MONTAGU, Edward II (1562-1644), of Boughton, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Family and Education

b. 1562, 1st surv. s. of Edward Montagu I and bro. of Henry and Sidney educ. Christ Church, Oxf. c.1574, BA Mar. 1579; M. Temple 1581. m. (1) 21 Sept. 1585, Elizabeth (d.1611), da. and h. of (Sir) John Jeffrey of Chiddingly, Suss., 1da.; (2) 24 Feb. 1612, Frances (d.1620), da. of Thomas Cotton of Conington, Hunts., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; (3) 16 Feb. 1625, Anne, da. of John Crouch of Corneybury, Herts., wid. of Robert Wynchell, painter-stainer, of Richard Chamberlain, and of (Sir) Ralph Hare of Stow Bardolph, Norf., s.p. suc. fa. 1602; KB 1603; cr. Baron Montagu 1621.3

Offices Held

J.p. Northants. from c.1595, sheriff 1595-6, commr. musters 1596, dep. lt. from 1602, ld. lt. from 1642; dep. keeper, Rockingham forest by 1593.4


The heir to one of the principal estates in Northamptonshire, Montagu, once his formal education was over, divided his time between London and Boughton. As deputy keeper of Rockingham forest Montagu left a musters book that has survived containing letters directed to him, and copies of those he despatched. After his marriage Montagu abandoned attempts to find a suitable residence in the county on the grounds that his wife’s health necessitated her staying in London. In a letter to his mother announcing his intention of residing at Boughton when in Northamptonshire, he wrote:

And I may be set so to work that I may at my father’s hands earn my victuals, for which I may keep him company at chess, and if need be I may take his part at double-handed Irish, and if there be occasion of weightier matters, as punishing rogues and such like, if it please him to employ me, [it] may ease him. And to do you some service I may in summer time [gather aprico]ts and peaches, or some such like work ... And if [none of] all these pains do deserve my meat and drink, yet truly they would be well bestowed of me, because they will be well seen by me especially if I may have fromenty and cheesecakes.5

In 1584 a seat was found for Montagu at the new parliamentary borough of Bere Alston. The patron was presumably Lord Mountjoy, perhaps acting through his relative Edward Lane, who was Montagu’s cousin. In 1597 he represented Tavistock, where his fellow-Member was Valentine Knightley. Knightley had earlier represented the borough under Russell patronage, and may by 1597 have had enough influence to secure Montagu’s return. During this Parliament he sat on a committee considering a bill for the town of Northam