Skip to main content

William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth

1784 - 1853

This person is the subject of ongoing research. We have started by researching their relationship to the enslavement of people.

Biographical notes


Slavery connections

Married Lady Frances Charlotte Chetwynd-Talbot, whose father, Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot, was ‘awarded the compensation for Worthy Park in St John and Mickleton Pen in St Thomas-in-the-Vale Jamaica as executor and trustee of his wife’s brother-in-law Sir Rose Price (q.v.) with co-trustees including his son the Hon John Chetwynd-Talbot (q.v.)’. (UCL Department of History, ‘Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot’, in UCL Department of History (ed.), Legacies of British Slave-ownership [online], London 2020,<> accessed 4 August 2021.)

Worthy Park still exists and is the oldest and longest running sugar plantation in Jamaica; today its sugar cane crop produces rum.

Abolition connections

‘In October 1772, Thomas Woolridge, a British businessman and supporter of William Legge, the [2nd] Earl of Dartmouth, asked her [Phillis Wheatley] to write a poem for Legge, who had just been appointed secretary of state for the colonies. Entitled "To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth," the poem reflects the colonists’ hopes that Dartmouth would be less tyrannical than his predecessor. Wheatley then declares that her love of freedom comes from being a slave and describes being kidnapped from her parents, comparing the colonies‘ relationship with England to a slave’s relationship with a slave holder.’ (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, ‘Phillis Wheatley’s poem on tyranny and slavery, 1772’, in AP US History Study Guide Period 3: 1754–1800 [online], n.d., <> accessed 4 August 2021.)

National Gallery painting connections

Former owner: NG purchased from Legge in 1846: NG198.


History of Parliament Trust (ed.), The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, London 1964-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

C. Matthew et al. (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 1992-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

J. Turner et al. (eds), Grove Art Online, Oxford 1998-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

UCL Department of History (ed.), Legacies of British Slave-ownership, London 2020,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website