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Thomas Legh of Lyme 1793-1857


Roger O. De Keersmaecker



Richard Legh.


Son of Thomas Legh and Margaret Gerard. Richard was born 7 May 1634, died 31 August 1687 and was buried in the Legh chapel of Winwick Church.



Richard married Elizabeth Chicheley, born circa 1630, Wimpole, Orwell, Cambridgeshire, died 1728. Her funeral took place in the family burying-place at Winwick, Lancashire, where she rest by her husband. Richard and Elizabeth had thirteen children, Lettice, Elizabeth, Frances, Peter, Sarah, Anne, Thomas, Margaret, Richard, Isabella, Calveley, John, Francis. They where all born in Lyme Handley, Cheshire. Some time in May 1688 a tragedy occurred at Lyme, John, born 10 October 1683, Elizabeth’s fourth son, five years old was drowned in the water in front of the house. Richard Legh planted the first avenues of trees in the park at Lyme. 


Peter Legh XI,


First son of Richard Legh and Elizabeth Chicheley. Born 22 Augustus 1669, Lyme Handley, Cheshire. He was buried at Winwick on 16 January 1744. Peter Legh was elected in Parliament for the family borough at the age of fifteen owing to his father’s unwillingness to sit again. Lord Willoughby de Eresby was prompted to move for the expulsion of minors from the House, but no action was taken, and Peter Legh remained, circumspectly avoiding attention by total inactivity. Peter Legh politely refused to serve under Lord Molyneux, the Roman Catholic lord lieutenant of Lancashire. He never stood for Parliament after the Revolution. The leading spirit of the Cheshire Club, a society of Jacobite country gentlemen, he was arrested in 1694, at the time of the Lancashire Plot, and again in 1696, but on each occasion the prosecution broke down for lack of witnesses. He employed the Italian architect  Giacomo Leoni to carry out a major restoration of the hall.


Peter Legh XII,


Peter Legh XII, was a nephew of the above, Peter Legh XII. Born 1706, Baptism 7 January 1707, died 20 May 1792., he was buried at St Mary’s Church, Disley, Cheshire.


Thomas Peter Legh.


Also inherited as a nephew, He was born 1753, died 7 August 1797, buried at Winwick. In March 1794, he became a Colonel of the Light Dragoons, Lancashire 6 troops 14 March Colonel Thomas P. Legh [first known as Thomas Peter Legh, his regiment of Fencible Calvary], De died aged 44 at Edinburgh on 7 August 1797 and was buried at Winwick. Thomas Peter had seven illegitimate children by seven different women. They were Thomas, William, Peter, born 1796 who became incumbent of St. Peter’s in Newton, Maria, Margaret, Emma and Mary. The first three daughters all married men given the appellation Esquire in Earwaker’s family tree, indicating that they must have been brought up as “ladies”.


Thomas Legh.


Born  1793, son of Thomas, illegitimate son of the above Thomas Peter Legh, was a Fellow of the Royal Society and travelled widely. He visited Egypt in 1812-1813, together with Reverend Charles Smelt and François Barthow. He wrote Narrative of a Journey in Egypt and the Country Beyond the Cataracts, London 1816.



He visited Egypt again in 1814. Thomas Legh, married in January 1828  Ellen Turner, at the age of 17, daughter and only child of William Turner, an wealthy resident of Shrigley, Pott  Shrigley, Prestbury, Cheshire. She died in childbirth at the age of 19, January 1831. They had a daughter Ellen Jane Legh.  In his Parliament papers we read the following: (He received three weeks’ leave on account of his wife’s illness, 15 April 1830. He was granted three weeks’ leave, 14 February 1831, following his wife’s death, and another fortnight on account of illness in his family, 9 March 1831). He left Parliament on 1832. Ellen was buried Winwick, Warrington, Lancashire.

He married in 1843 for the second time Maud Lowther, daughter of Gorges Lowther of Lancashire.Thomas Legh, died at Milford Lodge, Lymington  8 May 1857, and was buried at Disley. At Lyme he commissioned Lewis Wyatt to carry out extension alteration to the house.


Thomas Legh, D. C. L.   F. R. S. (DCL = Doctor of Civil Law; FRS = Fellow of the Royal Society).


Thomas Legh second wife Maud Lowther, married for the second time, Auguste Jacques des Champs de la Tour, of Everton House,Hampshire.


The later Legh’s, are all descended from the second illegitimate son of  Thomas Peter Legh, William Legh..


Biographical details:

Morris L. Bierbrier, Who was Who in Egyptology, fourth revised edition 2012, p. 319-320;

Reverend Charles Smelt (1784-1831); Lady Newton, The House of Lyme, From its Foundation to the end of the Eighteenth Century, New York 1917; Patricia Usick, Adventures in Egypt and Nubia, London 2002, p. 27, 65-70; John O. Udal, The Nile In Darkness, Conquest and Exploration, 1504-1862, Norwich 1988, p. 128, 134, 139, 145, 129;, Leghs of Lyme; Leghs of Lyme, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Lyme Park Cheshire; Dick Purser, Venables Genealogy Report.



Gentleman’s Magazine, London, March 1817, p. 234-235; Prince Ibrahim Hilmy, The Literature of Egypt and the Sudan, 1 Volume, Martino Publishing 2001, p. 364-365; Martin R. Kalfatovic, Nile Notes of a Howadji, London 1992, p. 87 (0229); Deborah Manley, The Nile, London 1991, p. 12 (passim); Edited by Paul and Janet Starkey, Unfolding the Orient, Reading 2001, p. 181, 190; Deborah Manley and Peta Rée, Henry Salt, London 2001, p. 158, 167, 179. 








DIED MAY 8TH  1857. AGED 64






Memorial tablet, St Mary’s Church, Disley


, Tomb of Thomas Legh, St. Mary’s Church,  Disley


Thomas Legh D.C.L. , F.R.S.

Died 8th May 1857

 Aged 64 years