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Sunday, November 23, 2014

35. Elizabeth Montague The authoress "The Queen of the Blue Stockings" with an elite group of friends and John Rogers' money

Finally, the trail of another family fortune, now we know why we all have to work for our keep!
Beginning in 1750, she and Edward established a routine where they would winter in London in Mayfair and then, in the spring, go to Sandleford in Berkshire. He would then go on to Northumberland and Yorkshire to manage his holdings, while she would occasionally accompany him to the family manor-house at East Denton Hall, a clean-lined mansion of 1622 on the West Road in Newcastle upon Tyne.
She was a shrewd businesswoman, despite affecting to patronise Northumbrian society for its practical conversation. Though acting as Lady Bountiful to her miners and their families, she was pleased at how cheap this could be.
 She was also glad to note that: 'Our pitmen are afraid of being turned off and that fear keeps an order and regularity amongst them that is very uncommon.' Elizabeth enjoyed hearing the miners singing in the pit, but found, alas, that their dialect was 'dreadful to the auditors' nerves.'
Horace Walpole wrote to George Montagu in 1768: 'Our best sun is Newcastle coal.'

In London, Elizabeth began to be a celebrated hostess. She organized literary breakfasts with Gilbert West, George Lyttelton, and others.
By 1760, these had turned to evening entertainments with large assemblies. Card playing and strong drink were forbidden from these convocations, which were now known as blue stocking events.
The Blue Stockings Society was an informal women's social and educational movement in England in the mid-18th century. The society emphasized education and mutual co-operation rather
than the individualism which marked the French version.
The Society was founded in the early 1750s by Elizabeth Montagu, Elizabeth Vesey and others as 
a women's literary discussion group, a revolutionary step away from traditional, 
non-intellectual, women's activities. They invited various people to attend, including botanist, 
translator and publisher Benjamin Stillingfleet. 
One story tells that Stillingfleet was not rich enough to have the proper formal dress, which
included black silk stockings, so he attended in everyday blue worsted stockings. The term came
to refer to the informal quality of the gatherings and the emphasis on conversation over fashion.
By 1770, her home on Hill Street had become the premiere salon in London. Samuel Johnson,
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Edmund Burke, David Garrick, and Horace Walpole were all in the circle.
For writers, being introduced there meant patronage, and Montagu patronized a number of authors, including Elizabeth Carter, Hannah More, Frances Burney, Anna Barbauld, Sarah Fielding, Hester Chapone, James Beattie, and Anna Williams. Samuel Johnson's hostess, Hester Thrale, was also an occasional visitor to Hill Street.
Another of her guests was Frances Boscowan.
Among the blue stockings, Elizabeth Montagu was not the dominant personality, but she was the woman of greatest means, and it was her house, purse, and power that made the society possible.
As a literary critic, she was a fan of Samuel Richardson, both Fieldings (Henry Fielding and Sarah Fielding), and Fanny Burney, and she was pleased to discover that Laurence Sterne was a distant relation.
 She was related to Laurence Sterne through the Botham family. Sterne entrusted her with the disposition of his papers upon his departure for France. He was in ill health and the prospect of his dying abroad was real.
She was a supporter of Bishop Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
She also held similar events at her residence in the centre house of the Royal Crescent in Bath.
Horace Walpole's name has been mentioned so many times, he seems to be part of the stories of most of the ancestors of that period.
Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797) was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician.
He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors, and for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. Along with the book, his literary reputation rests on his Letters, which are of significant social and political interest.
He was the son of the first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, a cousin to Admiral Lord Nelson's grandmother, and was equally known as Horace Walpole. As he was childless, his barony descended to his cousin of the same surname, who was created the new Earl of Orford.
Walpole was born in London, the youngest son of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole and his wife Catherine. Like his father, he received early education in Bexley he was also educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.
Walpole's first friends were probably his cousins Francis and Henry Conway, to whom Walpole became strongly attached, especially Henry. At Eton he formed with Charles Lyttelton and George Montagu the "Triumvirate", a schoolboy confederacy.
More important were another group of friends dubbed the "Quadruple Alliance": Walpole, Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton.
At Cambridge Walpole came under the influence of Conyers Middleton*, an unorthodox theologian. Walpole came to accept the sceptical nature of Middleton's attitude to some essential Christian doctrines for the rest of his life, including a hatred of superstition and bigotry.Walpole ceased to reside at Cambridge at the end of 1738 and left without taking a degree.  
*Grandfather of Elizabeth Robinson nee Montagu)
In 1737 Walpole's mother died. According to one biographer his love for his mother "was the most powerful emotion of his entire life...the whole of his psychological history was dominated by it".
Walpole did not have any serious relationships with women; he has been called "a natural celibate".Walpole's sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation.
