William Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth


William Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth

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

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

Legge was elected in in 1849 as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Staffordshire and held the seat until 1853, when he succeeded to his father's titles. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire in 1887 and died four years later, being succeeded by his eldest son.

In 1876, the 5th Earl of 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.


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