MONTAGU, James III (c.1687-1748), of Belford, Northumb.
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Family and Education
b. c.1687, 1st s. of Hon. Charles Montagu* by 1st w.; half-bro. of Edward† and John Montagu†. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. adm. 28 June 1702, aged 14; ?Padua Univ. 1711. m. (1) Mary (d. aft. 1726), s.p.; (2) lic. 5 Apr. 1736, Penelope, da. of George Hewett of Stretton and Great Glen, Leics., wid. of Sir William Chester, 5th Bt., of Chicheley, Bucks., s.p. suc. fa. 1721, gt.-uncle Nathaniel, Baron Crew of Stene, bp. of Durham, at Newbold Verdon, Leics. 1721.1
A grandson of Edward Montagu†, 1st Earl of Sandwich, Montagu was returned for Chippenham in 1708, presumably with the support of his kinsman James Montagu II*. Classed as a Whig, he voted for the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709 and for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. He spoke during the debate on the supply bill on 10 Dec. 1710, moving for only 5 per cent interest for money lent on the land tax. During his father’s lifetime he took an active part in the coal industry, becoming in 1708 a member of the cartel which controlled the trade in the north-east. In 1712 Henry Liddell* described him as ‘the greatest owner in our day’.2
After inheriting Newbold Verdon in 1721 Montagu consolidated his various properties. In 1726 he sold lands, tithes and his share of the manors of Spindleton and Budle, Northumberland, for £7,500, while the Belford estate, inherited from his father, was sold for £12,000. Little has been ascertained of his last years. Without an heir, he made his will on 26 Feb. 1745, bequeathing his estate and goods to his cousin Edward Wortley Montagu*, £1,000 to his brother Edward and £400 as dole for the poor of Newbold and to rebuild the church and parsonage there. He died on 30 Oct. 1748.3