MC:P287/C3 Correspondence of George Legge, Viscount Lewisham and Sir Walter Bagot
MC:P287/C3/1 7th Jan.[1720; 1721 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Mr. Ellis’s house at Coney Hatch, Midsx). Lewisham has secured new chambers for himself, which he considers to be the best in the College. If his present chambers are to be let again, he will secure them for Sir Walter, as they are pleasant. He praises his Tutor’s character and scholarship. He also mentions a fire in the hall at Christ Church, which caused an estimated £1000 damage. Finally, Lewisham asks Sir Walter to tell his brother Harry (Henry Bilson-Legge, d.1764) that he is upset with him for not writing. This letter dates to 1720, when the Christ Church fire is known to have taken place.
MC:P287/C3/2 Tuesday 26th Jan. 1720
Letter from Lewisham (address, Magdalen College) to Sir Walter Bagot (address at Mr. Ellises house at Coney Hatch, Middlesex). Lewisham begins by asking Sir Walter to keep his letters confidential. He states that the only pleasure he has at Magdalen is hearing about Sir Walter, or at least asking after him. He reports that he reached Oxford on the Wednesday night of the previous week, entering and matriculating at Magdalen that evening. He reports that they dined in the hall and stayed in the college for the first time on Saturday. He stayed with Robert Digby (Robert Digby, born at Coleshill, co. Warwick, s. of William, Lord Digby. matr. Magd. 1708; M.A. 1711, MP, d.1726.) in his chambers, as he did not yet have his own. He tells Sir Walter that these rooms are much nicer than he will be able to get. He longs for Easter and fears that Sir Walter will not want to enter Magdalen as he will have to put up with ‘very indifferent lodgings.’ He promises to secure the best chambers that he can for Sir Walter, if and when he decides to matriculate. He gives the name of his tutor as Mr. Cane (Henry William Cane: Demy 1705–15; Fellow 1716–29), promising to divulge more information about him as he gets to know him. He mentions having drinks in college with Lord Cameron (Thomas Fairfax, sixth Lord Fairfax of Cameron d.1781) and Mr. Ward (unidentified), and says that a ‘Mr. Graham’ (unidentified) has arrived. He asks Sir Walter to give his service to Wynn (unidentified) and Clergies (unidentified) at Coney Hatch, his old school. 1720/21 is proposed by a later hand, but it must be 1720, before Sir Walter matriculated at Magdalen.
MC:P287/C3/3 Feb. 23rd [1720; 1721 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address Mr. Ellis’s house at Coney Hatch, Midsx). Lewisham tells Sir Walter that he delayed writing to him until he could tell him that he had managed to find chambers for him at Magdalen. He has heard that Sir Walter intends to go to Christ Church instead, but decided to go ahead until he heard from him directly. He discusses chambers adjacent to his own, and others opened up by the death of an Old Fellow the night before. His chambers will now go to Dr. Stacy (Daniel Stacey, Chorister; Demy 1683; Fellow 1692–1721), who will let Sir Walter furnish himself with what he needs. Lewisham ends by greeting various people at his old school, including his brothers. This letter dates to 1720, the year in which Sir Walter Bagot matriculated at Magdalen.
MC:P287/C3/4 9th Mar. [1720; 1721 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Mr. Ellis’s house at Coney Hatch, Midsx). Lewisham apologises if he had offended Sir Walter by mentioning the rumour of his going to Christ Church rather than Magdalen, particularly as Sir Walter had agreed to come to Magdalen on Lewisham’s behalf. He is confident that Sir Walter will enjoy it, as he considers it to be the most pleasant college at Oxford. He claims to have secured the nicest apartment in Magdalen for his friend. Lewisham reports that his tutor is a good sort of man and as fine a scholar as Magdalen possessed. Lewisham discusses a masquerade that Sir Walter had attended. Again he greets various members of Mr. Ellis’ school at Coney Hatch. This letter dates to 1720, as Sir Walter Bagot matriculated at Magdalen in that year.
MC:P287/C3/5 12th Apr. 
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, at Councellor Jones’s in Lincoln’s Inn Fields Portugall (sic) Row, London). Lewisham discusses sending an account of expenses to Sir Walter, explaining that one Dr. Mauries (unidentified) took time in answering his own letter in regards to these expenses. Mr. Cane had been to Coney Hatch, and told Lewisham that Sir Walter would not be arriving for a month or more, as he intended to stay in London before heading up to Staffordshire. He passes on the news that Lord Carnarvon (probably John Brydges, styled Marquess of Carnavon, matr. Balliol 1719, d.1727) was going to Scotland, so he would unfortunately miss seeing Sir Walter. This letter is dated to 1720 by the address, which matches that of the letter below (MC:P287/C3/6).
MC:P287/C3/6 20th Apr. [1720; 1721 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Walter Bagot (address, at Councellour Jones’s House in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Portugall [sic] row, London). This letter concerns the gowns that Sir Walter had to order for university. Lewisham had spoken to a tailor and now reports the details of what was required. There is some discussion of where and how things are to be made and detailed descriptions of the garments. As this letter concerns ordering university gowns, it is logical that it dates to 1720, when Sir Walter matriculated at Magdalen.
