BEF 21 FEB 1621 - England
AFT 24 SEP 1666 - Northumberland, VA
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Anne Constable was an immigrant to the Virginia Colony and the matriarch of the Lee family in Virginia.
The family lived on both the north and south sides of the mouth of York River at various times in their early years. Richard became a tobacco planter and merchant with an interest in two trading ships. Richard also served in several political offices and appointments. He became close with the next Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, and eventually served as Secretary of State, during the eventful time in British history when the monarchy was overthrown and King Charles I was beheaded. Richard negotiated terms for the control of Virginia with the new government and then left politics for the most part to focus on his growing involvement in the tobacco trade.
Richard acquired more lands to the north of Jamestown, including in Northumberland County. In 1656 he relocated the family to his new plantation there, named "Dividing Creek." This land was later split by his children into two parts that are still known today as Cobb's Hall and Ditchley. It is thought that at the time of his death Richard was the wealthiest man in Virginia and largest landholder, owning 13,000 to 15,000 acres. During this time period Richard made many trips to England, both to see to his business interests and also to occasionally carry out political tasks. On one of these trips he purchased an estate in a suburb of London. The family also lived there briefly while the oldest sons were attending university at Oxford.
In 1660 the government established by Parliament in England weakened and King Charles II returned to claim the throne reestablishing the monarchy. William Berkeley was named again as Governor of Virginia and Richard Lee was named to serve on his council. The council was essentially the upper house of House of Burgess and a forerunner to the Senate. Richard also became the Colonel of the Northumberland County Militia.
In late 1663 or early 1664 Richard began moving his family back to Virginia to live in Northumberland full time. Richard returned to Virginia but died soon after. He left to Anne the Dividing Creek estate and also a plantation called Mocke Nock. He also left her 10 indentured servants and five slaves. He directed that the lands left to her be divided between their five youngest children at her death.
Anne remarried to Edmund Lister before September 24th, 1666 and disappeared from the records. Some sources claim without evidence that she lived until 1706. Anne is believed to be buried with Richard Lee at the family cemetery at the Dividing Creek plantation, now known as Cobb's Hall Burying ground. In 1958 a marker was placed at the site by the Society of Lees in Virginia, it reads:
Within this enclosure was buried
of an ancient family of Nordley Regis in Shropshire, who emigrated from London to Virginia in 1639. He was successively clerk of the quarter court at Jamestown, Attorney General of Virginia, Secretary of State, and a member of the council. Having long traded with the nearby Wicomico Indians, in 1656 he established his home on Dividing Creek, at a point 400 feet to the Northeast of this stone. He died there in 1664 and was buried here in his garden.
Also buried within this enclosure were; Anne Constable, the wife of Richard Lee; their son, Charles Lee (1656-1701), and his wife Elizabeth Medstand; their son, Charles Lee of Cobbs Hall (1684-1734); and his son, Charles Lee (1722-1747), and his wives, Mary Lee of Ditchley and Leeanna Jones of Hickory Neck.
In 1761 this Leeanna Lee ordered the erection of the original enclosing wall. Later members of the Cobbs Hall family, Lees and Harveys, were buried nearby outside the wall.
~ Erected by The Society of the Lees of Virginia ~ 1958
- Edmund Jennings Lee. Lee of Virginia, 1642–1892: Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the Descendants of Colonel Richard Lee (Philadelphia, 1895) pp. 61–64.