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Friday, November 14, 2014

31. Sarah and Charles Montague their son Edward Montagu m. Elizabeth Robinson

Edward Montagu

Edward Montagu (1692–1776) was a wealthy English landowner, who owned numerous coal mines and had several rents and estates in Northumberland. He was the son of Hon. Charles Montagu and Sarah Rogers and the grandson of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich. He married Elizabeth Robinson (despite her seeing marriage as a rational and expedient convention rather than something done out of love) in 1742.

 At that date, she was twenty-two and he was fifty years old. The marriage was advantageous, but it was apparently not very passionate. All the same, she bore a son, John, the next year, and she loved her child immensely. When John died  unexpectedly in 1744, Elizabeth was devastated and, though the couple remained friendly throughout their remaining time together, there were no more children or pregnancies.      (Their memorial is in Winchester Cathedral)

 In 1745 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Beginning in 1750, he and Elizabeth established a routine where they would winter in London in Mayfair and then, in the spring, go to Sandleford Priory in Berkshire. 

He would then go on to Northumberland and Yorkshire to manage his holdings, while she would occasionally accompany him. In the late 1760s, he fell ill, and his wife took care of him, although she  resented giving up her freedom. 

He died on 20 May 1776, in his eighty-fourth year, bequeathing her all his wealth and property

Elizabeth Robinson

Painting by Alan Ramsay

Elizabeth Robinson was born on October 2 to Matthew Robinson and Elizabeth Drake Robinson
  • grandfather was Conyers Middleton, Cambridge intellectual  (step grandfather)
  • sister was Sarah Scott, writer

Conyers Middleton (27 December 1683 – 28 July 1750) was an English clergyman. Mired in controversy and disputes, and with a reputation as an unbeliever, he was also considered one of the best stylists in English of his time.

Although Middleton died childless, he married three times.
  • firstly, in 1710, to Sarah Drake, the widow of Counsellor Drake of Cambridge, and daughter of Mr. Morris of Oak Morris in Kent;
  • secondly, in 1734, to his cousin Mary, daughter of the Rev. Conyers Place of Dorchester, who died 26 April 1745, aged 38;
  • thirdly, at the end of his life, to Anne, daughter of John Powell of Boughrood, in Radnorshire, who had lived as a companion to Mrs. Trenchard, widow of John Trenchard, later married to Thomas Gordon.
Elizabeth Montagu was a granddaughter of Sarah Drake, and she spent much time as a child with the Middletons in Cambridge, as did her sister Sarah Scot

  • married Edward Montagu (1692-1775) in 1742
    • son of Hon. Charles Montagu and Sarah Rogers
    • grandson of 1st Earl of Sandwich
    • Mathematician and MP for Huntingdon (1734-68)
    • wealthy owner of Northumberland coal mines

    29 Hill Street Mayfair

     The history of Forsters’ building dates back to 1744 when it  was commissioned by Elizabeth Montagu,
     a celebrated London hostess who became known as ‘The Queen of the Bluestockings’.
     Although the building has been altered substantially since that time,  a number of architectural and decorative 
    features survive, including the painted ceiling by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart  in a former bedroom on the first floor,
     along with other features designed by Robert Adam. By the mid-eighteenth century Mayfair had become 
     the centre of fashionable life in London and Mrs Montagu declared her intention to make her new house
     ‘the central point of union for all the intellect and fashion of the metropolis’

    . It took four years to build and much care and money was lavished on its decoration
    • houses in London (Hill Street, then Portman Square), Berkshire (Sandleford), 
    • Newcastle (Denton Hall)
    • when Edward died, he left her heir to his businesses–worth about 7000 pounds/yr; 
    • when she died, she had increased their worth to about 10000 pounds/yr
    • famous for her intellectual salons and “bluestocking” gatherings
    • close, epistolary friendships with Margaret Cavendish Harley, Duchess of Portland; 
    • Elizabeth Carter; Frances Boscawen; William Friend; William Pulteney (Earl of Bath)
    • published several “dialogues of the dead” for George Lyttleton; “Essay on the Writings and 
    • Genius of Shakespear” (1769)
    Montague House

    The house was actually built twice, both times for the same man, Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu.
     The late 17th century was Bloomsbury's most fashionable era, and Montagu purchased a site which is now 
    in the heart of London but which then backed onto open fields (the Long Fields). His first house was 
    designed by the English architect and scientist Robert Hooke, an architect of moderate ability whose style 
    was influenced by French planning and Dutch detailing, and was built between 1675 and 1679.
     Admired by contemporaries, it had a central block and two service blocks flanking a large courtyard and featured 
    murals by the Italian artist Antonio Verrio. The French painter Jacques Rousseau also contributed wall paintings.[1]

    In 1686, the house was destroyed by fire


    The garden front of Montagu House.1715

    The house was rebuilt to the designs of an otherwise little known Frenchman called Pouget. 
    This Montagu House was by some margin the grandest private residence constructed in London in the last two
     decades of the 17th century. The main façade was of seventeen bays, with a slightly projecting three bay centre 
    and three bay ends, which abutted the service wings of the first mansion. The house was of two main storeys, plus 
    basement and a prominent mansard roof with a dome over the centre. The planning was in the usual French form
     of the time, with state apartments leading from a central saloon. The interiors, decorated by French artists, 
    were admired by Horace Walpole and were probably comparable to the surviving state apartments at
    Boughton House in Northamptonshire, which were built for the same patron at the same time.

    Elizabeth Montagu (2 October 1718 – 25 August 1800) was a British social reformer, patron
    of the arts, salonist, literary critic, and writer who helped organize and lead the bluestocking society.
    Her parents were both from wealthy families with strong ties to the British peerage and intellectual life.

    She married Edward Montagu, a wealthy man with extensive holdings, to become one of the
    wealthiest women of her era. She devoted this wealth to fostering English and Scottish
    literature and to the relief of the poor.

    .They had one son, John who was the joy of his parents.  Unfortunately he died around 
    16 months of age.

    The letters from the archives relate some moments of the child's life

    By May i, when Elizabeth writes to her mother, Mr.Montagu had returned to her,
     she and her sister meeting him at Highgate. Mention is made in this letter of
     Miss Brockman having become temporarily speechless from inoculation. Sarah returns
     to Mount Morris, and the last letter before Mrs. Montagu's confinement tells of 
    the purchase of a " magnifique Berceau " just in time, as 
    on May 1 1 Mrs. Montagu gave birth, at their house in Dover Street, to a fine boy, 
    to the infinite joy of Mr. Montagu and his sister, Mrs. Medows.
    A young farmer's wife, a Mrs. Kennet, living near Mount Morris, had been engaged 
    as a wet-nurse to the child. 
    On May 30 the Rev. William Freind, to whom Mr.Montagu had written to announce 
    the birth of his child, writes to congratulate him, and to say Mrs. Freind had 
    presented him with a daughter that morning. Mr. Montagu had promised to stand godfather
     if it was a boy,* but if a daughter Mrs. Montagu was to be godmother. 
    To this letter, on June 4,
     Mr. Montagu replied that his wife and child are doing well, and he says— 
    "The latter end of next week we intend for the baptism of our infant, and if you were here 
    should be prouder to have the ceremony performed by you than anybody else, for if j may
     judge from what has happened to the Father, j imagine it would be auspicious to the 
    Son. I am sure j ought never to forget the share you had in putting me in the possession 
    of the Mother,t in whom i find my every wish more than compleated. In less than a fortnight 
    we intend going to Sandleford,t and after that to go on the inoculation, which j hope 
    will have an happy event, which, if so, j cannot be too thankful to Providence." 
    He adds his desire for Mr. Freind and his family to visit them at Sandleford en route 
    home from Bath. 

