MONTAGU, Hon. William (c.1618-1706), of 34 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Mdx. and Little Oakley, Northants.

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



Apr. 1640
22 June 1660 - 1661
1661 - 12 Apr. 1676
8 Oct. 1690 - 1695

Family and Education

b. c.1618, 2nd s. of Edward Montagu†, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton by his 2nd w. Frances, da. of Thomas Cotton† of Conington, Hunts.; bro. of Edward Montagu†.  educ. Oundle; Sidney Sussex, Camb. adm. 13 Apr. 1632, aged 13; M. Temple 1635, called 1642, bencher 1662.  m. (1) 18 June 1646, Elizabeth (d. 1647), da. of Ralph Fremen of Aspenden, Herts., s.p.; (2) 7 Dec. 1651, Mary (d. 1700), da. of Sir John Aubrey, 1st Bt., of Llantrithyd, Glam., sis. of Sir John Aubrey, 2nd Bt.*, 2s. d.v.p. 1da.1

Offices Held

Commr. oyer and terminer, Midland circuit July 1660; sewers, Lincs. Aug. 1660, enclosures Deeping Fen 1665, recusants Lincs. 1675; freeman, Stamford 1661.2

Attorney-gen. to the Queen 1662–76; KC 1670; c. baron of the Exchequer 12 Apr. 1676–86; serjeant-at-law 1686–d.


Montagu had a long and active career as a Court supporter under Charles II, and had acted as a judge at the trial of Lord Russell (William†) after the Rye House Plot. He was returned unopposed for Amersham at a by-election in 1690 on the Drake interest, then in the hands of his daughter, the widow of the recently deceased Sir William Drake*. The only legislative matter mentioned in the Journals which can definitely be attributed to ‘Mr Serjeant’ Montagu was a bill for the more easy recovery of small tithes, which, on 11 Oct. 1690, he and others were ordered to prepare. In December 1690, the Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) included his name among a list of supporters, probably in connexion with an attack in the Commons upon his ministerial position. His name is marked with a ‘d’ on Robert Harley’s* list of April 1691. On 18 Jan. 1692 he spoke in committee of the whole on supply in favour of a tax on the profits of office over £500 p.a. which had been suggested by Admiral Russell (Edward*) on 12 Dec.3

Montagu never stood again, and died on 26 or 27 Aug. 1706. The major beneficiary of his will was his daughter, Lady Drake, who had subsequently married Samuel Trotman*, although some of its provisions gave rise to legal suits which reached the House of Lords.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley


  • 1. Survey of London, iii. 37; Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 137–8; Bridges, Northants., ii. 329.
  • 2. The Reliquary, xvii. 202.
  • 3. Luttrell Diary, 136.
  • 4. Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700–15, p. 122; PCC 197 Eedes; HMC Lords, n.s. x. 247–8.