July 12

John Percival, Earl of Egmont

July 12, 1733 - statewide

Next to James Oglethorpe, he was the most important person in founding the Georgia colony.

John Percival was born in County Cork, Ireland, and was educated at Magdalen College at Oxford. He won a seat in the Irish Parliament before he was appointed to the British Privy Council, the sovereign’s private council, a seat he would hold for half a century. In 1715, Percival received an Irish Barony and became Viscount Percival seven years later.

In the British House of Commons, Percival served on the committee on jails with a young member named James Oglethorpe, who shared his idea about a new colony in North America for the deserving poor. Percival, like Oglethorpe became a Georgia Trustee, and during Georgia’s first decade, with Oglethorpe in America, Percival worked harder than anyone to champion Georgia’s cause and secure its future. In 1733 he was awarded an Irish earldom, becoming the first Earl of Egmont.

One of Georgia’s founding fathers was born in Ireland on July 12, 1733, Today in Georgia History.