MONTAGU, James I (1666-1723), of the Middle Temple, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - 1698
30 Dec. 1698 - 1700
1705 - 1713

Family and Education

b. 2 Feb. 1666, 7th but 5th surv. s. of Hon. George Montagu† of Horton, Northants.; bro. of Charles*, Christopher*, Edward† and Irby Montagu*.  educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1683, MA 1698; M. Temple 1683, called 1689; L. Inn, bencher 1707, treasurer 1708, library keeper 1709, dean of the chapel 1711, serjeant 1714.  m. (1) 6 Oct. 1694, Tufton (d. 1712), da. of Sir William Wray, 1st Bt.†, of Ashby, Lincs., sis. of Sir Christopher Wray, 2nd Bt.†, 1s. 1da.; (2) 6 Oct. 1713, Lady Elizabeth, da. of Robert Montagu, 3rd Earl of Manchester, sis. of Hon. Heneage* and Hon. Robert Montagu*, s.p.  Kntd. 16 Apr. 1705.1

Offices Held

Sec. to chancellor of Exchequer Apr. 1694; counsel, Camb. Univ. by 1698–1718; c.j. of Ely by 1698–1707; QC 1705; solicitor-gen. 1707–Oct. 1708, attorney-gen. Oct. 1708–Sept. 1710; baron of Exchequer 1714–22, chief baron 1722–d.; jt. collector of tunnage and poundage, port of London 1714–d.; commr. privy seal Apr.–May 1718.2


As a younger son, Montagu was forced, as was his more famous brother Charles, to carve a niche for himself, and this he chose to do through a legal career that led to his serving as both solicitor- and attorney-general under Queen Anne, and to further high legal office after the Hanoverian succession. Montagu’s political convictions were staunchly Whiggish, and he became a loyal supporter of the Junto, of which his elder brother was a leading member. His parliamentary career demonstrated from its earliest stages his partisan inclinations, and even when out of the House these loyalties were sometimes evident in his legal career. By the later years of Anne’s reign Montagu had become one of the Junto’s ‘chief lieutenants in the Commons’, most notably in the 1708 Parliament when, as attorney-general, he was one of the principal managers of Commons’ business and opened the prosecution in the trial of Dr Sacheverell. Though his political career went into a noticeable decline after 1710 he remained a loyal Whig.3

Montagu’s personal and partisan links were evident early on in his career, his brother Charles (chancellor of the Exchequer) appointing him as his secretary in 1694, and securing his election for Tregony the following year on the interest of the Whig Hugh Boscawen I*. Study of Montagu’s early parliamentary career is complicated by the presence of seven Montagus in the 1695 Parliament, but it is nevertheless possible to trace some of his significant activity. He took an interest, for example, in the issue of the coinage, being named on 5 Dec. 1695 to the conference committee on the state of the coin and appointed, a week later, to prepare an address upon the Commons’ resolutions on this issue. Montagu also demonstrated an interest in trade, drafting a bill to regulate the East India trade on 20 Feb. 1696. His Whig credentials come into focus during the 1695–6 session, when he was forecast as likely to support the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. on the council of trade, signed the Association immediately, and voted in March for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. Besides his Whiggish outlook, his legal background was also evident in the early weeks of the 1696–7 session, when he contributed to the debates on the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. When, on 13 Nov., the Commons considered Fenwick’s request for more time to prepare his defence, Montagu observed to the House that

I am not surprised to hear Sir J. Fenwick desire time; for giving him time is giving him life; nor for his counsel to tell you his witnesses are not ready; it is a common excuse; I hardly ever knew a person brought upon his trial, but that was his excuse, and yet I have seldom known it allowed as a good excuse.

