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Sir Richard Lee's funerary helmet.

Sir Richard Lee's funerary helmet.

Sir Richard Lee's funerary helmet.

Sir Richard Lee (c.1513-1575) was a professional soldier and military engineer. Following the dissolution of St Albans Abbey he purchased the grounds of the abbey (the abbey itself was given to the people of St Albans), Sopwell Priory and the rectorship of St Stephen's church. He tore down the priory and built a Tudor house on the site which he named Lee Hall. The ruins of this house still survive today, on Cottonmill Lane. He is buried in St. Peter's Church, St. Albans.
He is also believed to have plundered a bronze eagle lectern previously belonging to the Bishop of Dunkeld from Holyrood Abbey during an attack on Edinburgh in 1544 (see accession numbers 1983.2473 and 1998.5088 for illustrations of this lectern).

This helmet was not worn, but was placed on his tomb.