MC:P287/C3/7 3rd May [1720; 1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given, stamped Oxford) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield near Ridgley in Staffordshire). Lewisham expresses his hopes that Sir Walter arrived at Blithfield safely and that his uncle was in better health than expected. He recounts how he went to the Music Club to try to lift his spirits after Sir Walter’s departure, but that the quality was so poor that it failed to achieve this aim. He gives the results of an election to a professorship, giving the number of votes for candidates White, Denison and Harrison, who, as Lewisham happily reports, won the contest. (The election concerned took place on 2nd May 1720 to elect the Camden Professorship of History. An account of this can be found in Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne Vol. VII 1719–22 ed. Committee of the Oxford Historical Society (OHS xlviii 1906), pp. 124-5.) Lewisham tells Sir Walter about some preparations he has ordered for Sir Walter’s rooms before he returns. He mentions several friends from Magdalen and Coney Hatch: Wynn, Clergies and Sir William Wheeler (William Wheler, 5th Bart., matr. Magd. 1720).
MC:P287/C3/8 22nd Jan. [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, at Councellor Jones’s in Lincoln’s Inn Fields Portugall Row, London). After some expressions of friendship, Lewisham shares some news of Magdalen members. He had recently dined with Mr. Craven (son of Baron William C., of Combe Abbey, co. Warwick. matr. Magd. 21 Jan., 1720/21) and old Hollyoak (unidentified) at Sir William’s (Sir William Wheeler). On another occasion, he and Craven dined with Levett (Henry Levett, matr. Exeter Coll. 1718/19, demy Magd. 1720-6 or Richard Levett, matr. Magd. 1722). Also, he reports that he is to dine with Lord Carnarvon and Jack Ward. Sir Walter seems to have adopted a robin, which, Lewisham now says inhabits the cloisters. He asks for news of friends in town, including one Humphrey (possibly Humphrey Hyde, s. Humphrey, of Dowsby, co. Lincoln, cler., matr. Lincoln Coll. 1720; demy Magd. 1721-8, B.A. 1724, M.A. 1727) and sends greetings from Levett, Sir William and Legge.
MC:P287/C3/9 6th Feb. [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, George Jones’ Esq. in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London). Lewisham thanks Sir Walter for the gift of a fish, upon which he dined with those whom he considered to be Sir Walter’s closest friends:
R. Duncan (unidentified)
Butler (perhaps Edward Butler, s. Robert, of London, gent., Magd., 1702; demy 1702-10, B.A. 1706, M,A. 1709, fellow 1710-22, a student of medicine 1722, D.C.L. 1722, president 1722-45, vice-chancellor 1728-32).
Jack Scrag (or Serag; unidentified)
Sir William would have joined them, but was out of town. He is sorry that Sir Walter considers London as having become so uncivilised a place, although he hopes that this means that Sir Walter will soon return to Oxford. He is sorry that Sir Walter was unable to meet Baron Spar (Charles Gustavus Spar), as he believes he would have enjoyed himself at the expense of such a ‘coxcomb.’
MC:P287/C3/10 17th Feb. [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Oxon.) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, George Jones’ Esq. in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London). Lewisham addresses Sir Walter as ‘Mr. Chairman’, for unknown reasons. He reassures Sir Walter that his lack of frequent letters does not offend him, for he knows that he is busy in London. Lewisham says that he has a bad cold, which he is using as an excuse not to dine with a disagreeable man called Mr. Letheiullier (perhaps John Lethieullier (d.1731), Sir Christopher Lethieullier (d.1736), Smart Lethieullier, (1701–1760), antiquary, or his father John Lethieullier (d. 1737), businessman and financier, of Aldersbrook Manor House). This gentleman had hoped to introduce Sir Walter to Baron Spar, but he was otherwise engaged. Sir Walter had dined with Letheiullieur and his sister, and played the then popular card game, Ombre. Lewisham describes in some detail how Letheiullieur boasted to him about a various suits that he had ordered, or was considering ordering. In the process he seems to have alienated Levett. Lewisham tells Sir Walter that his gift of cod has started a trend: both Levett and Craven were serving cod to their friends. Lewisham ends by telling Sir Walter to finish his London education and to come to Oxford for an academic education.
MC:P287/C3/11 12th Mar. [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Magdalen College, Oxford). Lewisham apologises for not replying to Levett and Sir Walter’s letters sooner. He explains that he has been busy going to the opera, visiting Blackheath and waiting on Mr. Kaye (Sir Arthur Kaye, his future father-in-law, d.1726). Lewisham says that he is going to Theodosius (unidentified) that evening, for the benefit of Mr. Porter (unidentified). He directs Sir Walter to ‘dear Dickey’ (probably Richard Levett but perhaps Richard Adams; Demy 1680; Fellow 1689–1721) if he wants more news. It is logical to date this letter to 1722, as Lewisham married Sir Arthur’s daughter Elizabeth Kaye (d.1745) in March of that year.
MC:P287/C3/12 15th Apr. [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (address Mrs. Nokeses [sic] House in Essex Street in the Strand, London). In this brief letter, Lewisham tells his friend that he has safely arrived at Sir Arthur Kaye’s house of Woodsome Hall and gives him the address there so that he might write. He expresses his wish that Sir Walter share this information with Levett.
