Sir Warham St. LEGER, Knight

Born: ABT 1525, Ulcombe, Kent, England

Died: ABT 1597, Cork, Ireland

Father: Anthony St. LEGER (Sir Sheriff of Kent)

Mother: Agnes WARHAM

Married 1: Ursula NEVILLE ABT 1550, Ulcombe, Kent, England


1. Anthony St. LEGER (Sir)

2. Nicholas St. LEGER (d. ABT 1602)

3. Henry St. LEGER

4. George St. LEGER

5. William St. LEGER (b. 1564 - d. 1574)

6. Anne St. LEGER

7. Mary St. LEGER (b. ABT 1570 - d. 1578)

8. Jane St. LEGER

Married 2: Emmelina GOLDWELL (bur. 1628, St. Dunstan's, West London)


9. Walter St. LEGER

Second son of Sir Anthony St. Leger of Ulcombe by his wife Agnes (d. 24 Mar 1558/9), dau. of Hugh Warham of Croydon and niece and heiress of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. His eldest brother, William, was disinherited; the third brother, Sir Anthony St. Leger, entered Gray's Inn in 1563 or 1568 (Foster, Reg.), was made master of the rolls in Ireland in 1593, and died at Cork early in 1613. Also brother of Nicholas.

May have served with Somerset's invasion of Scotland in 1547, and he was a prisioner there until Jan 1549/50, when he was ransomed for 100. (Acts of the Privy Council 2547-50. p. 373). In 1553 he fought against Wyatt's supporters in Kent (Archaeol. Cant. xi. 143), and perhaps he served in Ireland under his father during Mary's reign.

Inherited Leeds Castle and the manor of Ulcombe from his father in 1558. It appears that Sir Warham also owned St. Leger House in Southwark.

About 1559 he was named a commissioner to transfer to England Bale's manuscripts and books. In 1560 he was sheriff of Kent. He was soon a member of the Irish privy council, and in Jul 1565 he was knighted. Thenceforward he took a prominent part in Irish affairs. Queen Elizabeth had resolved to establish a presidential government in Munster, and in Jan 1565-6 St. Leger was nominated president, apparently by Sir Henry Sidney, the lord deputy; he received instructions dated 1 Feb, and in the following month was given command of all the levies in Munster. Elizabeth, however, refused to confirm St. Leger's appointment. The reason was that St. Leger was a bitter enemy of Thomas Butler, tenth Earl of Ormonde, and correspondingly friendly with Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond; and the Queen accused St. Leger of lukewarmness in arresting Desmond early in 1565. St. Leger was consequently recalled, and in Nov 1568 Sir John Perrot became president of Munster.

In 1569 St. Leger returned to England, staying either at his house in Southwark of Leeds Castle, Kent, where from 1570 to 1572 he had custody of Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond and his family. He left his wife at Carrigaline, Co. Cork, a manor he held of Desmond; during his absence it was ravaged by the rebels.

Sold Leeds Priory and other Kentish properties in 1573. He remained in England until 1579, when his repeated petitions for employment and reward were answered by his appointment as provost-marshal of Munster, a new office, the functions of which seem to have been purely military. In this capacity St. Leger was actively engaged against the irish rebels for ten years.

On 7 Apr 1583 he was appointed an assistant to to the court of high commission in Ireland, and in the following year he visited England. While there he accused the Earl of Ormonde of treason, and laid before the Queen proposals for the better government of Ireland. In Nov 1589 he was succeeded, probably on account of his old age, as provost-marshal by George Thornton, but in 1590 he was governing Munster in the absence of the vice-president.

He was in England again in 1594, and died at Cork in 1597. His will is in the Herald's College, London.

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