Richard Edgcumbe, 1st Baron Edgcumbe

Richard Edgcumbe, 1st Baron Edgcumbe, PC (23 April 1680 – 22 November 1758) of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall, was an English Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1701 until 1742 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Edgcumbe. He is memorialised by Edgecombe County, North Carolina.[1]

Richard Edgcumbe
Born23 April 1680
Died22 November 1758
Title1st Baron Edgecumbe
Spouse(s)Matilda Furnese
Parent(s)Sir Richard Edgcumbe
Lady Anne Montagu

Arms of Edgcumbe: Gules, on a bend ermines cotised or three boar's heads couped argent
Mount Edgcumbe House, Devon, 1869


He was the son of Sir Richard Edgcumbe and Lady Anne Montagu, daughter of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich.


In 1694, at the age of 14, Edgcumbe succeeded his brother, Piers Edgcumbe, to the family estates. He was admitted at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1697[2] and travelled abroad travelled abroad in 1699.[3]

Edgcumbe was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Cornwall at a by-election on 25 June 1701 but never took his seat as Parliament had been prorogued. At the general election later in 1701, he was returned unopposed as MP for St Germans. Edgcumbe was elected MP for Plympton Erle at the 1702 English general election, probably on the Treby interest. He was re-elected at the 1705 English general election in a contest, and voted for the Court candidate as Speaker on 25 October 1705. Edgcumbe was returned as a Whig at the 1708 British general election, and was several times a teller for the Whigs. Although absent from the vote on the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, he was attacked by the mob supporting Dr Sacheverell in Cornwall. Edgcumbe was returned again at the 1710 British general election but his behavior in parliament appears contradictory. He was however to be one of the leaders of the great Whig procession through the City of London, which was banned by the government. Edgcumbe voted for the motion ‘No Peace Without Spain’ on 7 December 1712 and divided against the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713. He was returned again at the 1713 British general election, and voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele.

At the 1715 British general election, Edgecombe was returned unopposed as MP for Plympton Erle. He was appointed lord of the treasury in 1716. Edgcumbe surrendered the post when he went into opposition with Walpole in 1717, but was re-instated in 1720. He was returned again for Plympton Erle at the 1722 British general election. Edgcumbe held his post at the Treasury until 1724 when he was appointed Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, a post he held until 1742. He was returned again at the 1727 British general election, and was appointed a Privy Councillor for Ireland on 28 November 1727. At the 1734 British general election, Edgcumbe was returned as MP for Plympton Erle and Lostwithiel and chose to sit for Lostwithiel. He was Lord Warden of the Stannaries from 1734 to 1747. Edgcumbe was elected again for Plympton Erle at the 1741 general election and sat until he was raised to the peerage in 1742 and vacated his seat in the House of Commons. Edgcumbe was a faithful follower of Sir Robert Walpole, in whose interests he managed the elections for the Cornish boroughs, and his elevation to the peerage was designed to prevent him from giving evidence about Walpole's expenditure of the secret service money. In 1742, Edgcumbe was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which posts he held for the rest of his life. He became a colonel of a regiment of foot in 1745 and became major-general in 1755. He was appointed Chief Justice in Eyre, north of Trent in January 1758.[4]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Edgcumbe married Matilda Furnese (d.1721), a daughter of Sir Henry Furnese, 1st Baronet (c.1658-1712), of Waldershare in Kent, by whom he had four children, including:[5]


  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 114.
  2. ^ "Edgcumbe, Richard (EGCM697R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "EDGCUMBE, Richard (1680-1758), of Mount Edgcumbe, Maker and Cothele, Cornw". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ "EDGCUMBE, Richard (1680-1758), of Mount Edgcumbe, nr. Plymouth, Devon". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  5. ^ Vivian, p.143


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Hugh Boscawen
John Speccot
Member of Parliament for Cornwall
With: John Speccot
Succeeded by
John Granville
James Buller
Preceded by
Henry Fleming
Daniel Eliot
Member of Parliament for St Germans
With: Henry Fleming
Succeeded by
Henry Fleming
John Anstis
Preceded by
Courtenay Croker
Richard Hele
Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle
With: Thomas Jervoise 1702–1703
Richard Hele 1703–1705
Sir John Cope 1705–1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle
With: Sir John Cope 1707–1708
George Treby 1708–1728
John Fuller 1728–1734
Succeeded by
Thomas Clutterbuck
Preceded by
Anthony Cracherode
Edward Walpole
Member of Parliament for Lostwithiel
With: Philip Lloyd 1734–1735
The Lord Ducie 1735–1736
Sir John Crosse, Bt 1736–1741
Succeeded by
Sir John Crosse, Bt
Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton, Bt
Preceded by
Thomas Clutterbuck
Thomas Walker
Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle
With: Thomas Clutterbuck
Succeeded by
Thomas Clutterbuck
The Lord Sundon
Honorary titles
Title last held by
The Earl of Radnor
Custos Rotulorum of Cornwall
Succeeded by
The Lord Edgcumbe
Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall
Court offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Falmouth
Lord Warden of the Stannaries
Title next held by
Thomas Pitt
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Cholmondeley
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
The Earl of Kinnoull
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Somerset
Justice in Eyre
north of the Trent

Succeeded by
The Lord Sandys
Peerage of Great Britain
New title Baron Edgcumbe
Succeeded by
Richard Edgcumbe

External linksEdit