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Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield

Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield

English noble
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro English noble
Gender female
Birth 5 September 1664
Death 17 February 1718
Star sign Virgo
Mother: Barbara Palmer1st Duchess of Cleveland
Father: Charles II of England
Siblings: Charles Beauclerk1st Duke of St AlbansJames Scott1st Duke of MonmouthGeorge FitzRoy1st Duke of NorthumberlandCharles FitzRoy2nd Duke of ClevelandHenry FitzRoy1st Duke of GraftonCharles Lennox1st Duke of RichmondCharles FitzCharles1st Earl of PlymouthAnne LennardCountess of SussexLady Barbara FitzRoyLady Mary Tudor
Spouse: Edward Lee1st Earl of Lichfield
Children: George Lee2nd Earl of Lichfield
The details

Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield (5 September 1664 – 17 February 1718), formerly Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, was the illegitimate daughter of King Charles II of England by one of his best known mistresses, Barbara Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland


She was the fourth child and second daughter of Barbara Palmer née Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine who was by then separated but still married to Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine. Castlemaine did not father any of his wife's children; rather, Charlotte and her siblings were the illegitimate offspring of their mother's royal lover, Charles II. The king acknowledged her as his daughter and so she bore the surname of Fitzroy – "son of the King".

She was the favourite niece of James, Duke of York, younger brother of Charles II, who would later reign as James II. "We know but little of her except that she was beautiful;" she "rivaled her mother in beauty, but was far unlike her in every other respect." As the Duchess of Cleveland was known for her diabolical nature, the implication here is that Charlotte was a sweet-tempered and pleasing person; one memoirist attests to that assumption, describing Lady Lichfield as "a very good and virtuous lady." It is said that the king had a greater value and love for this lady than he had for his other children.

Marriage and issue

On 16 May 1674, before her tenth birthday, Lady Charlotte was contracted to Sir Edward Lee, and married on 6 February 1677 at twelve years of age. When Charles Stewart, 6th Duke of Lennox died in 1673, Sir Edward was created Earl of Lichfield.

Together they had eighteen children:

  • Charlotte Lee, Lady Baltimore (13 March 1678 (Old Style) – 22 January 1721),
    • (1) Benedict Calvert, 4th Baron Baltimore, by whom she had six children.
    • (2) Christopher Crowe, Consul of Leghorn, by whom she had four children.
  • Charles Lee, Viscount Quarendon (6 May 1680 – 13 October 1680).
  • Edward Henry Lee, Viscount Quarendon (6 June 1681 – 21 October 1713).
  • Captain Hon. James Lee (13 November 1681 – 1711).
  • Francis Lee (14 February 1685 – died young).
  • Anne Lee (29 June 1686 – d. 1716?), married N Morgan.
  • Charles Lee (5 June 1688 – 3 January 1708).
  • George Henry Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield (12 March 1690 – 15 February 1743).
  • Francis Henry Fitzroy Lee (10 September 1692 – died young).
  • Elizabeth Lee (26 May 1693 – 29 January 1739). Married:
    • (1) Francis Lee, a cousin. Had one son and two daughters, the eldest of whom, Elisabeth (d. 1736 at Lyon) married Henry Temple, son of the 1st Viscount Palmerston.
    • (2) Edward Young, in 1731, author of the Night Thoughts, by whom she had one son. It is said that he never recovered from Elizabeth's death.
  • Barbara Lee (3 March 1695 – d. aft. 1729), married Sir George Browne, 3rd Baronet of Kiddington.
  • Mary Isabella Lee (6 September 1697 – 28 December 1697).
  • Fitzroy Lee (10 May 1698 – died young).
  • Vice Admiral FitzRoy Henry Lee (2 January 1700 – April 1751), Commodore Governor of Newfoundland.
  • William Lee (24 June 1701 – died young).
  • Thomas Lee (25 August 1703 – died young).
  • John Lee (3 December 1704 – died young).
  • Robert Lee, 4th Earl of Lichfield (3 July 1706 – 3 November 1776).


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