After the House had resolved that Fenwick be remanded at Newgate and appear before the House three days hence, Montagu moved that Fenwick be brought to the chamber and informed of these resolutions. When the attainder was again considered on the 16th he spoke in favour of admitting Goodman’s evidence, responding to claims that the Commons had no power to take depositions, arguing that ‘we must take notice of Acts of Parliament; and if that requires depositions to be taken, and to be evidence against criminals, we ought to take notice of it’, and spoke again the following day when the Commons debated committing the bill. Needless to say he voted for the attainder on 25 Nov. Montagu’s legal expertise explains his appointment on 24 Feb. 1697 to draft a bill to explain the Statute of Merton (1235), a measure he presented on 3 Mar. On the same day he was granted three-weeks’ leave of absence, presumably to go on the circuit. It is impossible to attribute, with any degree of certainty, any further parliamentary activity to him in this session, or, indeed in the next. On 29 Mar. 1698 he was again granted three weeks’ leave, quite probably to allow him to attend to his new responsibilities as chief justice of Ely.4

At the 1698 election Montagu stood for Cambridge University, to which he had been appointed as counsel earlier in the year, on the interest of his brother Charles, high steward of the university since 1697. Montagu was defeated at the poll, being described by James Vernon I* as one of the ‘honest men’ absent from the new Parliament, but was successful at the Bere Alston by-election in December. Problems of identification intensify in the 1698 Parliament though further leave of absence was granted to him on 16 Mar. 1699. In 1708 the independent Whig (Sir) Thomas Johnson* included Montagu among the ‘staunch Whigs’ who ‘were often against the Court in King William’s time’, though in Montagu’s case no evidence survives to bear out this recollection. Montagu does not appear to have stood for election to either of the 1701 Parliaments or to that of 1702. That his Whig commitment remained undimmed, however, is demonstrated by some of the cases in which he acted as counsel during his time out of Parliament. In November 1701, for example, he acted as counsel for one of the Kentish Petitioners, David Polhill*, in the court of King’s bench, and three years later he defended John Tutchin from a charge of printing a seditious libel in The Observator. January 1705 saw him before the Lords arguing for a writ of error concerning the judgment obtained by John Grobham Howe* against an individual who had accused Howe of Jacobitism in the 1702 Gloucestershire election, and the following month Montagu was one of four prominent Whig lawyers who moved for a writ of habeas corpus in the Aylesbury case. Though unsuccessful in this, Montagu also argued for the Aylesbury men in a writ of error before the lords justices. Despite having been granted the protection of the Lords for acting in this case, counsel for the Aylesbury men were declared guilty of a breach of privilege by the Commons on 26 Feb., and the following day Montagu was taken into custody by the serjeant at arms, his protection from the Lords notwithstanding, and was not released until the House was prorogued on 14 Mar.5

The Commons’ disapproval of Montagu was not shared by the crown, and when the Queen visited Cambridge University in April Montagu was one of a number of Whigs she chose to honour with a knighthood in a rebuff to the university’s Tories. It was an honour which, according to the Dutch envoy, prompted great mortification among Tories, particularly in the light of Montagu’s recent imprisonment by the Commons. In May Montagu was returned to the Commons for Carlisle. His advancement continued in the autumn when he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel at the request of William Cowper*, though the attempt at this time to have him named recorder of London failed. Classed as a ‘gain’ by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) and as ‘Low Church’ in an analysis of the new Parliament, Montagu voted on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate for Speaker. Shortly after this vote it was observed that ‘Sir James Montagu treads close upon the solicitor’s [(Sir) John Hawles*] heels, which makes some think that he would be glad of the offer of a judge’s place’. He was to prove himself an active Member and staunch Whig throughout this Parliament. He intervened at least five times in the debates of December 1705 and January 1706 on the regency bill, and on 18 Feb. he supported the Court in the proceedings on its contentious ‘place clause’. His contribution to the business of the Commons is easier to distinguish from this time: on 7 Jan. 1706 he was named as sole draftsman of Lord Coleraine’s estate bill, which he presented 10 days later. His status as a leading lawyer would explain his chairmanship of the committee of the whole in February on the bill for the ‘better advancement of justice’, while on 28 Feb. he presented a bill to make more effective the laws against popery. He chaired a committee of the whole on this bill on 1 Mar. and reported the following day. This demonstration of Montagu’s Whig commitment was reinforced during the recess, as in June he led the prosecution on behalf of the crown against Dr Drake, a Tory pamphleteer.6

