Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/414

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Legge
Legge
408

into the Severn, another of Anson's squadron, which after many delays sailed from St. Helens in September 1740. In the violent storm to the southward of Cape Horn the Severn and the Pearl were separated from the commodore on 10 April 1741. The storm, blowing from the north-west, raged continuously for forty days, during which time they beat to the westward. When the weather permitted they stood to the north, supposing that they had passed into the Pacific. They were in fact still in the Atlantic, the leeway and current together having more than nullified the laborious windward sailing, and on 1 June found themselves off Cape Frio (Gent Mag. 1741, xi. 611). The case is often referred to as an instance of the extreme uncertainty of the determination of longitude by dead reckoning only. On 30 June they reached Rio Janeiro in an almost helpless state, having lost a very great many of their men by sickness. After recruiting his ship's company Legge returned to England, where he arrived in April 1742. In 1745 he commanded the Strafford in the West Indies, and in 1746 the Windsor on the home station, when he sat as a member of the courts-martial on Admirals Richard Lestock [q. v.] and Thomas Mathews [q. v.] In 1747 he went out as commodore and commander-in-chief at the Leeward Islands, with orders to supersede his predecessor, Commodore Fitzroy Henry Lee [q. v.], and try him by court-martial for misconduct and neglect of duty. Lee, however, was sent home without being tried, and Legge shortly afterwards died, on 19 Sept. 1747.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. iv. 380; commission and warrant books in the Public Record Office; letters to Anson in Addit. MS. 15956, ff. 178-186; Anson's Voyage round the World.]

J. K. L.

LEGGE, GEORGE, Lord Dartmouth (1648–1691), admiral and commander-in-chief, born in 1648, was the eldest son of William Legge (1609 ?-1672) [q. v.]; by the mother's side, was grand-nephew of George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham of that family [q. v.]; was first cousin once removed of George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham [q. v.]; and, through his father's sister, Mary, was the first cousin of Sir Edward Spragge (d. 1673) [q. v.] After an education at Westminster and King's College, Cambridge, he served with Spragge, as volunteer and lieutenant, during the second Dutch war, 1665-7; and in 1667 was promoted to be captain of the Pembroke. In 1672 he was captain of the Fairfax in the engagement, under Sir Robert Holmes [q. v.], with the Dutch Smyrna fleet, 12-13 March, and in the battle of Solebay, 28 May. In July he was moved into the York, and early in 1673 into the Royal Katharine of 84 guns, which he commanded with distinction under Prince Rupert [q. v.] in the three actions with the Dutch fleet. Meanwhile, in the intervals of war by sea, he was holding high civil and military appointments. In 1668 he became groom of the bedchamber, and in 1673 master of the horse and gentleman of the bedchamber to the Duke of York. In 1670 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Portsmouth; in 1672 lieutenant-general of the ordnance; in August 1673 'warden and captain of the town and isle of Portsmouth.' In 1678, with the rank of colonel in the army, he commanded the forces at Nieuport in Flanders. On 28 Jan. 1681-2 he was appointed master-general of the ordnance, after some six months' discussion whether he could hold this mouth. In several letters to him the Duke of York expressed the opinion that he could hold both, but advised him, if he could only hold one, to decline the ordnance. 'If they do oblige you to part with Portsmouth,' he wrote on 17 Nov., 'I shall look on it as a very ill sign as to myself' (Dartmouth MSS. p. 72; cf. the art. on James II of England. Apparently he was obliged 'to part with Portsmouth.' his appointment there terminating 4 Feb. 1681-2.

On 2 Dec. 1682, in memory of the great merits and faithful service of his father, 'and farther considering that he, following his father's steps in divers military employments, especially in sundry sharp and dangerous naval fights wherein he aid freely hazard his life,' the king created him Baron of Dartmouth (Preamble to the Patent in Collins, iv. 310). On 11 June 1683 he was elected master of the Trinity House, and on 10 Aug. was appointed 'admiral of a fleet, captain-general in Africa, and governor of Tangier.' the object of the expedition being to evacuate the place, destroy the works, and bring back the troops to England. The fleet sailed from St. Helens on 19 Aug. and returned on 30 March 1684, the service having been performed 'very exactly and effectively.' On his return, Dartmouth received 10,000l., and a further grant 'to hold a fair twice a year and a market twice a week upon Blackheath' (ib.)

Within a few weeks of the accession of James II, Dartmouth was appointed master of the horse, 10 April 1685; and on 24 June governor of the Tower. For fully twenty-years his relations to the king had been almost those of son to father. If there was one man in the kingdom on whose loyalty