Chessical: <OBITUARY>.óWe much regretted early the week learn of the death, after only a short illness, of well-known English Chess master, Mr F. J. Lee, which occurred Sunday (12th September 1909 - ed.) The immediate cause of death was, are informed, sudden collapse the nervous system.
During his Chess career, Lee visited South Africa, the United States, Havana, Trinidad, and Venezuela. In South Africa he caught an attack of enteric fever (typhoid - ed.), which enfeebled a constitution already somewhat weakened by chronic indigestion, and at Caracas, Venezuela, he had a severe illness from dysentery, which further played havoc with his system and gave him the appearance a man of sixty, at least, when, as a matter of fact, he was only his fifty-second year when he died.
At the Scarborough Congress recently he played in excellent form during the first week, winning ... ( v Blackburne rd.4 BCF Championship 1912 - ed.), and other good games. Towards the end first week, however, became indisposed, and played far below reputation for the remainder of the tournament. He appeared upon his return to London in fairly good health, but he complained of feeling unwell about ten days before his death, was ordered to bed. In this condition his brother, Mr George Lee, who, fortunately, happens be a visit to England from Durban, obtained his admission the University Hospital, where it appears he fidgeted to be allowed return his lodgings, which request, amazing to say, the Hospital authorities assented on Saturday, and Sunday morning he died.
Mr Lee was scarcely the front rank of the leading Chess masters of the world, but held a prominent position in Chess, and his name was familiar everywhere where Chess is played. He was an adversary whom was exceedingly dangerous take lightly, as witness games standing his record, won from Steinitz, Tchigorin, Mason, Pillsbury, and other players of International fame. He took part with distinction in four International masters' tournaments as well as a number of national tourneys of the British Chess Association, the British Chess Federation, and Simpson's Divan. He was successful competitor impromptu International contest New York, 1893, where divided third and fourth prizes with Showalter, and won his game from Pillsbury, Lasker winning the first prize and Albin the second. He prided himself considerably upon winning the first prize, without the loss of a game, in a tourney at "Simpson's," with Bird, Mason, Van Vliet, Loman, Muller, Mortimer, Gossip, and eight other players, and upon winning the Chess Championship of South Africa.
He was generally counted stodgy player, and yet he won a brilliancy prize for a game against Bird, and for a game won from the young Russian master Snosko-Borowsky. He took part several of the Cable matches between Great Britain and America, and edited the Chess column of the Hertford Times from August, 1890, until July, 1893. Mr Lee was well known throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, and his sudden and unexpected death will keenly regretted among British Chess players.
Source - <Hereford Times - Saturday 18 September 1909, p.16.>