Montagu’s contribution to Commons’ business remained significant in the 1706–7 session, particularly in relation to church finance. He was appointed on 26 Feb. 1707 to draft a bill for the better payment of tithes, and on 13 Mar. reported from the second-reading committee of the bill to discharge livings worth under £50 p.a. from first fruits and tenths. On 7 Mar. he reported from the committee considering the complaint of Carlisle corporation about the loss of revenue from tolls and customs on goods imported from Scotland which the town anticipated as a result of the Union. Montagu appears to have been involved in the passage of the Union, particularly in the bill introduced in the abbreviated session of April 1707 to close the loophole which allowed English merchants to re-export goods from England to Scotland, claim drawback on English customs duty, pay the lower Scottish import duty on the goods, and bring their goods from Scotland to England after 1 May without having to pay additional duty. Montagu was appointed to draft a bill to close this loophole on 15 Apr., and later wrote that he had ‘some share’ in the management of this measure, which, however, failed to pass before the prorogation of 24 Apr. At the end of the month Montagu was appointed solicitor-general, and the consequences of the Union placed a considerable burden upon him in this new position. On 29 July he complained to his kinsman Lord Manchester that

there has scarce been a day since I was solicitor-general that we have not been obliged to attend committees of English and Scotch lords to settle and adjust the methods that the affairs in Scotland must be carried on by; and I doubt we have many a weary step yet to take before we shall bring matters into any order there. I don’t find that many of our friends have been much consulted in the Scotch affairs, since the passing the Act of Parliament for the Union; but all that has been done is by the direction of the lord treasurer’s; and the more I see of the business, the more I am persuaded of your being right in the sentiments you have of him and them.7

As solicitor-general Montagu’s parliamentary work expanded considerably. He was named to draft seven supply bills in the first Parliament of Great Britain, including, on 9 Mar., the bill to continue the cocoa and coffee duties, which he chaired in committee of the whole (24th and 26th). However, his responsibilities extended beyond supply matters: he was appointed to draft a bill to secure and encourage the American trade (8 Dec.); bills concerning a private estate (22 Dec.) and army and marine recruitment (21 Jan.); a bill to discharge ecclesiastical livings worth under £50 p.a. from the payment of first fruits (24 Feb.); and a bill to prevent stamp duty fraud (25 Feb.). Despite his government office, Montagu’s allegiance to the Junto was clearly evident in this session, most notably in relation to Scottish issues. When, on 29 Nov. 1707, the Commons considered the injunction in the Queen’s Speech to consider measures to complete the Union, Montagu deserted the Court line over the question of the Scottish privy council, joining fellow Junto Whigs and the Squadrone who spoke in favour of abolition in the committee of the whole on 4 Dec. When the report of this committee was delivered a week later, Montagu, unlike several other Whig office-holders, who had previously advocated the measure, persisted in his view and also spoke against the Court’s opposition to the resolution that Scottish justices should have powers equal to those of their English counterparts. William Bennet* reported that ‘the solicitor-general summed up the whole argument’ against the Court. He was appointed the same day to draft a bill to complete the Union, and on 19 Dec., during the deliberations of this committee, proposed that the resolutions concerning the Scottish militia be embodied in a separate bill from that abolishing the privy council, a necessary step, according to James Vernon I, since the militia bill ‘being in the nature of a money bill, if it were joined with the rest, might raise a dispute if the Lords make amendments’. The separation was agreed by the committee, and on 13 Dec. Montagu presented a bill to complete the Union, which included the abolition of the Scottish privy council, chaired the committee of the whole on 22 Jan., and reported the following day. Montagu’s support for the bill took him so far as to oppose the Court’s motion, at third reading on the 28th, to postpone abolition for a year, a proposal which would have allowed the Court to exercise the privy council’s influence in the forthcoming general election. After the bill was carried without a division, Montagu was ordered to carry it to the Lords. Montagu’s desertion of the Court over the Scottish privy council was not an isolated rebellion, since in December he joined the Junto attack on the administration of the Admiralty. Given his willingness to place party interest above ties of place it comes as little surprise to find Lord Godolphin (Sidney†) rejecting suggestions that Montagu attend a meeting of ministers on 11 Dec. to consider proposals for a ministry based upon a moderate scheme. Montagu maintained his interest in Scottish legislation until the end of the session, intervening on 31 Jan. 1708 in a debate on the position of the established Scottish Presbyterian church in relation to the Act of Uniformity, and offering a compromise on the question of the wording of the Abjuration that would allow for the scruples of the Scots. He also chaired a committee of the whole on 30 Mar. on the bill to establish a Scottish exchequer, delivering it to the Lords the next day, and on 1 Apr. chaired a committee of the whole on the petition of Scottish fishermen. The session also saw Montagu’s Whiggery demonstrated in two issues which did not require him to oppose the Court. In February he took a prominent role, explicable in terms of both partisan allegiance and his constituency interests, in guaranteeing the passage of the cathedrals bill initiated by the Whig Bishop Nicolson of Carlisle, a bill designed to aid Nicolson in his confrontation with the Tory dean of Carlisle, Francis Atterbury. Joseph Addison* described Montagu as one of the bill’s ‘managers’, and when it came before a committee of the whole on 9 Mar. Montagu spoke in its favour. Events in March evoked Montagu’s loyalty to the Protestant succession, and saw him participating wholeheartedly in the Commons’ response to the Jacobite invasion scare. On the 4th he was nominated to prepare a loyal address to the Queen and was appointed to draft a bill to detain suspected conspirators. He chaired the committee of the whole on this measure on the 10th and presented and carried it to the Lords the following day. The 11th also saw him appointed to draft a bill to support those Scots whose loyalty to the crown brought them into conflict with clan chieftains sympathetic to the Jacobite invasion, and to prepare an address assuring the Queen of the Commons’ support and willingness to vote supplies. Once Parliament had been prorogued and then dissolved in April, Montagu’s office of solicitor-general involved him in the trial of Lord Griffin for participating in the abortive invasion.8

