd Mr Wright wth all Costs of suite als Execucon.
An attempt to reopen the case, or to gain time for payment, was made at the session of the court on July 20, 1658, but no further action ensued, the Lees finally paying the amount of the judgment--another decided victory for the energetic Mr. Richard Wright, then aged but twenty-five years:
[Ibid., page 89d.] Hannah Lee the Wife & Attorney of Mr Hugh Lee appealeth from this Cort to the 6th day of the next quarter Cort in a Cause depending betweene Mr Richard Wright, Plant. & shee the sd Hannah Lee, defendt. wch accordingly is granted by this Cort, shee the sd Lee giveing full caucon(*) as Law requireth.
Child of Hugh Lee is: