MONTAGU, Lord Frederick (1774-1827), of Hinchingbrooke, Hunts.
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Family and Education
b. 8 Nov. 1774, 5th but 2nd surv. s. of George Montagu†, 4th Duke of Manchester, by Elizabeth, da. of Sir James Dashwood†, 2nd Bt., of Kirtlington, Oxon. educ. Harrow 1785-91; at home by Rev. Wrangham. unm.
Ensign, 1 Ft. Gds. 1791, lt. and capt. 1794; lt.-col. 29 Ft. 1797; ret. on half-pay 1803.
On coming of age, Lord Frederick was returned for the county on the family interest. He was expected to support administration. No votes of his are known in his first two Parliaments and no speeches can with any certainty be attributed to him. On 12 Mar. 1798 he wrote to Pitt asking him, if it was his intention to abolish the post of collector outwards of the port of London, to compensate the Duke of Manchester and himself, who had the reversion of it, as it was worth over £2,200 a year, plus patronage.1 On 3 Mar. 1801 his application for leave of absence to attend the assizes was put to the vote. He got it—the opposition does not seem to have been serious, for the Duchess of Devonshire learnt that ‘Hare voted against leave to Lord Frederick Montagu to go out of town because the lobby was too hot’.2
Montagu’s health was not good (he suffered from a lung complaint); in 1803 he gave up his military career and in 1806 his seat in Parliament.3 He had been listed Pittite in March 1804 and also in September (but deleted), and in July 1805 ‘nil’. He remained the only member of his family eligible to sit in Parliament, though according to Thomas Grenville, writing to his brother in 1814 while Lord Frederick was abroad, ‘he is said to have always refused to be in Parliament’. He would evidently have been sure of a seat if he had so desired.4
When he was returned for the county again in 1818, he was dragged from retirement at the pressing request of Liverpool’s ministry to preserve the county in their interest against a strong threat from the Whigs, who apparently objected less to him than to his colleague Fellowes.5 Montagu, who voted with the majority on the case of Wyndham Quin*, 29 Mar. 1819, nevertheless voted against administration twice, on the foreign enlistment bill, 10 and 21 June 1819. He could not be prevailed upon to face a contest in 1820, even to keep the seat warm for his nephew Lord Mandeville. He died 4 Oct. 1827. An obituary stated: ‘whilst he strenuously supported the interest of the agriculturalist, he as strenuously opposed every innovation both in church and state ... He was as conspicuous for the greatness of his mind, as for the elegance of his person ... he made no enemies and lost no friends.’6
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. VCH Hunts. ii. 47; PRO 30/8/160, f. 199.
- 2. CJ, lvi. 103; Chatsworth mss, Duchess of Devonshire jnl. 3 Mar. 1801.
- 3. HMC Fortescue, viii. 214; Fortescue mss, Grenville to Hardwicke, 3 July 1806; J. Wilson, Biog. Index (1806), 386.
- 4. HMC Fortescue, x. 387; Hunts RO, Manchester mss 21 a/8, Bedford to Montagu, 13 Jan. 1818.
- 5. Fitzwilliam mss, box 92, Wells to Milton, 18 June, Maltby to same, 29 June 1818; VCH Hunts. ii. 49.
- 6. Gent. Mag. (1827), ii. 462.