petulant humour, absolutely refused to sign the treasury warrants for carrying the Hessian treaty into execution (Bedford Corresp. ii. 166). With Pitt he opposed the treaties in the House of Commons on 18 Nov., when he declared that 'we ought to have done buying up every man's quarrel on the continent' (Walpole, Reign of George II, ii. 64), and on the 20th he was informed by Lord Holdernesse that the king had no further need of his services. He so distinguished himself in attacking Lyttelton's budget in February 1766, that Walpole assured Conway 'except Legge you would not have thought there was a man in the house had learned troy-weight' (Walpole, Letters, ii. 613). Upon the downfall of the Duke of Newcastle, Legge, whom Fox in his abortive attempt to form a ministry had failed to detach from Pitt, was appointed (16 Nov. 1766) chancellor of the exchequer in the Duke of Devonshire's administration. On 21 Jan. 1767 Legge opened the supplies, of which one ingredient was a Guinea lottery, the scheme of a visionary Jew who long pestered the public with his reveries' (Walpole, Reign of George II, ii. 301-2). On 18 March 1767 he opened the new taxes, and, as 'the beginning of reformation, proposed to abolish the commissioners of wine licenses.' On being taunted by Fox with receiving double salary as lord of the treasury, Legge replied that if 'others would, he himself would serve for nothing' (ib. ii. 876). With Pitt he was dismissed from office, early in April 1767, and for some weeks a rain of gold boxes and addresses descended unon them from all parts of the country, including the city (London's Roll of Fame, 1884, pp. 37-8). After the long ministerial interregnum Legge once more became chancellor of the exchequer (2 July 1767) in the Newcastle and Pitt administration, the king having objected to making Legge a peer and first lord of the admiralty, as he was 'determined not to do two great things for one man, especially him, and in this he was peremptory' (Lord Hardwicke's Letter of 18 June 1757 in Harris's Life of Hardwicke, 1847, iii. 136). In 1758 Legge levied new taxes on houses and windows and places as 'a poor tribute to popularity' (Walpole, Reign of George II, iii. 112). In the following year he was compelled by Pitt, whose favour he had previously lost (Glover, Memoirs, pp. 137-fel), to shift his proposed tax on sugar to one on dry goods in general, and in the debate on ways and means was re- proved by Pitt for being so dilatory with the taxes (Walpole, Reign of George II, iii. 176-9). On becoming surveyor of the petty customs and subsidies in the port of London, a patent place which had devolved upon him on the death of his brother, Heneage Legge [q. v.], Legge vacated his seat for Orford, and was returned for Hampshire early in December 1759. This gave great offence to Bute, who had supported the candidature of Mr. (afterwards Sir Simeon) Stuart. Legge refused to give a pledge that he would support a candidate nominated by Bute at a future election, saying that he could not abandon his own supporters, the whigs and dissenters. He afterwards refused Bute further demand that he should give up the county of Southampton at the general election, and support the Prince of Wales's nomination of two members (Character, pp. 13-18). On his refusal in March 1761 to bring forward a motion in the House of Commons for the payment of a large sum of money to the landgrave of Hesse, Legge was dismissed from his post. In his interview with George III, to whom he delivered up the seal, Legge declared that his future life should testify to his zeal. To which the king is said to have replied he was glad to hear him say so, 'as nothing but his future life could eradicate the ill impression he had received of him' (Walpole, Reign of George III, i. 48-9). At the general election in April 1761 Legge was again returned for Hampshire, this time with Sir Simeon Stuart as a colleague. In December 1762 he expressed his disapprobation of the preliminary treaty of peace (Parl. Hist. xv. 1273), and in March 1763 of the loan (ib. pp. 1306-7). He died at Tunbridge Wells after a lingering illness on 23 Aug. 1764, aged 66, and was buried at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire, where a monument was erected to his memory by his widow.
Legge had the reputation of being the first financier of an age when financiers were scarce. He was an able and shrewd man of business, 'with very little rubbish in his head' (as his old master, Sir Robert Walpole, said), and had a considerable knowledge of commercial affairs. He was 'never tardy at abandoning his friends for a richer prospect' (Walpole, Reign of George II, iii. 1-2), and even 'aspired to the lion's place by the manoeuvre of the mole' (Walpole, Reign of George III, i. 301). His death, however, in Horace Walpole's opinion, was 'a blow considerable to our party, as he was the only man in it, proper on a change, to have been placed at the head of the House of Commons' (ib. ii. 17). His appearance was somewhat mean, and his dialect quaint, but though an indifferent speaker, his speeches were always concise and to the point. In social intercourse he was good-natured and