Mathew Carey Lea (August 16, 1823 – March 15, 1897) was a Philadelphia-born American chemist and lawyer.
His father, Isaac Lea (1792–1886) was a distinguished naturalist member of the American Philosophical Society, and publisher. Isaac Lea was descended from a Philadelphia Quaker family, and had been born in Wilmington, Delaware. On March 8, 1821, Isaac married Frances Anne Carey (1799–1873), a botanist as well as daughter of Mathew Carey, the Philadelphia publisher whose business he ultimately took over with his brother-in-law and which turn their sons and grandsons worked in. Henry Carey and Isaac Lea’s highly successful publishing house printed the works of Thomas Jefferson, Parson Weems, Walter Scott, James Fenimore Cooper, and the first quarto Bible of American manufacture (both the Douay version and the Authorized version).