 He never married, engaging in a succession of unconsummated flirtations with unmarriageable women, and counted among his close friends a number of women such as Anne Seymour Damer and Mary Berry named by a number of sources as lesbian.
Many contemporaries described him as effeminate (one political opponent called him "a hermaphrodite horse").Biographers such as Mowl explore his possible homosexuality, including a passionate but ultimately unhappy love affair with the 9th Earl of Lincoln. Some previous biographers such as Lewis, Fothergill, and Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, however, have interpreted Walpole as asexual.
Walpole's father secured for him three sinecures which afforded him an income: in 1737 he was appointed Inspector of the Imports and Exports in the Custom House, which he resigned to become Usher of the Exchequer, which gave him at first £3900 per annum but this increased over the years.
Upon coming of age he became Comptroller of the Pipe and Clerk of the Estreats which gave him an income of £300 per annum.
Walpole decided to go travelling with Thomas Gray and wrote a will whereby he left Gray all his belongings. In 1744 Walpole wrote in a letter to Conway that these offices gave him nearly £2,000 per annum; after 1745 when he was appointed Collectorship of Customs, his total income from these offices was around £3,400 per annum.
Thomas Grey
Walpole went on the Grand Tour with Gray, but as Walpole recalled in later life: "We had not got to Calais before Gray was dissatisfied, for I was a boy, and he, though infinitely more a man, was not enough to make allowances".
They left Dover on 29 March and arrived at Calais later that day. They then travelled through Boulogne, Amiens and Saint-Denis, arriving at Paris on 4 April. Here they met many aristocratic Englishmen.
 In early June they left Paris for Rheims, then in September going to Dijon, Lyons, Dauphiné, Savoy, Aix-les-Bains, Geneva, and then back to Lyons.
In October they left for Italy, arriving in Turin in November, then going to Genoa, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio, Modena, Bologna, and in December arriving at Florence.
Here he struck up a friendship with Horace Mann, an assistant to the British Minister at the Court of Tuscany and wrote Epistle from Florence to Thomas Ashton, Esq., Tutor to the Earl of Plymouth, a mixture of Whig history and Middleton's teachings.
 In February 1740 Walpole and Gray left for Rome with the intention of witnessing the papal conclave upon the death of Pope Clement XII (which they never did see). At social occasions in Rome he saw the Old Pretender James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Stuart, although there is no record of them conversing.
Walpole and Gray returned to Florence in July. However, Gray disliked the idleness of Florence as compared to the educational pursuits in Rome, and an animosity grew between them, eventually leading to an end to their friendship.
 On their way back to England they had a furious argument, although it is unknown what it was about. Gray went to Venice, leaving Walpole at Reggio. In later life Walpole admitted that the fault lay primarily with himself: "I was too young, too fond of my own diversions, nay, I do not doubt, too much intoxicated by indulgence, vanity, and the insolence of my situation, as a Prime Minister's son, not to have been inattentive and insensible to the feelings of one I thought below me; of one, I blush to say it, that I knew was obliged to me; of one whom presumption and folly perhaps made me deem not my superior then in parts, though I have since felt my infinite inferiority to him".
Walpole then visited Venice, Genoa, Antibes, Toulon, Marseilles, Aix, Montpellier, Toulouse, Orléans and Paris. He returned to England on 12 September 1741, reaching London on the 14th.
At the 1741 general election Walpole was elected Whig Member of Parliament for Callington, Cornwall. He held this seat for thirteen years, although he never visited Callington.
Walpole entered Parliament shortly before his father's fall from power: in December 1741 the Opposition won its first majority vote in the Commons for twenty years.
In January 1742 Walpole's government was still struggling in Parliament although by the end of the month Horace and other family members had successfully urged the Prime Minister to resign after a parliamentary defeat.
Walpole delivered his maiden speech on 19 March against the successful motion that a Secret Committee be set up to enquire into Sir Robert Walpole's last ten years as Prime Minister. For the next three years Walpole spent most of his time with his father at his country house Houghton Hall in Norfolk.
His father died in 1745 and left Walpole the remainder of the lease of his house in Arlington Street, London; £5,000 in cash; and the office of Collector of the Customs (worth £1,000 per annum). However he had died in debt, the total of which was in between £40,000 and £50,000.
In late 1745 Walpole and Gray resumed their friendship.
Also that year the Jacobite Rising began. The position of Walpole was the fruit of his father's support for the Hanoverian dynasty and he knew he was in danger, saying: "Now comes the Pretender's boy, and promises all my comfortable apartments in the Exchequer and Custom House to some forlorn Irish peer, who chooses to remove his pride and poverty out of some large old unfurnished gallery at St. Germain's. 
Portrait of George Montagu by John Giles Eccardt after Jean-Baptiste van Loo (c. 1713–1780) Peterborough Museum 
and Art Gallery A close friend and correspondent of Horace Walpole
Why really, Mr. Montagu, this is not pleasant! I shall wonderfully dislike being a loyal sufferer in a threadbare coat, and shivering in an antechamber at Hanover, or reduced to teach Latin and English to the young princes at Copenhagen".
In the 18th Century
His home Strawberry Hills Twickinham
He must have fitted in well with the general group of male friends which seemed to form part
of this group!

