Perceval, John

, fifth baronet of the family, and first earl of Egmont, was born at Barton, in the county of York, July 12, 1683, and received his education at Magdalen college, Oxford. On quitting the university, in June 1701, he made the tour of England, and was admitted F. R. S. at the age of nineteen. Upon the death of king William, and the calling of a new parliament in Ireland, he went over with the duke of Ormorid, and though not of age, was elected for the county of Cork, and soon after appointed a privy-counsellor. In July 1705, he began the tour of Europe, which he finished in October 1707; and returning to Ireland in May 1708, was again, representative for the county of Cork. In 1713, he erected a lasting monument of his charity, in a free-school at Burton. On the accession of George I. he was advanced to the peerage of Ireland by the title of baron Perceval, in 1715, and viscount in 1722. In the parliament of 1722 and 1727, he was member for Harwich, in Essex, and in 1728 was chosen recorder of that borough. Observing, | by the decay of a beneficial commerce, that multitudes incapable of finding employment at home, mightbe rendered serviceable to their country abroad, he and a few others applied to the crown for the grant of a district of land in America, since called Georgia, which they proposed to people with emigrants from England, or persecuted Protestants from other parts of Europe, by means of private contribution and parliamentary aid. The charter being granted, in June 1732, Lord Perceval was appointed first president; and the king having long experienced his fidelity to his person and government, created him earl of Egmont in. Nov. 1733. Worn out by a paralytic decay, he died May 1, 1748. His lordship married Catherine, daughter of sir Philip Parker a Morley, by whom he had seven children, who all died before him, except his eldest son and successor, of whom we shall take some notice.

The first earl of Egmont, according to Mr. Lodge, appears to have been a man of an exemplary character, both in public and private life, and a writer of considerable elegance and acuteness. He published, 1. “A Dialogue between a member of the church of England and a Protestant Dissenter, concerning a repeal of the Test Act,1732. 2. “The Question of the Precedency of the Peers of Ireland in England,1739. Part only of this book was written by the earl of Egmont; which was in consequence of a memorial presented by his lordship to his majesty Nov. 2, 1733, upon occasion of the solemnity of the marriage of the princess-royal with the prince of Orange. 3. “Remarks upon a scandalous piece, entitled A brief account of the causes that have retarded the progress of the colony of Georgia,1743. His lordship published several other tracts about that time, relating to the colony; and many letters and essays upon moral subjects, in a paper called “The Weekly Miscellany.” His Lordship also formed a collection of the “Lives and Characters of eminent men in England, from very ancient to very modern times.” Dr. Kippis appears to have had the use of this collection, when employed on the Biographia. It is in the possession of lord Arden. The earl of Egmont wrote a considerable part of a genealogical history of his own family, which was afterwards enlarged and methodized by Anderson, author of the Royal Genealogies; and by Mr. W r histon, of the Tally Court. This book, which was printed by the second carl of Egmont, is entitled “A genealogical History of the | house of I very,” and is illustrated by a great number of portraits and plates. It was not intended for sale; but a few copies are got abroad, and sell at a very high price. Lord Orford, in the first edition of his “Royal and Noble Authors,” attributed “The great Importance of a religious Life,” to this nobleman, which, however, was soon discovered to be from the pen of Mr. Melmoth. 1

1 Lodge’s Peerage. Walpole’s Royal aud Noble Authors, by Park.