Margaret Leigh

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Margaret Leigh (Gerard)

Birthdate: (33)
Birthplace: Probably Astley, Lancashire, England
Death: July 23, 1603 (29-37)
Probably Lymm, Cheshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerard, MP, Attorney General and Anne Gerard
Wife of Peter Legh, MP
Mother of Piers Legh; Francis Legh; Rev. Dr. Thomas Legh, of Lyme, Cheshire; Anne Bold; Peter Legh, MP and 1 other
Sister of Radclyffe Wingfield; Ratcliff Gerard; Thomas Gerard, 1st Baron Gerard of Gerard's Bromley; Catherine Houghton; Frances Molyneux and 4 others

Managed by: Stanley Welsh Duke, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Margaret Leigh

  • 'A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and ... By John Burke
  • A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and ... By John Burke
  • Pg. 219
  • GILBERT GERARD, . . . m. Anne, daughter of William Ratcliffe, Esq., of Wimersley, in the county of Lancaster, and had issue,
    • ' Margaret, m. to Peter Leigh, Esq.
  • Sir Gilbert Gerard d. in 1592, and was s. by his elder son,
  • __________________
  • 'Pedigrees Made at the Visitation of Cheshire, 1613 (1879)
  • ch of S'r Piers Leigh & Margarett Gerrard
    • 1. Thomas Leighe 4 sonne. mar. Katharen da. & coe heire to [Sir] Rob't Langley [of Agecroft, co. Lanc.]. 2. Marg'tt [Margery] vxor Rob't Barton of Smithells. 3. Margarett to Thomas Birch of Birch. 4. Ellen vxor John Boothe of Barton. 5. James 2 sone. 6. [5.] John. 7. [4. Thomas.] 8. Robart 3 sonne ob. s. ple. 9. Petter Leighe died before his father ob. 33 H. 8, 4 Dec. [1541 ?]. mar. Katharen da. to S'r Thomas Venables Baro Kind'ton K.
    • ch of Petter Leighe & Katharen Venables
      • 1. Edmound Leighe 2 sonne. 2. Thomas Leighe 3 sonne. '3. S'r Piers [Peter] Leighe of Lime K't 1612 [died 17 Feb. 1635-6]. mar. Margarett da. to S'r Gilbart Gerrard K. M'r of Rowls obiit 29 July 1603 [died 4 April 1639]'.
      • 'ch of S'r Piers [Peter] Leighe & Margarett Gerard
        • 1. [2.] Francis. 2. [5.] Radcliffe ob. s. ple. 3. [4.] Thomas. 4. [6.] Petter. 5. [3.] Gilbart 6. [7.] John s. ple. 7. Petter [Piers] Leighe sonne & heire. 8. [1.] Anne. 9. [2.] Katharen.
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  • 'Remains, historical and literary, connected with the palatine ..., Volume 97 By Chetham Society
  • Remains, historical and literary, connected with the palatine ..., Volume 97 By Chetham Society
  • Pg. 137
  • He died in 1541, and was succeeded by his son Peter Legh, who was a man of mark. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard of Bryn. . . .
  • He died in 1590, and was succeded by his grandson, 'Sir Peter Legh, son of Peter Legh (who died in 1570) and Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Venables of Kinderton. He was born in 1563, and married Margaret daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerrard, master of the rolls'. . . .
  • ' He died in 1636, and was succeeded by Peter Legh, his son,
  • Pg. 138
  • who married Ann, daughter of Sir John Savill of Howley, by whom he had issue a son Peter who died without issue, loving his life in a duel in 1641, by which fatality the direct succession was broken after having passed uninteruptedly through eleven generations, in every one of which the eldest son bore the name of Peter, or Piers.
  • After the death of the last-named, the succession and estates passed to an uncle, viz., to the Rev. Thomas Legh, D.D., rector of Sephton and Walton, whose wife was Lettice, daughter and co-heiress of Sir George Calveley of Lea.
  • Pg. 147
  • Sir Geoffrey Brereton of Tatton, in 1551, married Alice, daughter of Sir Piers Leicester of Nether Tabley. His son by this marriage, Richard Brereton of Tatton, married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley.
  • Pg. 148
  • . . . His son, Sir Richard Egerton, who died in 1579, married Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Grosvenor of Eaton, and widow of Thomas Legh of Adlington. Their daughter Dorothy married first, Sir Richard Brereton of Tatton, and second 'Sir Peter Legh of Lyme'.
  • _____________________
  • 'The house of Lyme from its foundation to the end of the eighteenth century (1917)
  • The Sir Piers Legh, seventh of his name, builder of the present house, was born in 1513, and was married when only five years old to Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard of the Bryn. The Church's dispensation was necessary as they were cousins ; this seems to have been obtained and they were married the same year, 1518.
  • Nothing is known of the early youth of Sir Piers. He succeeded his father in 1541, and in 1544 he formed part of the expedition to Scotland under Lord Hertford,* an expedition attended with a certain amount of danger, which was undertaken with the idea of affording support to the party of Scotch reformers.
    • By his wife Margaret Sir Piers had five sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Peter, born about 1540, married Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Venables, Baron of Kinderton, and died in the lifetime of his father, leaving issue three sons and one daughter. There is no record of Katherine his wife ; it is therefore to be presumed that she died also at an early age, as the children were brought up by their grandfather.
      • ' Sir Piers Legh's eldest grandson, Peter, aged at this time about twenty-one, was probably sent with Leicester's expedition, but no mention of his name occurs among the lists of volunteers in Leicester's train. Negotiations had been proceeding between his grandfather and Sir Gilbert Gerard,f Master of the Rolls, regarding the marriage of young Peter with Margaret, daughter of Sir Gilbert. In two very interesting but almost undecipherable letters from him to Sir Piers Legh — the first bearing date November 23, 1584, he speaks of the latter's want of liberality towards his heir, and complains of the terms of the marriage settlement, and of his being tied down to so hard a bargain :
