PERCEVAL, Hon. Charles George (1756-1840).
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Family and Education
b. 1 Oct. 1756, 3rd s. of John, 2nd Earl of Egmont, by his 2nd w., Catherine, da. of Hon. Charles Compton; half-bro. of John James, Visct. Perceval. educ. Harrow 1771-4; Trinity, Camb. 1774; L. Inn 1777. m. 1 Mar. 1787, Margaretta Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, 6th Bt., 5s. 3da. suc. mother as 2nd Baron Arden [I] 11 June 1784; cr. Baron Arden [UK] 28 July 1802.
Ld. of Admiralty Dec. 1783-Feb. 1801; registrar of court of Admiralty 1790- d.; master of the mint 1801-2; commr. of the India Board 1801-3; ld. of the bedchamber 1804-12.
Perceval did not stand at the general election of 1780, but almost immediately afterwards a seat was found for him by Administration: ‘The Duke of Northumberland has in the handsomest manner fixed to bring in Mr. Perceval for Launceston in the room of Lord Salisbury’, wrote John Robinson to Charles Jenkinson, 19 Oct. 1780.1 Perceval consistently supported North till his fall, and voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783. He voted against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, for which he felt ‘the utmost abhorrence’.
But [Robinson wrote to Jenkinson, 3 Dec.] he feels, that having some obligation to Lord North, for permitting me to name him to the Duke of Northumberland ... he ought to have an explanation with Lord North, and if Lord North should expect him to go with him, to offer his seat in Parliament rather than support such measures as the East India bill, or such other measures as may be proposed by the present Administration. I have endeavoured to prevent this step, and for the present have succeeded ... but I shall not be able to keep him much longer than perhaps the beginning of the week.2
Their dilemma was solved by Northumberland expressing approval of Perceval’s opposition to the bill which he, too, strongly opposed. Perceval henceforth adhered to Pitt; was made a lord of the Admiralty on the formation of his Administration; and was returned again for Launceston by Northumberland.
During his first Parliament Perceval spoke more than a dozen times. On 21 Mar. 1781 he opposed Crewe’s bill to disfranchise revenue officers.
He disapproved of all these systems of reform, it seemed to be their design to give the right of voting to those who had it not, and take it from those who had. Admit the propriety of this disqualifying bill, and the same arguments would go against any description of men in the kingdom.3
Yet he voted for parliamentary reform in the division of 18 Apr. 1785.
He died 5 July 1840.