MC:P287/C3/13 4th May [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (no address given, but sent ‘Free A.Kaye’) to Sir Walter Bagot (address: at Mrs. Noakes in Essex Street, London.). Lewisham apologises that he cannot yet send York news, as he does not yet know the area well enough. He says that he has heard from Levett, who was still very melancholy. He hopes that Sir Walter enjoyed the Blackheath Fair, declaring that the puppet shows ‘go beyond’ those performed at Smithfield, particularly when Old Mr. Harris (unidentified) was present. He had hoped that Sir Walter would send him the London gossip on Lord Sunderland’s death (Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1675-1722).
MC:P287/C3/14 9th May [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (stamped Oxford) to Sir Walter Bagot (address: Blithfield). Lewisham is pleased to hear of Sir Walter’s safe arrival at Blithfield and that his uncle was in better health than was expected. He hopes that this means that Sir Walter will be able to return to Oxford soon. He mentions several friends: Cotton (unidentified), Cane and Wynn. He discusses a letter that he had received from Wynn. Evidently the story that Sir Walter’s uncle was ill got altered before it reached Coney Hatch. Wynn, Mr. Ellis and other friends were worried that Sir Walter was gravely ill, until Lewisham was able to tell them that it was in fact it his uncle. Lewisham also mentions Clergies, who was apparently ‘very uneasy’ in his Commoner’s Gown.
MC:P287/C3/15 20th May [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, at Magdalen College). Lewisham reports some good news from Blackheath. The lawyers were nearly finished their work and the family could begin theirs, which Lewisham anticipated they would accomplish more quickly. (The nature of this business is unclear). Lewisham asks to be remembered to Levett and Mr. Cane.
MC:P287/C3/16 24th May [1722 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham attributes a delay in replying to Sir Walter’s letter to the fact that he received when he was just about to dine with Lord Aylesford (Heneage Finch, 2nd Earl of Aylesford, d.1757). He thanks Sir Walter for his company on part of the journey to Warwick, though it upset him that they did not have anything to say to each other until they reached Banbury. He mentions a Dr. Evans (unidentified) who seems to have entertained Sir Walter. Lewisham closes by thanking Sir Walter for the trouble he had taken over his clothes, and informs him that the tailor has now finished them.
MC:P287/C3/17 5th June 1722
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Magdalen College). Lewisham is disappointed that Sir Walter has only written to him once since arriving in Oxford. He reports that he wrote to Levett, telling him that his father, Lord Dartmouth (William Legge 1st Earl of Dartmouth, d.1750), would be with him soon. It is unclear why, but in connection with his encounter with his father, he asks Sir Walter to think of him on Thursday. He asks Sir Walter to send his love to ‘Dickey’, whom he praises. Lewisham closes by reporting on a masquerade that was held at Woodsome.
MC:P287/C3/18 15th June 
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Magdalen College). Lewisham writes his last letter as a bachelor. He has high hopes of his marriage (which took place in 1722). He thanks Sir Walter for his good wishes, and hopes that he will remember him on the eve of his marriage, when he meets with Levett. He asks to be remembered to the Digbys and Mr. Cane. He jokes that he expects Sir Walter to write his next letter in the form of Welsh poetry. (This perhaps relates to the Bagot family’s acquisition of Pool Park, co. Denbigh, c.1722). Lewisham adds a mysterious postscript: ‘I hear your daddy has killed My Lord Cravon, I don’t believe it.’ (William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven (d.1739).
MC:P287/C3/19 4th July 1722
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (Maiden Lane, London). Lewisham is delighted that Sir Walter is thinking of coming to visit and asks him to bring Levett with him. He mentions that he has dined with Harry Vernon (unidentified). He then makes the mistake of thinking that Sir Walter has not given him his address in London; later on in the letter he corrects himself and apologises. He comments that he is unclear why Sir Walter is in London, speculating that it is because ‘Dickey’ is also there and they are inseparable. He sends greetings on behalf of his wife, who he says is well acquainted with Sir Walter and wishes to see him.
MC:P287/C3/20 17th Nov. 1722
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham hopes that Sir Walter will come and visit before ‘Dickey’, who is very popular at Sandwell, leaves. There follows a rather odd passage on Mr. Ward. Lewisham claims that they have to treat him differently than other visitors at Sandwell; putting him in a dark room with a straw bed and feeding him on bread and water. Lewisham claims that Ward’s great learning has driven him mad. He had asked Lewisham had enclosed something from Ward to Sir Walter in this letter, but it is now lost. Ward wrote ‘a most heroically cockscomical’ letter to his father, but Lewisham seems to imply that he has not sent it on his behalf. He and Mr. Legge (probably his brother Heneage) send their service to Sir Walter and ‘Richard Levett junior Esquire’. He asks that Mr. Fox (perhaps Henry Fox, first Baron Holland of Foxley, matr. Christ Church 1720/1, d.1774) be reminded of his service and of some sort of promise.
MC:P287/C3/21 17th July [1723, 1723/4 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham writes that Sir Adolphus Oughton (Colonel Sir Adolphus Oughton, Bart., d.1736), is in Warwickshire. He is glad that Sir Walter is behaving dutifully towards him at Oxford and hopes that Oughton was kind to Sir Walter (who was his wife’s son from her first marriage). He discusses the marriage of Magdalen’s president, Edward Butler (president from 1722-45, d.1745). Lewisham anticipates meeting a ‘Mr. Temple Laws’ who is currently visiting Sir Thomas Lawley (Sir Thomas Lawley of Canwell Priory, 3rd Bart. of Spoonhill, d.1729) in Warwickshire. He mentions Cane, ‘the dear justice’ and sends greetings from his father and Mr. Legge to Sir Walter. President Butler’s marriage dates the letter to 1723.
