EDGCUMBE, Piers (c.1610-67), of Mount Edgcumbe, Maker and Cotehele, Calstock, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. c.1610, 1st s. of Sir Richard Edgcumbe† of Mount Edgcumbe by 2nd w. Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Coteel, merchant, of St. Martin’s Lane, Cannon Street, London; bro. of Richard Edgcumbe. educ. St. John’s Camb. 1626; Leyden 1629. m. 6 June 1636 (with £3,000), Mary, da. of Sir John Glanville† of Broad Hinton, Wilts., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1639.1
Commr. for array, Cornw. 1642, j.p. July 1660-d., Devon 1662-d.; commr. for assessment, Cornw. Aug. 1660-d., sheriff Nov. 1660-1; dep. lt. Devon 1661-d., commr. 1662-d.; commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Cornw. 1662, oyer and terminer, Western circuit 1665.
Lt.-col. of foot (royalist) 1642-4, col. 1644-6.2
Dep. gov. Mines Royal 1654-7, asst. 1657-64.
Edgcumbe’s family took their name from a farm near Tavistock, where they were living in the 13th century. After acquiring Cotehele by marriage in 1353, they held property on both banks of the Tamar and represented constituencies in Devon and Cornwall from 1447. Edgcumbe was one of the most energetic of the Cornish Royalists until early in 1646, when he entered into negotiations with (Sir) Thomas Fairfax (3rd Lord Fairfax), who promised ‘immunity, indemnity, and even a reward’, and persuaded the committee for compounding to accept a fine of £1,275. He took no part in conspiracy during the Interregnum, concentrating on his mining interests. As a Cavalier he was ineligible at the general election of 1660 under the Long Parliament ordinance, and in the following year he was sheriff of the county. He was proposed as a knight of the Royal Oak, with an income reduced to £2,000 p.a. He returned to the House by defeating Henry Ford in a by-election at Newport early in 1662. As Ford was a friend of Thomas Clifford, the rising star at the Restoration Court, Edgcumbe can perhaps be reckoned a Country Cavalier. But he left no record of activity in the House, and was ordered to be sent for as a defaulter on 15 Dec. 1666. He died, however, on 6 Jan. 1667, and was buried at Calstock. His epitaph described him as
a pattern to posterity and an honour to the age he lived in; a master of languages and sciences, and a lover of King and Church, which he endeavoured to support to the utmost of his power and fortune.3