Legge, family, Earls of Dartmouth
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William Legge (d. 1670), Lieutenant of the Ordnance under Charles II, received royal grants of property in County Louth and the Minories (London) and the lieutenancy of Alice Holt and Woolmer forests in Hampshire. His son George Legge (d. 1691), created Baron Dartmouth in 1682, gained Bromley Park (Staffordshire) through his marriage in 1667 to the heiress of Sir Henry Archbold, and purchased Lewisham (Kent) in 1673. The second Baron (d. 1750), created Earl of Dartmouth in 1711, bought Sandwell (Staffordshire) from the Whorwood family in 1701 and Morley (Yorkshire, West Riding), a former estate of the Marquess of Halifax, in 1716. He also owned property in Westminster. The Woodsome estate at Farnley Tyas (Yorkshire, West Riding) was acquired through the marriage of the first Earl's son George Legge, Viscount Lewisham, to the daughter and heiress of Sir Arthur Kaye, third Bt, in 1722. The second Earl (d. 1801), grandson of the first Earl, married in 1755 the daughter and heir of Sir Charles Gunter Nicoll, from whom came estates in Sussex (Racton, Woodmancote), Buckinghamshire (Olney, Warrington), Middlesex (Kentish Town) and London (Aldersgate, Charterhouse Square, Old Jewry), with small amounts of property in Berkshire, Hampshire, Kent, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Surrey.
In the 18th century the Sandwell estate was augmented by purchases in Handsworth, Smethwick and West Bromwich (Staffordshire), and other Staffordshire property (Needwood Forest, etc) was leased from the Duchy of Lancaster. Sandwell Hall (built 1703-11) was given up in the mid-19th century and a more secluded estate at Patshull (Staffordshire), including land in Pattingham (Staffordshire) and Albrighton (Shropshire), was bought from Sir Robert Pigot, fourth Bt, in 1848. Sales of Handsworth and London property occured in the 19th century, and much of the Staffordshire estate was alienated in the 20th century.
In the late 18th century property was briefly held in Florida, and in the 20th century purchases were made in Kent (Godmersham Park), Leicestershire and Rhodesia. From the mid-19th century the management of the family's estates was largely in the hands of the estate agents Thynne & Thynne of London.
Estates in 1883: Yorks WR 8,024 acres, Staffs 7,316 acres, Bucks 2,195 acres, Salop 1,096 acres, Sussex 454 acres, Kent 391 acres, Middlesex 42 acres; together worth £58, 657 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections, L-Z, 1999|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F85407 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F483 )|
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