Montagu’s appointment as solicitor-general had raised his political profile, but his ambitions did not end with his current post, and the fall of Robert Harley* and the consequent resignation of the attorney-general, (Sir) Simon Harcourt I*, provided an opportunity for advancement. Montagu does not appear to have been involved in the complex manoeuvrings that surrounded Harley’s fall, though he reported the debate upon Almanza of 29 Jan. to Halifax, Sunderland and Lord Somers (Sir John*) who were all dining that night at Bishop Nicolson’s, and rumours soon began to circulate that he would succeed Harcourt. In February Montagu wrote that he was being ‘wished joy by everybody as the successor of the attorneyship’, but no appointment was made and in April Godolphin wrote to the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†) that ‘the difficulties of filling the attorney-general’s place is as great as that in which you left us’. The cause of these ‘difficulties’ was the Queen’s unwillingness to bestow a mark of favour upon a man who in the previous session had opposed the Court over issues which, her biographer has written, ‘touched the Queen personally’, in addition to her wider reluctance to concede further influence in the ministry to the Junto. In April Arthur Maynwaring* wrote to the Duchess of Marlborough agreeing with her suggestion that Montagu should accept a judicial position and allow Sir Thomas Parker* to succeed as attorney-general, and later that month reported the rumour that Robert Eyre* was to have the choice of the posts of attorney- and solicitor-general, Parker and Eyre both being Whigs but neither as closely associated with the Junto as Halifax’s brother. Montagu countered such rumours by making it clear that he had no desire to join the judiciary, but the Queen continued to oppose his promotion with a stubbornness which Godolphin, after one of his meetings with her on this subject, described as ‘unaccountable’, and that ‘the battle might have lasted till (evening) if after the clock had struck 3, 41 [Prince George] had not thought fit to come in and look as if he thought it were dinner time’. Montagu was returned for Carlisle in the May general election, but at the end of the month the Queen’s unwillingness to promote Montagu was reaffirmed when she proposed to Godolphin that Parker and Eyre be appointed attorney- and solicitor-general respectively. Halifax brought pressure to bear on Godolphin, emphasizing Montagu’s role in supporting the Court in the previous session. Halifax dismissed Montagu’s opposition to the Court over the Scottish privy council, remarking that the matter had been ‘given up’ by the Court, and claimed that Montagu’s rebellion over the Scottish heritable jurisdictions was in fact the sole instance of his brother’s opposition to the Court. Halifax informed the lord treasurer that he would regard the failure to promote Montagu as a personal slight, and in July Godolphin urged Marlborough to tell the Queen that she should ‘put an end to her resentment against Sir James Montagu which is a thing extremely essential to her service’. August saw further efforts being made by the Junto to secure Montagu’s appointment, with Lord Wharton (Hon. Thomas*) lobbying the lord treasurer, but it was only in October, when the fatal illness of Prince George sapped the Queen’s determination to oppose further accommodation with the Junto, that the Queen gave way and Montagu was appointed attorney-general. Sir Edward Northey* tartly commented that

though they have at last given Sir James the title of attorney-general, they can never give him a reputation to support it, which he might have done by the assistance of Chief Justice Holt [Sir John†] without committing very gross mistakes, if they had not by this great delay brought his ability to be so nicely scanned.