Another good friend of half the ladies of the time was William Pultney, Lord Bath.  
Good friend of Augustus Hervey's mother, and of Elizabeth Whortley Montagu. and of Elizabeth
In fact he and Elizabeth Montague, (this one) wrote pretty flirtatious letter to each, one could
suggest they were rather close!  
Another gentleman of fine character, attractive to the ladies!

Looks like he spent some time in Turkey!

Whatever the relationship, he joined Elizabeth and Edward on a grand tour to the town of Spa in Leige in Belgium.  At the time his only son had died and he was in considerable grief.

Spas are called "spas" after a town in the province of Leige, called, you guessed it, "Spa". 

The town of Spa has been known for its healing waters since the 17th century. (the term spa has roots in the Latin words "espa" meaning "fountain" and "sparsa" meaning "bubble up")
Spa (French pronunciation: ​[spa]) is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liège. It is situated in a valley in the Ardennes mountain chain, some 35 km (22 mi) southeast of Liège, and 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Aachen.

William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath, PC (22 March 1684 – 7 July 1764) was an English
politician, a Whig, created the first Earl of Bath in 1742 by King George II; he is
sometimes stated to have been Prime Minister, for the shortest term ever (two days),
though most modern sources reckon that he cannot be considered to have held the office.

In fact he died suddenly drinking tea in the hot English sun, in the company of Lady Hervey.  Elizabeth meanwhile, was waiting for his visit.

