Lee (St. Margaret)
LEE (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Lewisham, hundred of Blackheath, lathe of Suttonat-Hone, W. division of Kent, 7 miles (S. E. by E.) from London; containing 2360 inhabitants. This parish, which within the last few years has much increased in population, formerly consisted only of a few detached houses. A very handsome range of buildings, called Lee Park, has been erected, consisting of villas on both sides of the road, with grounds tastefully laid out, and forming one continuous line with Blackheath Park. Great additions have also been made to the village, and in various parts of the vicinity are elegant mansions. The parish comprises 1210 acres, of which 70 are in wood. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £3. 11. 8., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £407, and the glebe comprises 39 acres. The ancient church, with the exception of the tower, was taken down, and the present edifice erected on the site in 1814; it is built of flint and stone, and has a neat cemetery containing several handsome monuments, the most conspicuous of which are those of the great astronomer, Edmund Halley; the comedian, William Parsons; the amiable Lady Dacre; and Sir Samuel Fludyer, Bart., who, as lord mayor of London in 1761, gave a sumptuous banquet to George III. and his royal consort. Some indications of insecurity in the structure having appeared, it was deemed advisable to prepare for the probable result; and on the 17th of July, 1839, the foundation stone of a new church was laid. This building, which is an elegant specimen in the early English style, with a lofty and graceful spire, was completed at an expense of £8000, and consecrated on the 11th March, 1841. The interior is beautifully arranged; the windows are embellished with stained glass, and the central east window, the design of which is taken from the "Five Sisters" in York Minster, is finely executed. There is also a chapel of ease in the parish. Lee Park proprietary grammar school is a good edifice, after the Propyleum of Athens. Christopher Boone, in 1683, founded and endowed an almshouse for six persons, with a chapel attached, and a school for twelve children; the endowment produces about £71 per annum. Behind Boone's almshouses are others endowed by the Merchant Tailors' Company for 29 widows of freemen; the houses are built of white brick, ornamented with stone.