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Egmont, Earls Of

EGMONT, EARLS OF. John Perceval, 1st earl of Egmont (1683-1748), Irish politician, and partner with J. E. Oglethorpe in founding the American colony of Georgia, was created earl in 1733. He claimed descent from the Egmonts of Flanders, but his title was taken from the place in County Cork where the family residence stood. Its name of Burton House, and that of Burton manor which formed part of the family estates, were a reminiscence of Burton in Somerset, where was the earlier English family property of his great-great-grandfather Richard Perceval (1550-1620), Burghley's secret agent, and author of a Spanish dictionary published in 1591, whose son Sir Philip Perceval (1605-1647) acquired the Irish estates by judicious use of his opportunities as commissioner for land titles and of his interest at court. Sir Philip's son John, grandfather of the 1st earl, was made a baronet in 1661. The first earl of Egmont (who had been made Baron Perceval in 1715, and Viscount Perceval in 1723) is chiefly important for his connexion with the colonization of Georgia, and for his voluminous letters and writings on biography and genealogy.

John Perceval, 2nd earl of Egmont (1711-1770), his eldest son, was an active politician, first lord of the admiralty (1763-1766), and political pamphleteer, and like his father an ardent genealogist. He was twice married, and had eight sons and eight daughters. One of his younger sons was Spencer Perceval, prime minister of England. His eldest son succeeded as 3rd earl, and the eldest by his second marriage (with Catherine Compton, baroness of Arden in Ireland) was in 1802 created Baron Arden of the United Kingdom, a title which subsequently became merged in the Egmont earldom.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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