Leigh, Ferdinand (DNB00)

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LEIGH, Sir FERDINAND (1585?–1654), governor of the Isle of Man, born about 1585, was the eldest son and heir of Thomas Leigh of Middleton, Yorkshire, by Elizabeth Stanley of the Derby family, maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth. On his father's death in 1594 Ferdinand was left owner of vast estates near Leeds, Rothwell, Haigh, Middleton, &c. His mother married again one Richard Houghton of Lancashire. In 1617 he was knighted at York. In 1625 he was deputy-governor of Man under his relative the Earl of Derby, a post he appears only to have held for about a year. He was a gentleman of the king's privy chamber, and an enthusiastic royalist, contributing 100l. to the royal cause when the king assembled the gentry of Yorkshire at York. During the war he fought as colonel of a troop of horse, with his eldest son and successor, John, under him as captain. In 1650 he was threatened by the committee for advance of money with the forced sale of his Yorkshire property. He died at Pontefract on 19 Jan. 1654, and is buried in the ruined church there. Leigh married four times: first, Margery, daughter of William Cartwright; secondly, Mary, daughter of Thomas Pilkington; thirdly, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Tirwhit; fourthly, Anne, daughter of Edmund Clough; and was twice a widower before he was thirty. His second wife was a collateral descendant of James Pilkington, the first protestant bishop of Durham. He had eight children, the youngest being born about 1630; his eldest son (by Anne Clough), John, succeeded to his estates, and died in 1706.

[Biographia Leodiensis, p. 90; Ducatus Leodiensis, i. 222; Cal. Committee of Advance of Money, ii. 924 sq.; Seacome's Hist, of Isle of Man, p. 53.]

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