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Title John Perceval Document Set
Date 1736 November 9
Description 1 item-two leaf pamphlet with manuscript and two engravings
People Egmont, John Perceval, Earl of, 1711-1770
Search Terms United States History Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Scope & Content John Perceval document set. 1 item-two leaf pamphlet with letter and two engravings

The letter reads as follows:

"Charlton 9 Nov. 1736

Dear Cosen

I approve the draft you sent me, but have added what you find in the enclosed, thinking it very proper that where so many virtues meet they should be taken notice of. Bayls Dictionary is not properly a history, but a collection of such notices as he could procure of particular mens lives, & on such occasions, it is the Readers delight & improvment to know the minutes & particulars concerning them: where, therefore, such particulars make for the reputation of the person in question, they should not be omitted. If the present age were not so much disputed to make a jest of serious things, I would have added some things that distinguished your Grand Father from most men, as that he never knew woman [illegible] his wife, was never disguised in liquour, never was heard to use Gods name irreverently, & valued neither health, nor time, nor trouble nor the displeasure of men in the defence of Justice and Truth. These things would once have been set in the front of a mans character, but now the world wont bear it: however, it is [illegible] our own posterity should know them, I have taken that care with respect to mine, and I hope you will have many of your own to tell it to. The line I have added concerning your self is proper, for it compleats the account, and as it will be supposed to have been collected by the Publishers, it would seem tame & strange that after so good characters given of your father & Grandfather, nothing should be said of you, as if their lessons & example had no influence on you. I owe this observation to what my Uncle said of me in Collyers Dictionary, & I could not be gratefull if I did not mention it to you. I'me sure the little I have said, ought not to offend your modesty. I can for your putting this account into that work with mixes home lives with foreign, least the other should not proceed to write home lives, which they have not promised to do only conditionally that they meet with encouragement, which is not certain they will.

You tell me Lady Rook & Jn. Moore were to make you a visit from Bath: it rejoyces me that she is so well as to undertake it, for no body loves or wishes her better than I & my wife who joyns with me in affect. Services to her & the Doctor, & to [illegible] and you.

I am uneasie to hear from Fens that my son Hanmer is so ill as to send for a Physician, & I impatiently expect a letter next Poast. As to ourselves we are all well. I am

Yr. affec. Cosen & humble Servt.


John Perceval, second Earl of Egmont, was born Feb. 24, 1711, in Westminster, near London, and died Dec. 4, 1770, in London. He was an eccentric British politician and pamphleteer, as well as a confidant of George III.

Perceval sat in the Irish House of Commons from 1731 to 1748, when he succeeded to his father's earldom in the Irish peerage. His interests, however, were in British politics. Elected in 1741 to represent Westminster in the British House of Commons, he became a critic of Sir Robert Walpole's administration. In 1748 he threw his support to Frederick Louis, prince of Wales, and soon became the principal adviser for the Prince's Leicester House faction as well as opposition leader in the Commons. In conjunction with the Prince, who regarded Perceval as his prospective prime minister, he drafted the Glorious Plan, a blueprint to take control of the government at Frederick's accession. After the Prince died unexpectedly on March 20, 1751, Perceval drew closer to Frederick Louis's son and successor, Prince George (the future George III). In May 1762 Perceval moved from the Commons to the Lords after his elevation to the English peerage as Baron Lovel and Holland. In the ministry of George Grenville, he was appointed 1st Lord of the Admiralty (September 1763), and by 1765 he had become known as a leader of the "King's Friends." Egmont resigned from Pitt's administration in August 1766, when, as a proponent of an Austro-British alliance, he opposed Pitt's plan to ally with Prussia. His enmity to Pitt was such that in the summer of 1767 he refused office in any government in which Pitt served.

Egmont was a gifted pamphleteer, and his Faction Detected (1743) is an elaborate vindication of opposition politics. His seventh son was the prime minister Spencer Perceval.