The surname St. Leger was brought from the Norman Conquest to Britain. It originated within this specific family from a 7th century bishop of Autun who became canonized as a martyr. The name Leger derives from the Old Germanic name Leodegar meaning “tribe-spear.” It eventually became the surname of a land-holding family in England, and eventually in Ireland.
The St. Leger developed an Irish branch when Sir Anthony St. Leger became Lord Deputy of Ireland. It is from this branch that St. Leger Aldworth claims descent from. His father was Richard Alworth and his mother was Elizabeth St. Leger. In order to inherit his position as Viscount of Doneraille from his grandfather Arthur St. Leger, he changed his surname to his mother’s maiden name.
Thus making him St. Leger St. Leger.
There is plenty of name intentionality in this case. For one, his first name was given to him by his family to honor his maternal royalty. Then, when it came to inherit his position as Viscount, he changed his surname to match the surname of the Viscount.
- Brydges, Egerton (1817). “Hayes St. Leger, Viscount Doneraile”. A biographical peerage of Ireland, in which are memoirs and characters of the most celebrated persons of each family. J. Nichols. pp. 271–2.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). “St Leger, Sir Anthony“. Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Searle, Mike. “Doneraile Court – geograph.org.uk – 1392610.” Wikipedia. 2009. CC BY-SA 2.0. Changes include incorporating blue background.
- “St. Leger.” Surname Database.
- “St Leger St Leger, 1st Viscount Doneraile.” Wikipedia.