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The firm was originally John and Henry Lee, builders and contractors, of Chiswell Street, Finsbury
Subsequently it became Henry Lee and Sons with Mr. Henry Lee, Senior, as senior partner of the firm.
After Henry Senior's death, his two sons, Henry ( -1867) and John, took over the running of the firm as Henry and John Lee.
1848 on the retirement of Mr. John Lee, his nephew Henry Junior, was taken into partnership with his father, Henry Lee, the firm then being known as Henry Lee and Son.
1856 Freeman and the Lees again went into partnership for the construction of a portion of the Dumfries and Castle Douglas Branch of the Glasgow and South Western railway, from Dumfries to near Dalbeattie.
1861 Freeman and the Lees undertook the Lanark branch contract to Douglas, including a large bridge over the Clyde; and in 1863 a branch line of the Caledonian railway from Glasgow to Rutherglen, the Perth Viaduct, and the Leith Branches railway.
Freeman and the Lees constructed a new Amsterdam Canal
The Lees constructed the Zuider Zee locks at about the same time.
1867 After the death of his father, Henry Lee continued the business.