The delay in Montagu’s appointment had, however, been inevitable given the Queen’s opposition, and the Junto was bitter at the effort required to secure the office. Halifax was reported to regard his brother’s promotion as a debt paid, ‘rather than an obligation received’.9

Montagu was, however, prevented from taking his place in the House by the need to seek re-election after assuming the post of attorney-general, and his first appearance in proceedings in the 1708–9 session was not until 10 Jan. 1709 when he was nominated to draft a bill for punishing mutiny and desertion. Although less active in this session than in 1707–8, many of the threads which ran through Montagu’s activity in the previous session are again evident. He was appointed to draft two supply bills, and Scottish matters again featured prominently. On 25 Jan. he was appointed to a committee to establish precedents concerning the Lords’ request that Members attend the Upper House to give evidence in a hearing concerning the election of Scottish peers, and four days later was nominated to draft a bill to standardize Scottish treason law with the English. On 21 Feb. he was named to draft a bill ascertaining the drawback allowed to Scottish fish exporters upon fish cured with foreign salt imported before the Union, and on 11 Mar. was the first-named Member of the committee to draft a bill to regulate the Scottish militia. He voted for the naturalization of the Palatines, and was one of the appointees named on 5 Feb. to draft the bill. He was also the first-named Member of drafting committees for the bill to enable guardians to make conveyances (4 Mar.), and another to appoint commissioners to survey Portsmouth harbour (10 Mar.). He was less willing than in the previous session to adopt a partisan position. On 17 Mar. he broke from the Whig ranks and voted with the Tories in opposing the election of Thomas Meredyth* for Midhurst. But Montagu remained a committed Whig, as was demonstrated by the determination he expressed in September 1709 to quell the disturbances caused in the provinces by the settlement of the poor Palatines.10

Montagu’s presence in Parliament from the start of the 1709–10 session resulted in more frequent involvement in legislative business. In November and December 1709 he guided through the House a bill to prohibit the export of corn, and was the first-named Member of five committees appointed to draft supply measures. His other notable role was in the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. As one of the Whigs who, on 13 Dec., had led the attack on the clergyman’s two printed sermons, Montagu was named the following day to the committee ordered to prepare the articles of impeachment, and as attorney-general he opened the proceedings against the clergyman in Westminster Hall on 27 Feb. 1710. Speaking on the general charge against Sacheverell, Montagu claimed that the prosecution was concerned with the motives behind the two sermons. Montagu questioned Sacheverell’s purpose in ‘lay[ing] down a general position, that it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to make resistance to the supreme power’, asking ‘was there any occasion at that time to be so earnest to cry down resistance and preach up passive obedience? Can anyone pretend to say there were any symptoms of discontent throughout the nation, in any parts thereof?’ Montagu concluded that the absence of any explanation for the delivery of Sacheverell’s sermons therefore ‘savour[ed] of some wicked design’. One pamphleteer later commented on this performance that

          The first that assaulted was valiant Sir James,
          A warrior of famous renown,
          Who fired a volley of words without means,
          Then trembling sat himself down.

Montagu was not called on to speak again in the prosecution, indeed he was granted two weeks’ leave of absence on 7 Mar. before the trial had finished, though whether his failure to appear was due to the wealth of legal ability the Whigs could call on at this time, or to a feeling that he had performed inadequately on the trial’s opening day, is unclear. He was, of course, included in the black list of those who had supported the impeachment, and his involvement in the issue extended to the pursuit in April of a number of those suspected of having participated in London’s Sacheverell riot of 1 Mar.11

