MONTAGU, Edward (1692-1775), of Sandleford, Berks. and Allerthorpe, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 13 Nov. 1692, 1st s. of Hon. Charles Montagu, M.P. (5th s. of Edward, 1st Earl of Sandwich) by his 2nd w. Sarah, da. of John Rogers of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. educ. ?Eton 1706; Clare, Camb. 1710; L. Inn 1710. m. 5 Aug. 1742, Elizabeth, da. of Matthew Robinson of West Layton, Yorks. and Mount Morris, Kent, sis. of Matthew Robinson Morris, 1s. d.v.p.
Edward Montagu was a distinguished mathematician. He was interested in scientific pursuits, agriculture, and estate management, but does not seem to have mixed much with his wife’s literary coterie.
When in October 1761 Newcastle asked Sandwich to secure the attendance of his friends at the opening of Parliament, he replied, 22 Oct.: ‘As to my cousin Mr. Montagu, I much fear he never will (as he never yet has) give his countenance to any Administration’1—which sums up Montagu’s parliamentary career. When after the accession of George III Mrs Montagu asked her husband, then in the country, if she might go to court, he replied:2
The principal reason of my absenting myself ever since I was Member of Parliament was that I did not concur in the measures that were then taking, and the principal members in the Opposition thought they had no business at St. James’s ... If I should be still so unhappy as out of dislike for the present measures not to alter my way of acting, and not to appear at court, would it be proper for you to be attendant? ... I have for many years lived in a state of independency, though I may truly call it of proscription, so far as those could make it to those who thought not and acted not with them whose politics they thought endangered the liberties and good of their country. Am I to alter now, or maintain the same conduct I hitherto have done?
In the Parliament of 1761-8 his attendance seems to have been poor—his wife reported by letter to him some of the crucial debates of this period. In Bute’s list of December 1761 he was described as a Tory—he resembled them in type though he did not associate with them. In Jenkinson’s division list on general warrants, 18 Feb. 1764, he was named among ‘Absent Friends’. On 27 Feb. 1767 he voted with Opposition for the reduction of the land tax. In 1768 he declined re-election ‘on account of his age’.3
At the time of his marriage he owned estates in Berkshire and Yorkshire, and a house in Dover Street. In 1758 he inherited the Denton Hall estates, Northumberland, with rich coal-mines, from his cousin Roger. He died 20 May 1775, leaving his widow about £7,000 per annum.