MONTAGU, Edward (1692-1775), of Sandleford, Berks. and Allerthorpe, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 13 Nov. 1692, 2nd s. of Hon. Charles Montagu, M.P., of Durham (5th s. of Edward Montagu, M.P., 1st Earl of Sandwich), being 1st s. by his 2nd w. Sarah, da. of John Rogers of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; bro. of James and John Montagu. educ. ?Eton 1706; Clare, Camb. 1710; L. Inn 1710. m. 5 Aug. 1742, Elizabeth, da. of Matthew Robinson of Edgeley and West Layton, Yorks., sis. of Matthew Robinson Morris, 2nd Baron Rokeby, 1s. d.v.p.
Edward Montagu, the husband of Elizabeth Montagu, the blue stocking, was a mathematician, interested in scientific pursuits, agriculture and estate management, but does not seem to have mixed much with his wife’s literary coterie. During the minority of his cousin, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, he stood as a Whig for the family borough of Huntingdon, ousting his relation, Edward Wortley.1 In Parliament he voted consistently against successive Administrations in all recorded divisions. At the 1741 election he was again returned after a contested election in which the young Earl of Sandwich, then in opposition, ‘exerted himself’ on his behalf ‘with great vigour and success’.2 He continued in opposition after Walpole’s fall, expressing the opinion that the proposal, in 1742, to take Hanoverian troops into British pay was to him ‘a worse thing than any ... attempted’ by Walpole and that ‘England is become a province to Hanover’. In a letter of 3 Dec. 1743 he describes himself as ‘one who loves Great Britain and is more concerned for his country than the fatal Elector of Hanover’.3 Before the general election of 1747 Sandwich, now a member of the Government, wrote to the Duke of Newcastle from The Hague:
I have obligations to Mr. Montagu, the present Member for Huntingdon, that will put me under great difficulties how to set him aside without subjecting myself to his reproach ... However, if I am upon the spot, I don’t at all doubt but that I can make him easy, and name anyone I please in his room that will cut the same part in public matters that I shall, which he never can be brought to do, since, though he is a very honest man, he will always be an opposer of all Administrations.4
Sandwich also wrote to Pelham and to the Duke of Bedford in the same strain.5 In the end Montagu was again returned by Sandwich, who even paid £500 of his election expenses, but he continued to be classed as ‘against’ by Newcastle. From a letter to his wife on 30 June 1747, the day after the poll, it is clear that he had no idea of Sandwich’s real feelings towards him.6
He died to May 1775.