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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 F/LEG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: LEGGE FAMILY
Date(s): 1770-1885
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.76 linear metres (1034 documents).
Name of creator(s): Legge | family | Earls of Dartmouth


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Legge family were prominent in London, holding various City offices. However, the Dartmouth branch of the family descended from Edward Legge (d 1616) who as the a second son of a second son had made his own way, largely though settlement in Ireland. He was the vice-president of Munster. Edward's son William Legge (1607-1670) was a royalist army officer.

William's son George Legge (1647-1691) was a naval officer and courtier who was named 1st Baron Dartmouth in December 1682. He is best known for commanding the fleet which failed to prevent the invasion of William of Orange in 1688. His son William Legge (1672-1750), a politician, became the first Earl of Dartmouth. His son George died in 1732 and the title was inherited by his grandson William Legge (1731-1801). The 3rd Earl was William's son George Legge (1755-1810), also a politician, who married Lady Frances Finch (1761-1838) in 1782, having nine daughters and five sons.

George was succeeded as 4th Earl by his eldest son William (1784-1853). The 5th Earl was William Walter Legge (1823-1891) who was married to Augusta Finch (1822-1900) a noted philanthropist.

The main family residence was Patshull Hall, Wolverhampton; although the family maintained connections to London.

Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, (1776-1857), was one of the daughters of King George III. She married her cousin Prince William Frederick, second duke of Gloucester (1776-1834) on the 22 July 1816.

The Battle of Kandahar, 1 September 1880, was the last major conflict of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The battle was fought between the British forces under command of General Frederick Roberts and the Afghan forces led by Ayub Khan, who was defeated.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Legge family, earls of Dartmouth, including letters to the Countess of Dartmouth (Lady Frances Legg?) from her children and family members, 1809-1836; letters from Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, and her household, 1828-1856 (Lady Caroline Legg was lady-in-waiting to the Duchess); general family letters, 1820-1856; diaries and travel diaries (Italy and Germany) of Lady Caroline Legg, 1815-1836; papers of Lt Col Edward Legge including correspondence, travel diaries (Switzerland, Crimea, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Germany, France, Italy), 1853-1877; military notes, army diary and papers concerning service in the Coldstream Guards, 1855-1875, note books and memoranda books, undated; papers taken from Afghan commander Ayub Khan's camp at Kandahar, 1880.

The collection also includes notes on the history of the Legge family, some letters and scrap-books relating to other members of the family; and other papers relating to Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, including letters to her from Queen Victoria, Leopold King of the Belgians, and the Duke of Wellington, 1839-1841.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Divided into four series:
- Correspondence and Diaries, 1809-1856 (F/LEG/0001-0893);
- Diaries and Notebooks of Lieutenant Colonel Edward H Ledge, 1853-1885 (F/LEG/0894-0953);
- Family Papers, Diaries and Correspondence, 1770-1857 (F/LEG/0954-1015);
- Family History Notes, undated, 19th c.? (F/LEG/1016-1034).

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in March 1957.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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