    Sandleford Home by a painting

    On the one hand, nobody knows where the painting is. It was sold at Sotheby’s in 1979 into
     private hands somewhere in the United States, and the agent in the sale signed a confidentiality 
    agreement not to reveal the identity or whereabouts of the purchaser. 

    On the other hand, the family in the foreground are Edward and Elizabeth Montagu and Elizabeth’s
     sister Sarah Scott, painted by Edward Haytley on their estate at Sandleford priory in Berkshire
     some 30 miles west of London in 1744.

    This is very good news, since the Huntington Library collections include some 7,000 letters from
     Elizabeth Montagu to a network of correspondents all over Britain from the 1740s to the 1780s. 

    For the last few months, I have been gleaning through these letters to analyze the attitudes of the 
    Montagu family toward the landscape which surrounded their estate and the labor which was
     conducted upon it. The letters are extraordinarily revealing of Elizabeth Montagu’s paternalistic
     desire to act charitably toward her poor neighbors and employees, but they also reveal
     her frustration that her husband was so reluctant to improve the estate and transform surroundings
     which she thought dull and uninspiring into a manicured pleasure garden.

     Indeed, it was only when Edward Montagu died in 1775 that Elizabeth had free rein to 
    remodel the estate and to employ Capability Brown as the landscape designer for the 
    emparkment. The world depicted with such topographical accuracy in Haytleys’ painting 
    was destroyed forever.


    Their London home  Montagu House 

      Montagu House, elevation to Whitehall, looking north-east     

    Montagu House was the name of two mansions in Whitehall in Westminster, Central London, England.
    In 1731, John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, abandoned the existing grand Montagu House in the
     socially declining district of Bloomsbury, which was later to become the premises of the British Museum, 
    and purchased a site that had once been occupied by the Archbishops of York's London residence and had 
    later been part of the site of Whitehall Palace. He built himself a relatively modest mansion in the conventional
     style of the day, which can be seen in Canaletto's painting of Whitehall.

    VOL. I. h 
    146 MR. MONTAGU'S JOURNEY. [Ch. V.    This is written around 1743 prior to the birth of his son.

