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Persons named Richard at the Lee (record texts)

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2015-08-28. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.

Below is found a list of records relating to historical persons carrying the same name as the knight Robin Hood befriends in A Gest of Robyn Hode, Richard at the Lee. Variants are Richard (at the/atte) Lee, Lea, Legh, Leigh, Ligh, Lech(e), Leg(ge) etc. The list will focus on persons who lived before 1500. It will of course never be exhaustive. Occasionally, historical persons with names other than Richard at the Lee (or similar) have been suggested as models of the literary character. Records relating to such persons will be listed separately.

Records relating to persons named Richard at the Lee

The following 6 records concern persons named Richard at the Lee:

1206 - Richard de la Lye

[c. 1206:]
[Lee F[ar]m and Street F[ar]m [...] were the homes of Richard de la Lye [...] and Adam atte Strete (1296 [...]). The latter is on the main road from Fittleworth to Arundel.][1]

1321 - Richard atte Lighe of Uxbridge

John Lowys, of Ikenham, and Richard atte Lighe, of Woxebrigge, and Juliana, his wife. A messuage in Woxebrigge.[2]

1407 - Richard del Lee of Nottingham

[13 Oct. 1407:]
Item dicunt, quod Henricus Wylford et Ricardus del Lee jactant cineres et fimum extra muros villatae in antra communia, in obturationem dictorum antrorum.

[W.H. Stevenson's translation:]
They also say, that Henry Wilford and Richard del Lea throw cinders and dung outside the walls of the township in the common caves, to the blocking up of the said caves.[3]

1408 - Richard del Lee of Nottingham

[23 Apr. 1408:]
Item dicunt, quod Ricardus del Lee aedificavit domum super solium commune ibidem juxta.

[W.H. Stevenson's translation:]
They also say, that Richard del Lee has built a house upon the common ground near there.[4]

1453 - Richard Lee of London

Sir George Irlond, knight, Sir Thomas Urswyk, [p. 207:] knight, Sir John Crosby, knight, Robert Moleneux, Thomas Rygby, Richard Lee, and John Mitchell, and David Errell, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and heir of Alexander Marchall. Premises in the parish of St. Giles, without Crepulgate, London.[5]

1830 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[27 May 1830:]
RICHARD LEE was indicted for stealing, on the 27th of May, 1 sovereign, 9 shillings, and 4 sixpences, the monies of James Barker.

JAMES BARKER. I live in Robinhood-lane, Poplar. On the 23rd of April I put 31s. into a jug, in a cupboard in a room which we do not make use of, when I got up in the morning, and missed it the next day. I am a bricklayer. The prisoner lodged with me – my wife said, "I think Lee has the money, he has spent a great deal;" I went to a public-house, and brought him home – he denied it, but said, "If you think I have robbed you, charge an officer with me."[6]