Bluestocking work and writing

First page of a draft manuscript of An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear, 1769
In 1760, George Lyttleton encouraged her to write Dialogues of the Dead, and she contributed three sections to the work, anonymously (her authorship of these is testified to elsewhere). It is a series of conversations between the living and the illustrious dead and works as a satire of 18th century vanity and manners. In 1769, she published An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear.
 In it, she proclaims William Shakespeare the greatest English poet and, in fact, the greatest poet of any nation. She also attacks Samuel Johnson's Preface to Shakespeare from 1765 for not having gone on to praise Shakespeare's plays enough. While Johnson had dealt with text, history, and the circumstances of editing, Montagu wrote instead about the characters, plots, and beauties of the verse in Shakespeare and saw in him a championing of all things inherently English.
When the book was initially published anonymously, it was thought to be by Joseph Warton, but by 1777 her name appeared on the title page. Johnson, for his part, was estranged from Montagu at this point.
In the late 1760s, Edward Montagu fell ill, and Elizabeth took care of him, although she resented giving up her freedom. He died in 1775.
 In 1776, she adopted her nephew, the orphan of her brother. Matthew Robinson, the child, kept his family name, but he was named Elizabeth's heir. At that point, the coal and land holdings Montagu passed on to Elizabeth accounted for an income of £ 7,000 a year.
She managed her wealth and estates well, and by her death her coal income was worth 10,000 pounds a year.
In 1777, she began work on Montagu House in Portman Square in London, moving in in 1781, on land leased for 99 years. She also expanded Sandleford's Montagu House in the 1780s, and she got Capability Brown to design its gardens.
She died in Montagu House in London on 25 August 1800 and left all of her money to Matthew Robinson, her nephew.
So there goes another fortune!
Baron Rokeby, of Armagh in the County of Armagh, was a title in the Peerage of Ireland.
It was created in 1777 for the Most Reverend Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh, with remainder to his brothers and his father's second cousin Matthew Robinson and the heirs
male of their bodies. In 1785 he also succeeded his elder brother as 3rd Baronet according to a 
special remainder
Lord Rokeby never married and was succeeded in the barony and baronetcy according to the special
remainders in the letters patent by his third cousin Matthew Robinson-Morris, the second Baron
and fourth Baronet.
He was the son of Matthew Robinson (by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drake and his wife
Sarah, daughter of Thomas Morris, of Mount Morris), son of Thomas Robinson, son of Sir Leonard
Robinson, brother of William Robinson, great-grandfather of the first Robinson Baronet (see below)and the first Baron Rokeby. The second Baron was an academic, politician and eccentric.
Born Matthew Robinson, he assumed by Royal license the additional surname of Morris in 1746
on succeeding to the Mount Norris estate through his mother.
He never married and was succeeded by his nephew Matthew Robinson, the third Baron.
He was the elder son of Morris Robinson.
The third Baron sat as Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge.
He never married and on his death the titles passed to his younger brother Matthew Montagu,
the fourth Baron. Born Matthew Robinson, he assumed the surname of Montagu in lieu of his
patronymic in 1776 on succeeding to the estates of his uncle Edward Montagu.
Lord Rokeby represented several constituencies in Parliament.
His younger son, the sixth Baron (who succeeded his elder brother), was a General in the British
Army. Lord Rokeby had no surviving male issue and on his death in 1883 the barony and baronetcy became extinct.
Elizabeth Montagu, sister of the second Baron, was a social reformer, patron of the arts, hostess literary critic and writer. Sarah Scott, another sister of the second Baron, was a novelist, 
translator and social reformer.
Matthew Montagu (aka Matthew Robinson) (1762–1831) was a British Member of Parliament and Peer of the Realm.
Montagu was born Matthew Robinson, the son of Morris Robinson of the Six Clerks' Office, Chancery Lane and nephew of Matthew Robinson, 2nd Baron Rokeby.
He changed his named to Montagu upon inheriting the estate of his paternal aunt,
Elizabeth Montagu, at Sandleford Priory in Berkshire in 1776. He represented the
Cornish constituencies of Bossiney (1786–90), Tregony (1790–95) and St Germans (1806–12) in
the British Parliament and succeeded his brother as 4th Baron Rokeby in 1829.
Robinson home
Elizabeth's sister Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott (née Robinson) (21 September 1720 – 3 November 1795)was an English novelist, translator, and social reformer. 
Her father,Matthew Robinson, and her mother, Elizabeth Drake, were both from distinguished families, and Sarah was one of nine children who 
survived to adulthood. 
Although born in Yorkshire, Sarah and the other children spent a 
great deal of time in Cambridge, England and at Cambridge University.
Although all but one of Sarah's brothers would go on to a highly 
accomplished career, the most important figure in her family life 
was her elder sister,Elizabeth (who would become Elizabeth Montagu). 
Throughout her life, Sarah was close to both of her sisters, 
but especially Elizabeth.
Sarah was well educated, and she was very interested in literature 
and politics. In 1741, Sarah contracted smallpox.
David Shuttleton notes that "Scott's pronounced concern [with deformity] ... was motivated by her own experience of being left marked by a severe bout of smallpox contracted in
April 1741 when she was eighteen; a trauma which had played a key role in redirecting 
her away from emulating the social success of her equally beautiful sister Elizabeth (Robinson), towards a life dedicated to writing, domestic female friendship and Christian
Her sister Elizabeth, after becoming friend to Lady Margaret Harley and being introduced 
to the highest circles of London life, married Edward Montagu.
Sarah then moved back home to tend to her mother, who was dying of cancer. 
When Sarah's mother died in 1746, she went with Elizabeth to Bath for a visit. 
There she met her future longtime companion, Lady Barbara Montagu. 
In 1748, the two women pooled their finances and took a house together.
When Sarah was twenty, she contracted to marry George Lewis Scott, a friend of the family's 
from Canterbury who was twelve years older than Sarah. He had no profession or private income,
however, and Sarah's dowry amounted to only fifteen hundred pounds, so before the two could wed, 
Sarah, through her friend "Lady Bab" and sister, secured Scott a position as a sub-preceptor 
to George, Prince of Wales (later King George III). Prince George had lately succeeded his father,Frederick, upon Frederick's death in March 1751.
According to Barbara Schnorrenberg, Sarah lived with her sister, Elizabeth, and was treated as
a servant, and this is why she was willing to make an unsuitable and undesired marriage. 
Sarah and George Lewis Scott were married in June 1751. The marriage, according to family letters, was never consummated and in April 1752 something happened that brought both
Sarah's father and brothers to come to London to remove her from her husband's house. 
When she was no longer with her husband, she was her father's charge, and he gave her no money at all. Further, he forbade Elizabeth or Sarah's brother Matthew from relieving Sarah's poverty. George Lewis Scott agreed to pay her a settlement of a hundred pounds a year.
Barbara Montagu was the daughter of George Montague and Lady Mary Lumley
George was the son of Henry Montagu 1622 the brother of Charles father Admiral Sir Edward
Charles and George were cousins   Barbara was his second cousin!
Charles Montagu was the brother of Sidney Montagu  Who married Mary Pierpoint
and drank a good quantity of ale ; being asthmatic, this was reckoned to be the cause of his death." 
It will be remembered that Mrs. Montagu was always opposed to her sister Sarah's marriage 
to George Lewis Scott.

