George Lee, 3rd Earl of Lichfield

English earl (1718–1772)

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George Lee
Earl of Lichfield
A painted portrait of the 3rd Earl

The 3rd Earl of Lichfield by George Huddesford
Tenure 1743–1772
Predecessor George Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield
Successor Robert Lee, 4th Earl of Lichfield
Born 21 May 1718
Died 17 September 1772 (aged 54)
Buried Spelsbury
Spouse(s) Diana Frankland
Father George Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield
Mother Frances Hales

George Henry Lee II, 3rd Earl of Lichfield PC (1718–1772) was a British politician and peer. He was made a Privy Councillor and Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms in 1762, holding both honours until death. Previously, he had served as member of parliament for Oxfordshire from 1740 until acceding to the peerage in 1743.

Birth and origins[edit]

Family tree
George Lee, 3rd Earl, with wife, parents, and other selected relatives.[a]
Charles II

1st Earl


2nd Earl


d. 1769
4th Earl


3rd Earl

c. 1719–1779


d. 1794


XXX Subject of
the article
XXX Earls of
XXX Viscounts

George was born on 21 May 1718 in London.[1] He was the son of George Henry Lee I, 2nd Earl of Lichfield and his wife Frances Hales. His father was the 2nd Earl of Lichfield and a great-grandson of King Charles II through his illegitimate daughter Charlotte Fitzroy by his mistress Barbara Villiers.

George’s mother was a daughter of Sir John Hales, 4th Baronet of Hackington,[2] who had brought her up as a Catholic and was the 2nd Earl of Tenterden in the Jacobite peerage.[3] George had two brothers and six sisters, who are listed in his father’s article.

Early life[edit]

From birth he was styled Viscount Quarendon as heir apparent. In the family tradition, he was educated at St John’s College, Oxford. On 14 February 1732 he was made an M.A. of Oxford.

In 1740 and from 1741 to 1742, he served as member of parliament (MP) for the county of Oxford. On 15 February 1743, his father died and Viscount Quarendon became the 3rd Earl of Lichfield.[4]

He continued his law studies at Oxford and earned his D.C.L. of Oxford on 25 August 1743.[5] 23 years later, on 19 August of the year 1760, Lichfield received the great position of High Steward of the University of Oxford.

On 9 December 1760, he became Lord of the Bedchamber to King George III; and on 12 July 1762, Captain of the Band of Gentlemen Pensioners. He joined the Privy Council on 14 July 1762. He replaced George Huddesford as the Deputy Ranger of Hampton Court Park in July 1762. Finally, on 23 September 1762, he assumed the role of Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

From the Gentleman’s Magazine, XXXIII., p. 349:

“The graceful dignity, the political condescension, the ne quid nimis (‘Let there be nothing in Excess’) of the Chancellor were universally admired” – 1763.

He became a vice-president of the Society of Arts; and a deputy lieutenant for Oxfordshire county on 17  October 1763.


On 16 January 1745, in Bath, Lord Lichfield married Diana or Dinah, daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Frankland; they had no children.[6]


Lord Lichfield died on 17 September 1772.[7] The Earldom of Lichfield passed to his uncle Robert Lee.[8]

End of the line[edit]

The 3rd and 4th earls, George Henry II and Robert Lee respectively, died without issue, therefore the estate eventually reverted to the 2nd Earl’s eldest surviving daughter, and sister of the 3rd Earl, Lady Charlotte Lee. In 1744 Charlotte had married the 11th Viscount Dillon. Their son Charles Dillon, 12th Viscount Dillon inherited the estate of Ditchley but not the title. Ditchley remained the home of the Viscounts Dillon until 1934.

The title would be created for a third time when Thomas Anson would be created Earl of Lichfield in the coronation honours of William IV in 1831.

Age Date Event
0 1718, 21 May Born.
9 1727, 11 Jun Accession of King George II, succeeding King George I[9]
24 1743, 15 Feb Succeeded his father as 3rd Earl of Lichfield[4]
26 1745, 16 Jan Married Diana Frankland[6]
42 1760, 25 Oct Accession of King George III, succeeding King George II[10]
54 1772, 17 Sep Died.[7]

Notes and references[edit]


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  1. ^ Also see the lists of siblings in the text.


  1. ^ Thorne 2004, p. 69, right column. “… was born in London on 21 May 1718 …”
  2. ^ Cokayne 1893, p. 75, line 26. “He [George Lee, the 2nd Earl] m. [married] Frances, da. [daughter] of Sir John Hales, 4th Bart. of Woodchurch, co Kent, by his first wife …”
  3. ^ Ruvigny 1904, p. 174. “II. John (Hales) second Earl of Tenterden, second but eldest surviving son and heir of preceding, succeeded his father in 1695.”
  4. ^ a b Cokayne 1893, p. 75, line 24. “… he succeeded to the peerage, 14 July 1716;
  5. ^ Thorne 2004, p. 70, right column, line 1. “He was created DCL at Oxford on 25 August 1743.”
  6. ^ a b Thorne 2004, p. 70, right column, line 2. “He married, at the Queen Street Chapel in Bath, on 16 January 1745, Dinah (1718/9–1779) daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Frankland, third baronet, of Thirkleby, Yorkshire …”
  7. ^ a b Cokayne 1893, p. 75, line 40. “He d. s.p. [died without issue] 17 Sep. 1772, aged 54, and was bur. [buried] at Spelsbury.”
  8. ^ Thorne 2004, p. 70, right column, line 49. “… was succeeded by his uncle Robert Lee (1706–1776), youngest son of the first earl.”
  9. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 46, line 11. “George II … acc. 11 Jun. 1727;”
  10. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 46, line 35. “George III … acc. 25 Oct. 1760;”


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  • .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}Cokayne, George Edward (1893). Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant. Vol. V (1st ed.). London: George Bell and Sons. OCLC 1180836840. – L to M (for Lichfield)
  • Fryde, Edmund Boleslaw; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology. Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, No. 2 (3rd ed.). London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-86193-106-8. – (for timeline)
  • Ruvigny, Melville Henry, Marquis de (1904). Jacobite Peerage Baronetage Knightage and Grants of Honour. Edinburgh: T C & E C Jack. OCLC 655825906.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Thorne, Roland (2004). “Lee, George Henry, third earl of Lichfield (1718–1772)”. In Matthew, Colin; Harrison, Brian (eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 35. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 69–71. ISBN 0-19-861383-0.

Further reading[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by

Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by

Political offices
Preceded by

Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners
Succeeded by

Peerage of England
Preceded by

Earl of Lichfield
Succeeded by