MC:P287/C3/22 26th Aug. 
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham is disappointed that he has missed out on seeing Sir Walter, but this was alleviated when Levett told him that Sir Adolphus was to visit Sir Walter at Blithfield, thus making a meeting at Coleshill impossible. Lewisham sends Sir Walter his sympathy for a knee injury he had received. A little late, he expresses his thoughts on the 23rd of August, wishing Sir Walter long life and happiness upon entering manhood and his estate. His father and brother Heneage join him in his sentiments. The letter is dated to 1723, as this is the year Sir Walter Bagot turned twenty-one.
MC:P287/C3/23 18th Sept. 
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield near Litchfield in Staffordshire). Lewisham is glad to hear that Sir Walter has recovered from his lameness. He asks him to choose a day for a visit. He records that there had been a ‘great entertainment of music at Birmingham’ recently, with a ball afterwards. He notes that there was both good and bad company, ‘for all the Black Guard broke in upon us.’ He records the names of guests from Warwickshire and Staffordshire, including Sir William Wheeler, Mr. Wren (probably Christopher Wren, d.1747, son of Sir Christopher Wren and owner the estate of Wroxall, Warwickshire) amongst many others. This letter is dated to 1723, as it mentions the same injury as MC:P287/C3/22.
MC:P287/C3/24 28th Jan. [1724, 1723 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). This is a more business-like letter as Lewisham discusses the financial arrangements leading up to Sir Walter’s marriage to Barbara Legge (Lewisham’s sister, d.1765). Mr. Lewis and Mr. Jones (both unidentified) seem to be involved in the arrangements and were perhaps lawyers or agents of some sort. Lewisham tells Sir Walter what the proposed arrangements are, discussing various possibilities for the future, e.g. if Sir Walter were to predecease his wife, leaving only daughters. Lewisham informs Sir Walter that Lord Dartmouth is very pleased with the letter he received. Greetings are exchanged on behalf of the ladies of the household, Mr. Legge (likely to be Heneage), Mr. Chester (Sir John Chester of Chichley d.1747, m. Sir Walter’s sister Frances 1718), the Rector and Dartmouth’s doctor. Lewisham asks Sir Walter to give him his address in London and to tell Levett that he was expecting his baggage to arrive any day. Sir Walter Bagot married Barbara Legge in 1724, dating this later to that year. The letter is mislabelled 23rd June on verso.
MC:P287/C3/25 31st Jan. [1724 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham comments on Sir Walter’s low spirits in his last letter, blaming a variety of factors, including that he was exhausted by fasting and prayer, and then too suddenly elated with seeing Mr. Hastings (unidentified). He then gives Sir Walter notice that he will receive a letter via Mr. Rathbone of Litchfield (unidentified) constituting a second part to a paper he had given him previously. This paper had been written by Lord Dartmouth and was seemingly highly confidential. He mentions Mr. Lewis and a cousin of Sir Walter’s, Jones, who would not want the letter to appear in public.
MC:P287/C3/26 20th Feb. 1723/4
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Sir Walter’s uncle was apparently seriously ill again, and Lewisham expresses his sympathy. He hopes that Levett arrived safely at Sir Walter’s. He had told a strange story, to which Lewisham gives little credence, that Sir Walter had taken a Duchess up above the clouds in a flying machine. Lewisham sends his service to Mr. Chester and Levett.
MC:P287/C3/27 25th Feb. 
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham sends his letter through ‘Master Dickey’. He discusses a pair of highly anticipated new tragedies that were soon to be performed in London and the Duke of Buckingham’s (John Sheffield, first duke of Buckingham and Normanby d.1721) works and play. Lewisham has heard that the latter were popular due to the fact that they had been seized by the authorities, rather than any artistic merit. (Pope prepared a version of Buckingham’s work in 1723, which was seized by the government). Again, Lewisham asks after ‘the Justice’. He reports that John Raw (unidentified), an old friend of Levett’s, has died. The mention of the Duke of Buckingham’s works suggests that this letter should be dated to 1724.
MC:P287/C3/28 3rd Mar. 1723/4
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham asks after Mr. Bagot, Sir Walter’s uncle (probably his great uncle Charles Bagot, d.1724), hoping that the loss of his toes might help to prolong his life. Lewisham reports that his parents, Mr. Chester and Levett all send their sympathy.
MC:P287/C3/29 28th Apr. [1724 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham passes on the thanks and greetings of his parents, his brother Heneage, his sister Barbara, Mr. and Mrs. Chester and Miss Bagot (Jane Bagot, Sir Walter’s sister bap.1703). He outlines his plans for a visit to Windsor to see Sir Arthur and Lady Kaye. He is pleased that he will be able to Sir Walter whilst he is there.
MC:P287/C3/30 19th May [1724 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Windsor) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, ‘at Captain Clarke’s in Essex Street near the Strand, London). Lewisham details his trip to Windsor, mentioning that he got to Warwick about an hour before the eclipse. He reports that Sir Arthur wants to see him when he is in Windsor, though he has not got a spare bedroom for him. Lewisham recommends that Sir Walter take two or three days to see Windsor, if he had never visited before. He passes on greetings from his wife and Lady Kaye.
