Lee, Thomas

(born c. 1771 – died ?)

Local connection
Baptised at St Margaret's, Lee

Biography
On 17 July 1771 'Thomas Lee the Indian black servant of Governor Verlst was baptised at St Margaret’s Lee. It is unknown how old he was when baptised.

It is likely that the reference to 'Governor Verlst' relates to Harry Verelst. Verelst served in the East India Company in Bengal between 1749 and 1769. He was Chief of the Chittagong Council of the East India Company from 1761 – 1765 and Governor of Bengal from 1767 – 1769.

It is possible that Lee served Verelst in Bengal and returned with him to Britain in 1770. Henry Verelst bought Aston Hall, near Sheffield South Yorkshire about 1773 and went to live there with his family. Verelst fled the country following bankruptcy and died in Boulogne, France on 24 October 1785.

In the churchyard of All Saints, Aston is a Grave stone, "This stone is erected in grateful remembrance of the long and faithful service of Thomas Lee, Native of Abyssinia who having lived for 30 years in the family of the late Henry Verelst Esq., died June 30 in the year of our Lord 1801."

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