William Lee also variously known as William Smith and William Pantoney until 1816 (1 April 1794 – 18 November 1870) was an Australian pastoralist and politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly between 1856 and 1860.
|Born||1 April 1794|
|Died||18 November 1870 (aged 76)|
Kelso, New South Wales
Lee was born in the penal settlement of Norfolk Island and was probably the illegitimate child of the convicts, Sarah Smith and William Pantoney. After Pantoney's emancipation, the family lived in Windsor and Lee, an industrious youth, attracted the attention of William Cox. As a result he was given a grant of government cattle in 1816 and a grant of 134 acres of pastoral land in Kelso. He was one of the earliest settlers in the Bathurst district. Lee was a successful pastoralist and at the time of his death had acquired 18,500 acres spread throughout New South Wales.
In July 1842, employees of Lee were involved in a massacre of aborigines in the Bogan River district. As a punishment he was deprived of the lease-hold of land in the area and this became a cause célèbre in the growing dispute between the colony's squatters and Governor George Gipps.
In 1856 Lee was elected as the member for Roxburgh in the first New South Wales Legislative Assembly under responsible government. He retained the seat unopposed at the next election in 1858 but then retired from public life. His parliamentary performance was uninspiring and he did not hold office.