William Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth

William Heneage Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth GCVO KCB 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.

The Earl of Dartmouth

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
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byLord Charles Bruce
Succeeded byViscount Kilcoursie
In office
5 August 1886 – 24 November 1891
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byViscount Kilcoursie
Succeeded byLord Burghley
Personal details
Born6 May 1851 (1851-05-06)
Westminster, London
Died11 March 1936 (1936-03-12) (aged 84)
Patshull Hall, Staffordshire
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lady Mary Coke
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Background and educationEdit

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 College and Christ Church, Oxford.[2] On 7 May 1868, he was commissioned an ensign in the 27th Staffordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps,[3] and was promoted from lieutenant to captain on 19 August 1874.[4] He played first-class cricket for Marylebone Cricket Club in 1877.[1] Later promoted to major in the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, he resigned his commission on 20 December 1884.[5]

Political careerEdit

Legge entered Parliament in 1878 as Member of Parliament for West Kent, a seat he held until the constituency was split in 1885,[2][6] when he was elected to the new constituency of Lewisham.[2][7] The same year he was sworn of the Privy Council[8] and made Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in Lord Salisbury's first administration.[9] 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,[10] 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),[11] 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.[12]

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,[13] for which he was appointed a KCB in 1917. On his retirement, he was made a GCVO in 1928. Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Staffordshire 1919.


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

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]


  1. ^ a b c cricketarchive.com Viscount Lewisham
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h thepeerage.com William Henage Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth
  3. ^ "No. 23382". The London Gazette. 22 May 1868. p. 2931.
  4. ^ "No. 24123". The London Gazette. 18 August 1874. p. 4074.
  5. ^ "No. 25424". The London Gazette. 19 December 1884. p. 5874.
  6. ^ leighrayment.com House of Commons: Keighley to Kilkenny
  7. ^ leighrayment.com House of Commons: Leicester to Lichfield
  8. ^ "No. 25485". The London Gazette. 30 June 1885. p. 2987.
  9. ^ "No. 25485". The London Gazette. 30 June 1885. p. 3000.
  10. ^ "No. 25615". The London Gazette. 10 August 1886. p. 3853.
  11. ^ "No. 26216". The London Gazette. 23 October 1891. p. 5523.
  12. ^ "No. 27340". The London Gazette. 2 August 1901. p. 5125.
  13. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes. 1934. p. 538.
  14. ^ https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/690296/legge,-the-hon.-gerald/
  15. ^ https://britishbirds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/article_files/V09/V09_N07/V09_N07_P177_179_A034.pdf

External linksEdit

External linksEdit

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