Lord Dartmouth

Lord Dartmouth

arms ARMS: Azure a buck's head cabossed argent.

CREST: Out of a ducal coronet or, a plume of five ostrich feathers, three argent two azure.

SUPPORTERS: Dexter, a lion argent semée-de-lis sable ducally crowned or, issuing thereout five ostrich feathers, as in the crest; sinister, a buck argent semée of mullets gules.

MOTTO: "Gaudet tentamine virtus" Virtue exults in the trial

William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth. Born 20 June 1731, died 15 July 1810 Blackheath Kent. British philanthropist and statesman who played a significant role in the events leading to the American War of Independence.

He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College Oxford. He succeeded his grandfather as Earl of Dartmouth in 1750, and took his seat in the House of Lords in May 1754. He became First Lord of Trade in the administration of the Marquess of Rockingham, and a member of the Privy Council in July 1765.

In 1772 he became Secretary of State for the Colonies in the ministry of his half-brother Lord North. Faced with mounting hostility in the Colonies, he recognised Benjamin Franklin as colonial agent, and adopted a policy of delay to allow tensions to abate. When this policy failed he sought moderate measures to secure colonial dependence on Britain, but rejected the proposals of the Continental Congress.

Unwilling to direct a war against the colonists, he resigned his offices in November 1775, but remained in the Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal until the fall of Lord North's administration in 1782.

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