Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Lord Robert Montagu

Volume 1, page 125, sitting 704.

Lord Robert Montagu was born on 24 January 1825 at Melchbourne in Bedfordshire, the second son of the 6th Duke of Manchester and Millicent née Sparrow. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1848.

From 1859 to 1874 he was the Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Huntingdonshire. He subsequently served as MP for Westmeath from February 1874 until he retired in 1880. During his time in Parliament, he favoured protectionist policies.

On 12 February 1850 he married Ellen Cromie, born in 1825, daughter of John Cromie of Dublin. They had four children although their first son, John, died as a child. Ellen died, aged 32, on 11 July 1857 at Portstewart, County Londonderry. Lord Montagu was remarried in London on 18 October 1862 to Elizabeth Wade (1839-1908), daughter of William Wade of Holton in Suffolk, and had six more children. This second marriage scandalized society, since the former Betsy Wade had been a housemaid when Montagu first met her.

Lord Montagu was a member of the Carlton Club and the Athenaeum Club.

He died on 6 May 1902 at 91 Queens Gate, South Kensington, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, three children, and one grandson.

According to his obituary in the Times (7 May 1902): ‘The death occurred yesterday, at 91 Queen’s Gate, S.W., of the Right Hon. Lord Robert Montagu, second son of George, sixth Duke of Manchester. Lord Robert Montagu was born in 1825 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his MA degree in 1848. In 1859 he was elected one of the Conservative members for Huntingdonshire, and from 1867 till 1868 held the office of Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education. He was also sworn a Privy Councillor and nominated First Charity Commissioner in 1867. Lord Robert Montagu joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1870, and, in 1874, abandoning his seat in Parliament for Huntingdonshire, was elected for Westmeath as “a Conservative, but in favour of Home Rule.” Three years later he withdrew from the Home Rule organization, and in 1880 retired from Parliament. Lord Robert Montagu renounced Roman Catholicism in 1882. He published many contributions to current political and theological controversy. In 1850 he married the daughter of Mr John Cromie, of Cromore, county Antrim. She died in 1857, and in 1862 Lord Robert married Miss Elizabeth Catherine Wade, who survives him.’

[Lord Robert again sat for Silvy on 7 March 1861.]


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Lord Robert Montagu, Robert Montagu, Camille Silvy, Silvy