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Leigh of South Carolina, America (GB Baronet, 1773 - dormant c. 1870)


Creation: let.pat. 15 May 1773


Dormant: c. 1870


Family name: Leigh




Or a Lion rampant Gules


A Cubit Arm habited grasping a Tilting Spear per bend all proper


Force Avec Vertu


See Editor's Note below on the use of the Egerton quarterings by Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, 3rd Bt.



Sir Egerton Leigh, 1st Bt.

1st son and hr. of Peter Leigh, High Bailiff of Westminster and later Chief Justice of South Carolina (by his wife Elizabeth Latus, dau. of William Latus, of Manchester, co. Lancaster), 4th son of Rev Peter Leigh, of West Hall, High Legh, co. Chester, Rector of Lymm and Vicar of Great Budworth, co. Chester, by his wife Elizabeth Egerton, only dau. of Hon Thomas Egerton, of Tatton Park, co. Chester (by his wife Hester Busby, dau. of Sir John Busby, of Addington, co. Buckingham), 3rd son of John [Egerton], 2nd Earl of Bridgewater


11 Oct 1733


15 Jan 1756 at St Philip's Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Martha Bremar (b. 13 Mar 1738; d. 10 Jan 1801), dau. of Francis Bremar, of South Carolina, British North America, by his wife Martha Laurens, dau. of John Laurens, also of South Carolina, British North America


1. Egerton Leigh (b. 18 Dec 1759; dvp.)

2. Rev Sir Egerton Leigh, 2nd Bt.

3. Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, of 42 Bedford Row, Westminster, and of Edinburgh, knighted 1793 (b. 1 Mar 1770; d. 11 Dec 1796), mar. 1793 Catherine Greig (d. aft. 1806), dau. of Alexander Greig, and had issue:

1a. Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, 3rd Bt.

4. Thomas Egerton Leigh, a plantation owner in Georgetown County, South Carolina (b. 1775; d. ????)

1. Martha Leigh (b. 5 Dec 1762), mar. (1) Nathan Garrick, nephew of the actor David Garrick, and (2) George Grazebrook

2. Elizabeth Harriet Leigh (b. 29 Jul 1764), mar. 1780 Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von der Malsburg, of Schloss Escheberg, Hesse-Cassel (d. 1855), and had issue

3. Mary Leigh (b. 1 Feb 1766), mar. 1783 John Smith, of Madeira

4. Harriet Anne Leigh (b. 30 Sep 1767; dsp.), mar. 1797 as his second wife Capt James Burnett, yr. bro. of Sir Thomas Burnett of Leys, 6th Bt., and 2nd son of William Burnett of Criggie by his wife Jean Burnett, 3rd dau. of Robert Burnett of Muchalls

5. Charlotte Lucy Leigh (b. 8 Dec 1768; d. 1801)


15 Sep 1781


15 May 1773 a Baronet of Great Britain, styled "of South Carolina, America"

suc. by



a Member of the Council, Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court, Surveyor-General and Attorney-General of South Carolina


Rev Sir Egerton Leigh, 2nd Bt.


25 Mar 1762


13 May 1788 Theodosia Beauchamp Donellan (widow of Capt John Donellan RN, who was hanged 1 Apr 1781 for the murder of his wife's brother; mar. (3) 10 Feb 1823 as his second wife Surgeon-Captain Barry Edward O'Meara RN, attendant of the exiled Emperor Napoleon on St Helena (b. c. 1786; d. 3 Jun 1836); d. 14 Jan 1830), sister and hrss. of Sir Theodosius Edward Allesley Boughton, 7th Bt., and only dau. of Sir Edward Boughton, 6th Bt., of Lawford Hall, co. Warwick, by his second wife Anna Maria Beauchamp, dau. and cohrss. of John Beauchamp. of co. Warwick


1. Egerton Leigh (dvp.)

1. Theodosia de Malsburg Leigh (b. 1792; d. 28 Feb 1870), mar. 1811 John Lucas-Ward later Ward-Boughton-Leigh DL, of Brownsover Hall, co. Warwick, and Great Addington Hall, co. Northampton (b. 1790; d. 18 Jun 1868), 4th son of William Zouch Lucas-Ward, of Guilsborough Hall, co. Northampton, by his wife Mary Lamb, only child of Robert Lamb, of Great Addington Hall, co. Northampton, and had issue


d.s.p.m.s. 27 Apr 1818

suc. by



founder and first minister of Rugby Baptist Church


Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, 3rd Bt.


