A brass plate from Mt. Edgcumbe, Cornwall from 1789 to from a chair where Queen Charlotte, wife of George III sat, on a visit in August 1789.

The plate reads:

On Tuesday August 25th 1789 Her Majesty Queen Charlotte honour’d this old mansion with her presence and sat in this chair while she ......to take a ....... the Earl and Countess of Mount Edgcumbe.   Their royal highnesses Princess Royal, Princess Augusta and Princess Elizabeth also honour’d them at the same time with their presence”

On 25 August 1789, George Edgcumbe, 1st Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1721-95), hosted a visit from George III and Queen Charlotte during their stay at Saltram in Plymouth.

The royal party took barges from the Saltash ferry up the River Tamar to Cotehele.

“The Noble Owner of this venerable mansion received his Royal Visitants, on their landing, with becoming dignity. The ramparts of his castle were occupied by his vassals, and he himself was attended by a chosen hand of faithful adherents, who shouted, ‘God Save the King!’ Triumphal cars, with four wheels each, and two ponies, were provided to convey their Majesties and the Princesses to the castle, which stands on a proud eminence, about a quarter of a mile from the banks of the river”

The visit to Cotehele was brief and we can say the time  according to Queen Charlotte’s journal, the party landed at 10.30am and re-embarked at 12.10pm. The reason for the haste is explained by the report that appeared in The Gentleman’s Magazine:

“Being shewn the antique curiosities of the castle, among which were many singular pieces of ancient armour, and partaking of some refreshment, which was highly relished by keen appetites, the whole party re-embarked, with a full intent to reach the salmon-weir, which, for bold and picturesque scenery, far exceeds all the other magnificent views which the Tamar presents; but it was found that the tide would not serve to reach it, and they returned to Saltram about two in the afternoon, much gratified by the novelty of the fresh-water navigation.”   The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1789

Mount Edgcumbe is a Tudor Mansion in Cornwall at the time owned by George Edgcumbe (1721-1795) 1st Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.  He was a patron of artists such as John Opie and Sir Joshua Reynolds.   Famous visitors to the house included Sir Joshua Reynolds, David Garrick, Captain Cook, Horace Walpole and Dr Samuel Johnson.

Over the years the plaque has rubbed and the middle part of the inscription has rubbed away and is very faint but a previous owner has recorded the majority of the inscription as detailed above.

As someone interested in antiquities the Earl was obviously proud of his antique collection at the time and  showed them off to the royal family and felt the need to commemorate a chair that Queen Charlotte had sat in with the brass plaque.

Mount Edgecumbe was gutted by fire following enemy action in the second world war and perhaps this may have been when the plate was removed from the chair.   The mansion was later restored.


12 cm x 8cm

English, 1789