MONTAGU, Edward II (1649-90), of Horton, Northants. and Channel Row, Westminster.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Sept. 1649, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Hon. George Montagu and bro. of Charles Montagu, Irby Montagu† and James Montagu†. educ. Padua 1667. m. by 1680, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Pelham, 3rd Bt., of Halland, Laughton, Suss., 2s. 5da. suc. fa. 1681.1
Gent. of the privy chamber 1671-85; commr. for preventing the export of wool 1689-d.2
Commr. for assessment, Northants. 1673-9, Westminster 1689, Glos., Lincs., Mdx. and Northants. 1689-90; dep. lt. Northants. 1687-?d., j.p. 1689-d.3
Of Sir John Pelham’s two unprepossessing sons-in-law, Montagu, in the judgment of the dowager Countess of Sunderland, was by far the uglier; yet ‘his wife kisses him all day and calls him her pretty dear’. It was his father-in-law who found him a seat at Seaford in 1681. A trimmer in politics, he left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. In 1685 he stood successfully in conjunction with Edward Harby against the court candidates in Northamptonshire, for which he was severely but ineffectually rebuked by his kinsman Lord Sunderland. Listed among the Opposition by Danby, he was named to the committee of elections and privileges in James II’s Parliament and may have been moderately active, with three committees in all. No doubt he owed his appointment as deputy lieutenant in 1687 to his good relations with Harby and the nonconformists; but when William of Orange landed he took up arms for the Revolution, at the personal cost, he alleged, of £2,000.4
Montagu was returned unopposed to the Convention, in which he was probably inactive. According to Anthony Rowe he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and he spoke in defence of the non-juror (Sir) Henry Monson. He was appointed by full name to seven committees, including those to seek permission to inspect the Privy Council records, and to inquire into the responsibility for the appointment of Commissary Shales. He was also named to the committee on the state of the revenue in the second session, and helped to consider the private bill promoted by his cousin, Sidney Wortley Montagu. He was teller against a Whig amendment to the bill for restoring corporations. On doctor’s orders he did not contest the general election of 1690. Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile) recommended him as one of the three commissioners of the privy seal. When the King substituted the name of Sir William Pulteney, Montagu had an apoplectic fit and died a few weeks later. He was buried in St. Katharine’s by the Tower on 27 Feb. 1690. His son George sat for Northampton for ten years as a Whig before succeeding as 2nd Baron Halifax in 1715.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: E. R. Edwards / Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 140; Bridges, Northants. i. 368; Pepys Diary, 17 Jan. 1662.
- 2. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 188.
- 3. Northants. RO, FH 2226.
- 4. Sidney Diary, i. 251; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 116; Add. 33923, ff. 469-73; Grey, ix. 293.
- 5. CJ, x. 329; St. Katharine’s by the Tower (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxxx), 17.