George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth

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For other people of the same name, see George Legge (disambiguation).
George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth
George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth by John Riley.jpg
George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth, by John Riley
Spouse(s) Barbara Archbold

Issue

William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth
seven daughters
Noble family Legge
Father William Legge
Mother Elizabeth Washington
Born c.1647
Died 25 October 1691
Tower of London
Buried Holy Trinity, Minories, London

Admiral George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth PC (c. 1647 – 1691) was an English naval commander who gave distinguished service to both Charles II and James II.

Biography[edit]

George Legge was the eldest son of the royalist Colonel William Legge by Elizabeth Washington (c.1616–1688). His maternal grandfather, Sir William Washington[1] (1590–1648), was the elder brother of Lawrence Washington, great-great grandfather of George Washington,[2] while his maternal grandmother, Anne Villiers, was a half-sister of James I's favourite, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

Naval career[edit]

Legge's naval career began in the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–1667, where he served under his cousin Admiral Sir Edward Spragge; at the end of the war Legge was captain of HMS Pembroke. In March 1672, now in command of HMS Fairfax, he took part in the attack, on the Dutch Smyrna fleet lying off the Isle of Wight, that was the immediate cause of the Third Anglo-Dutch War. In June he fought in the Battle of Sole Bay. The following year he commanded HMS Royal Katherine under Prince Rupert of the Rhine in the Battle of Schooneveld.

By 1683 Legge had risen to be Admiral of the Fleet and he was sent out to Tangier to oversee the evacuation and destruction of the ill-fated English colony there. His last naval appointment was to the command of the Channel Fleet that unsuccessfully attempted to intercept the invasion force led by William III of Orange that landed in 1688 at the beginning of the Glorious Revolution.

Appointments and Honours[edit]

Engraved portrait of Lord Dartmouth by Peter Vandrebanc.

As a close supporter of the House of Stuart he held numerous royal appointments and honours.

In 1682, he was elevated to the peerage by Charles II as the first Baron Dartmouth.

Death[edit]

Following the abdication of James II, Dartmouth was dismissed by the triumphant William III, and imprisoned in the Tower of London in July of 1691. He died in the Tower a few months later, on 25 October,[3] without having been brought to trial, and was buried, as his father had been, in the church of the Holy Trinity, Minories, in London.[3]

He was succeeded as Baron Dartmouth by his only son, William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth (1672–1750).

Marriage and issue[edit]

Dartmouth married, in November 1667, Barbara Archbold (1649/50–1718), the daughter of Sir Henry Archbold of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, by whom he had an only son, William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth, born in 1672, and seven daughters.[3]

See also[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Ashburnham
Thomas Grey
Member of Parliament for Ludgershall
1673–1679
With: William Ashburnham
Succeeded by
Thomas Neale
John Smith
Preceded by
Richard Norton
Sir George Carteret, Bt
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth
1679–1685
With: Sir John Kempthorne 1679
Richard Norton 1679–1685
Succeeded by
William Legge
Sir Henry Slingsby, Bt
Military offices
Preceded by
The Duke of York
Governor of Portsmouth
1673–1682
Succeeded by
The Earl of Gainsborough
Preceded by
David Walter
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance
1679–1682
Succeeded by
Christopher Musgrave
Preceded by
In Commission
Master-General of the Ordnance
1682–1688
Succeeded by
Frederick Schomberg
Preceded by
Sir Percy Kirke
Governor of Tangier
1683–1684
Succeeded by
none
(re-incorporated into Morocco)
New regiment Colonel of The Ordnance Regiment
1685–1689
Succeeded by
The Earl of Marlborough
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Richmond
Master of the Horse
1685–1689
Succeeded by
Henry de Nassau, Lord Overkirk
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Alington
Constable of the Tower
Lord Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets

1685–1688
Succeeded by
The Lord Lucas
Peerage of England
New title Baron Dartmouth
1682–1691
Succeeded by
William Legge

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Roy 2004.
  2. ^ E.K. Vyhmeister, "Lord Sherborne", page 113
  3. ^ a b c Davies 2004.

References[edit]