Hayes (Kent) History

Hayes (Kent) History

LEGGE George, Lord (Viscount) Lewisham
3 October 1755 – 10 Nov 1810
3rd Earl of Dartmouth 1801, Fellow of the Royal Society 1781,

Lord Lewisham moved to Hayes with his wife Frances and five children under 5 years old.

In May 1789 He took out loans to purchase Hayes Place for £10,500.  At the time he had an income of £3000 a year, including £1000 a year from his appointment as Warden of the Stannaries.

Four more daughters were born and baptised in Hayes by 1798. Although his daughter Katherine born in 1793 only lived 6 weeks.

Their household included 21 servants in the house and 2 gardeners living in a dwelling in the gardens.

He developed an excellent relationship with the Rector, Revd John Till, and through him was influenced to provide the land and house for the start of the village school in 1791.  He supported the school’s activities and also made several donations to the poor in the village.  

George lost his position as Warden of the Stannaries and needed to raise money by selling Hayes Place which he did in 1798.  

He maintained his links with Hayes, particularly with the Revd John Till, who agreed in 1802 that he would tutor his eldest son William who stayed at the Rectory for three months before he went to Christ Church, Oxford.  

William continued to maintain contact with Revd Till, whose letters reveal a great deal about events in Hayes.

Frances, Countess Dowager of Dartmouth, paid for John Till’s impressive tomb in Hayes in 1827 ‘in token of their affection and gratitude to a dear lamented friend.

Further information:
  • Legge Family papers Staffordshire Archives