Anthony St Leger (British Army officer)

Last updated

Major-General Anthony St Leger (1731/32 19 April 1786) was a successful soldier, a Member of Parliament for Grimsby, and the founder of the St. Leger Stakes horse race.



Born in February 1731 at Grangemellon, Kildare, Ireland, he was the fourth son of Sir John St Leger, who was a judge of the Court of Exchequer, and his second wife Lavinia, daughter of Kingsmill Pennefather of Cashel. [1] He was educated at Eton College. He attended Peterhouse, [2] before embarking on a career in the army. His brother Barry St. Leger was also a distinguished army officer. They belonged to the junior branch of a long-established landowning family from Cork: the head of the senior branch was Viscount Doneraile. [3]


In 1761, St Leger married a Yorkshire woman, Margaret Wombwell. That same year he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 124th Regiment of Foot, but a year later the regiment disbanded, and St Leger took on the Park Hill estate in Firbeck, where he later bred and raced horses.


From 1768 to 1774, St Leger sat as MP for Grimsby. Two years after leaving the Commons, and with the assistance of Charles Watson-Wentworth, he established a two-mile race for three-year-old horses, on the Cantley Common in Doncaster. This was to become the St. Leger Stakes.

In 1779, St Leger re-entered the army as colonel of the 86th Regiment of Foot. He subsequently achieved the rank of brigadier general, before serving a period as the Governor of Saint Lucia (1781-1783). [4] [5] His last posting was in Ireland, by which time he was a major general.

Death and legacy

St Leger died on 19 April 1786. He was buried in Saint Anne's Church, Dublin.

In addition to giving his name to the St Leger Stakes, the St Leger Arms public house in Laughton en le Morthen (two miles up the road from the Park Hill estate) is also named after Anthony St Leger.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ralph Abercromby</span> 18th-century British soldier and politician

Lieutenant General Sir Ralph Abercromby was a British soldier and politician. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army, was appointed Governor of Trinidad, served as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, and was noted for his services during the French Revolutionary Wars, ultimately in the Egyptian campaign. His strategies are ranked amongst the most daring and brilliant exploits of the British army.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St Leger Stakes</span> Flat horse race in Britain

The St Leger Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at Doncaster over a distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 115 yards, and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barry St. Leger</span> British Army officer

Barrimore Matthew "Barry" St. Leger was a British Army officer. St. Leger was active in the Saratoga Campaign, commanding an invasion force that unsuccessfully besieged Fort Stanwix. St. Leger remained on the frontier for the duration of the war; after its conclusion, he served briefly as commander of British forces in Quebec.

Anthony St Leger may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St. Leger family</span>

The St. Leger family is an old Anglo-Irish family with Norman roots, that in some cases transformed into Selinger or Sellinger. It is first recorded in England as lord of the manor of Ulcombe in Kent. John St. Leger of Ulcombe was Sheriff of Kent in 1430.

Saint Leger or Saint-Léger may refer to:

Ralph Burton was a British soldier and Canadian settler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Doncaster Racecourse</span> Racecourse in South Yorkshire, England

Doncaster Racecourse is a racecourse in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. It hosts two of Great Britain's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the St Leger Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Cradock, 1st Baron Howden</span> British peer, politician and soldier

General John Francis Cradock, 1st Baron Howden was a British peer, politician and soldier.

Ballymoss (1954–1979) was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career that lasted from 1956 until November 1958, he ran seventeen times and won eight races. In 1957, he became the first horse trained in Ireland to win the St Leger Stakes. The following season, he was Europe's leading middle-distance horse, winning the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1793. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot to form the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1881.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Gosden</span> British horse trainer

John Harry Martin Gosden is a British racehorse trainer. He has trained over 3,000 winners worldwide, including winners of the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Derby, the Arc, the King George, the Eclipse, and over 600 winners in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harry McCalmont</span> British politician

Colonel Harry Leslie Blundell McCalmont, CB was a British army officer, race-horse owner, yachtsman and Conservative party politician.

Cantelo was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a career which lasted from spring 1958 until September 1959 she ran eleven times and won eight races. Cantelo was unbeaten in five races as a two-year-old including the Royal Lodge Stakes, in which she defeated colts. As a three-year-old in 1959 she won the Classic St Leger, as well as the Cheshire Oaks and the Ribblesdale Stakes. Her defeats came when finishing second in The Oaks and the Park Hill Stakes and running fourth to Alcide in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She was retired from racing after her St Leger win and had some success as a broodmare.

Aureole (1950–1974) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire who was owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In a career that lasted from August 1952 until July 1954, he ran fourteen times and won eleven races. As a three-year-old in 1953, he won the Lingfield Derby Trial before finishing second to Pinza in both the Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He reached his peak as a four-year-old in 1954 when he won his last four races: the Victor Wild Stakes at Kempton, the Coronation Cup at Epsom, the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and Britain's most prestigious all-aged race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After retiring from racing he was sent to stud, where he became a successful sire of winners.

Allabaculia, or alternatively Alabaculia, was a British racemare that was the winner of the first St. Leger Stakes in 1776. Her maternal pedigree was not recorded and she did not race under the name "Allabaculia", with the name bestowed on her at a much later date. Allabaculia does not appear in the General Stud Book compiled by the Weatherbys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Colonel (horse)</span> British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

The Colonel (1825–1847) was a British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for running a dead heat in The Derby and winning the St Leger Stakes in 1828. In a racing career which lasted from 1827 until 1831, The Colonel ran fifteen times and won ten races at distances ranging from six furlongs to three miles. Apart from the St Leger, his most notable successes came in the Champagne Stakes, the Epsom Craven Stakes (twice), the Great Park Stakes at Ascot and the Northampton Gold Cup. He was also placed in both the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maurice Keatinge</span> Irish landowner, soldier and politician

Maurice Bagenal St Leger Keatinge or Keating (c.1761–1835) was an Irish landowner, soldier and politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capri (horse)</span> Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Capri is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old in 2016 he won three of his five races including the Canford Cliffs Stakes and the Beresford Stakes as well as finishing third in the Critérium de Saint-Cloud. In the following year he was beaten in his first two races and finished sixth in The Derby before emerging as one of the best colts of his generation in Europe with wins in the Irish Derby and the St Leger. He won the Alleged Stakes on his four-year-old debut but failed to win in eleven subsequent starts and was retired from racing at the end of 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Hayes St Leger</span>

John Hayes St Leger (1756–1800) was an Irish army officer, courtier, rake and politician. He was Member of the Parliament of Great Britain for Okehampton from 1791 to 1796.


  1. Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221–1921 London John Murray 1926 pp. 192–3
  2. "St Leger, Anthony (ST750A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. Ball p. 83
  4. Breen, Henry H (1844). St Lucia Historical Statistical and Descriptive. London. pp. 420–421.
  5. "Saint Lucia Administration". British Empire. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby
With: Joseph Mellish
Succeeded by