MC:P287/C3/31 23rd June 1724
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, ‘at Captain Clarke’s in Essex Street, London). Lewisham writes a short letter to assure Sir Walter that he had received his letter and had obeyed his commands and discovered his sister Barbara’s ring size. He passes on greetings from all of the family.
MC:P287/C3/32 1st July 1724
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham reprimands Sir Walter for losing his temper. He advises him not ‘damn and sink’ all lawyers, lest he discourages Mr. Legge (Heneage) from ‘prosecuting that study’ if he knows of Sir Walter’s animosity. He reports that his father is sending an unspecified document to him, and is currently hiring a ‘safe conveyance’ from Birmingham. Lewisham notes that Mr. Bromley’s (unidentified) marriage would take place the next day. He assures Sir Walter that he has spoken to Sir Clobery Holte (Sir Clobery Holte, 4th Bart. Aston, d.1729) about Sir Walter using his name and that he is most welcome to continue to do so. Once again, the family send their greetings, though Barbara will speak for herself.
MC:P287/C3/33 28th July [1724 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Magdalen College, Oxford). Lewisham apologises for not writing sooner, but he could not excuse himself to write a long letter when he had Mr. and Mrs. Knightly (unidentified) visiting. He jokes about publishing a reward for anyone who will bring him the body of Richard Levett. Lewisham asks Sir Walter about ‘Maudlin Day’ feasting and mentions that he had been hunting. He discusses an Assembly that he had attended at Cannock, mentioning a Mrs. Brown of Lichfield (an unidentified relation of the Sidbury Vernons) and a Miss Vennables (unidentified). He also discusses the Assembly set up at Lichfield. Lewisham mentions an election, before discussing an unnamed doctor, whose letter he was secretly forwarding to Sir Walter for him to admire. Finally Lewisham states that his father is making him contact the College to ‘get up’ the accounts and dispose of Mr. Legge’s chambers, perhaps meaning those of his brother Heneage. Lewisham closes by saying that he is to visit Mr. Hill (unidentified) and asks after Walcot (perhaps John Walcot, matr. Magd. 1715; created M.A. 1719/20, M.P. 1727-34).
MC:P287/C3/34 29th Sept. 1724
Letter from Lewisham (address, St Michael and All Angels) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham writes a flattering letter to wish his friend success in standing for Newcastle in the election. He invites him to visit any time that he is not resident in his constituency, as he is a great favourite with all of the Legge family. He mentions that he is to dine at Coleshill with Robin Digby (perhaps meaning Robert). Lewisham announces his intention to avoid Hertfordshire this year to avoid seeing R.I.M. (?). Lewisham sends his love to the Bagots, including his nephew.
MC:P287/C3/35 9th Jan. 
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham promises to visit Sir Walter, and ‘the good Justice’ (unidentified) at Blithfield soon. He announces that his father plans to visit too. He mentions the difficulties of one Mr. Elde (unidentified) in light of the fate of the Lord Chancellor (Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield d.1732). He closes by sending greetings to his sister and service to Miss Bagot, and declaring the intentions of Heneage and ‘the other lads’ to visit Blithfield. This letter is dated to 1725, as the Earl of Macclesfield surrendered his seals of office on the 4th of January of that year.
MC:P287/C3/36 8th Apr. [1725 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham and his wife had recently returned from visiting Sir Walter and Barbara, and he takes the opportunity to thank his hosts. He is pleased that Barbara was safe and fairly well when they left. They had a wet, long journey home as they had to take a circuitous route, but the welcome at home was some compensation. Lewisham’s daughter Anne (‘Nanny’) was overjoyed to see her father, despite previously having sent him a rude message via Mr. Levett.
MC:P287/C3/37 12th May 1725
Letter from Lewisham (address, Sandwell) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham expresses his wish that Sir Walter has recovered from an illness, anticipating a report from Heneage when he returned from his visit. Lewisham tells Sir Walter that Lord and Lady Dartmouth (Anne, nee Finch, d.1751) are very keen to visit him, only holding off because of the dreadful weather. He sends greetings from all of the Legges, including his brothers ‘Harry’ (Henry Bilson-Legge) and ‘Ned’ (Edward Legge).
MC:P287/C3/38 3rd Nov. 1725
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Wagstaffe Bagot (no address given). Lewisham has delayed writing to Sir Walter until he could be sure of the state of his own family, as his wife was currently pregnant. He announces that everyone is now sure that she will have a boy. He implies that Sir Walter’s wife was also pregnant, and wishes them both ‘good luck in lads.’ Again, he had been running errands for Sir Walter and would soon be sending him his watch, which had been repaired by one Robinson (unidentified). He looked forward to receiving his next ‘commission’: inspecting houses. The letter has had a page torn off, with some loss of text. Part of a postscript carrying instructions from Lady Lewisham to Lady Barbara in regards to a Nurse Cureden (unidentified) survives. There are two names written on the reverse, possibly due to Sir Walter using this as scrap.
