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Arthur Lee, 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham

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Arthur Lee, 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Lee of Fareham
GCB GCSI GBE PC
Lord Lee of Fareham, 1903.
Personal details
Born Arthur Hamilton Lee
(1868-11-08)8 November 1868
Bridport, Dorset, England
Died 21 July 1947(1947-07-21) (aged 78)
Avening, Gloucestershire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservatives
Occupation Politician, statesman and public servant, soldier, philanthropist and patron of the arts.

Arthur Hamilton Lee, 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham, GCB, GCSI, GBE, PC (8 November 1868 – 21 July 1947) was a British soldier, diplomat, politician and patron of the arts. After military postings and an assignment to the British Embassy in Washington, he entered politics and served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and First Lord of the Admiralty following the First World War. He donated his country house, Chequers, to the nation as a retreat for the Prime Minister and co-founded the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Contents

  • Early life and military career 1
  • Politics 2
  • Chequers 3
  • Patron of the arts and later life 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and military career

Lee's former residence at the Royal Military College of Canada
Lee's former residence in Washington, D.C.

Arthur Hamilton Lee was born at The Rectory, Bridport, Dorset, in 1868. His father was rector of St. Mary's Church. He was a grandson of Sir John Theophilus Lee, G.C.H., R.N., who as a midshipman was present at the Battle of the Nile.[1] After attending Cheltenham College, Lee entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, before being commissioned into the Royal Artillery as a second lieutenant on 17 February 1888.[2] He was promoted lieutenant on 18 February 1891.[3]

He was posted to the Far East Klondike Gold Rush based on his travels to Alaska and the Yukon. In 1900 when Lee resigned as British Military Attaché in Washington, Colonel Kitson resigned as Commandant of RMC to take over the Washington post vacated by Lee.[6]

He did not receive substantive promotion until the completion of his RMC appointment in 18 April 1898.[7] He became the British military attaché with the United States Army in Cuba during the Spanish–American War in 1898. He received the U.S. campaign medal, he was made an honorary member of the lst U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, the famous Roosevelt's "Rough Rider" and met Theodore Roosevelt. On 28 January 1899 Lee, who was still not thirty years old, was appointed military attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, with the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel (for the duration of his appointment).[8] Although he would have preferred to have been on active service in South Africa, since the Boer War which had just started, Lee enjoyed the challenging diplomatic assignment.[9]

On 23 December 1899, Lee married Ruth Moore (died 1966), daughter of New York banker John Godfrey Moore. He had first met Ruth Moore at parties in Kingston and Gananoque and had taken her to balls at the Royal Military College, Kingston. Ruth was left a substantial inheritance after her father's death shortly before the wedding. He was promoted brevet major on 8 August 1900, and returned to regimental duty on 22 August 1900,[10] and retired from the army on 12 December 1900.[11]

Politics

In 1900, Lee returned to England. Lee then embarked on a political career, he was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Fareham in the 1900 general election while still a regular officer.[12] He represented the Fareham Division of Hampshire for the next eighteen years until his elevation to the peerage. [13] He served as Civil Lord of the Admiralty from 1903 to 1905 under Lord Selborne. [14] He also continued military service during this period as a member of the Volunteer Force.[15]

The resignation of Balfour as Prime Minister in favour of Liberal Leader, Campbell Bannerman, in 1905 and the defeat of the Conservative Party in the elections of 1906 and 1910 postponed further office for a decade. He was Chairman of the Parliamentary Aerial Defence Committee, from 1910 to 1914. In 1912 he introduced the White-Slave Traffic Act. [16]

At the beginning of Prime Minister, Lee became Director-General of Food Production under Rowland Prothero as President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, having now left the arrmy he was permitted to retain the honorary rank of colonel.[20] He was recognised for his work on 1 January 1918, being appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.[21] He was elevated to the peerage on 9 July that year as Baron Lee of Fareham, of Chequers in the County of Buckingham,[22] shortly before he resigned as Director-General of Food Production after disagreements with Prothero.

