"LEE, a parish in the hundred of Blackheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 6 miles S.E. of London, its post town, and 1 mile from the Blackheath station on the North Kent railway. The parish formerly consisted only of a few detached houses, but now contains many residences, chiefly inhabited by London merchants. Very great additions have recently been made to the village, which is connected with Blackheath Park by one continuous line of villas called Lee Park. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £407. The population in 1861 was 4,750. The parish, which occupies a remarkably healthy spot, is within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court and metropolitan police. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London, value £464, in the patronage of the lord chancellor. The parish church, dedicated to St. Margaret, is a modern construction, completed in 1841 at the cost of £8,000. It is situated near the old one, and has a lofty spire. The windows are of stained glass, and the central E. window is a copy of the "Five Sisters" in York Minster. In the old churchyard are several monuments, including those of Edmund Halley, the astronomer, William Parsons, the comedian, and Lady Dacre. There is also a district church in Lee Park, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £300. The Merchant Taylors' almshouses, thirty in number, are built of white brick ornamented with stone; adjoining these are the almshouses of Christopher Thomas Boone, founded in 1682, with an income from endowment of £71 per annum. There are National and infant schools for both sexes. The parish has the privilege of sending one boy to the free grammar school at Lewisham. The Wesleyans and Baptists have places of worship. In the village are a mechanics' institute and a police station. The Blackheath proprietary grammar school, in connection with the London University, is situated in this parish, as is also the Lee Park proprietary grammar school, built after the model of the Propyleum at Athens. There are several old mansions, as Lee Manor House, Lee House, Lee Villa, Lee Grove, Lee Place, &c. Purchas wrote the greater part of his "Pilgrim" here."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]