Lee Family Papers

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Photo of Lee Familys ShopfrontThe Lee family were drapers in Dublin with stores located in Rathmines, Dún Laoghaire, Mary Street, Abbey Street, Bray, County Wicklow and Tyrrellspass in County Westmeath.

The business was founded by Edward Lee (1853- 1927), and later changed to a private limited company in 1904 to become Edward Lee & Co. LTD. In 1878, Edward Lee married Annie Sheckleton (later Shackleton) from Dungar, County Offaly. The couple had nine children altogether though only four made it past infancy. The four surviving children all attended Trinity College, Dublin. Robert Ernest Lee became a medical doctor, Joseph Bagnall Lee attended the King’s Inn to study to become a barrister, Edward Shackleton (Ted) Lee trained as an accountant and Alfred Tennyson Lee graduated with an M.A. Throughout his career, Edward Lee was concerned with the greater societal concerns of the time, and was vocal about the rights of the working classes which earned him a reputation as a conscientious employer, concerned with the welfare of his employees. Edward Lee was also strongly patriotic, and an avid supporter of Irish Industry.

Upon the outbreak of the First World War (1914- 1918) three of the four Lee sons joined the cause with the Royal Medical Army Corps and the Royal Munster Fusiliers. The effects of the War were keenly felt by the Lee family as two of the Lee sons were killed. Lieutenant Joseph Bagnall Lee was killed in action 7 August 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey, while Robert Ernest Lee lost his life on 10 October 1918 on return from leave to France after the postal ship RMS Leinster, sank as a result of being torpedoed twice by the German submarine UB-123, on its way from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead in Wales.  

The collection contains material relating to both Edward Lee & Co. LTD and the Lee family. Material relating to Edward Lee & Co. LTD contains material relating to the company’s drapery stores while the material relating to the Lee family includes photographs, books, booklets and material relating to the First World War consisting of correspondence, medals and other military decorations. For more information regarding the Lee Family see Michael Lee, Edward Lee: Model Employer and Man of Moral Courage. (Dublin: Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council, 2016).

Thumbnail: Updated Lee Family Bray Shop front at No. 2 Goldsmith Terrace
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