Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners
In office
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Duke of Portland
Hon. Spencer Perceval
Preceded by The Lord St John of Bletso
Succeeded by The Earl of Courtown
Personal details
Born 13 September 1764 (1764-09-13)
Died 26 September 1839 (1839-09-27)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Lady Sophia Hobart
(d. 1806)

Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe PC (13 September 1764 – 26 September 1839), styled Viscount Valletort between 1789 and 1795, was a British politician and writer on music.


Venus with a Satyr and Cupids by Annibale Carracci Raphael, Madonna della Sedia (Madonna of the Chair), c.1514 Guido Reni, Charity, 1607 Raphael, St John the Baptist Reni, Madonna Madonna della seggiola Correggio, Madonna and Child Justus Sustermans, Galileo Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch Franciabigio - Madonna of the Well Guido Reni, Cleopatra, 1635–40 Holy Family, then attributed to Perugino Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Portrait of Leo X with two Cardinals by Raphael Tribute Money? by Carravagio? Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, 1518 Niccolini-Cowper Madonna by Raphael Large central painting Holbein, Sir Richard Southwell, 1536 Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St Julian Holy Family, attributed to Niccolò Soggi ummm Raphael, Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, then in Lord Cowper’s possession, having bought it from Zoffany, now National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538 Cupid and Psyche, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 1st or 2nd century BC The ‘Arrotino’ (Knife-Grinder), a Pergamene original of 2nd or 3rd century BC Dancing Faun, marble replica of a bronze of the circle of Praxiteles, 4th century BC The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents The Wrestlers, marble copy of a bronze Permamene original, 2nd or 3rd century BC South Indian crater Etruscan helmet Chimera - Etruscan art 8 Oil lamps Egyptian ptahmose, 18th dynasty Greek bronze torso Bust of Julius Caeser Roman silver shield Head of Antinous South Italian crater Etruscan jug Octagonal table with pietra dura top made for the Tribuna, designed by Jacopo Ligozzi and Bernardino Poccetti. Charles Loraine Smith (1751–1835) Richard Edgcumbe, later 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839) George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–89) Sir John Dick (1720–1804), British Consul at Leghorn Other Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1751–99) Johann Zoffany Mr Stevenson, companion to the Lord Lewisham George Legge, Lord Lewisham, later 3rd Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810) unknown young man Valentine Knightley of Fawsley (1744–96) Pietro Bastianelli, the custodian of the gallery Mr Gordon Hon. Felton Hervey (1712–73) Thomas Patch (1725-82), Painter Sir John Taylor Bt., (d. 1786) Sir Horace Mann (1706–86), British Consul in Florence George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea prob. Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829) Mr Watts Mr Doughty, travelling with Charles Loraine Smith Probably Thomas Wilbraham (b. 1751), brother of Roger The Medici Venus, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century BC James Bruce (1730–94), African explorer Use a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johann Zoffany. Place cursor over artworks or persons to identify them.

Edgcumbe was the son of George Edgcumbe, 1st Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, and Emma, daughter of John Gilbert (archbishop of York). In the 1770s he was in Florence where Johann Zoffany included him in a painting, Tribuna of the Uffizi commissioned by the Queen. Edgcumbe is one of the younger figures looking over the shoulder of Charles Loraine Smith and by a group who are admiring a painting on the left of the picture.[1]

He gained the courtesy title, Viscount Valletort, when his father was made Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in 1789.[2]

Political career[edit]

Edgcumbe was returned to parliament for Fowey in 1786. In the June 1790 election there was a double return for the constituency, but Edgcumbe and another candidate was declared elected in March 1791.[3] In June 1790 he was also returned for Lostwithiel, but chose to represent Fowey.[4] In 1795 he succeeded his father in the earldom and entered the House of Lords. He served under the Duke of Portland and Spencer Perceval as Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners between 1808 and 1812. In 1808 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[5] In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society [6]

Edgcumbe was also Lord Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of Cornwall between 1795 (succeeding his father) and 1839.

Writer on music[edit]

Edgcumbe was the author of Musical Reminiscences of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, containing a list of the operas he heard from 1773 to 1823.[7] This book has been often cited by musicologists concerned with operatic history from Mozart to Rossini.


Lord Mount Edgcumbe married Lady Sophia Hobart, daughter of John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, on 21 February 1789. They had five children:

The Countess of Mount Edgcumbe died in August 1806. Lord Mount Edgcumbe remained a widower until his death in September 1839, aged 75.[2]


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Philip Rashleigh
John Grant
Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Philip Rashleigh
Succeeded by
Philip Rashleigh
Sylvester Douglas
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord St John of Bletso
Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners
Succeeded by
The Earl of Courtown
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall
Succeeded by
Sir William Salusbury-Trelawny, Bt
Vice-Admiral of Cornwall
Title next held by
The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Edgcumbe
Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
Succeeded by
Ernest Edgcumbe