Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/422

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Legge
Legge
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favour' (Collins, iv. 113). Charles restored him to his old posts as groom of the bed-chamber and master of the armouries, and appointed him also lieutenant-general of the ordnance (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660-1, pp. 75, 213). As lieutenant he also enjoyed the post of treasurer of the ordnance, worth about 2,000l. a year, and was granted by the king the lieutenancy of Alice Holt and Woolmer forests in Hampshire, lands in the county of Louth, and a pension of 500l. a year for his wife (ib. 1661-2 p. 443, 1666-7 p. 467; Collins, iv. 114). He died on 13 Oct. 1672, at his house in the Minories, near the Tower, in the sixty-third year of his age, and was buried in the Trinity Chapel in the Minories (ib. ; his epitaph is printed in Le Neve, Monumenta Anglicana, ii. 144). A portrait of Legge by Huysman, in the possession of the Earl of Dartmouth, was No. 703 in the National Portrait Exhibition of 1868.

By his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir William Washington of Packington in Leicestershire, and niece of George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham, he left three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, George Legge (1648-1691) [q. v.], was created in 1682 Baron Dartmouth. Colonel William Legge is frequently confused with Mr. William Legge, keeper of the wardrobe from 1626 to 1655 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1625-6 p. 580, 1655 p. 15, 1660-1 p. 27).

[Collins in his Peerage gives a life of Legge, under the title 'Dartmouth.' Letters by and to Legge are printed in the second report of the Commissioners on Historical Manuscripts, and in the eleventh report, pt. 5 (the manuscripts of the Earl of Dartmouth). Others are contained in Warburton's Life of Prince Rupert, 1849.]

C. H. F.

LEGGE, WILLIAM, first Earl of Dartmouth (1672–1750), the only son of George Legge, first baron Dartmouth [q, v.], by his wife Barbara, daughter and coheiress of Sir Henry Archbold of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, was born on 14 Oct. 1672. He was educated as a town-boy at Westminster School, and while there heard Sprat read the declaration of liberty of conscience in the abbey on 20 April 1688 (Burnet, Hist. of his own Time, id. 329n.) He subsequently went to King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. in 1689. He succeeded his father as second Baron Dartmouth on 25 Oct. 1691 (Luttrell, ii. 298), and took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time on 22 Nov. 1695 (Journals of the House of Lords, xv. 598). When William III granted the reversion of the lieutenancy of Alice Holt and Woolmer forests to Emanuel Scrope Howe [q. v.], Dartmouth surrendered the remainder of the term, which had been granted by Charles II to his grandfather, Colonel William On 28 Dec. 1696 Dartmouth signed the protest against Fenwick's Attainder Bill (Rogers, Protests of the Lords, i. 128-80). 'The violent, unrelenting ill-usage' which he met with after Fenwick's trial justified Dartmouth, as he thought, in his opposition to 'anything that was for his majesty's adantage or personal satisfaction.' He was, however, one of the first to sign the voluntary association, and told the queen 'the day she came to the crown that Twas all joy, without the least alloy ; which she said she did most sincerely believe' (Burnet, Hist. of his own Time, v. 11 n.) On 14 June 1702 Dartmouth was appointed a commissioner of the board of trade and foreign plantations, and was admitted a member of the privy council on the 18th of the same month (Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. pt. v. p. 293). He declined being sent to Hanover on a mission to the elect ress of Hanover, on the ground that 'he was very sensible that whoever was employed between her majesty and her successor would soon burn his fingers' (Burnet, Hist. of his own Time, v. 18 n.), and in 1704 refused the appointment of ambassador to Venice (ib. v. 142 n.) On 15 June 1710 he was sworn in at Kensington as secretary of state for the southern department in the place of Sunderland (Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. pt. v. p. 296}, and in the following month was succeeded at the board of trade by Matthew Prior (Luttrell, vi. 604). On 2 Nov. 1710 he was also made joint keeper of the signet for Scotland with James, second duke of Queensberry, and on 5 Sept. 1711 was created Viscount Lewisham and Earl of Dartmouth. In the previous August he had been appointed one of the commissioners to treat with Ménager, and on 27 Sept., as secretary of state, he signed the preliminary articles of peace. In December 1711 he expressed his disapproval to the queen of the intended creation of the twelve peers, fearing 'it would have a very ill effect in the House of Lords, and no good one in the kingdom' (Burnet, Hist. of his own Time, vi. 94-5 n.) In August 1713 he resigned the seals of secretary of state and the keepership of the signet, and was appointed lord keeper of the privy seal. In this capacity he acted as one of the lords justices on the death of Queen Anne until the arrival of George I in England, when he retired altogether from official life. He died at Blackheath on 15 Dec. 1750, aged 78, and was buried in Trinity Church in the Minories on the 21st of the same month.

Dartmouth was a moderate tory of high character and good ability. He was a firm