Legge, Francis

Francis Legge, soldier, colonial governor (b c 1719; d near London, Eng 15 May 1783). After an undistinguished military career spent largely in N America, Legge was appointed governor of NS (1773) by his kinsman the earl of Dartmouth. During his first year in office, he studied NS and sought to improve its economic situation and administration, but he soon conflicted with the Halifax merchant oligarchy. An attempt to audit the provincial books and to recover missing funds in the courts completed the process of alienation. By 1775 both Assembly and Council had turned against him, and as open rebellion broke out to the south, NS's military position was weak. Legge was recalled to England and criticized by the Board of Trade in 1776 for want of "Gracious and Conciliating Deportment." Although not formally replaced until 1782, he was not permitted to resume residence in NS throughout the war.