Lee joined the Bridport in the County of Dorset, on 9 December that year.[24] He went on to chair Royal Commissions on the civil service in India (1923–1924),[25] London cross river traffic (1926),[26] and police powers and procedure (1928).[27] He was also chair of the radium commission and of the committee on police pay and pensions (1925). He was appointed Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India on 1 January 1925,[28] and he was promoted Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1929 King's Birthday Honours.[29] He was also appointed Knight of Grace in the Venerable Order of Saint John on 20 June 1930.[30]

Chequers

Lee's Chequers estate 1909-1921

Lee and his wife took on a long lease of

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Fitzwygram
Member of Parliament for Fareham
19001918
Succeeded by
Sir John Humphrey Davidson
Political offices
Preceded by
Rowland Edmund Prothero
as President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
1919–1921
Succeeded by
Arthur Griffith-Boscawen
Preceded by
Walter Long
First Lord of the Admiralty
1921–1922
Succeeded by
Leopold Stennett Amery
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Lee of Fareham
1922–1947
Extinct
New creation Baron Lee of Fareham
1918–1947
  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Arthur Lee

External links

  1. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893–98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25790. p. 1225. 24 February 1888. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26139. p. 1120. 27 February 1891. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26433. p. 4708. 18 August 1893. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26436. p. 4923. 29 August 1893. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  6. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893–98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26967. p. 3048. 17 May 1898. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27064. p. 1905. 21 March 1899. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  9. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893–98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27254. p. 8306. 7 December 1900. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27255. p. 8377. 11 December 1900. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27244. p. 6770. 6 November 1900. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  13. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893-98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27606. p. 6291. 16 October 1903. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27563. p. 3721. 12 June 1903. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
    The London Gazette: no. 27765. p. 1207. 17 February 1905. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  16. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893-98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28956. p. 8752. 27 October 1914. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
    The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28994. p. 10277. 1 December 1914. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29705. p. 7978. 11 August 1916. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29667. p. 6977. 14 July 1916. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30118. p. 5618. 5 June 1917. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30460. p. 365. 4 January 1918. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30787. p. 8063. 9 July 1918. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32235. p. 14563. 22 February 1921. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32776. p. 8793. 12 December 1922. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32835. p. 4274. 19 June 1923. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33186. pp. 4957–4958. 28 May 1926. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33417. p. 5765. 31 August 1928. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33007. p. 3. 30 December 1924. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33501. p. 3668. 31 May 1929. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33618. p. 3956. 24 June 1930. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  31. ^ "Lloyd Gearoge's New Home" (PDF).  
  32. ^ "People and history: Chequers". Chilterns Conservation Board. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  33. ^ "Home from home".  
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33166. p. 3454. 28 May 1926. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
    The London Gazette: no. 33727. p. 3392. 19 June 1931. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
    The London Gazette: no. 34255. p. 973. 2 March 1943. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
    The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37572. p. 3402. 21 May 1946. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  35. ^ Lord Lee of Fareham Professor of Strategy and Tactics, R.M.C., 1893-98 By No. 2141, T. L. Brock; Royal Military College of Canada Review yearbook 1962 p 189

References

  • Lee of Fareham, Viscount; Clark, Alan (1974). A Good Innings; The Private Papers of Viscount Lee of Fareham. London: J. Murray.  

Bibliography

His widow, Lady Lee, presented to the Royal Military College of Canada Museum a silver-headed walking stick of her late-husband, which he had used daily at RMC nearly seventy years before. The stick has two silver bands listing the places where Lee served, or visited, between 1888 and 1904, which include the Royal Military College of Canada. Lady Lee also presented the RMC Museum with three photographs of Lord Lee – two of them taken in Kingston, one in uniform in 1893, and the other in 1896 wearing a checked suit, silver-topped stick in hand. The third is a photograph of the portrait by Herbert James Gunn in full regalia of a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.[35]

Lee died at Old Quarries, a grade II listed building in Avening, Gloucestershire, in 1947. Lee had no children and his viscountcy became extinct upon his death.

Additionally, in the 1920s Lee was a trustee of the Wallace Collection and of the National Gallery. He served as chairman of the latter in 1931–2, and was a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission from 26 May 1926 until his death.[34]

After furnishing Chequers, Lee began a second collection. He gained the financial backing of Warburg Institute from Hamburg; it was loaned to him prior to its re-establishment in 1944. He also donated a silver collection and other objects to the Hart House in Canada in 1940.

Patron of the arts and later life

[33][32][31]

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