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George Anthony Legh Keck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Legh-Keck
George Anthony Legh Keck.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Leicestershire
Leicester (1797-1831)
Succeeded byCharles March-Phillipps
Thomas Paget
Personal details
Stoughton, Leicestershire
Died4 September 1860
Bank Hall, Bretherton, Lancashire
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Legh-Keck (née Atherton) (1802–1837)
RelationsAnthony James Keck, MP (father)
Sir Anthony Keck (great-grandfather)
Lord Lilford (brother-in-law)
Lord Newton (cousin) via the Leghs of Lyme
ResidenceStoughton Grange, Leicestershire
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
ProfessionArmy officer and politician

Colonel George Anthony Legh-Keck JP DL (1774–1860) was a British MP in the Georgian era who owned landed estates in Leicestershire and Lancashire.

Early life

Legh-Keck was born at Stoughton Grange, Leicestershire, the only surviving son of Anthony James Keck, MP for Newton, and Elizabeth (née Legh),[1] second daughter and co-heiress of Peter Legh (1706–1792), of Lyme Hall, Cheshire. His wife, Elizabeth Atherton, inherited Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire, which he renovated with help from the architect George Webster in 1832–33.


Legh-Keck was returned to parliament five times as MP for Leicestershire between 1797 and 1831.[2]

Commissioned as an officer in the Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1803, he later served as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the regiment until his death in 1860.[3] Legh-Keck, in a portrait from 1851, held a broad-topped shako sporting a 12-inch white plume held in place by bronze chin scales.[4][5]

In 1805 Legh-Keck bought the lordship of the manor of Houghton-on-the-Hill which remained in the Lilford family until 1913.[6]

His younger cousin was William Legh, 1st Baron Newton, who previously served as a Member of Parliament.

Personal life

The Legh Keck coat of arms above the front porch at Bank Hall
The Legh-Keck arms at Bank Hall

In 1802, Legh-Keck married his cousin Elizabeth Atherton, second daughter and co-heiress of Robert Atherton, MP, of Atherton Hall, Lancashire[7] and Henrietta Maria Legh of Lyme. In 1832, he engaged the architect, George Webster to design extensions and renovate Bank Hall, her ancestral mansion at Bretherton, Lancashire, also installing box pews at St Mary's Church, Tarleton, where he was patron of the living. His wife, Elizabeth Legh-Keck, died at Bank Hall in 1837 as did he aged 86 on 4 September 1860, being buried at Stoughton Church.[8]

The Legh-Kecks had no children, so the Bank Hall estates passed to Thomas Atherton Powys (3rd Baron Lilford) and the Stoughton estate to his wife's nephew, Major the Hon. Henry Littleton Powys-Keck. Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford, who inherited Bank Hall from his father, the 3rd Baron Lilford, on 15 March 1861 auctioned its contents in April 1861 to cover death duties.

Lord Lilford then removed to his family seat at Lilford Hall, Northamptonshire, leaving Bank Hall empty and leasing it out.


Legh-Keck collected stuffed animals and birds and sets of horns from species worldwide. He also owned a collection of classical-style statuettes and casts of figures by the sculptor Antonio Canova.

In 1830, the artist Thomas Phillips painted a portrait of Legh-Keck which now is at the Leicester Arts and Museums Service Collection.[9]

A large mural painted on the wall of the drawing room at Bank Hall, subject unknown was lost when the roof of the west wing collapsed in the 1980s.

There is a collection of Colonel Legh-Keck's accoutrements held by the Leicestershire Yeomanry Association.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Leicestershire Yeomanry Association, (2010) "Pre 1900 - G. A. Legh-Keck"
  2. ^ "THE LATE COLONEL LEGH KECK". Leicester Journal. 14 September 1860. p. 14. Retrieved 3 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ Sir William Skeffington, Bart. as Colonel of The Leicestershire Yeomanry, c. 1794. Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, vol. 43 iss. 173, p.27. March 1965.
  4. ^ Morgan-Jones, G. (2008) "The Prince Albert's Own Yeomanry - Leicester Yeomanry"
  5. ^ Morgan-Jones, G. (2008) "The Prince Albert's Own Yeomanry - Leicester Yeomanry"
  6. ^ JM Lee, RA Mckinley (1964) Victoria County History - A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5: Gartree Hundred, pages 157–163
  7. ^ "Family Homes". Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  8. ^ Leicestershire Rural Partnership, (2008) "Stoughton - George Legh Keck"
  9. ^ Public Catalogue Foundation (2011) "Thomas Phillips - George Legh-Keck" Archived 7 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Leicestershire Yeomanry Association (2011) "The Prince Albert's Own Yeomanry"

External links

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Pochin
George Legh-Keck
Member of Parliament for Leicestershire
With: Sir Edmund Cradock-Hartopp, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Leicestershire
With: Sir Edmund Cradock-Hartopp, 1st Baronet 1798–1801
Lord Robert Manners 1806–1818, 1820–1831
Succeeded by
Charles March-Phillipps
Thomas Paget
This page was last edited on 21 May 2021, at 04:08
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