      • ' The conditions of the marriage settlement are peculiar — to say the least. The ceremony was to take place within three years from the date of the said agreement, the articles being dated June I, 1579 (21st Elizabeth). If during the interval the said Peter Legh were to die, his next brother, Edward, was to marry the said Margaret, "or ells suche other of the daughters of the said Gilbert Gerrarde and wthin suche convenyent tyme as the said Gilbert shall appoynt." And if the said Edward were to die before the marriage was consummated, Margaret was to be passed on to the next brother. The sum of L40 yearly was to be subscribed by Sir Piers towards the maintenance of the young couple, "from and after suche tyme as the said daughter shall accomplish the age of 12 years, . . . .
      • ' Margaret can only have been fifteen or sixteen at the time of her marriage in 1585, and barely twenty, but already the mother of one or two children, when she started the cares and responsibilities of housekeeping at Lyme.
      • The good old grandmother, Margaret Lady Legh, was living — as we know by her portrait in 1595 — and no doubt helped the young couple with her sage advice and counsel, and with the bringing up of part of 'their large family of seven, sons and two daughters. After the old lady's death, however, Margaret must often have been left alone during her husband's absence at the wars, or in London.
        • The children were now growing up. Piers, the eldest son, who was to incur his father's lasting displeasure by making a marriage 'Sir Peter' disapproved of (though for no reason that can be discovered) ; Francis, the second son, tall and lanky and outgrowing his strength, and Thomas, number three, destined for the Church, though much against his will, were all at school, though where we do not know ; it is possible that they may have been sent to the school at Winwick, founded by Sir Peter's great-uncle Gowther Legh. Up to this time the boys had been instructed by Henry Sumner, chaplain to Sir Peter. They and their two sisters, Anne and the baby Katherine, had to be frequently supplied with clothes . . . . .
      • ' It was at his house at Fulham in the following year — 1603, the year that saw the death of Queen Elizabeth — that there came to Sir Peter the first great sorrow of his life, for here, on July 3, he lost his gentle Margaret, his faithful and devoted
      • 'wife, who died, probably at the birth of her youngest child, leaving him with six surviving children, lonely and desolate to mourn her loss.
      • ' " To the memory or what dearer remaineth of that vertiouce la : Lady Margaret Legh daughter of him yt sometime was Sr Gilbert Gerard Kt and Master of the Roles in the High Cort of Chancery wife of Sir Peter Legh of Lyme in the county of Cheshire Kt. & by him the mother of seven sons Piers, Francis, Radcliffe, Thomas, Peter, Gilbert, John with 2 daughters Anne and Keterine of which Rat : Gilb : and John deceased infants ye rest yet surviving to the happy increas of their house, the years that she enjoyed the world was 33 that her husband enjoyed her 17 att which period she yeilded her soul to the blessedness of long rest and her body to this earth Jul : 29, 1603.
      • ' . . . . In a codicil dated December " secundo " of the same year, 1603, when his tears appear to have dried, he bequeathes "unto my Cosin Dorothie Brereton off Worsley (in regard of her assured affection and true friendship) my best Juell off diamonds." This lady he had married before March 2 of the following year, 1604.
      • ' There is much to be said for Sir Peter's marrying again, though he certainly might have shown a little less indecent haste. Left in the prime of life — barely forty — with a family six young children to look after, the eldest boy sixteen, the youngest girl a babe a few weeks old, he must indeed have felt the want of a woman's help and influence, and perhaps he was paying Margaret the compliment that a widower is always said to render to his first wife by replacing her as soon as possible with a second.
      • . . . A daughter of Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley, and therefore a half-sister of the distinguished Sir Thomas Egerton, afterwards Lord Ellesmere, Lord Chancellor of England, she had been married in 1572, when only twelve years old, to Richard Brereton, Lord of the Manor of Worsley, near Manchester, the marriage being celebrated apparently without licence. There was one child only of the marriage, a daughter, who died in infancy, and Richard Brereton, before his death in 1598, settled his Cheshire and Shropshire estates on his wife's half-brother, Lord Chancellor Ellesmere.
      • At the time of her second marriage she must have been about the same age as her bridegroom, to whom she made an admirable wife, and to his motherless children she proved a kind stepmother.
      • ' We come now to a dark page in the annals of Sir Peter Legh, 1614 namely, his treatment of his eldest son, Piers.
        • . . . Peter was the youngest of 'Sir Peter's' sons, and his age at this time would be about eighteen.
      • ' Sir Peter was beginning to fail. . . .
      • ' By February he was very seriously ill and his family were all summoned. Anne Bold came from Bold, her Lancashire home, Thomas from his rectory at Walton, and Francis and Peter were already at Lyme. Anne Bold had left her husband very ill in order to come to her father, bringing with her her two eldest daughters, Margaret and Mary.
      • ' He died the following day, February 17, 1635-6, universally beloved, respected, and regretted.
      • . . . Dorothy, Lady Legh, seems to have removed to Worsley after her husband's death, but she only survived him three years, dying on April 15, 1639.
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  • 'The visitation of Cheshire in the year 1580 (1882)
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Margaret Leigh's Timeline

Probably Astley, Lancashire, England
Age 17
Age 20
Age 24
Lyme, Cheshire, England
Age 24
July 23, 1603
Age 33
Probably Lymm, Cheshire, England