MONTAGU, Hon. George (1622-81), of Horton, Northants. and Channel Row, Westminster.
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Family and Education
bap. 28 July 1622, 5th s. of Henry Montagu†, 1st Earl of Manchester, by 3rd w. Margaret, da. of John Crouch of Corneybury, Layston, Herts., wid. of Allen Elvine, Leather-seller, of Old Jewry, London and of John Hare†, clerk of the court of wards, of Totteridge, Herts. educ. Amersham (Dr Charles Croke); Christ’s, Camb. 1639; M. Temple 1640. m. 21 May 1645, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Anthony Irby of Whaplode, Lincs. 7s. (2 d.v.p.), 4da.2
Commr. for new model ordinance, Hunts. 1645, assessment Hunts. 1645-8, 1663-80, Northants. 1647-8, 166l-80 Lincs. 1661-3, Glos., Mdx. and Westminster 1661-80, East Riding 1663-4, j.p. Hunts. and Northants. 1646-52, Mar. 1660-d., Westminster Mar. 1660-d., Mdx. Mar.-July 1660, 1662-d., commr. for militia, Hunts. and Northants. 1648, Hunts., Mdx. and Northants. Mar. 1660; custos rot. Westminster Mar.-July 1660; freeman, Dover Aug. 1660; warden of Salcey Forest, Northants. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for sewers, Westminster Aug. 1660; master of St. Katharine’s hospital, London 1661-d.; commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Yorks. 1662, oyer and terminer, Mdx. 1662.3
Gent.of the privy chamber (extraordinary) July 1660; member of Queen’s council 1669-d.4
Half-brother to the parliamentary general, and himself returned under age to the Long Parliament for the family borough of Huntingdon, Montagu was a passive supporter of the cause until Pride’s Purge. According to Edmund Ludlow, he refused to resume his seat with the secluded Members in 1660, and at the general election the Bernard interest in the borough was too strong for him. But when his cousin Edward Montagu I was raised to the peerage as Earl of Sandwich he succeeded to his seat at Dover on the Admiralty interest, probably after a contest with Sir Francis Vincent. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to the committees on the bills for the prevention of marital separation and the encouragement of fisheries and five private bills.5
Montagu was again disappointed of the Huntingdon seat in 1661, but he was re-elected for Dover, probably without a contest. Listed as a friend by Lord Wharton, he was again moderately active, though only 64 committees can be positively assigned to him. For the greater part of the Cavalier Parliament there is the possibility of confusion with another cousin, the Hon. William Montagu, with whom he was closely associated. Both seem to have been appointed to the committees for the security and corporations bills and the bill of pains and penalties. On Montagu’s behalf a proviso to the Earl of Cleveland’s estate bill was introduced on 28 June 1661, and his was the first name on the committees both for this bill and the bill concerning the claim against John Hutchinson. He was appointed to the committee for the Dover harbour bill, which he carried to the Lords on 17 Mar. 1662, and helped to manage one of the conferences at the end of the session. In 1667 he served under the chairmanship of William Montagu on the bill for illegitimizing Lady Roos’s children, and he was ‘mighty busy’ to keep Sandwich’s name out of the report of the committee on the miscarriages of the war. He was probably appointed to the Queen’s council in 1669, when she became patron of St. Katharine’s hospital, a foundation which as master he ‘grievously oppressed and wronged’. His name appeared on both lists of the court party in 1669-71 and as a supporter of Ormonde. He was noted as an official in 1675 and as one of those ‘to be remembered’ on the working lists; but Sir Richard Wiseman put him down as a government supporter without comment. In The Chequer Inn, he was described as ‘foreman of the British crew’. Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’, and in A Seasonable Argument he was said to have received £3,000 in gifts. But his support for the Government may have been shaken by the menace of French power; on 12 Apr. 1677 he wrote to inform his cousin, the 2nd Lord Montagu, of the passing of the money bill for building 30 warships, adding: ‘Pray God send them to take right measures of England’s interest against this powerful and overgrowing interest of France’. In 1678 he was omitted from the opposition list of the court party, but he remained personally loyal to Danby whom he may have sheltered after his impeachment. He probably did not stand for any of the Exclusion Parliaments. He died on 19 July 1681, and was buried in St. Katharine’s.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
- 2. Mems. St. Margaret’s Westminster, 110; Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 429; Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii) 139-40; St. Giles in the Fields par. reg.; Pepys Diary, 17 Jan 1662; Bridges, Northants. i. 368.
- 3. Add. 29623, f. 177; C181/7/39; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 213, 577.
- 4. LC3/2.
- 5. Ludlow Mems. ii. 236; Pepys Diary, 14, 28 Mar. 1660, CSP Dom. Add. 1660-85, p. 5.
- 6. Pepys Diary, 2 Jan, 1661; C. Jamison, Hist. St. Katharine’s, 92; Harl. 7020, f. 47v; HMC Buccleuch, i. 326; HMC Lindsey, 406; Bodl. Rawl. D682, f. 73.