William Legge (1731–1801), 2nd Earl of Dartmouth

Image credit: Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum

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The second Earl of Dartmouth, William Legge, was Vice President of the Foundling Hospital from 1755 to 1801. During this time he was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Lord Privy Seal, President of the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations and Colonial Secretary. Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, in the United States, is named after him.

Joshua Reynolds was apprenticed to Thomas Hudson in 1740. After returning from Italy in 1753 he settled in London, where he won the support of wealthy patrons and ultimately helped to raise the social status of British artists. He was elected as the first President of the Royal Academy upon its foundation in 1768.

Foundling Museum



William Legge (1731–1801), 2nd Earl of Dartmouth




oil on canvas


H 232.4 x W 137.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by the artist, 1757

Work type



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