Montagu was a peripheral figure in the ministerial revolution of 1710. Though he could hardly expect to keep his place in the new administration, he played a small part in Harley’s attempts to obtain Whig support for a mixed ministry. His agreeing to stand quietly aside for Harcourt enabled Harley to increase his chances of persuading Cowper to remain as lord chancellor, having removed the leading Tory candidate for the great seal from the running. Montagu’s reward for leaving his post was a pension of £1,000 p.a. until his death or that of the Queen, whichever was the earlier, and the prospect of appointment to the judiciary. The contrast between his willingness to accept the prospect of a judicial post and his opposition to such a suggestion in 1708 when angling for the attorney-general’s place did not go unremarked by the Duchess of Marlborough, but on 16 Sept. Montagu waited on the Queen to surrender his office. The following day he wrote to Harley to thank him for his ‘favour and friendship’ and to assure him that ‘whenever the more valuable part of the proposal shall be made good’, he would readily ‘resign’ the pension. That Montagu was already a wealthy man is indicated by his ownership of over £4,000 of Bank stock in March 1710. In October he was returned for Carlisle, with the support of the corporation, the Earl of Carlisle (Charles Howard*) and Bishop Nicolson, after a contest with a Tory opponent.12

Classed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’, Montagu’s parliamentary activity in the 1710–11 session was dominated by the petition of Samuel Gledhill, his Tory opponent in the Carlisle election, presented on 4 Dec., which accused Montagu of bribery and undue practices. Montagu had been aware of Gledhill’s intention to petition in November when he informed Harley of rumours that Gledhill’s candidacy and petition had been prompted by the chancellor of the Exchequer and secretary, Henry St. John II*, rumours which Montagu assured Harley he thought untrue and which he conjectured had been initiated by Gledhill himself. In a preliminary debate on the case on 20 Feb. 1711, the Court supported Montagu, Kreienberg reporting that Harley voted with the Whigs, an action that can perhaps be explained by his unwillingness to see Whigs in minor office offended by the Tory attack on Montagu and by concern at possible reflections upon his own role in granting a pension to the former attorney-general. Gledhill’s charge, that Montagu had used the Queen’s name in order to secure his election at Carlisle, was defeated without a division on 14 Mar., though it was resolved that Gledhill had had sufficient grounds to bring his claim. Responding to Gledhill’s allegations undoubtedly took up a great deal of Montagu’s time, and he was involved in little other parliamentary activity this session. Indeed the only other recorded instance of any activity was his support for Mungo Graham when the Kinross-shire election case was heard on 10 Feb. and his vote on 25 May for the amendment to the South Sea bill. Montagu’s partisan zeal does not, however, appear to have diminished. In November, for example, he was reported to have been one of the members of the Kit-Cat Club who financed a celebration, to coincide with Marlborough’s return to England, during which the Pope, the devil and the Pretender were to be burnt in effigy. In the next session he voted on 7 Dec. for the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. Gledhill’s petition concerning the Carlisle election was renewed on 10 Dec., but was defeated by 74 votes to 45 in the elections committee, and when it came before the Commons on 23 Feb. 1712 the decision was confirmed by 148 votes to 133. His most significant activity is indicated by his inclusion on committees to draft bills on expiring laws (15 Feb.) and to repeal a clause in the bankruptcy act of James I (25 Feb.). Montagu’s attitude to the peace conformed with the opposition of his Junto colleagues, so much so that when a petition thanking the Queen for the peace was circulated in Carlisle in July, people wondered ‘whether Sir James Mont[agu] will venture to present it’. Montagu’s opposition to the Treaty of Utrecht was in evidence on 18 June when he voted against the French commerce bill, but the decline in his parliamentary activity was confirmed by his failure to make any recorded speeches.13

Montagu did not stand in 1713, contenting himself with the pursuit of his legal career. He was appointed a baron of the Exchequer on the accession of George I, a place worth £1,500 p.a., and 1714 also saw him granted to the profitable post of joint collector of tunnage and poundage for London port. His prominence ensured his appointment, following Cowper’s resignation as lord chancellor in 1718, as a commissioner of the great seal. He received further promotion in May 1722 when he was appointed chief baron of the Exchequer, but on 30 Oct. the following year he died at his home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Described in his obituary as ‘a lawyer of great eminence and who, on all critical occasions, had distinguished himself by his zeal for the Revolution, and Protestant succession’, Montagu was succeeded by his son Charles, who sat in Parliament as a Whig under George I and George II.14