    Mr. Montagu was made guardian and manager to Mr. Rogers and his estate. Uneasy as he was 
    at leaving his wife in her present situation, he was obliged to go to Newcastle to see 
    into affairs. Sarah Robinson, who had gone home, was quickly summoned to return to her 
    sister, to which her parents rather unwillingly gave their consent. Mr. Montagu writes 
    each post, as often as he could, most affectionate letters to his wife ; as he rode 
    all the way, disliking a carriage, we see by his letters the time the journey took. 
    March 19, he writes from Nottingham, having been four days reaching there. He 
    says, " If j was mounted as j ought to be j could without much difficulty reach 
    AUerthorpe on Monday night, whereas j must now be content if j get there some time on 
    He bids her divert herself with her friends and acquaintances, and to send him good 
    accounts of her health, " as there is nothing under Heaven that is so 
    dear to me." 
    But no sooner had Mr. Montagu set out than the Duchess of Portland lost her youngest 
    daughter Frances, just two years old, from convulsions after whooping cough. She forbade
    Mrs. Montagu coming to see her at first, for fear of her grief affecting her in her
     present condition. Mrs. Donnellan and Mrs. Pendarves were with the duchess,
     and did all they could to solace her grief, which was intense. After a few days,
     however, the two friends met,  and had a sad meeting.  
    To return to Mr. Montagu's travels, he got to 
    AUerthorpe, where Mr. Carter joined him, and they proceeded to Newcastle, to Mr. Rogers' 
    house, where "three attorneys attended to take inventorys of the goods, schedules of the
     writings and bonds, and whatso- ever we found in the Secretoires etc. of the unhappy 
    gentleman, but more is owing to the dexterity and unintermitting diligence of Mr. Carter
     in the despatch we have made than to everything else put together. We have found Bonds 
    amounting to near ;^ 10,000 value." 
    A general oversight was arranged to be taken by Mr. Carter of the estates and tenants, 
    many of the latter being heavily in arrears in rents. It is characteristic of Mr. Montagu's 
    uprightness in business that, though not obliged to do so, he rendered to Sir James 
    Clavering, Mr. Rogers' uncle, a complete account of his estate, of which Sir James greatly
     approved, and regretted these steps were not taken ten years before. 
    A Mr. Grey was put in charge of Mr. Rogers. 
    Mr. Montagu and Mr. Carter commenced their journey home, the latter going to Darnton Fair
    en route. People rose early for business then. Mr. Montagu states Mr. Carter " sat up late 
    last night and rose this morning at 3, and set out at 6 for Bedale, where he will 
    be occupied all day." He adds, " He is unwearied, jnever knew his fellow. He has lived 
    three times as much as any other man no older than he, and has done three times as much 
    business and benefited many and hurt none. I wish j could say as much of those who 
    are in a rank of life infinitely superior to him," Truly this is a fine picture of a 
    righteous steward. 
    * This child was christened Elizabeth. She died young, 
    t Mr. Freind had married them. 
    % Mr. Montagu's seat near Newbury. 
     The reader will remember that Mrs. Montagu was peculiarly afraid of smallpox, but she 
    had determined, if once a mother, she would be inoculated, so that she should be able 
    to attend to her child if it ever had the disease, and to prevent separation from or 
    infection to it if she herself took the disease in the natural manner. 
    When her dread of it is recollected, it will appear a heroic deed on her part. 
    Her mother, Mrs. Robinson, was far from easy at the idea of the inoculation taking 
    place in the summer heat. 
    Meanwhile the little boy was christened John, though he soon acquired the nickname 
    of " Punch," their own familiar peep-show, as the fond parents deemed him, and is 
    only twice mentioned in the letters I have as my little "Jack." 
    In a letter of June 21, from the Duchess of Portland, who was at Welbeck with 
    Lady Oxford, she mentions — 
    "The Duke of Kingston* has been in the utmost danger, so great Doctor Hickman has
     refrained sleeping part of a night, not without the assistance of Barbecued Hog,
     Tokay, etc., etc., etc. to keep up his spirits, to enable him to go through the 
    immense fatigue of waking a few hours with his patron." She adds, " Thank God the
     children are all well. I hope your little man is so, my best wishes must ever
     attend the dear boy." 
    Mrs. Montagu went to recruit at Sandleford with Mr. Montagu, preparatory to removing the
     child and establishment there, as she writes to her sister Sarah, 
    who, with Mrs. Medows, is left in Dover Street in charge of the son and heir — 
    " I really long to have you here. I think I may say you never saw anything so pretty 
    as the view these, gardens command, for my part I would not change the situation for 
    any I ever  saw ; there is nothing in Nature pretty that they have not.
     The prospect is allegro, and as ' Mirth with thee I chose to 
    live,' I am glad it is of that kind, 'the loathed melancholy of Cerberus and 
    blackest midnight, born in Stygeian cave forlorn,' dare not appear in this little paradise. 
    There is a charming grove where your reveries may wander at pleasure, you may allegorize 
    like Spenser, or pastoralize like the lesser poets, there are roses and honeysuckles 
    hourly dropping to put you in mind 'how small a part of time they share, that are so 
    wondrous sweet and fair,' and this will whisper to you ' de coglier d'amor la rosa,' 
    indeed, my dear Sail, these pretty things are mere toys, as are all things in this world, 
    but a true friend. I am thankful for the benefits of fortune, and pleased with them, but 
