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Brentford Councillors - William Lee


Janet McNamara has researched details of the men who served as Brentford Local Board Members and Councillors, see intro page for more details of early local government structure.

William Lee

William Lee was a member of the District Council and his name is on the foundation stone at the Library laid in 1903.

He was born in Camberwell c 1849 and the 1851 census shows him at 12, Caroline Place, Camberwell with his father William (29) a boot and shoe maker, mother, Ann (25), sister Sarah Ann (6).

I haven’t found him in 1861 or 1871 but by 1881 he was a butcher living at 1, Lynham Road, Lambeth with his wife, Mary Ann and two daughters aged three and one.

He seems to have arrived in Brentford about 1890 and the census for 1891 shows him at 316, High Street as a butcher and employer.

The household consisted of William then aged 40, Mary the same age, 4 daughters aged 13,11, 9 and 7 and 2 sons aged 5 and 2. They had a domestic servant born in Isleworth, 3 journeyman butchers aged 21, 18 and 16 and a visitor who was a member of the Lincolnshire Regiment.


By 1901 the household had reduced and consisted of William (52) butcher, employer, Mary Ann (49), born Islington, daughter Emily (21) dressmaker working at home, Henrietta (19) butcher’s desk keeper and Lilian (17). All the girls had been born in Brixton. Son William was 15 and a butcher born in Brentford.

This building was next door to the Red Lion just to the west of Ealing Road and Lees Yard (2 properties) was between numbers 313 and 314, High Street.

See notes for no. 316 which provide more details of other occupants and a description of the property: a three storey terraced house with a shop 27’ 5’’ wide (when most other High Street properties were 11 to 15 feet wide). There was a slaughter house at the rear.

William Lee and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Henley-on-Thames in 1927. He died at Henley in 1929, age 80. His estate was valued at £16,186 19s 4d and the Probate Index (on gives his date of death as 1st May 1929. Probate was granted to Mary Ann Grant (wife of William Thomas Grant). A second grant of probate was made in 1930, to George Lee, manufacturer, value £15,336 6s 9d.

Other material

Janet has also provided a newspaper article describing William Lee's golden wedding celebrations at Henley-on-Thames in 1927. The article includes a photo of William and his wife: Janet conjectures he may also appear on a 1904 photo showing the opening of Brentford Library on Clifden Road. To be added as time permits.


Page published November 2011