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John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont

John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont PC, FRS (25 February 1711 – 4 December 1770) was a British politician, political pamphleteer, and genealogist who served as First Lord of the Admiralty.


He was the son and heir of John Perceval, 1st Earl of Egmont by his wife Catherine Parker, daughter of Sir Philip Parker, 2nd Baronet of Arwarton. He was baptised at the Palace of Westminster, London. He succeeded his father in 1748 as 2nd Earl of Egmont in the Peerage of Ireland.


Enmore Castle, 1779

Perceval sat in the Irish House of Commons for Dingle between 1731 and 1749. In April 1748, he was created Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales. He was made a Privy Counsellor in January 1755.

He sat in the Parliament of Ireland for Dingle (1731–49) and in the House of Commons for Westminster (1741–47), Weobley (1747–54) and Bridgwater (1754–62). In 1762 he was created Baron Lovel and Holland, of Enmore in the County of Somerset, in the Peerage of Great Britain, which gave him an automatic seat in the House of Lords.

He was appointed joint Postmaster-General for 1762-3 alongside Robert Hampden, 4th Baron Trevor and served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1763 to 1766.

From 1751 to 1757, he designed and created Enmore Castle at Enmore in Somerset, which received 'the dismissive mockery of Horace Walpole'.[1]


Arms of Perceval, Earls of Egmont: Quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, on a chief indented gules three crosses patée of the field (Perceval); 2nd & 3rd: Barry nebulée of six or and gules (Lovel)[2]

Perceval married twice. His first marriage was on 15 February 1737 to Lady Catherine Cecil (died 16 August 1752, aged 33), who was the second daughter of James Cecil, 5th Earl of Salisbury. By her he had five sons and two daughters:

  • John Perceval, 3rd Earl of Egmont, eldest son and heir.
  • Cecil Parker Perceval, born 19 Oct. 1739, who died at Eton College on 4 March 1753;
  • Philip Tufton Perceval, born on 10 March 1742, a captain in the Royal Navy;
  • Edward Perceval, (19 April 1744 - 1824), a captain in the Royal Dragoon Guards, who on 27 July 1775 married Sarah Howarth, daughter of John Howarth;
  • Frederick Augustus Perceval (11 Feb. 1749 - 21 Jan. 1757)
  • Catherine Perceval (d. June 1782), who on 13 Sept. 1766 was married to Thomas Wynn (1736–1807) (afterwards 1st Baron Newborough);
  • Margaret Perceval (d.23 Jan. 1750), who died an infant.

His second marriage was to Catherine Compton (died 11 June 1784, aged 53), the third daughter of the Hon. Charles Compton, who following his death was created on 23 May 1770 Baroness Arden of Lohort Castle in the county of Cork in the peerage of Ireland, with remainder to her heirs male. She survived her husband and died at Langley, Buckinghamshire, on 11 June 1784, aged 53.[3] By Catherine Compton he had three sons and six daughters as follows:

  • Charles George Perceval, born on 1 Oct. 1756, eldest son, who succeeded his mother as Baron Arden in the peerage of Ireland, and was created a peer of the United Kingdom, with the title of Baron Arden of Arden in the county of Warwick;
  • Spencer Perceval (1762–1812), 2nd son, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Henry Perceval, who died on 27 July 1772, aged 7
  • Mary Perceval (died on 18 Sept. 1839), who was married on 2 April 1781 to Andrew Berkeley Drummond of Cadlands, Hampshire, a grandson of William Drummond, 4th Viscount Strathallan (died 1746)
  • Anne Perceval (died on 1 Aug. 1772), died aged 12
  • Charlotte Perceval (d.19 Feb. 1761), died an infant
  • Elizabeth Perceval (d. 4 April 1846, aged 82), died unmarried
  • Frances Perceval (d. 22 Aug. 1817), who was married on 6 June 1803 to John, 1st Baron Redesdale
  • Margaret Perceval (died on 12 Dec. 1854), who was married on 1 Dec. 1803 to Thomas Walpole, sometime ambassador at Munich, a nephew of Horatio Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (created 1806)


Lord Perceval died 4 December 1770 at Pall Mall, London, aged 59.

Mount Egmont, New Zealand

Mount Egmont in New Zealand was named after him by James Cook in recognition of his encouragement of Cook's first voyage. Since the 1980s, the mountain has two official names, either Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont, to give equal recognition to its Māori and English names.[4]

See also

  • Earl of Egmont


  1. Against the Time in Which the Fabric and Use of Gunpowder Shall Be Forgotten: Enmore Castle, Its Origins and Its Architect - Tim Mowl 1990
  2. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.409
  3. Barker 1895.
  4. "Frequently asked questions......". Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. "[[Wikisource:1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Egmont, Earls of|]]" Encyclopædia Britannica 9 Cambridge University Press 
  •  Barker, George Fisher Russell (1895). "Perceval, John (1683-1748)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 44. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  • Wilkinson, Clive "Perceval, John, second earl of Egmont (1711–1770)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.) Oxford University Press Digital object identifier:10.1093/ref:odnb/21912  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links

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Preceded by
Thomas Crosbie
John FitzGerald
Member of Parliament for Dingle
With: John FitzGerald 1731–1741
Robert FitzGerald 1741–1749
Succeeded by
Sir William Fownes, Bt
Robert FitzGerald
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Charles Wager
The Lord Sundon
Member of Parliament for Westminster
With: Charles Edwin
Succeeded by
Viscount Trentham
Sir Peter Warren
Preceded by
Mansel Powell
Savage Mostyn
Member of Parliament for Weobly
With: Savage Mostyn
Succeeded by
John Craster
Savage Mostyn
Preceded by
George Dodington
Robert Balch
Member of Parliament for Bridgwater
With: Robert Balch 1754–1761
Edward Southwell 1761–1762
Succeeded by
Viscount Perceval
Edward Southwell
Preceded by
Thomas Lockyer
Joseph Tolson Lockyer
Member of Parliament for Ilchester
With: Joseph Tolson Lockyer
Succeeded by
William Wilson
Joseph Tolson Lockyer
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Bessborough
Robert Hampden-Trevor
Postmaster General
with Robert Hampden-Trevor
Succeeded by
The Lord Hyde
Robert Hampden-Trevor
Preceded by
The Earl of Sandwich
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Saunders
Honorary titles
Title last held by
The Lord Melcombe
Vice-Admiral of Somerset
Title next held by
The Duke of Somerset
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
John Perceval
Earl of Egmont
Succeeded by
John Perceval
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Lovel and Holland
Succeeded by
John Perceval

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