Legge, George (1755-1810) (DNB00)

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LEGGE, GEORGE, third Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810), statesman, born 3 Oct. 1765, son of William, the second earl [q. v.], by Frances Catherine, only daughter and heiress of Sir Charles Gunter Nicholl, K.B., was edncated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated 22 Oct. 1771, and was created M.A. 3 July 1775, and D.C.L. 28 Oct. 1778. He entered the House of Commons 5 June 1778 as member for Plymouth, and in the succeeding parliament represented the county of Stafford, his courtesy title being Lord Lewisham. He made his maiden speech 17 March 1779 against the bill for the relief of protestant dissenters, and afterwards (25 Nov.) moved an address to the throne. He supported the government on the rupture with Holland in January 1781; in 1782 he was appointed lord of the bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, in 1783 lord warden of the stannaries, retiring from office upon the dismissal of Fox and Lord North in the same year. On 19 May 1801 he was made president of the board of control, having been sworn of the privy council the preceding 17 March, and 15 June following e was summoned to the House of Lords, in his father's lifetime, as Baron Dartmouth, but never sat as such. He took his seat as Earl of Dartmouth 29 Oct. 1801. In 1802 (15 Aug.) he was made lord steward of the household, and in 1804 (14 May) lord chamberlain. He was an official trustee of the British Museum (1802–10), K.G. (1805), and colonel of the loyal Birmingham regiment of volunteers. He died in Cornwall on 1 Nov. 1810, and was buried on the 24th in the family vault in Trinity Church, Minories, London.

He married, 24 Sept. 1782, Lady Frances Finch, daughter of Heneage, third earl of Aylesford, by whom he had five sons and nine daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son, William.

[Gent. Mag. 1810, pt. ii. p. 500; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Georgian Era, i. 557; Parl. Hist. xx. 307, xxi. 1084; Beatson's Polit. Index, i. 456, ii. 386; Courthope's Hist. Peerage; Collins's Peerage (Brydges), iv. 123; Doyle's Official Baronage; Lords' Journ. xliii. 395; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Diary and Correspondence of Charles Abbot, Lord Colchester, i. 615.]

J. M. R.