Who Is William the Earl of Dartmouth What Role Does He Play in American History?

William Legge, the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, is a notable figure in American history. He played a crucial role in advocating for American independence and promoting free trade between the United States and Great Britain. In this article, we will explore who William the Earl of Dartmouth was and his contributions to American history.

Early Life of William Legge

William Legge was born on June 19, 1949, in the UK. He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford University, where he studied modern history. After completing his education, he joined the British Army’s Royal Hussars regiment as a second lieutenant and served for four years.

The Political Career of William Legge

In 1977, William Legge succeeded his father to become the 10th Earl of Dartmouth. Following his father’s footsteps, he joined the Conservative Party and became an active member of Parliament. In 2007, he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from South West England.

As an MEP, William Legge advocated for British membership in the European Union while also promoting free trade between EU countries and other nations worldwide. His efforts earned him several important positions within the EU parliament.

William Legge’s Role in American History

William Legge played an instrumental role in advocating for American independence during his time as an MEP. He believed that Britain’s relationship with its former colonies should be based on mutual respect instead of domination.

In 2010, William Legge addressed a joint session of Congress at Capitol Hill to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. During his speech, he emphasized that America and Great Britain share common values such as freedom and democracy that must be preserved.

Moreover, William Legge has been a vocal advocate for free trade between America and Great Britain. He has worked tirelessly to promote bilateral trade agreements between the two nations, recognizing their interdependence and the positive impact that such agreements could have on the global economy.


William Legge, the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, was a visionary leader who championed American independence and free trade between the United States and Great Britain. His contributions to American history are significant and should not be overlooked. As we continue to navigate the complexities of international relations, William Legge’s legacy reminds us of the importance of mutual respect and cooperation between nations.