Mounteney, Richard (DNB00)

MOUNTENEY or MOUNTNEY, RICHARD (1707–1768), Irish judge and classical scholar, son of Richard Mounteney, an officer in the customs house, by Maria, daughter of John Carey, esq., was born at Putney, Surrey, in 1707, and educated at Eton School. He was elected in 1725 to King's College, Cambridge, proved himself a good classical scholar, and became a fellow. He graduated B.A. in 1729, and M.A. in 1735 (Graduati Cantabr. 1823, p. 333). Among his intimate friends at the university were Sneyd Davies [q. v.] and Sir Edward Walpole. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, and by the influence of Sir Robert Walpole, to whom he had dedicated his edition of some of the orations of Demosthenes, he was appointed in 1737 one of the barons of the exchequer in Ireland. He was one of the judges who presided at the famous trial between James Annesley [q. v.] and Richard, earl of Anglesey, in 1743, and 'made a most respectable figure.' He died on 3 March 1768 at Belturbet, co. Cavan, while on circuit.

His first wife Margaret was buried at Donnybrook, near Dublin, on 8 April 1756, and his second marriage with the Dowager-countess of Mount Alexander (i.e. Manoah, widow of Thomas Montgomery, fifth earl and daughter of one Delacherois of Lisburn) was announced in Sleater's 'Public Gazetteer' on 6 Oct. 1759.


His works are: 1. ‘Demosthenis selectæ Orationes (Philippica I) et tres Olynthiacæ orationes. Ad codices MSS. recensuit, textum, scholiasten, et versionem plurimis in locis castigavit, notis insuper illustravit Ricardus Mounteney,’ Cambridge (University Press), 1731, 8vo; 2nd edit. London, 1748, 8vo; 3rd edit. Eton, 1755, 8vo (very incorrectly printed); other editions, London and Eton, 1764 and 1771, London, 1778, 1785, 1791, 1806, 1811, 1826, 1827. With reference to the second edition there appeared ‘Baron Mountenay's celebrated Dedication of the select Orations of Demosthenes to the late Sir Robert Walpole, Bart. of Ministerial Memory, done into plain English, and illustrated with Notes and Comments, and dedicated to Trinity College, Dublin. By Æschines the third,’ Dublin printed, London reprinted 1748, 8vo. 2. ‘Observations on the probable Issue of the Congress’ [i.e. of Aix-la-Chapelle], London, 1748, 8vo.

A fine portrait of Mounteney by Hogarth was in 1864 in the possession of the Rev. John Mounteney Jephson, who was maternally descended from him.

[Addit. MS. 5876, f. 226b; Brüggemann's View of English Editions of Greek and Latin Authors, p. 161; Gent. Mag. 1768 p. 198, 1781 p. 404; Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 315; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 627; Nichols's Illustr. Lit. i. 514, 558; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 192, iii. 106, vii. 279, x. 633; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 170, 254, 526, 3rd ser. vi. 89, 235; Scots Mag. 1768, p. 223; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

T. C.