Sir Edward MONTAGUE,

Lord Chief Justice

Died: 1557

Father: Thomas MONTAGUE of Hemington

Mother: Agnes DUDLEY

Married 1: Agnes KIRKMAN

Married 2: Cecily LANE BEF Oct 1512

Children:

1. Ralph MONTAGUE (d. young)

2. Thomas MONTAGUE (d. young)

3. Robert MONTAGUE (d. young)

4. Dorothy MONTAGUE

5. Anne MONTAGUE

6. Amy MONTAGUE

Married 3: Ellen ROPER (d. 1563) (dau. of John Roper and Jane Fineaux)

Children:

7. Edward MONTAGUE of Boughton Castle (Sir Knight)

8. Roger MONTAGUE

9. Simon MONTAGUE

10. Thomas MONTAGUE

11. William MONTAGUE

12. Elizabeth MONTAGUE

13. Eleanor MONTAGUE

14. Isabel MONTAGUE

15. Mary MONTAGUE

16. Margaret MONTAGUE

17. Agnes MONTAGUE


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In about 1450 Richard Ladde, a prosperous yeoman living at Hanging Houghton in the parish of Lamport, Northamptonshire, adopted his wife's family name of Montagu, possibly out of admiration for her or her forebears, the medieval Montagus, Earls of Salisbury.

It was his grandson Edward who in 1528 purchased the Monastery at Boughton from St. Edmundsbury Abbey. For almost 40 years until his death in 1556/7 he lived at Boughton, building on the South East side of the Great Hall of the Monks, and making it a worthy home for someone of his increasing stature and influence.

Studied at Cambridge, called to the bar at the Middle Temple. Steward of Northamptonshire from 1520, he became nationally important in politics and the law in the mid 1530s. Commissioner of the Sewers for Huntingdon, 1531; made sergeant-at-law with 5 day feast with King and Queen in attendance, 1531; Commissariat Commissioner of royal forces in Northamptonshire during Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, 1536; king's sergeant, 1537; knighted, 1537. Profited greatly, as did many nobles, by the dissolution of religious lands. Made Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1538 and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in 1545; member of council of regency carrying on government during minority of Edward VI, as stipulated in will of Henry VIII.

In 1553 `required' by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland to alter the King's will to favor the succession of Lady Jane Grey, decided that the effort was treasonable, but was promised parliamentary pardon, drafted the will and appended his signature as one of the guarantors. Sir John Baker said that he and Montague were "called to the court and ordered by the King himself to draw up the legal instrument necessary to devise the crown away from his half-sisters".

His involvement in the power struggle over the succession landed him in the Tower when Queen Mary came to the throne; released on paying a large fine and forfeiting land.

It was a hard time for men of principle, and that Sir Edward was one of these is apparent from the inscription on his fine tomb in Weekley Church:

"Farewell, O Edward Montagu father of Justice and master of the Law, you whom sober skill has nourished and wicked knaves of men have feared have lived in the ancient manner, a lover of peace and a unyielding guardian of virtue and scourge of vice... "

Sir Edward married three times, and was suc. by his first son of his third marriage, Sir Edward Montague of Boughton. Edward the elder left to the Middle Temple in his will "the great gilt cup which was one of the legacies of Lady Derby, to whom I was executor, my arms with hers to be set upon it".

Sources:

DNB

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