13 Annotations

First Reading

Phil  •  Link

Son of the 2nd Baron Mountagu of Boughton and Master of the Horse to the Queen Mother, according to the Latham Companion. He is the first cousin twice removed of Sir Edward Mountagu: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo…

vicente  •  Link

interesting titbit SPOILER: from Ralph the 2nd son of the Baron 2 ,who went on to better things:
His elder brother, Edward Montagu, had been appointed Master of the Horse to the queen consort. However, in May 1664 he was dismissed for squeezing her hand when leading her to her coach. He then enlisted on the Earl of Sandwich's ship and was killed in August 1665 in a sea battle with the Dutch near Bergen in Norway. As he was unmarried this made Ralph Montagu heir to the family's estate and the title of Baron Montagu of Boughton.
Ralph Montagu had been educated at Westminster School and he, too, became Master of the Horse to the queen consort from 1665 to 1678.


David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Nice bio page vincete links to here

With a distressing story of cruelty to the mentally ill--the story about Ralph's last Duchess, who, not satisified with being a rich Duchess, she imagined herself (with some venally-motivated encouragement from Ralph) the Empress of China.

Anyone remember the conceit of "Emperor of China" by Robert Motherwell? It's a portrait without a face (because you weren't allowed to look at the Emperor).

Motherwell actually provided original lithos for a limited edition of *Ulysses* put out in 1988, which I did some editing work on. I wish we could have gotten him to do some illustrations to Pepys.

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
(1635-65). Eldest son of the 2nd Baron Montagu of Boughton (d. 1684) and Sandwich's first cousin twice removed. M.P. for Sandwich from 1661, and Master of the Horse to the Queen Mother. He acted as go-between when the royalist agent Whetstone first made contact with Sandwich on the Baltic voyage in the summer of 1659, and in 1661-2 helped to manage Sandwich's affairs during his absence in the Mediterranean. But he was foolish and vain, quarrelled with Clarendon and his own family by attaching himself to Arlington's interest (like Arlington he was said to be a cryptopapist), and ended by being dismissed from court for making improper advances to the Queen. He was killed in the attack on Bergen.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Warrington has the following on Edward Montagu: "Edward Montagu, noticed 20th April 1660, dying unmarried, v.p., his brother Ralph succeeded, as third Lord Montagu of Boughton, and was created an earl in 1698, and in 1705 Duke of Montagu. He was ambassador to France from 1668 to 1672; and some of his letter were used for the impeachment of the Earl of Danby, afterwards Duke of Leeds. He died in 1709. His sister Elizabeth had married Sir Daniel Harvey, who was knighted by Charles II at his first landing and was sent, in 1668, ambassador to Constantinople.

Jeannine  •  Link

In Richard Ollard's book on Lord Sandwich entitled "Cromwell's Earl" there are 2 interesting notations about his cousin Ned which may provide some food for thought about his "closeness" to the Queen (which cost him his job). After his death at sea, Clarendon sends Lord Sandwich a letter dated August 28, 1665 stating "Were poor Ned Mountagu to be lost I am gladd the circumstances of it were much to his advantage. I do not meane his dying a Romanist if that be soe, that is reported" (page 135). Ollard later reports that in 1668 Sandwich "paid several calls on a daughter of the Duke of Menina Sidonnia, Donna Maria, a nun at Alcantara. She told him of the secret conversion of 'my cosen Mr. Ed. Mountagu, sonn of Ed. Lord Mountagu of Boughton, who was after killed at Bergen'... Apparently it [the conversion] had taken place when he was in Rome at the age of 18 or 19 and the Pope had so far interested himself in the matter as to give him personal leave to conceal it and deny his change of religious allegiance. Donna Maria claimed to have heard this from Edward [Ned] himself when he came to Lisbon in Sandwich's retinue on the voyage that brought over the Queen to England." (p.203).
If Ned truly had converted to Catholicism, this may shed some light on Ned's relationship with the Queen (who was also a Catholic) and his over-zealous actions to "protect" her. It is also interesting that Ned was permitted by the Pope to hide and deny his change in religion ~ a further statement about the strength of the hatred and bigotry which the English had for Catholicism.

jeannine  •  Link

"He was killed in the attack on Bergen". On the ship, the night before Mountagu died in battle,a young John Wilmot (Lord Rochester) and George Windham discussed fears of their dying in battle. Rochester and Windham made a deal that if one of them died that the dead person would reapper to the other as "proof" that one's soul lives on, etc. Mountagu would not take that oath.
"On the Revenge, in spite of his terrors, Mountagu placed himself in a position of danger. Inexperienced as they were, all three youths behaved bravely until Windham faltered and began to tremble violently. Mountagu ran to hold him in his arms just as a cannon ball exploded beside him, killing Windham instantly and ripping out Mountagu's stomach. Rochester, horrified, saw it all. Mountagu died soon after." ("Profane Wit", Johnson, p. 73.)
Sidenote 1 - Windham never appeared to Wilmot after his death, and this is perhaps one of the most influential incidents in Rochester's falling away from his religion and disbelief in God. He spoke of it in detail on his death bed to Gilbert Burnet as Burnet worked (and succeeded) to bring him back into the fold.
Sidenote 2 - The replacement of Ned Mountagu by his bother Ralph. After getting sacked by Charles for the perceived affront to Catherine, she went for two years without appointing a new "Master of the Horse to take the place of a man whose only crime had been too great devotion to her service, perhaps to her person" (Mackay 152), but after his death, his brother Ralph took over that position.

jeannine  •  Link

May 20, 1664 Edward Montague gets sacked

"Edward Montagu is turned out of Court"....