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. DNB; Bridges, Northants. i. 368; Pepys Diary ed. Latham and Matthews, iii. 17; IGI, London; PCC 240 Richmond.
  • 2. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 303; info. from Cambridge Univ. archs. dept.; CJ, xii. 168; HMC Portland, iv. 269; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxi. 247; xxii. 417; xxiv. 454; xxix. 41–42, 167; xxx. 351; Foss, Judges, viii. 43.
  • 3. G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 241.
  • 4. Luttrell, iii. 303; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 1012, 1032–3, 1054.
  • 5. Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Finch-Halifax pprs. box 5 bdle. 3, Anthony Hammond* to Sir John Banks, 1st Bt.*, 29 Mar. 1698; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 47/63, Vernon to Duke of Shrewsbury, 30 July 1698; Norris Pprs. (Chetham Soc. ser. 1, ix), 167; Luttrell, v. 112, 518, 524, 527–8; Foss, 42; Nicolson Diaries ed. Jones and Holmes, 278; Party and Management ed. C. Jones, 98–101; HMC Portland, 165–6; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 27 Feb. 1704–5.
  • 6. Add. 17677 AAA, f. 254; Cowper, Diary (1833), 6; HMC Portland, 246; BL, Trumbull Add. mss 98, John Bridges to Sir William Trumbull*, 31 Oct. 1705; Camd.isc. xxiii. 56, 58–59, 61, 63, 78–79; Cobbett, vi. 514–15; Luttrell, vi. 54.
  • 7. 7th Duke of Manchester, Court and Soc. Eliz. to Anne, ii. 233–5.
  • 8. P. W. J. Riley, Eng. Ministers and Scotland, 87–89, 92; HMC Lonsdale, 118 (misdated 1705); Manchester, 266–7 (misdated Nov.), 274; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 291–2, 300, 333; Roxburghe mss at Floors Castle, bdle. 739, Bennet to [Countess of Roxburghe], 16 Dec. 1707; Huntington Lib. Q. xv. 39; xxx. 265–6; Nicolson Diaries, 457–9, 461, 468; Addison Letters, 96; Add. 61607, ff. 216–17, 224, 227.
  • 9. Holmes, 204, 212; Nicolson Diaries, 446–7; Luttrell, vi. 267, 294; Addison Letters, 91; Manchester, 282–3; Marlborough– Godolphin Corresp. 957, 969, 989, 999, 1084; Add. 61459, ff. 32, 36–37; 61118, ff. 102–4; E. Gregg, Q. Anne, 254; Coxe, Marlborough, iv. 78; Centre Kentish Stud. Stanhope mss U1590/0138/29, Horatio Walpole II* to James Stanhope*, 30 Apr. 1708; Duchess of Marlborough Corresp. i. 164, 255; HMC Portland, 509.
  • 10. Stanhope mss U1590/0139/2, James Brydges* to Stanhope, 17 Mar. 1708–9; Add. 61611, ff. 89–90.
  • 11. G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 89, 130–1; Yale Univ. Beinecke Lib. Osborn coll. box 21 no. 22, ‘Acct. of trial of Dr. Sacheverell’, f. 1; Poems on Affairs of State ed. Ellis, vii. 433; Add. 61610, ff. 77–78.
  • 12. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 360; A. McInnes, Robert Harley, 162; HMC Portland, ii. 220; iv. 595; Add. 31143, f. 564; Herts. RO, Panshanger mss D/EP F63, f. 64; Egerton 3359 (unfol.); Christ Church, Oxf. Wake mss 17, f. 265.
  • 13. Boyer, Pol. State, i–ii. 247; Cobbett, 1010; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 5, ff. 138–9; SRO, Montrose mss GD220/5/808/18, 22, Graham to Duke of Montrose, 13, 22 Feb. 1711; B. W. Hill, Robert Harley, 149; Nicolson Diaries, 512–14, 551, 554, 557, 559; Thoresby Diary ed. Hunter, ii. 76; Stanhope, Reign of Anne, 495–6; Luttrell, vi. 720; Wake mss 17, f. 330.
  • 14. Foss, viii. 43; The Gen. n.s. vi. 24; Boyer, Pol. State, 1723, p. 464; PCC 240 Richmond.