MC:P287/C3/39 16th Nov. 1725
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham begins with praise for Sir Walter and his friendship. The letter largely concerns six houses in London that he had looked at on Sir Walter’s behalf. These were located in Leicester Street, Marlborough Street and Golden Square. He describes each in some detail, considering closets, bedrooms, furnishings etc. He mentions owners and tenants and those who had given him advice: Mr. Tooth (unidentified), Shuttleworth (unidentified), Sir John Bland and Lady Frances (5th Bart., d.1743, m. Frances Finch (d.1758/9), Lewisham’s aunt), Mr. Tankard (unidentified), Lord Molesworth (John Molesworth, second Viscount Molesworth (d. 1726), Mr. Beckford (unidentified) and Sir Stafford Fairbone (d.1742). Lewisham promises to obtain further details on them and then carry out Sir Walter’s instructions.
MC:P287/C3/40 23rd Dec. [1725/6 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham apologises for his delayed reply to Sir Walter, blaming his poor health. He expresses his regret that Sir Walter and Barbara had not visited, but is understanding and glad that the King has stayed long enough to delay their journey until a more convenient time. He, his wife and parents join in wishing the Bagots a merry Christmas and New Year, and mentions their baby boy. Lady Dartmouth believes she is close to securing a nurse for the family. Lewisham has news of Levett who has gone to Oxford to meet with a particular Justice in order to negotiate a marriage contract. Lewisham asks about Sir Walter’s plans for a ‘great garden.’ The letter is incorrectly dated ‘Dec. 25th’ on the verso in a later hand.
MC:P287/C3/41 27th Jan. 1725/6
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham congratulates Sir Walter on the birth of his first son. He also reports on his progress on some errands he was running in London on Sir Walter’s behalf. Firstly, he has ordered a chair for Sir Walter’s study and discusses the materials and costs. He is less optimistic about the success of his next task – finding a suitable gardener, but asks for further details about wages etc. He asks Sir Walter how much he paid for his chaise and harness, as he himself is in the market for one. Lewisham is pleased that Sir Walter has had a good season of foxhunting.
MC:P287/C3/42 5th Mar. 1725/6
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham apologises for his delay in replying to Sir Walter, explaining that he wanted to wait until he could send his letter with the new easy chair and had to wait until the appropriate ‘conveyance’ was leaving town. His search for a gardener for Sir Walter continued. Lewisham communicates his wife’s thanks to his sister for her letter. His new chaise had arrived, however his coachman got drunk before picking it up and got into an accident on the way home in which the chaise was severely damaged and a horse died. Lewisham regrets that he cannot even make use of the dead horse, as the only cattle he now has are with his mother at Albury. He closes by wishing Sir Walter an enjoyable trip to Sutton Colfield.
MC:P287/C3/43 9th Aug. [1726 proposed by a later hand]
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham writes a long letter in which he expresses his frustration at how his father-in-law disposed of his estates in his will. (Sir Arthur Kaye had died on the 10th July, 1726). He seemingly felt that Sir Arthur had broken a promise to him. He records that his parents were incensed over the business, and that they wanted to cut all contact with Sir Arthur’s widow, Anne (nee Marrow, d.1740). Lewisham himself wanted to take a more gentle approach, believing that keeping up civil relations with the widow was the only way that he might secure some of the inheritance. He notes that she said that Sir Arthur intended Lord and Lady Lewisham to have everything, and he had left them £200 ‘for mourning’, all of his books and some furniture. This last Lewisham says he will use to fit out the house he has taken in London. Bitterly, he says that taking the house has put him under suspicion of acting under the instructions of someone else. He defends himself against the charge and says that he will keep the house. In a postscript Lewisham writes on behalf of his wife to Barbara that his daughter has recovered from a fever. This letter is dated to 1726 by the death of Sir Arthur Kaye.
MC:P287/C3/44 27th Oct. 1726
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham thanks Sir Walter for his kind reply to another letter, in which Lewisham sought his support on his actions. Unfortunately the business is not spelled out here, however it may have to do with Lewisham’s mother-in-law, as he mentions making a certain Lady ‘as little a plague’ to himself as possible. He mentions someone known as ‘the Shaver’ whom he distrusts. In other news, his house in London is now nearly furnished and ready to move into. He hopes that Sir Walter will come and visit him there, though Lady Barbara was pregnant and unable to come. He asks Sir Walter to pass on to her that he has undertaken various orders of hers.
MC:P287/C3/45 10th Dec. 1726
Letter from Lewisham (no address given) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham starts by thanking Sir Walter and Barbara for their gift of cranberries. He enquires after the arrival of some tables that he had ordered on Barbara’s behalf, and some china and snuff that he had sent on behalf of ‘Ned.’ Lewisham reports that Edward has been much improved by his last voyage, becoming popular. He was due to embark on his next voyage. Lewisham also notes that his younger brother Harry was soon to start at Oxford (matr. Christ Church 1726), promising to apply himself to whatever his parents thought best. Lewisham says he will not bother to tell Sir Walter about the great wedding between Lord Weymouth (Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth) and a daughter of the duke of Dorset (Lady Elizabeth Sackville d.1729) as the papers would be full of it. He slips in some gossip about Lord Weymouth’s mother, Lady Landsdown (Mary Villiers, d.1735). Lewisham expresses his hope that he will see Sir Walter and Lady Barbara soon, and that they will have a boy. At the end of the letter he suddenly mentions that he supposes that Levett is in Maryland.
