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The original house was a monastic building but Sir Edward Montagu, Lord Chief Justice to King Henry VIII, purchased it in 1528 just prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries and began to convert it into a mansion. Most of the present building is the work of Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu (d.1709) who inherited the house in 1683.
Montagu was a former English ambassador to France, and Boughton House shows strong French architectural influences. His son, John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, made little alteration to the house, but made sweeping changes to the landscape and gardens after his return from campaign in Europe with his father-in-law, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
Following the death of George, 3rd Duke of Montagu, in 1790, the house passed, through the marriage of his daughter, Elizabeth, to Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, 5th Duke of Queensberry. Boughton House was little used or altered from the mid-18th century, but was well cared for. Because of this it has some of the best preserved baroque state rooms in the British Isles.
- Montagu House - the 1st Duke of Montagu's London house, and later the first home of the British Museum
- Drumlanrig Castle - also owned by the Duke of Buccleuch
- Dalkeith Palace - also owned by the Duke of Buccleuch
- Bowhill House - also owned by the Duke of Buccleuch
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1961). The Buildings of England – Northamptonshire. London and New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 110–114 Has an extensive description including a plan of the building. ISBN 978-0-300-09632-3.
- Boughton House Tour. Retrieved 18 August 2009
- Huw Silk (23 July 2013). "Boughton House to stage outdoor screenings of Les Miserables". Northants Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Greenbelt festival blog. Retrieved 19 December 2013