William Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth

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William Walter Legge
5th Earl of Dartmouth
Wednesbury Museum - 2016-11-30 - Andy Mabbett - 39.jpg
Legge on a medal whose reverse is lettered "To commemorate the opening on June 3rd 1878 of Dartmouth Park The gift of the Earl of Dartmouth to the inhabitants of West Bromwich"
Born (1823-08-12)12 August 1823
Died 4 August 1891(1891-08-04) (aged 67)
Parent(s) William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth

William Walter Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth (12 August 1823 – 4 August 1891), styled Viscount Lewisham until 1853, was a British peer and Conservative politician.

Political career[edit]

Legge was elected in 1849 as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Staffordshire and held the seat until 1853, when he succeeded his father William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Staffordshire on 9 October 1852,[1] and Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire in 1887.


Lord Dartmouth married Lady Augusta Finch, daughter of Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford, on 9 June 1846.[2] They had two sons, William Heneage, Viscount Lewisham (1851–1936), and the Hon. Henry Charles (1852–1924), and four daughters, who died unmarried.

Military career[edit]

He raised the 27th Staffordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Patshull on 7 March 1860 during a French invasion scare, and commanded it in the rank of Captain.[3][4]


In 1876, Lord Dartmouth leased 22.7 ha of estate land at Cooper's Hill to the West Bromwich Improvements Commissioners for the creation of Dartmouth Park. Inititially the land was rented at a nominal £1 per year for 99 years. Following a design competition that attracted seven entries, the original park scheme was set out by John Maclean of Donnington, Leicestershire, and included a cricket pitch, ornamental water feature and grand carriageway. Dartmouth Park was opened to the public on 3 June 1878 at a cost of £2,500. In 1919, the freehold to the park was awarded to the people of West Bromwich. From 1879 to 1881, West Bromwich Albion F.C. used it as an additional football ground.


  1. ^ "No. 21366". The London Gazette. 12 October 1852. p. 2665. 
  2. ^ K. D. Reynolds, ‘Legge , Augusta, countess of Dartmouth (1822–1900)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 12 March 2017
  3. ^ Westlake, p. 216.
  4. ^ Monthly Army List.


  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 100th Edn, London, 1953.
  • Ray Westlake, Tracing the Rifle Volunteers, Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84884-211-3.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. George Anson
Viscount Ingestre
Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire
With: Hon. George Anson 1837–1853
Hon. Edward Littleton 1853
Succeeded by
Hon. Edward Littleton
Earl of Uxbridge
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Wrottesley
Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Dartmouth
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Legge
Earl of Dartmouth
Succeeded by
William Legge