Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/343

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Le Davis
Leddra
337

until 1798, when he joined his regiment in Scotland, with the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1799 he was appointed inspecting-officer of militia in Jersey, and was assistant quartermaster-general in the island during the detention there of the Russian army from the Texel in 1799-1800. He retained the office long afterwards, and conducted the secret correspondence, through Jersey, with the French loyalists under Georges, La Rochejaquelein, and others, to the entire satisfaction of the British government. In 1811 Le Couteur was appointed a major-general on the staff in Ireland, and afterwards in Jamaica, where he commanded a brigade for two and a half years. In 1813 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Curaçoa and its dependent islands, which he found on the verge of starvation. Curaçoa was then the centre port of a large trade, but the war with the United States had prevented the arrivals of corn from home, and the orders in council prohibiting the importation of foreign grain were imperative under penalty of 'præmunire.' Le Couteur had the courage to set aside the orders rather than expose the population to the horrors of a famine. When the island was restored to the Dutch after the peace, the legislative bodies, the inhabitants, and the Spanish refugees severally presented Le Couteur with addresses acknowledging the important services he had rendered to the colony. Le Couteur generously declined the Duke of York's offer to put him down for a regiment, saying he did not feel entitled to the honour so long as a Peninsular officer remained unprovided for. He became a lieutenant-general in 1821, and died on 23 April 1836, aged 74.

Le Couteur was father of Colonel John Le Couteur, 104th and 20th foot, long commandant of the royal Jersey militia, and senior militia aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria.

Le Couteur was author of 'Lettre d'un Officier du Centième Régiment,' Jersey, 1787, and 'Letters, chiefly from India, giving an Account of the Military Transactions on the Coast of Malabar during the late War . . . together with a short Description of the Religion, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants of Hindostan,' London, 1790: a work originally written in French, but translated before publication.

[Army Lists; Memoir in Colburn's United Serv. Mag. July 1835; Brit Mas. Cat. of Printed Books.]

H. M. C.

LE DAVIS, EDWARD (1640?–1684?), engraver, was a Welshman, born about 1640. His family name was Davis, the French prefix being an addition of his own. He was apprenticed to David Loggan [q. v.], but resenting his treatment by his master's wife broke his articles and went to Paris. There he practised his art and engaged in business relations with François Chauveau, whose name appears as the publisher of Le Davis's prints of 'St. Cecilia,' after Vandyck, 'Ecce Homo,' after A. Carracci, and 'The Infant Christ holding a cross,' the last bearing the date 1671. Soon after that year Le Davis returned to London, where he is said to have engaged successfully in picture-dealing. He also painted portraits, but is now only known by his engravings, which, though poorly executed, are of historical interest. These include portraits of Charles II (afterwards altered to William III), Catherine of Braganza, after J. B. Caspars (frontispiece to vol. ii. of Pitt's 'Atlas.' 1681) James, duke of York; the Prince and Princess of Orange, after Lely; the Duchess of Portsmouth, after Lely; and Charles, duke of Richmond, after Wissing; also George Monck, duke of Albemarle, and Bertram Ashburnham, both engraved for Guillim's 'Heraldry,' 1679. Le Davis is believed to have died about 1684.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting (Dallaway and Wornum), p. 941; Vertue's Collections in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23078; Nagler's Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon; Andressen's Handbuch für Kupferstich-Sammler, 1870; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

F. M. O'D.

LEDDRA, WILLIAM (d. 1661), quaker, was a Cornishman (Whiting) who early emigrated, or was probably transported on account of his religious professions, to Barbadoes. He was a clothier by trade (New Englands Persecutors Mauled, by Philalethes, i.e. Thomas Maule), and was a zealous minister among the quakers. In March 1658 he first landed in the English colony of Rhode Island. All the New England settlements were opposed to the admission of quakers. They were usually subjected to barbarous flogging with knotted and pitched cords on landing, and were promptly banished. When Leddra arrived the assembly had just passed a law imposing a fine of 100l. upon any person who should introduce one or the 'cursed sect' into the territory, with a further penalty of 5l. for every hour the outlaw was concealed. The quaker who remained was, on his first apprehension, to have one ear cut off; on the second the other ear; and on the third to have the tongue bored through. An order also was given empowering the treasurers of the counties to sell the quakers to any of the plantations (Neal, Hist. i. 304). Despite these regulations Leddra passed from Rhode Island to Connecticut, but there he was arrested and banished. A