Thomas Ludwell Lee

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Thomas Ludwell Lee, Sr. (December 13, 1730 – April 13, 1778) was an editor of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He was the older brother of Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, William Lee, and Arthur Lee. He was a member of the House of Burgesses from 1758–1765, but refused to enter into national politics. John Adams, quoting George Wythe once said he was "the delight of the eyes of every Virginian, but would not engage in public life".[1] On October 14, 1776 he was appointed to a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson and including George Wythe, Edmund Pendleton and George Mason to revise, amend or repeal any Virginia law subject to the approval of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Early life

Lee was born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Thomas Lee and his wife Hannah Harrison Ludwell. He was the couple's third son and the second one to survive into adulthood. Much about Lee's early life is unknown although it is assumed that he studied in England along with this brothers.[2] Thomas resided at "Belleview" in Stafford Co., Virginia. This home was the site of the first annual meeting of the Mississippi Company, at which George Washington (1732–1799) and his brother John Augustine Washington attended in September 1763.


Thomas married Mary Aylett. Mary was the daughter of William Aylett and Elizabeth Eskridge (1719). Elizabeth married secondly, Dr. James Steptoe, Col. (1709–1757).


1. Thomas Ludwell Lee, Jr. (ca. 1752-1807), who married Frances "Fanny" Carter (ca. 1755), daughter of Robert Wormley Carter (ca. 1735-1797) of Sabine Hall and Winifred Tavener Beale (ca. 1740).

2. William Aylett Lee (ca. 1754), who died young).

3. George Lee, Sr. (ca. 1756-1802), who married Evelyn Byrd Beverley (1782). Evelyn married secondly, Dr. Patrick Hume Douglas. Evelyn was the daughter of Robert Beverley (1740–1800) and Maria Carter (1745–1817).

4. Anne Fenton Lee (ca. 1758), who married Daniel Carroll Brent (1759–1814), son of William Brent III (1733–1782) and Eleanor Carroll.

5. Lucinda Lee (ca. 1760), who married John Dalrymple Orr (1761), son of John Orr (1726) and Susan Monroe Grayson (1743).

6. Rebecca Lee (ca. 1763).


Thomas was the son of Col. Thomas Lee, Hon. (1690–1750) of Stratford Hall, Westmoreland Co., Virginia. Thomas married Hannah Harrison Ludwell (1701–1750).

Hannah was the daughter of Col. Philip Ludwell II (1672–1726) of "Greenspring", and Hannah Harrison (1679–1731).

Thomas was the son of Col. Richard Lee II, Esq., "the scholar" (1647–1715) and Laetitia Corbin (ca. 1657-1706).

Laetitia was the daughter of Richard's neighbor and, Councillor, Hon. Henry Corbin, Sr. (1629–1676) and Alice (Eltonhead) Burnham (ca. 1627-1684).

Richard II, was the son of Col. Richard Lee I, Esq., "the immigrant" (1618–1664) and Anne Constable (ca. 1621-1666).

Anne was the daughter of Thomas Constable and a ward of Sir John Thoroughgood.


  1. Stephen Hess, America's Political Dynasties (1997) p.60
  2. F.W. Alexander, Stratford Hall and the Lees Connected with its History (1912) p.73


  • Alexander, Frederick Warren. Stratford Hall and the Lees Connected with its History (1912) History of the Lee family and Stratford Hall