Thursday, 11 October 2018

Legge of Malone House

THE LEGGES WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ANTRIM, WITH 8,565 ACRES

The LEGGES claim to have been a patrician family from Ravenna, Italy, and settled in England during the reign of HENRY II.

In 1676, WILLIAM LEGGE, an officer in the army, with recommendations from JAMES II, then Duke of York, served under the Duke of Schomberg in Flanders, and accompanied him to Ireland, 1690.

His son,

WILLIAM LEGGE, settled at Malone, County Antrim, and acquired land from Arthur, 3rd Earl of Donegall, where he operated a farm and built houses.

Mr Legge died in 1723, and had, with other sons,

BENJAMIN LEGGE, who leased a plot of ground from the Earl of Donegall extending along the west side of North Street, Belfast, for 108 feet and bounded on the south side by Rosemary Lane.

Specifically mentioned are sugar-houses, warehouses and other property.

Legg's Lane ran next to the sugar-house from Rosemary Lane.

Benjamin Legg died in 1760, and his obituary stated that it was chiefly owing to his skill and activity that the refining of sugar was brought to such perfection in Belfast.

Another son,

WILLIAM LEGG, who died in 1750, was father of

ALEXANDER LEGGE (1706-77), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1770, who had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir (1821);
Elinor, Hill Wallace; mother of WILLIAM;
Marcella, Anthony Semple.
The son and heir,

WILLIAM LEGGE, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1780, died in 1821, and was succeeded by his nephew,

WILLIAM WALLACE JP DL (1789-1868), of Malone House, Belfast, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1823, who adopted the surname of LEGGE.

Mr Wallace-Legge wedded, in 1838, Eleanor Wilkie, third daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Forster, of Adderstone, Northumberland, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
FLORENCE1861, 6th Viscount Harberton.
Mrs Wallace wedded secondly, in 1874, the Hon Robert Jack Needham.

Mr William Wallace-Legge was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM WALLACE-LEGGE (1841-68), of Malone House; on whose decease, the estate passed to the Viscount Harberton through marriage.
Harberton Avenue, Drive and Park, Belfast, are all named after the 6th Viscount Harberton, who owned the land.

First published in October, 2016.

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