From "The Way of the Montagues" by Bernard Falk

"As related by Lord Dartmouth in a note to Burnet's 'History of his Own Time', the episode has a quaint, almost pantomimic quality. The queen, never having had an admirer before nor after, asked the king what people meant by squeezing one by the hand. The king told her 'love'. 'Then', she said, 'Mr. Montague loves me mightily'; upon which he was turned out! The historian Boyer, presumably basing himself on reliable gossip confirms Dartmouth's facts. "

"That Dartmouth should appear the more exactly informed of the two [Falk is comparing Pepys version of the story to Dartmouth's] as to the immediate cause of Montagu's dismissal is scarcely surprising, having regard to his astonishing gift for worming confidences out of Charles, who in his company would divulge the most piquant of Court secrets. Evidently what angered the king were not doubts about his wife's chastity, which, as he was well aware, was above suspicion, but fear of being made an object of ridicule, always a sensitive point with the Stuarts. He did not want people going round the Court whispering that the queen's young Master of the Horse was either in love, or pretending to be in love, with his royal mistress, a situation rendered all the more absurd by Her Majesty's unsuitability for such a romantic role, no less than the knowledge, common to most people, of how manifold were Montagu's opportunities for safer and more congenial love-making elsewhere."

"The mischief, we repeat, lay not so much in what Montagu did, as in the gossip which his behavior attracted, and the damaging interpretation put on that behaviour. He had committed the unforgivable sin of turning against the king what had come to be regarded as a legitimate joke at his subject's expense. Rarely had the Restoration wits been provided with a more delectable topic on which to exercise their mocking talents. They were used to making merry over the king's goings-on, but now they could vary their mirth with sly quirps directed at his prudish queen, the last person on earth likely to be involved in a scandal. It gave them no end of moral satisfaction to be able behind his back to quiz Charles, who had mercilessly cuckolded so many husbands, on himself having had a narrow escape from the same humiliating experience; which explained why he had struck out with such savagery against his wife's personal attendant."

[Slight Spoiler] Whatever the real reason was for Montagu's dismissal, Catherine was wise enough to refrain from taking any steps to have Montagu pardoned, but, choose to show her loyalty by not replacing Montagu's position (Master of the Horse), until his untimely death in Bergen in 1665. His replacement would be his brother, Ralph Montagu.

Even Antonia Fraser, Charles' biographer felt that in this situation Charles, "like so many unfaithful husband, managed to work up a fit of illogical jealousy against Edward Montagu, the Queen's Master of the Horse, because he was thought to have squeezed her hand".

language hat  •  Link

From a "long ironic poem" about the Dutch War (Wikipedia attributes it to Andrew Marvell, but this seems unlikely -- Marvell's "Advice to a Painter" does not contain these lines):

His cousin Mountague, by court disaster,
Dwindled into the wooden horse's master...
Then Tydeman, finding the Danes would not,
Sent in six captains bravely to be shot.
And Mountagu, though drest like any bride,
And aboard him too, yet was reacht, and died.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

language hat above is both right and wrong about his "long ironic poem." The lines come from a poem titled "'Second advice to a painter" which was published under the name of John Denham. Most Marvell scholars feel this was a ruse to conceal the real author: Marvell. There is an encyclopedia entry for this work:

Denham's 'Second advice to a painter, being the last work of Sir John Denham, The' http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

During the course of the diary, Pepys' opinion of Ned gradually became more negative. There were no problems at the beginning. Indeed, when it was announced that Sandwich was to be sent to Portugal, and that Sam would "receive orders from my Lord Chancellor and Mr. Edward Montagu" his reaction was "At all which my heart is above measure glad ..." (The reference on this page, and the subsequent one on 14th June, mistakenly links to the Earl of Manchester.)


After this, Sam, and others in Sandwich's circle, gradually took against Ned because he made a poor job of being PA and agent to Sandwich as ambassador to Portugal. The final straw came on 14th February 1661/2 when it it turned out that he appeared to have embezzled £2000 of Sandwich's money for his own use, and left Sandwich with £1000 of debts to pay.


Ned was a younger son of a cousin to whom Sandwich had given a chance to rise, but Sam felt that he had abused his position and brought "team Sandwich" into disrepute, to the dishonour of them all. Hence Sam was"troubled and ashamed". Sam was very much a team player, possibly by nature, and certainly by perceived self-interest.

Pepys also felt that Ned's jealousy, hot-headedness and lack of judgement reflected poorly on the Montagu clan to which he owed his allegiance. The duel with Hugh Cholmley, which Ned lost ignominiously, was an early example of the behaviour which would eventually cause Ned to be banished from court.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm confused ... Ned is said to have been Master of the Horse to both the Queen Mother and Queen Catherine. Is it both, or did he get a job change?

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.