    really attached only to the person who bestows them. 
    My benefactor bestows favours with more pleasure and more complaisance too, than most 
    people receive them with, and this gives the relish to favour, for as Ophelia 
    says, ' Gifts grow cheap when givers are unkind.' 
    "I hope the young plant thrives under your care. Pray write every post, and say all
     you can about the boy, for as insignificant as he seems in his swaddling cloaths, 
    it is more interesting to his parents to hear of  where he went, than to hear of all 
    the feats of Hercules girded in his Lion's skin." 
    Then she orders a dozen bibs to be made for the babe, of " fine damask, the pattern 
    of Lady Betty Bentinck's pinned to my embroidered quilted petticoat." 
    Sandleford Priory is two miles south of Newbury, Berks. It was originally founded by 
    Geoffry, 4th Earl of La Perche, and his wife Matilda of Saxony, between the 
    years 1193 and 1202, dedicated to St. Mary and St. John the Baptist, and placed under the 
    Austin Canons; but Mr. Money, in his " History of Newbury," states " the recluses of 
    Sandleford " are mentioned in the Pipe Roll of the 26th of Henry IL, 1180, so that a body
     of religious had existed there or near before the date of the building by the 
    Earl de la Perche.*
    In the reign of Edward IV., circ. 1480, a dispute arose between the Prior and the 
    Bishop of Salisbury, in whose diocese Sandleford lay ; in consequence of this dispute the
     monastery was for- saken, and the King, at the instance of the Bishop 
    (Richard Beauchamp), gave it to the Dean and Chapter of Windsor. In the 26th of
     Henry VIII. it was stated to be in their possession, valued at ;^io. 
    In the time of James I., 1615, Sandleford was declared to be a separate parish, and
     unratable from Newbury, but the chapel being dismantled and unfit for use, ;^8 a 
    year was ordered to be paid to the Rector of Newbury, which entitled the occupants of
     the Priory to a seat in the Newbury parish church, which has been continued 
    ever since. 
    The lessees from the Dean and Canons of Windsor appear, from a paper of my uncle.
     Lord Rokeby's, to have been, early in the eighteenth century, the Pitt Rivers of 
    Stratfieldsaye, by whom the lease was sold in 17 17 to William Cradock, Esq., after an 
    intermediate alienation. 
    The lease was purchased in 1730 by Mr. Edward Montagu, grandson of the ist Earl of Sandwich. 
    A letter of April, i733> of Mr. John Rogers to his aunt, the Hon. Mrs, Sarah Montagu, 
    at Sandleford, about the death of his mother, Mrs. Rogers, and her leaving
     her sister ;^io, and each of her three children a ring, is in my possession, 
    and shows she was then living or staying with her son Edward. 
    The chapel is erroneously stated in several works (vide Tanner, etc., etc.) to be destroyed. 
    It was disused, not destroyed, though the bells, seats, and the tomb of the crusading
     knight t had disappeared. 
    * His ancestor accompanied the Conqueror to England,t Probably Count Thomas de la Perche,
     son of the founder, as his father was buried at St. Denis Nogent. Thomas died in 1217.
     For a description of the tomb, etc., see note at the end of this book. 
    The following letter to the Duchess of Portland was written from Newbold Verdon, 
    Mr. James Montagu's seat in Leicestershire. He was the elder half-brother of Mr. Montagu
     by Mr. Charles Montagu's first wife, Elizabeth Forster, daughter of Sir James William 
    Forster, of Bamborough Castle, Northumberland. Newbold Verdon had been left to
     Mr. James Montagu by his uncle by marriage, Nathaniel, Baron Crewe of 
    Stene, who married Dorothy Forster. 
    ^ " Newbold Verdon, August 9, 1744. 
    " Madam, 
    " I did not set out on my journey so soon as we proposed ; the letter we sent to 
    my brother Montagu having made the tour of England before it reached him, so we
     waited for an answer. The 31st of July we set out for Oxford, where we spent an agreeable
     day in seeing new objects and old friends. The good people In a letter to the
     Duchess of Portland of August 19, Mrs. Montagu said her boy had borne the journey well, 
    and was " quite well." She intended to leave him in Mrs. Carter's care whilst she 
    accompanied Mr.Montagu to Newcastle, where the air was not healthy, and roads very bad. 
    Alas ! a few days after, poor little "Punch," in cutting another tooth, was taken with 
    convulsion fits and died. The exact date I am unaware of. 
    Lodge, in his " Peerage of Irish Peers," states he died on August 17, and was buried 
    at Burneston.tThe date of the day is wrong, as will be perceived by her letter
    to the duchess.
    My grandfather simply states he died of convulsion fits, occasioned by teething, no 
    date; but as Mrs. Freind wrote to condole with Mrs.Montagu on September 3, it must have
     happened soon after her letter to the duchess.
     As no parents, from their letters, could have adored an infant more than the 
    Montagus, it may be judged what a blow this was to them. Many sweet passages about this
     child have I suppressed from want of space. He seems to have been of a too precocious 
    nature in mind and body. He was so large he wore shoes big enough for a child of four. 
    He ran alone and talked, and mimicked people's manners and ways, and was only one year 
    and three months old! "Our little cherub," "our sweet angel," as his father constantly
    writes  of him. The noble way in which both his parents supported their anguish will be 
    seen by future extracts from letters. 
    Dr. Freind's fine letter of condolence to Mrs. Montagu is indorsed at the His body 
    was moved to Winchester Cathedral eventually, and is buried with his father
     and mother there, by her will in October, 1800. 

