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Edwin Lees (1800 - 1887)


Lees' lost portrait


1800 May 12 St John's, Worcester
1809 July 20 Broad Street, Worcester
1827 87 High Street, Worcester
1832 May 61 Broad Street, Worcester
1835 September Dryadville Cottage (Elbury? Worcester)
1839 Forthampton Cottage, near Tewksbury
1841 South Cottage, Hanley Castle (census)
1843 Church Hill Cottage, Powick
1847 Worcester
1850 Cedar Terrace, Henwick
1861 Prospect Place, Worcester (census)
1871 April 2 7 Prospect Place, Greenhill, London Road, Worcester (census)
1881 April 3 Greenhill, London Road, Worcester (census)



Additional links

Annotated family tree. link
He warrants a Wikipedia entry but the details are scant. link
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Biographical notes

Edwin Lees was a Worcestershire-born botanist, geologist and antiquarian. He was an active and well known figure in the west-midlands.

1800 May 12 : Birth At all Saints, Worcester. The son of Thomas Lees, woolen draper, and Elizabeth Teverill.
1809 July 8 : Death of father 11809 July 12: Hereford Journal
 DIED - Saturday, after a few hours illness, Mr. Thomas Lees, woolen-draper, of Worcester, aged 36.
1813 January 18 : Death of grandfather 11813 January 21: Worcester Journal
 On Monday, after a few days illness, Mr James Teverill, of St. John's, near this city, aged 63.
1826 : Dissolution of partnership 11826 November 27: Birmingham Gazette
 PARTNERSHIPS DISSOLVED. 1826, Oct. 23.-Edwin Lees and Henry Bushell, Worcester, printers, booksellers, stationers, and bookbinder.
1827 : Publication Christmas and the New Year link
1827 August 2 :
1st Marriage
11827 August 2: Berrows Worcester Journal
 MARRIAGES - July 26, at the Abbey Church, Tewksbury, by the rev. Charles White, Mr. Lees, printer and bookseller, of this city, to Sarah, third daughter of the late James Kingsbury, Esq of the former place.
1828 : Publication The Stranger's Guide to the City and Cathedral of Worcester, Etc.(under the pseudonym of Ambrose Florence) link
1829 February :
Worcester Literary and Scientific Institution
By this time Edwin is being named as the Secretary (along with W. Salmon) of the newly established Worcester Literary and Scientific Institution. 87 High Street is given as the address to which subscriptions should be sent. [He had relinquished this post by 1831.]
1829 June 12 : Lecture on GEOLOGY 11829 June 4: Worcester Journal
  LECTURES of the Worcester Literary and Scientific Institution - The Committee respectfully announce, that a change having unavoidably taken place in the plan of theremaining Lectures, they will now succeed in the following order:- ... On Friday, June 12th, Mr LEES, Secretary, on Geology - ..
1832 May 19 :
Horticultural Society
Edwin Lees is mentioned as a Secretary of the Worcestershire Horticultural & Floral Society.
1833 April :
Formation of the Worcestershire Natural History Society
11833 April 13: Worcester Herald
  AT a GENERAL MEETING of the Friends of NATURAL HISTORY, in the City and County of Worcester, held at the GUILDHALL, Monday, the day of April, 1833. SIR C. S. SMITH, Bart, in the Chair.
It was Resolved unanimously,
On the motion of C. Hastings, M. D. seconded by John Williams, Esq.,
That some Society, whereby the knowledge of Natural History may be more widely disseminated, local observations concentrated, and remarkable specimens illustrative the several branches of the science preserved, has long been a desideratum in this City and County.
On the motion of Dr. Beale Cooper, seconded J. N. Streeten, M. D.,

That a Society be now formed, to be denominated the Natural History Society, in connection with which there shall be Museum, and collection of Works illustrative of the various departments of the science, for the use the Members.
On the motion A. Skev, Esq. seconded by the Rev. Mr. Pattrick,

That this Society consist of Proprietors of Fifty Pounds each, and an unlimited number of Subscribers at One Guinea per annum, who shall have access to the Museum and Library such times as may be appointed by the Council.