10 Nov 1796


c. 1870


On the death of the 3rd Baronet the Baronetcy of Leigh of South Carolina may well have become extinct. However, it is not known whether Thomas Egerton Leigh, the 4th but 3rd surv. son of the 1st Baronet, left any male descendants in Georgetown County, South Carolina. For this reason this baronetcy is usually listed as being dormant rather than extinct.


First written 24 Nov 2007 and revised 7 Jan 2008. The Editor is grateful to Mr Richard Adamson, a descendant of Rev Peter Leigh, for his help with this article.



Editor's Note


The Egerton quarterings as used by Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, 3rd Bt.


The arms used by Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh were:



The shield is blazoned: Quarterly of eight: 1st and 8th, Or a Lion rampant Gules (for Leigh); 2nd, Argent a Lion rampant Gules between three Pheons two and one Sable (for Egerton); 3rd, Sable three Bucks' Heads cabossed two and one Argent (for Cavendish); 4th, Argent on a Bend Azure three Bucks' Heads cabossed Or (for Stanley); 5th, Chequy Or and Azure a Fess Gules (for Clifford); 6th, Barry of ten Argent and Gules a Lion rampant Or ducally crowned per pale of the first and second (for Brandon); 7th, Quarterly France and England (for King Henry VII).


Image kindly supplied by Martin Goldstraw Esq.


These arms represent heraldically the undoubted descent of Sir Samuel from King Henry VII through the Brandon, Clifford, Stanley and Egerton families. Although the quarterings make a fine heraldic display, some fairly rudimentary genealogical research has made the Editor question the validity of the 3rd Baronet's usage of these quarterings.


A married woman can only transmit the right to quarter her paternal arms to her children if she is an heraldic heiress or co-heiress. In his "Complete Guide to Heraldry" A C Fox-Davies says: "A woman is an "heir" or "heiress" if (1) she is an only child; (2) if all her brothers die without leaving any issue to survive, male or female; (3) she becomes an heiress "in her issue", as it is termed, if she dies leaving issue herself if and when all the descendants male and female of her brothers become absolutely extinct. The term "coheir" or "coheiress" is employed in cases similar to the foregoing when, instead of one daughter, there are two or more."


The claim to the Egerton and other quarterings comes to the Leigh family through Elizabeth Egerton, the wife of Rev Peter Leigh. They were the grandparents of the first Baronet. Bearing Fox-Davies' words in mind:


(a) Was she an only child? No, she had four brothers - so she fails the first of Fox-Davies' requirements.


(b) Did all her brothers die without leaving any issue to survive, either male of female? No, certainly her eldest brother had surviving issue, both male and female - so she fails the second of Fox-Davies' requirements.


(c) Was she an "heiress in her issue", i.e. after her death did all the descendants male and female of her brothers become absolutely extinct? No, her brother John Egerton (1679-1720) had children and grandchildren, and the descendants of his daughter Hester Egerton (1708-1780), the wife of William Tatton (1749-1806), continue to the present day - so she fails the third of Fox-Davies' requirements.


A similar line of argument can be applied to the implication that the Egerton family were entitled to quarter the arms of Cavendish. Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, wife of John [Egerton], 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, and second daughter of William [Cavendish], 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was neither an "heraldic heiress" nor an "heraldic heiress in her issue". So the inclusion of her family arms in this scheme of quarterings is merely causing further confusion.


The 3rd Baronet, Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, was no doubt very rightly proud of his royal descent from the first of the Tudor monarchs through the Egerton family. Unfortunately, it is the opinion of the Editor for the reasons stated above that in fact he was not entitled as of right to quarter the arms of Egerton nor any of the quarterings to which the Egerton family were themselves entitled, i.e. Stanley, Clifford, Brandon and King Henry VII.


It is not known when the 3rd Baronet adopted the use of the Egerton quarterings or if they had been used by his two predecessors in the Baronetcy. It might be significant that in 1829, some eleven years after Sir Samuel had succeeded his uncle as the 3rd Baronet, the Earldom of Bridgewater became extinct on the death of Francis Henry [Egerton], 8th and last Earl of Bridgewater. Sir Samuel must have been aware that any representation of the Earls of Bridgewater lay with the family of Egerton of Tatton Park, descendants of the Hester Egerton mentioned above (they were ennobled in 1859 as Barons Egerton of Tatton). Given this, the Editor can only conclude that Sir Samuel adopted the Egerton and other quarterings not as a claim to any form of heraldic representation but as a personal display to show his noble descent from the Cavendish Dukes of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and his royal descent through the Stanley Earls of Derby, Clifford Earls of Cumberland, and Brandon Dukes of Suffolk, from King Henry VII.




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