Pedigrees of the Legard Family of Anlaby and Ganton

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

DDX/16/208 and DDX/16/241 are photocopies of historical documents relating to the Legard family of Anlaby and Ganton in the borough of Kingston upon Hull. DDX/16/208 is a photocopy of genealogical material found at Bempton church amongst parish records, dated 18 July 1829. DDX/16/241 comprises photocopied material from a volume of historical monuments of the Legard family held by Sir Thomas Legard of Scampston Hall in 1970. The book itself is that of Charles Legard and is dated 1652 and it includes an account of the family `taken out of the history of baronets and other books, by John Legard, 1730'. It also contains heraldic notes and crests, pedigrees and biographical notices.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Legard family can trace its origins back to a Robert de Legard at the time of the conquest. They possessed the lordship of Anlaby circa 1100 through marriage to an heiress of the name Anlaby and they held this lordship continuously until the early 20th century. In the late 15th century, Ralph Legard and his wife Isabel, were succeeded to the Anlaby estates by their son, Christopher, whose daughter Jane and her husband, John Hotham, were the parents of Sir John Hotham, the governor of Hull at the outbreak of the civil wars. Ralph and Isabel Legard's younger son, John, became a very successful London haberdasher who returned to Yorkshire in 1583 and set up a landholding branch of the family on estates purchased at Ganton of nearly 2000 acres (DDX/16/241; Legard, The Legards, pp. 81, 90).

Christopher Legard's son, Robert, succeeded to the Anlaby estates and by his two wives he had 19 children before dying in 1648. The many branches of the Legard family suffered from divided allegiance during the 1640s, but Christopher Legard's two sons, Christopher and Robert, basically allied themselves to the parliamentary cause. A letter of Thomas Fairfax to Christopher Legard pays tribute to his suffering in the parliamentary cause and he went on to become an assessor of royalist composition fines. On his death the estate passed to his younger brother, Robert, who had been a captain in the parliamentary army (Legard, The Legards, p. 84).

Robert Legard had two sons who died without issue, whereupon his younger son, also Robert, succeeded to the Anlaby estates. Robert Legard married twice and had several children. He was master of the high court of chancery and was knighted in 1682. He died in 1721 and was succeeded by his son, John, who married Jane Hildyard. They had 11 children, many of whom died in infancy, and he was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Henry Legard. Henry Legard's son, also Henry, was registrar of deeds for the East Riding from 1772 and died unmarried in 1819 when the male line failed. The Anlaby estates were devised by will to the heir of the colateral line at Ganton. Family portraits sent from Anlaby to Ganton were destroyed by the travel and as family deeds and pedigrees had been lost in the fire of London, piecing together the Legard family history is fraught with difficulty (Legard, The Legards, pp. 84, 87, 89).

The Ganton branch of the Legards also only survived through lateral as well as vertical successions. John Legard, who died in 1587 only four years after buying estates at Ganton, left behind a son, another John, born circa 1576. He married Elizabeth Mallory, had several children and died in 1643. Before he died his allegiance was parliamentarian, though one of his sons, Richard, became a royalist. His eldest son, also John, died in his lifetime, and his grandson, another John (b. circa 1631), succeeded to his estates. This John Legard was MP for Scarborough and was created baronet in 1660 despite ambiguous allegiances during the civil wars. He was one of the founders of the Kiplingcoates races. He died in 1678 (Legard, The Legards, pp. 94, 99).

His son, also John Legard, 2nd baronet, had many children by two wives, but his son, another John Legard, the 3rd baronet, died only four years after him in 1719. The baronetcy and Ganton estates then moved sideways to his uncle, Thomas Legard, who married Frances Digby. Their son, Digby Legard, 5th baronet (1729-73), improved the estates; he was an innovative agriculturalist and became known for his techniques for cultivation on the wolds. His son, John Legard, 6th baronet, was a lieutenant of the royal horse guards who who aspired to being one of the country house literati. He died in 1808 (Legard, The Legards, pp. 99, 102-3).

John Legard, 6th baronet, left no children and was succeeded by his brother Thomas (b.1762) as 7th baronet. Thomas Legard had a short career in the navy, but was discharged with injuries. His estate was run by Ralph Creyke from 1812 after he was certified mad (DDCV[2]/85/4). He was succeeded by his son, Thomas Digby Legard, as 8th baronet and when he died in 1860 he was succeeded by his son, Francis Legard who became 9th baronet. Francis Legard died unmarried in 1865 and was succeeded, for just one year, by his brother, D'Arcy Widdrington Legard, as 10th baronet. He also died unmarried and was succeeded by yet another brother, Charles Legard, who was responsible for replacing the old hall at Ganton. He was the last of the Legard family to live there, dying in 1901 (Legard, The Legards, pp. 105, 124-5, 140).

Charles Legard, 11th baronet, married Francis Hamilton, but they had no children and he was succeeded by Algernon Willoughby Legard, grandson of the 7th baronet in a colateral line. He lived in London, letting out the hall at Ganton and then selling it in 1910. After his death, the baronetcy moved sideways again, to his younger brother, Cecil Legard, and then his male heirs (Legard, The Legards, pp. 141, 166).

Conditions Governing Access



Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Other Finding Aids

Listed at item level

Related Material

DDBH/31/16-23 (papers of the Reverend Cecil Henry Legard); DDCV/15/229-230; DDCV/165/1; DDCV(2)/60/5; DDCV(2)/84/1; DDCV(2)/85/4; DDFA/5/140, 146-154; DDKE/1/2-4; DDKE/8/1, 67-68, 71-72, 75, 77, 82; DDKE/19/2


Harris, Alan, `Sir Digby Legard of Ganton (1729-1773): experimenter and improver', East Yorkshire Local History Society, 35 (1987)

Harris, Alan, `A lost eighteenth century agricultural survey of East Yorkshire', East Yorkshire Local History Society, 37 (1988)

Legard, James Digby, The Legards of Anlaby and Ganton: their neighbours and neighbourhood (1926)