1850 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Chandos Leigh

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine NS 34 (December 1850) 656-58.



Sept. 27. At Bonn, on the Rhine, aged 59, the Right Hon. Chandos Leigh, Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh, co. Warwick, a Trustee of Rugby School, &c.

He was born on the 27th June, 1791, the only son of James Henry Leigh, esq. of Stoneleigh, by the Hon. Julia-Elizabeth Twisleton, eldest daughter of Thomas Lord Saye and Sele. His father was the only child of James Leigh, esq. of Addlestrop, co. Gloucester, by Lady Caroline Brydges, sister to James last Duke of Chandos.

He completed his education at Christ Church, Oxford, where he had for tutor the late Dr. Shuttleworth, afterwards Warden of New College, and Bishop of Chichester. For some years his lordship ranked among the associates of Lord Byron and Mr. (now Sir John Cam) Hobhouse, as well as among those young men of ability and distinction to whom Holland House offered its brilliant attractions.

Lord Leigh was the author of The Island of Love, a poem, 1812, 8vo., a volume of collected Poems, 18—, and another volume entitled Thoughts at Whitsuntide, and other Poems, 1842. These productions obtained some favour at the time of their publication.

In the Bibliotheca Parriana, or Catalogue of Dr. Parr's Library, published in 1827, was the following entry: "Leigh (Chandos, the excellent), Three Tracts, by a Gloucestershire County Gentleman, with other Works, chiefly poetical, by the same author;" and to which is affixed the following note (by the learned Dr. Parr) —"The gift of the Author, an ingenious Poet, an elegant Scholar, and my much esteemed friend. S.P."

He succeeded his father in his estates on the 27th Oct. 1823, and was created a Peer by patent dated May 11, 1839. There had been previously five Lords Leigh in the elder branch of the family, who flourished from the year 1643 to the year 1786.

No man ever bore new honour with greater propriety and dignity, no man was ever more distinguished for his kind construction of motives, as well as tolerance of opposite opinions, mildness of manners, and real liberality of heart. As a neighbour he was universally esteemed, and as a friend invariably beloved; whilst in the disposal of an immense fortune, whether in the quiet exercise of private charity or the open support of public institutions, he, who was no man's enemy, was ever ready to promote what was generous, judicious, and good. That the days of such a man should have been embittered by the scheming villanies of scoundrels seeking to extract money out of the peculiar circumstances under which, through his father as heir to a deceased Lord Leigh, the late Lord succeeded to the Stoneleigh and other large estates, was a matter of :sincere regret to those aware of the base conspiracy. Such interruptions of human happiness, however, belong to the lot of humanity, and are, we may be assured, not without their uses in guarding the hearts of the affluent in this life, and in helping to prepare the soul for another. To a sensitive and high-minded spirit like Lord Leigh's the pang of persecution — monstrous in its palpable absurdity though it was — to which he was for years exposed was sharp, and, but that it was counteracted by a benign and benevolent disposition, and relieved by the sympathy of many admiring friends, would have been sharper. That the well-merited punishments to which the conspirators were at length consigned will have the effect of forever deterring them and their secret and avaricious instigators from repeating; the attempt upon the Leigh property, is to be attributed to the firmness with which the deceased Lord openly met his accusers, and dragged them to conviction.

His lordship had proceeded to the continent three or four months before his death, in consequence of a partial paralysis by which he had been affected. He was assiduously attended by Lady Leigh and others, and the warmest hopes had been entertained of the benefits derived from medical aid, and the waters of Hombourg, when a complicated attack of apoplexy and paralysis at Bonn suddenly struck down the hopes of his family, and in a few hours deprived them of a dear and most kind-hearted and domestic relative, and his country of a talented, benevolent, and excellent man.

Lord Leigh married, June 7, 1819, Margarette, eldest daughter of the Rev. William Shippen Willes, of Astrop House, co. Northampton; and by that lady, who survives him, he had issue three sons and seven daughters: 1. the Hon. Julia-Anna-Eliza, married in 1842 to Charles Dowyer Adderley, esq. of Hams Hall, Warwickshire, M.P. for North Staffordshire; 2. the Hon. Emma-Margarette; 3. William, Henry, now Lord Leigh; 4. and 5. the Hon. Caroline and the Hon. Augusta, twins; 6. the Hon. Mary, married in 1848 to the Hon. and Rev. Henry Pitt Cholmondeley, Vicar of North Aston, Oxfordshire, third son of Lord Delamere; 7. the Hon. Louisa-Georgiana; 8. the Hon. Edward Chandos Leigh; 9. and 10. the Hon. Sophia, and the Hon. James Wentworth Leigh, twins.

The present Lord Leigh was born in 1824, and married in 1848 Lady Caroline Amelia Grosvenor, fifth daughter of the Marquess, of Westminster.

The remains of the late Lord Leigh were on the 9th Oct. removed from Stoneleigh abbey, and interred in the family vault beneath Stoneleigh church. The funeral procession was headed by the tenantry of the deceased, and among the mourners, in addition to all his sons and sons-in-law, were Lord Saye and Sele, the Hon. and Rev. C. Twisleton; his brothers-in-law Sir James East, M.P., Colonel Colville, F. Colville esq., G. Berkeley, esq., W. Willes, esq. And C. Willes, esq.; the Rev. F. Colville, Walter Cowan, esq. and H. Barton, esq. The pall-bearers were Sir Francis Lawley, Bart., H. C. Wise, esq., Lord Guernsey, the Rev. George Leigh Cooke, the Hon. C. Bertie Percy, and A. F. Gergory, esq.