Edwin Lees was appointed to the Council of the Society and, along with Mr A Edmunds, made one of its curators.
1833 November 26 : Lecture Affinities of Plants with Man and Animals, by EDWIN LEES, Member of the Lon. Ent. Soc.
To the Worcestershire Natural History Society. This lecture was later published with "additional notes and graphic delineations of some remarkable trees."
1834 : Sir Charles Hastings There is evidence to suggest thet Sir Charles Hasting's Illustrations of the natural history of Worcestershire, published in this year, was written largely by Edwin Lees. In 1920 Hugh S. Gladstone, who owned Lees' personal copy of this work, wrote a letter to British Birds vol.XIII, describing annotations in which Lees claims authorship of about 60% - including the ornithological section.
[Biodiversity Heritage Library.]
1834 April 1 : Death of mother 11834 April 5: Worcester Herald
 April 1st, in the 57th year of her age, Mrs. Goodman, wife of Mr John Goodman, of Park-street, and relict of the late Mr. Thos. Lees, of this city. Exemplary in all the relations of her life, her native strength of mind, and ardent but unassuming piety, will long endear her memory to the relatives and friends who enjoyed her intercourse.
1834 July 7 :
The Ludlow Natural History Society
11834 July 5: Worcester Herald
  A course of Lectures to the Members and Friends of the Ludlow Natural History Society, will be commenced in that town on Monday next, by Mr. Edwin Lees.
This Society had been formed the previous year. Its records are held by Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury ref. NRA 33283 Ludlow Borough
1834 September 11 : Death of his half-brother James Teverill Goodman 11834 September 18: Worcester Journal.
 DIED - On Thursday, in the 20th year of his age, after long suffering, endured with submission to the Devine will, Mr. J. Teverill Goodman, son of Mr. John Goodman, of the Bath-road, and grandson of the late Mr. Teverill, formerly of the Ivy-house, St. John's, near this city.
1835 July : Australia Edwin is acting as an agent for Rowland Hill regarding a Government initiative to establish a "New Colony in South Australia." - Did he contemplate emigration?
1835 July 2 : Sale of business 11835 July 9: Worcester Journal
PRESENTS his acknowledgments to those numerous Friends who have honoured him with their countenance, and favoured him with their intercourse while conducting the above Business, and having now disposed of the same to MR. THOMAS LEWIS WOODHALL, he earnestly entreats them to continue their favours to his successor, confident that every effort will be employed by him to give them satisfaction in the execution of all orders entrusted to his care.
E. L. will be obliged by the early settlement of all Accounts due to him, and he apprizes his friends that any communications for him, addressed to 61, Broad-street, will be taken care of by Mr. woodall.
Worcester, July 2nd, 1835.
1836 March :
Horticultural Society
11836 March 5: Worcester Herald
  "That Mr. Lees, the Honorary Secretary, having stated to this Committee that his probable absence from Worcester would preclude the possibility of his attending any longer to the arrangements of the Exhibitions or the onerous duties of the office, and that he must, therefore, resign the same; that his resignation be accepted."
1836 November 10 :
Botanical Society of Edinburgh
Edwin Lees Esq. elected to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh.
1837 : Plant records published by H. C. Watson. The New Botanist's Guide to the Localities of the rarer Plants of Britain vol 2. H. C. Watson
  Edwin Lees is credited with many records from the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire area.
1838 January 11 : Pyrus domestica A paper submitted by Edwin, giving an account of the the Sorb-tree growing in the Wyre Forest, was read at a meeting of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. link
1841 April :
Sale of House contents, Library, Collections etc.
11841 April 24: Gloucester Journal
Have received instructions from the Proprietor, EDWIN LEES, Esq.
Early in the ensuing month, (May) at FORTHAMPTON COTTAGE, about two miles from TEWKESBURY;-
ALL the very neat HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, China, Glass, Earthenware, Culinary and Brewing Utensils, a small but choice Library, principally on Botany, Geology, Natural History, and other scientific subjects, valuable Watercolour Drawings, fine Engravings, Solar Microscope, Cocoa-nut Flute, many rare specimens of the Humming Bird species, Minerals, Fossils, and Geological remains, with other articles of vertu, among which is a curious Antique Jug, known as SHAKESPEARE's JUG; Believed and acknowledged to have truly belonged to that "Immortal Bard." Further particulars, with the time of sale will appear in our next Journal.

[A later notice states that he intends to "... change his Residence to a distant part of the country."]
1842 : Publication The botanical looker-out among the wild flowers of the fields, woods, and mountains of England and Wales link
1843 March 9 : Publication XXII. - Remarks on the Mode of Growth of the British Fruticose Rubi; and the Forms derivable from Rubus Caesius. Transactions and Proceedings of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. v1-2, 172 - 178
[Google Books]
1843 May : Publication First edition of The botany of the Malvern Hills.
[Google Books]
1850 March 5 : Lecture ¹Aris's Birmingham Gazette
"It will be seen that a lecture on 'Forest Trees and Woodland Scenery' will be delivered by Edwin LEES, Esq., F.R.S.[sic], to the members of the St. George's Instruction Society, to-morrow evening."
1856 : Publication Pictures of nature in the Silurian region around the Malvern hills and vale of Severn link
1857 February 4 :
Geological Society
Edwin Lees, F.L.S. was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.
1859 : Publication 1Account of a visit, with other naturalists(?) to Whitby and the Yorshire coast
As serialised in Berrow's Worcester Journal.
1863 : Publication 1Account of a visit to the Auvergne with Rev. J. H Thompson.
As serialised in Berrow's Worcester Journal.
1869 November 23 : Presentation 1Presentation by Worcestershire Naturalists' Club.
Transcribed from Berrow's Worcester Journal.
1876 : Publication The Botany of Worcestershire. link
1883 August 3 :
2nd Marriage
11883 October 13, Worcester Journal
  MARRIAGES - LEES - MATTHEWS. -Lately, at St Mary's Church, Islington, London, by the Rev. Henry G. De Neveu, Edwin Lees, F.L.S., F.G.S., of Greenhill Summit, in this City, to Jane Matthews, of Hemmingford Road, Islington.
1887 October 13 : Death The attached document is a transcription from the obituary published in Berrow's Worcester Journal of 22 November 1887. link

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton; last updated 2016 April 14