Sefton R.U.F.C

Our very first President


James Granville Legge

17th August 1861 – 17th January 1940

'Reproduced courtesy of the Legge Family Collection.'





Eldest Son of Professor James Legge and Hannah Mary Johnstone.

His father was the renowned missionary in Malacca & Hong Kong, translator, educationalist and

First Professor of Chinese at Oxford University - see *note below



Back row : Cecilia Mereio, Mary Dominica
Front row : Josephine (wife) Harry, JGL and Beatrice Pompilia

'Reproduced courtesy of the Legge Family Collection.'



Professor Mary Dominica - born 1905 (Died in Oxford)

(Professor of Medieval French, Edinburgh University)

Beatrice Pompilia - born 1906

(Teacher at Royal Holloway College, in Ecclesfield Green)


All unmarried without issue

Harry Legge, musician, conductor, founder of the (Edinburgh) Rehearsal Orchestra

Born: 24 April, 1914, in LiverpoolDied: 19 July, 2000

HARRY Legge was one of the leading figures in conducting and orchestral playing in the United Kingdom. As founder and conductor of the Rehearsal Orchestra - initially known as the Edinburgh Rehearsal Orchestra - for 43 years he inspired, directed, trained, guided and coaxed the very highest standard of performance out of every level of player under him from the absolute beginner to the most experienced professional.

Henry James Granville Legge was born in Liverpool and educated at Winchester College, Queen's College Oxford and the Royal College of Music, where he studied under Loris Blofeld, William Reed and Gordon Jacob.




[Letters to DS MacColl 1915-39

Muirhead Bone was the first official war artist appointed after the outbreak of war in 1914. His drawings were collected in a series called The Western Front from which certain images were selected for an edition de luxe entitled War Drawings, with each plate signed by the artist.






Nursing Journal January 1915

At the annual meeting of the Garston and District Nursing Association, Liverpool, which receives a grant towards the work of its school nurse, Mr. J.G. Legge, Director of Education, said that there was a suggestion that too much was being done for children by the authorities, and that parents were being relieved, thus causing a loss of grit and fibre, which was the pride of our race. An immense work was being done by that Association, and the real point was in the way it was done. If relief was merely shovelled out it would weaken the moral fibre, but where relief was given under proper conditions it would strengthen rather than weaken.



Oxford 1925 – 1940 Banbury Road



Other interests & achievements (selected)


Spent time in London with the ‘decadent’ arts set

i.e. Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley art editor of the Yellow Book quarterly periodical 1893-5 & others such as Augustus John.


WILDE, Oscar Autograph letter to Marian Willets ("Miss Willett"). Magdalen

College, Oxford, "Thursday", [1878].

Marian Fitzgerald Willets was stepdaughter of James Legge, the first

Professor of Chinese at Oxford. The letter to her was originally sent

with a photograph (no longer present) of a Burne-Jones watercolour

owned by Wilde called 'Hope'. Wilde comments: "In so many of Burne-

Jones' pictures we have merely the pagan worship of beauty: but in this

one I seem to see more humanity and sympathy than in all the others".

[Elliott Collection MS Wilde 1]





The Aliens are weekly adding to their laurels, and at Clubmoor, on Saturday, had the satisfaction of administering a 21-3 licking of an "A" team from Waterloo. Throughout the game the Aliens attacked consistently, whereas Waterloo trusted to unexpected rushes on the home line to gain them their points. At three-quarter and half they were inferior to the schoolmasters, whose doings were watched with considerable interest by Mr J.G.Legge, director of education. Johnstone ran in a brace of tries. The finest try of the afternoon was by Tolson, and others to cross were Robinson and Bonney. Fairley again carried off the honours in the goal kicking line, improving three of the five tries scored. Waterloo had plenty of chances, but their combination was poor, and their only score was an unconverted try, the wind being responsible for the failure of the kick.

Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury 15th March 1909


'Repertory', the Playhouse’s magazine

Group of 5 lively numbers of ‘Repertory’, the Playhouse’s magazine, edited by Thea Holme (née Johnston, b. 1908, actress and writer), with very interesting interviews with Yvonne Arnaud, Cathleen Nesbitt, Lilian Braithwaite, Louise Hampton, Elena Miramova, Willy Clarkson the wigmaker (“Vote for Clarkson ... always at the top of the Poll”), C.B. Cochran (“My most memorable first nights”, full of incidents back stage), and Theodore Komisarjevsky, all with their  signatures,   among the articles are two each on decor by John Counsell, and on Oscar Wilde at Magdalen, Oxford, and London by J.G. Legge, who knew him well, another has excerpts from Queen Victoria’s diary, each number 16 sides, 11” x 8½”, including pictorial covers and good advertisements, being the issues for 5th, 12th,19th October and 9th November 1931, and 30th January 1933
Among the topics are ‘London’s Greatest Blot’ by Yvonne Arnaud (the lack of a National Theatre, she explains why the talk about films replacing the theatre is “sheer nonsense”), censorship, smoking in the theatre, the role of Repertory and of the amateur, and the entertainment tax. Stringer Davis contributes a witty article on “How to become an actor ... How to remain an actor”. On Drama schools: “It is advisable to forget most that you have learnt, but you are generally the better for having learnt it”. Altogether a vivid evocation of the enthusiasm of the period.




The Thinking Hand


Practical education in the elementary school

Rhyme & Revolution in Germany


A study in German history, life, literature and
character 1813-1850

It is all a matter of taste, of course, but personally I don't
envy Mr. J.G. LEGGE his self-imposed task of convicting the Hun out
of his own mouth of--well, of being a Hun. Germans they were and
Germans they remain, and the author goes to great lengths, even to
the length of 572 pages, to show that their peculiar qualities date
back at least as far as 1813. His _Rhyme and Revolution in Germany_
(CONSTABLE) is not so much a history of the scrambling undignified
revolutionary movements culminating in the year 1848, as a collection
of contemporary comment thereon, in prose and verse. The prose is
generally bad; the verse is generally very bad; and one turns with
relief to the author's connecting links, wishing only at times that
he would not worry about proving his point quite so thoroughly. The
bombast and the bullying, the self-pity and the cruelty, and, most of
all, the instinctive claim, typical of Germany to-day, to prescribe
one law for themselves but something quite different for the rest
of the world, run through all these quotations, even the earliest.
But the particular value of this book at the moment is its reminder
that twice already has the House of Hohenzollern humbly pledged its
All-Highest word to give constitutional government, only to resume
"divine right" at the earliest convenient moment. Ruling Germany, and
as much else as possible, with a view to the glorification of one's
personal family and one's personal God, must be an exhausting labour,
and once again the head of the dynasty is afforded an opportunity
for a respite. It is a temptation which one feels sure he will find
himself strong enough to resist if occasion serves. History and Mr.
LEGGE suggest that he will be willing--even enthusiastic--to grovel
in the dust to assist that occasion. (Punch-or-the-London-Charivari-Vol-156-Jan-8)

Echoes From The Greek Anthology



Education Act 1918



The Millennium



The Rising Tide


An epic in education



A study of the French muse

The Last of Mrs Proudie


A Barsetshire play



* note: For further details of James Legge’s early life and the work and influence of his father, James Legge, in Scotland, Malacaa, China and Oxford, please see Norman Girardot, "The Victorian Translation of China" and/or Dr Lauren Pfister, "The Whole Duty of Man".

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