William Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Dartmouth
GCVO, KCB, PC, VD TD, JP
William Heneage Legge, Vanity Fair, 1895-10-10.jpg
The Earl of Dartmouth as caricatured by Stuff in Vanity Fair in 1895.
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
27 June 1885 – 28 January 1886
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by Lord Charles Bruce
Succeeded by Viscount Kilcoursie
In office
5 August 1886 – 24 November 1891
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by Viscount Kilcoursie
Succeeded by Lord Burghley
Personal details
Born 6 May 1851 (1851-05-06)
Westminster, London
Died 11 March 1936 (1936-03-12) (aged 84)
Patshull Hall, Staffordshire
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Mary Coke
(1849–1929)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Dartmouth6.JPG

William Heneage Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth GCVO, KCB, PC, VD, TD, JP (6 May 1851 – 11 March 1936), styled Viscount Lewisham between 1853 and 1891, was a British peer and Conservative politician. He served as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household between 1885 and 1886 and again between 1886 and 1891.

Background and education[edit]

Born at Westminster, London,[1] Dartmouth was the eldest son of William Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth, and Lady Augusta, daughter of Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford. The Hon. Sir Henry Legge was his younger brother. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.[2] He played first class cricket for Marylebone Cricket Club in 1877.[1]

Political career[edit]

Legge entered Parliament in 1878 as Member of Parliament for West Kent, a seat he held until the constituency was split in 1885,[2][3] when he was elected to the new constituency of Lewisham.[2][4] The same year he was sworn of the Privy Council[5] and made Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in Lord Salisbury's first administration.[6] The Conservatives fell from power in January 1886 but returned to office under Salisbury already in July of the same year, when Dartmouth was once again appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household,[7] a post he retained until 1891. He left the Commons in August 1891 on succeeding his father's titles.[2]

In October of the same year he was also appointed Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire (succeeding his father),[8] which he remained until 1927.[2] He was also an Alderman of the Staffordshire County Council and a Justice of the Peace for both Staffordshire and Shropshire.[2] In July 1901 he was appointed an additional member of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts.[9]

Lord Dartmouth was honorary Colonel of the 5th volunteer battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment from 1891, and of the 46th North Midland Divisional Train of the Royal Army Service Corps from 1908 to 1928, a period including the First World War,[10] for which he was appointed a KCB in 1917. On his retirement, he was made a GCVO in 1928.

Family[edit]

Lord Dartmouth married Lady Mary, fourth daughter of the Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, on 18 December 1879. They had five children:

  • William, Viscount Lewisham (1881–1958), later 7th Earl of Dartmouth.
  • Hon. Gerald (1882–1915), a Captain in the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, killed in action during the First World War.
  • Lady Dorothy OBE (1883–1974), Justice of the Peace for Staffordshire, married Colonel Francis Meynell (grandson of Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax).
  • Hon. Humphry (1888–1962), later 8th Earl of Dartmouth.
  • Lady Joan Margaret (1885–1939), Justice of the Peace for Staffordshire, died unmarried.

The Countess of Dartmouth, who was made a CBE in 1920, died in December 1929.[2] Lord Dartmouth survived her by seven years and died at Patshull Hall, Staffordshire,[1] in March 1936, aged 84. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, William.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Charles Mills, Bt
John Gilbert Talbot
Member of Parliament for West Kent
1878 – 1885
With: Sir Charles Mills, Bt 1868–1885
Constituency split
New constituency Member of Parliament for Lewisham
18851891
Succeeded by
John Penn
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Charles Bruce
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
1885–1886
Succeeded by
Viscount Kilcoursie
Preceded by
Viscount Kilcoursie
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
1886–1891
Succeeded by
Lord Burghley
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Dartmouth
Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire
1891–1927
Succeeded by
The Earl of Harrowby
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Legge
Earl of Dartmouth
1891–1936
Succeeded by
William Legge