The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
|Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners|
|Prime Minister||The Duke of Portland |
Hon. Spencer Perceval
|Preceded by||The Lord St John of Bletso|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Courtown|
|Born||13 September 1764|
|Died||26 September 1839(aged 75)|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Sophia Hobart |
|Parent(s)||George Edgcumbe, 1st Earl of Mount Edgcumbe |
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.
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.
He gained the courtesy title, Viscount Valletort, when his father was made Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in 1789.
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. In June 1790 he was also returned for Lostwithiel, but chose to represent Fowey. 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. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Edgcumbe was also Lord Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of Cornwall between 1795 (succeeding his father) and 1839.
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. This book has been often cited by musicologists concerned with operatic history from Mozart to Rossini. He also composed an Italian opera seria, Zenobia., which was staged but once at the King's Theatre in 1800, starring Brigida Banti.
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. He is buried at St Peter's Church, Petersham, Richmond-upon-Thames.