William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth

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The Earl of Dartmouth.

William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth FRS, SA (29 November 1784 – 22 November 1853), styled The Honourable William Legge until 1801 and Viscount Lewisham between 1801 and 1810, was a British peer.


Dartmouth was the son of George Legge, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth, by Lady Frances, daughter of Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Aylesford. Heneage Legge and Arthur Legge were his younger brothers.[1]


Dartmouth was returned to Parliament as one of two representatives for Milborne Port at a by-election in January 1810.[2] However, in November of the same year he succeeded his father in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords.[3] He was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 7 November 1822.[4] He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.[1]


Lord Dartmouth was twice married.[1]

He married firstly Lady Frances Charlotte, daughter of Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot, on 5 April 1820. They had one son:

Lady Frances died on 4 October 1823.

Lord Dartmouth married secondly the Honourable Frances, daughter of Reverend George Barrington, 5th Viscount Barrington, on 25 October 1828. They had six sons and nine daughters. His children by his second wife were:

  • Frances Elizabeth b c1830,
  • Louisa b c1831,
  • George Barrington b 19 December 1831,
  • Beatrix Maria b c1833,
  • Edward Henry b 23 April 1834,
  • Arthur Kaye Howard b c1835,
  • Katharine b c1837,
  • Florence b 1838,
  • Augustus b 28 November 1839,
  • Barbara Caroline b 1841,
  • Charles Gounter b 9 May 1842,
  • Charlotte Anne Georgiana b c1844,
  • Heneage b 3 July 1845,
  • Harriet Octavia b 1 March 1847,
  • Wilhelmina b 1849.

The Countess of Dartmouth died on 12 August 1849.

Lord Dartmouth remained a widower until his death in November 1853, aged 68. He was succeeded in the earldom by his only child from his first marriage,


Dartmouth was the litigant in the trust law case of Howe v Earl of Dartmouth (1802) 7 Ves 137.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh Leycester
Lord Paget
Member of Parliament for Milborne Port
January–November 1810
With: Hugh Leycester
Succeeded by
Hugh Leycester
Hon. Sir Edward Paget
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Legge
Earl of Dartmouth
Succeeded by
William Legge