MC:P287/C3/46 22nd June 1727
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham meant to write and tell his friend about the late King’s death, but found out that Sir Adolphus Oughton had already done so. He was also planning to write and ask Sir Walter to attend the House of Commons. Lewisham notes that the session was expected to be very short as the only business was the settling of the Civil List. There were no changes in affairs other than that the post of the Master of the Horse had gone to Lord Scarborough (Richard Lumley, 2nd Earl of Scarborough, d.1739). Lewisham notes a false rumour that Spencer Cooper (Spencer Cowper, M.P., d.1728) had been made Chancellor of the Duchy. (Cowper was in fact made attorney general to the Duchy in 1727). He records the mood in town as very positive, and says that everyone, including himself, had gone to kiss the hands of the King and Queen. He has heard that the king has declared against all pensions, seemingly for MPs. There is much talk about the Coronation, and women are spending vast sums in order to ‘appear to advantage.’ Before asking after the family, he adds an amusing story about Lord Scarsdale (John Curzon, d.1727) kneeling to kiss the King’s hand and being unable to raise himself.
MC:P287/C3/47 1st Aug. 1727
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham writes a happy letter to Sir Walter to tell him that his wife has given birth to a son, and wishes that Sir Walter will soon have the same joy. He hopes that he and Barbara will come and see the baby.
MC:P287/C3/48 14th Dec. 1727
Letter from Viscount Lewisham (address, London ‘From Heneage’s Garret in the Temple’) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham anticipates Sir Walter and Lady Barbara coming to London and meeting their nephew. Lady Dartmouth had spoken to Lewisham about securing a house for Sir Walter, and had been hoping for a house that Sir John Bland was in the previous year, but Lewisham thinks it unlikely to be available. He promises to search for Sir Walter, and favours a house in Golden Square or Leicester Fields for health reasons. He mentions a political rival of his at Bedwin stirring up trouble for him, but seems confident it will not be too damaging if he is prepared for it.
MC:P287/C3/49 23rd Dec. 1727
Letter from Viscount Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham writes to apprise Sir Walter of his progress in his hunt for a house to rent on his behalf. He has found the search difficult, as many houses were both pricey and dirty. He says that as Sir Walter had not replied to his last letter and he had little information to go on, he now finds that he has ‘exceeded the commission’ that Sir Walter gave to one Mr. Pennack (unidentified). He went ahead and secured a house anyway, explaining at some length the difficulties of finding somewhere suitable. Lewisham gives some details about the house, which was located in St. James’ Street. His wife Elizabeth has promised to take care of any errands that Lady Barbara needed done before coming to London. Lewisham sent a new play along with his letter to provide his friend with some entertainment on the road. (There are some holes and tears in the letter, with a minor loss of text).
MC:P287/C3/50 2nd Jan. 1727/8
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). This letter concerns negotiations over Sir Walter’s rental of a property in London, in which business Lewisham was acting as Bagot’s agent. Sir Walter had been detained in the country on business and so was unable to move into the house he had rented on the date he had previously agreed. This letter reports the subsequent struggle between Lewisham and the landlord about whether Sir Walter should stick to the original agreement or not. At the end of the letter Lewisham tells Sir Walter about how he ran into Mr. Fisher (unidentified), an old acquaintance from Coney Hatch, who now wished to supply Sir Walter with beer, once he came to town.
MC:P287/C3/51 4th Feb. 1728 [sic., could be 1728/9]
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham inquires after some papers that he had sent to Sir Walter via a carrier who would be passing through Ridgely, Staffordshire. Lewisham believes that Williams (unidentified) will have told him about how he met with ‘indulgent treatment’ at the hands of the Committee of Elections. There were some opposed to him, he notes. He himself thought that his adversary was so ‘necessary’ a person that perhaps he ought to give up. When he suggested this to an unidentified Lord ‘B’, he received the reply that he must carry on. He was thus obliged to write to his friends to get them to attend some sort of vote, which was part of his reason for writing to Sir Walter. He hopes that Sir Walter will attend, but understands if he cannot.
MC:P287/C3/52 6th June 1728
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham tells Sir Walter about his ‘new scheme for the country.’ He explains how he did not wish to share his parents’ house in Staffordshire over the summer, and had instead arranged to have Woodsome Hall as his country house for the coming years. He invites Sir Walter and Lady Barbara to come and stay and is pleased that he will be nearer to their house at Blithfield.
MC:P287/C3/53 6th Oct. 1728
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (no address given). Lewisham excuses Sir Walter’s lack of letters, blaming it on his being occupied with his Welsh affairs. This had also prevented Sir Walter visiting him at Woodsome, but he hopes to see him in London soon. Lewisham explains that he will head down soon, before the roads get too bad, as he is anxious to avoid having an accident whilst travelling with his son. He mentions that his son has learnt to walk. He and his wife are worried as they have not had any word from Sandwell in seven weeks, and although Heneage had gone there recently and promised to write, he had not done so.