 Unfortunately, her fears as to their felicity were prophetic, for in April, 1752, after 
only a year's matrimony, they separated ; incompatibility of temper was alleged, but from the
 letters there was evidently much more below the surface. Mrs. Delany, writing in April to her
 sister, Mrs. D'Ewes, says— 
" What a foolish match Mrs. Scott has made for her- self. Mrs. Montagu wrote Mrs. Donnellan
 word that she and the rest of her friends had rescued her out of the hands of a very bad man 
 but for reasons of interest, they should conceal his misbehaviour as much as possible, but
 entreated Mrs. Donnellan would vindicate her Sister’s character whenever she heard it attacked, 
for she was very innocent." 
Sarah was only twenty-nine. Her father and brothers separated her from Mr. Scott, as is shown in
his own letters to Mr. Montagu, who had been his original friend. 

He acknowledged "that Mrs. Montagu knew nothing of the separation till it was communicated 
to her ; " in truth she was at Hayes at the time. Her letters indicate the enmity and rancour of agreat lady whose name was kept behind the scenes. Mr. Scott wrote two letters to Mr. Montagu, 
dated April 29 and May i, but both are so involved and mysterious as to shed no real light on his
Meanwhile, Mrs. Montagu received Mrs. Scott at Hayes, and in a letter to her husband, whom she waspreparing to join in London, says Morris was urging Mrs. Scott to go to Albury. 

Sarah and Lady Barbara Montagu settled in Bath, where they lived frugally and became active 
in helping the poor, and especially poor women. They began a project of creating cottage 
industries for poor and disgraced women, and they began attempting to educate the poor in 1754.
Sarah Scott had written her first novel the year before her marriage, in 1750: 
The History of Cornelia. It was a portrait of an ideal and pious young woman.
In 1754, she attempted to generate an income by translation and wrote An Agreeable Ugliness based on an exaggeratedly moralistic French source. The same year, she also wrote A Journey through 
every Stage of Life, which is an Arabian Nights-styled series of tales told by a young serving 
girl to a displaced princess.
In 1760, with the accession of George III, she wrote a political work about Gustav I of Sweden,
The History of Gustavus Ericson, King of Sweden, picking up on the theme of the patriot king. She also wrote The History of Mecklenburg, from the First Settlement of the Vandals in that Country tothe Present Time the next year, to capitalise on the public's interest in George III's wife, 
In 1762, Scott published her novel, A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent (her spelling). It went through four editions, and interest in it as a feminist text has revived
in the 21st century.

Later life

In 1763, Lady Barbara Montagu gained a pension of three hundred pounds.
This eased the couple's finances sufficiently that Sarah Scott would not need to write again whileshe lived. Lady Barbara died in 1765, and Sarah Scott wrote The History of Sir George Ellison
in 1766. The novel was, again, utopian, but it was derivative of Richardson's Sir Charles
The next year, she attempted to create a real Millennium Hall in Buckinghamshire. She invited
Sarah Fielding, among others, to come live with her. Elizabeth Montagu donated livestock, land,
and staff. However, the project fell through in a couple of months.
In 1772, she responded to emerging populism with The Life of Theodore Aggrippa d'Aubigne, which 
was a life of a Protestant who fought against both mob rule and the absolute monarchy of the king.
She also wrote, that year, The test of filial duty, in a series of letters between
Miss Emilia Leonard, and Miss Charlotte Arlington, which was an epistolary novel addressing 
the rights of a daughter to choose her husband. It was also a partial response or imitation
of Tobias Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1770).
In 1775, Edward Montagu, Elizabeth's husband, died. Elizabeth then gave Sarah two hundred pounds
a year. In 1778, Sarah's father died, which gave her more money.
Thus, she produced no more published works.
She had suffered from migraines throughout her life. On 11 November 1795, she died in Catton.
By that point, she was largely forgotten.
Scott frequently expressed her love for Lady Barbara Montagu, and she cited the refusal of
her husband to have Lady Barbara in the house as a reason for the couple's estrangement. 
At the same time, Scott's novels avoid any consideration of heterosexual eroticism in any form. 
However, Scott's works are also unrelentingly pious.
Scott's female characters are not "liberated" in the conventional sense of the term. 
They are entirely subjugated in their emancipation,for they exchange powerlessness at the hands of men for a sense of duty, both religious and social, that removes any sense of egoism.

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