JOHN LEETE of Eversden, Cambridgeshire, was apparently born about 1500. In the Lay Subsidy (tax) of 1522, a John Leete was assessed at £6 for goods on the Kingston roll. It is possible that this was actually his father of the same name, for John was quite young then; probably not yet married. On the other hand, if his father was then dead, then he, even tho a young man, might well have come into his estate and been subject to the tax. John Leete was taxed in the Subsidies of 1540 against Little Eversden, and in 1542 at Great Eversden. He was buried at Little Eversden on 25 December 1551. In 1594, his grandson, Giles Leete of Shelland, sued for recovery of the title deeds of his (the grandson's) father's estate in Kingston, Eversden and Tofts. These three parishes are adjacent to each other. By about 1526, John Leete married Helen (or Ellen) Burgoyne. On 10 October 1539, Ellen was described as a "gentlewoman" when she was named as godmother in the baptismal record of Alice Sutton at Toft. Administration on the estate of Helen Leete, widow, of Eversden, was granted to her son Thomas Leete on 2 May 1564.
10 November 1549 - Deed of sale by Walter Barnarde of East Hatley, husbandman, of £40 worth of lands, etc. in Great and Little Eversden inherited from his father Thomas Barnarde, to John Lete. (Queen's College, Cambridge University Archives, Eversden Deed 661) 20 December 1549 - Grant by William son of Oliver Taunte, deceased, late of Little Eversden, to John Lete, gentleman, Thomas Hinde, clerk, Alex. Graunden, Edmund Lete, John Reynolde, Robert Harwarde, Cuthbert Lindsey, Christopher Rogers, and other parishoners of Little Eversden of a tenement in Little Eversden and 8 acres, 1 rood in Great and Little Eversden, formerly Henry Taunte's.(Deed 662)
10 August 1550 - Deed of sale by Christopher Rogers of Little Eversden, husbandman, to Edmund Leete of Great Eversden, yeoman, of ½ acre in Little Eversden. (Deed 663)
1 December 1557 - Lease by the College of Saint John to Thomas Leete of Little Eversden, yeoman, of the manor place called the Lordship Place in Little Eversden, together with other lands for 40 years at annual rent of £ 13.1 Os. and also one able and sufficient bore for brawne or 10s. at Christmas annually. (Deed 670)
1 December 1557 - Bond in £20 in regard to above (Deed 671)
26 April 1558 - Deed of sale by Thomas Lete of Little Eversden, gentleman, to the College of Saint John for £60 of certain lands in Great and Little Eversden. Full terrier attached; also bond of £100. (Deed 672)
30 April 1558- Grant of above land to college and livery of seisin. (Deed 673)
20 April 1561 - Deed of sale. Thomas Lete of Little Eversden, gentleman, to Harry Scotte of Great Eversden, of 1½ acres of pasture in Great Eversden. (Deed 676)
The name Leete seems to derive from or have the meaning of light. This is evident from the family coat of arms which includes three lighted matches (fuses) and a lamp in the crest. The Leete family is an ancient one that can be traced back to before the Norman conquest of England. According to the Domesday Survey, Leit was a thane of Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042 until his death 5 January 1065/6. The manor of Foxcote in Buckinghamshire, worth £3 annually, is mentioned as being formerly held by Leit.