    In a letter from Newcastle of September i, Mr.Montagu, who with his steward,
     Mr. Carter, was regulating the business of his cousin, Mr. Rogers, mentions 
    Denton Hall * for the first time, which was eventually to become one of his residences. 
    " Yesterday Mr. Carter and I rid to Denton, which is about 3 miles from Newcastle.
     We first viewed the house which is a good deal worse than I thought, and  indeed 
    so bad that it would not be justifiable to lay out 
    any money upon it. The rooms on the second floor are pretty good, and served the 
    family when they went there, but if ever I should be so happy as to have your 
    company in these parts, if these should be thought fit I would hope it would be no
    difficult matter to find you some better accommodation. 
    This next week I propose to go to a Farm of Mr. R.'s at Jarrow, about ten miles 
    from Newcastle, and to Monk Seaton, where he has another. I never have yet been 
    at either of them." 
    Amongst his other property Mr. Rogers owned much in coal mines, some of them entirely
    his own, others in which, with the Claverings, Mr. Bowes, the Bishop of Durham, etc.,
    he owned a share. Mr. Montagu was employing a Mr. Newton to value these — a 
    complicated, unfair business. Owing to Mr. Rogers' lunacy, much advantage had been 
    taken by dishonest stewards and coal merchants, too long and complicated 
    for description in these pages. 
    On September 8 Mr. Montagu writes — 
    On Friday last I was at a farm one half whereof belongs to Mr. Rogers, the other 
    to Sir Thomas Clavering, called Jarrow, not far from Tynemouth, it is in the 
    parish where the Venerable Bede formerly practised. 
    Upon a Key this estate is obliged to contribute to for the repair of all the Ships
    that come to this port, they unload their ballast, which in length of time is 
    become an incredible heap. 
    This estate is let at £107 los. per ann. 
    To-morrow we go to Ravensworth, after which, when we shall have visited Seaton 
    and Rudchester, we shall have seen all Mr. R's territories." 
    In the next letter he says — 
    "North Seaton lies upon the sea, consists of very good land with coal under, 
    and has a key and a granary for corn and some quarrys of stone. 
    The other estate of Rudchester is that through which the Carlisle Road 
    is to pass, and which with all the clamour of the tenants will, as we think, be
    rather a benefit than hurt to the estate. It is thought to have a good deal of
    good coal in it, and but a very little way from the river Tyne, and will be very
     valuable if ever the river should be made navigable so high up as Mr. Carter thinks 
    it may be in twenty years' time." 
    Mr. Montagu also adds that he and Mr. Carter have discovered that Mr. Rogers
    owned two-thirds of a colliery at West Denton, of which they had not known.

    Montagu. Argent a fesse indented of three points and a border sable quartered 
    with Or an eagle vert.

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