John Perceval 1683-1748
John PERCEVAL or PERCIVAL, 1st Earl of Egmont 1683-1748
Born at Burton, County Cork, son of Sir John Perceval, 3rd bart; in 1704, when he reached the age of 21, he inherited extensive estates in Cork and Tipperary which sustained his wealth for the rest of his life. He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1699, but did not graduate; his education was completed through travelling in Europe. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1702. He lived mostly in London thereafter. He was an Irish MP from 1704, until made Baron Perceval, in the Irish peerage, in 1715 (Earl of Egmont, 1733; he was reputedly disappointed not to be given a title in the English peerage). He was involved with English politics, and the court (he was particularly friendly with George II), and was MP for Harwich 1727-34. He was also closely involved with the establishment of the American colony of Georgia.
Perceval used an engraved armorial bookplate, originally with his title as Baron Burton, later re-engraved when he became Earl of Egmont (Franks 23283-4). The extent of his library is not known, but his diaries contain various references to reading, loaning or being presented with books; they also reveal his love of music and the arts more generally. His title and estates were inherited by his eldest son John, who succeeded him as 2nd Earl.
- Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
- Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont: diary of Viscount Percival, 3 vols, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1920-23.
- Wood, Betty. "Perceval, John, first earl of Egmont (1683–1748), politician and diarist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.