Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield

Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield (5 September 166417 February 1718), formerly Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, was the natural daughter of Charles II of England and Scotland by one of his most notorious mistresses, Barbara Palmer née Villiers, later 1st Duchess of Cleveland.

She was the fourth child and second daughter of the Lady Barbara Palmer, who was by then separated but still married to Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine. Castlemaine likely did not father any of his wife's children; rather, Charlotte and her siblings were probably the 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 favorite niece of James II, brother of Charles 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.

Lady Charlotte was contracted to Sir Edward Lee shortly before her tenth birthday and married at thirteen years of age. When Charles Stewart, 6th Duke of Lennox died in 1673, Sir Edward was created Earl of Lichfield.

They had by some accounts thirteen sons and five daughters, and by other accounts nine sons and four daughters, including:

  • Charles Lee, Viscount Quarendon: 6 May 1680 – October 1680; died in infancy.
  • Edward Henry Lee, Viscount Quarendon: 6 June 1681 – 21 October 1713.
  • Captain Hon. James Lee: 1681–1711
  • George Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield: 1690–1742
  • Robert Lee, 4th Earl of Lichfield: 1706–1766
  • Vice Admiral FitzRoy Henry Lee: c.1698–1750; Commodore Governor of Newfoundland.
  • Charles Lee: d. 1708; unmarried.
  • John Lee
  • Thomas Lee
  • William Lee
  • Charlotte Lee: 13 March 1678 – 22 January 1721; first married to Benedict Calvert, 4th Baron Baltimore, secondly to Christopher Crowe (c.1681 – 9 November 1749), Consul of Leghorn.
  • Barbara Lee: b. 3 March 1694; first married to Colonel Lee, secondly to Sir George Browne, 3rd Baronet.
  • Anne Lee: b. 1716.
  • Elizabeth Lee (d.1740). Married:



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