MC:P287/C3/54 29th Mar. 1729
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham discusses his “ejectment” from the House of Commons. He appears to have undergone some sort of questioning or trial of sorts and describes how he tried to defend himself using some sort of report to justify past decisions. He lost his case by 159 votes to 150. He expresses his gratitude to those who ensured that he was treated with civility. Counsellor Legge (Heneage?) undertook his defence on the last night of the ‘Committee’, but did successfully defend Willoughby (perhaps Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, 17th Lord Willoughby de Eresby, d.1742 or Hugh Willoughby, 15th Lord of Parham, d.1765) at his Committee. Lewisham believes that this success will be short-lived, however, and will fail once Willoughby gives his report. He goes on to discuss the chief business of Parliament: the poor condition of merchants and trade. Returning to his own situation, he laments that Sir Walter can only get the ‘panegyrical newspapers’ as he will have heard the worst. He hopes that his own paper, which he will always be sent to Sir Walter by Tuesday’s post, will relieve him. Lewisham notes that he is glad that Sir Walter has recovered from an illness and that he has drank his niece Barbara’s health on her birthday.
MC:P287/C3/55 8th Apr. 1729
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). The outside of the letter lists it as being ‘From George Legge commonly call’d Lord Lewisham formerly member of Parlm’nt for Great Bedwin’. Lewisham had apparently sent a letter on the 29th of March, which he is afraid, has been opened by people at the post office wanting to know what he would say to Sir Walter after his ‘extrusion’ from Parliament. He informs Sir Walter that he has bought Gay’s opera (i.e. The Beggar’s Opera), for which he is now owed a guinea. He promises to send it with some things for his sister and any other ‘curious pieces’ he could find in the next week. Lewisham shares some political gossip with Sir Walter. There was a rumour that the Spaniards were planning “to take a view of Gibraltar from the sea, as well as from the land” soon, “if they are not already taking the prospect.” He is pleased to hear that Sir Walter is mending and that his son was progressing well. He and his brothers ‘Harry’ and ‘Ned’ send their love to Sir Walter, their sister and the family.
MC:P287/C3/56 7th Aug. 1729
Letter from Lewisham (address, Blackheath) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham writes in regards to an errand that he ran on Sir Walter’s behalf in London. Sir Walter had apparently ordered a gilt branch of some sort to be made for him, and Lewisham reports that it is now finished and ready to be sent. However there are still details to be finalised before it can be sent to Blithfield, including how much ‘line’ is needed to suspend it from the ceiling, the colour of this line and of a weight and pulley also needed. Sir Walter must also decide how it wants the branch sent: whole or in pieces? The London maker will only send it in pieces if there is a suitable craftsman to put it together again once it arrives. Lewisham suggests Cotterell of Birmingham (unidentified). Lewisham expresses his hope that Sir Walter’s journal will arrive on time and reports that there is a ‘smart ballad about upon the Fleet.’ He sends his love to Sir Walter’s family, to Miss Bagot and to Levett.
MC:P287/C3/57 2nd Sept. 1729
Letter from Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham writes to inform Sir Walter and his sister that his wife has safely given birth to a healthy baby girl. He asks Sir Walter to be the child’s godfather, having chosen Lady Dartmouth and Lady Stapleton (Lady Frances Stapleton, d.1746) to be godmothers (‘gossips’). The child is to be called ‘Miss Nanny’ (probably a nickname for Anne, d.1786). He sends his love to Sir Walter, his wife, Miss Bagot and all of the family. He has had a report from Mr. Levett that Sir Walter’s son is a ‘fine boy’ and expresses his wish to see him. He also refers to the gilt branch belonging to Sir Walter, which will be sent out the following week.
MC:P287/C3/58 “The last day of the old year” 
Letter from Viscount Lewisham (address, London) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham wishes Sir Walter and Lady Barbara happiness in the New Year. He thanks the couple for a visit to Blithfield. He expresses his firm hope that Sir Walter and his family will come to London for several months during the Parliamentary session. Parliament was to meet from the 21st of January, though Lewisham also mentions a little-credited rumour that it would not sit until February. Having no news with which to entertain Sir Walter, Lewisham instead sends him the latest ballad from town, praising the accompanying engraving. He then shares the news that Mrs. Finch is pregnant at Aylesford and that her husband is laid up with gout (perhaps Heneage Finch, 2nd Earl of Aylesford and his wife, Mary). This letter is dated to 1729 by the date given for the parliamentary session, 21st January.
MC:P287/C3/59 29th May 1730
Letter from Lewisham (address, Woodsome) to Sir Walter Bagot (address, Blithfield). Lewisham starts by asking after his sister, Sir Walter’s wife, Barbara, as he heard from his mother that her fever has returned. He heard a rumour through his neighbours Wettons and her sister Cotton (both unidentified) that Barbara was in danger of miscarrying. He hopes that the rumour is false, as he has not heard from anyone at Blackheath. Lewisham reports that he and his wife had an enjoyable visit from Mrs. Pitt (possibly William Pitt’s (the elder) mother, Harriet Villiers (d. 1736) m. Robert Pitt (d.1727), politician), Sir Edward (Sir Edward Gascoigne, 6th Bart., d.1762) and Lady Gascoigne (Mary nee Hungate, d.1764). Lewisham reminds Sir Walter of his promise to visit him at Woodsome Hall this summer, adding that his brother Heneage will be visiting. Lewisham had been out of sorts since arriving up north, but felt that he was benefiting from asses’ milk and horse-riding. Sir Walter seems to have started a draft of a reply on a blank part of the letter.
Return here to the introduction to this catalogue.