Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich

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Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, Portrait of Edward Montagu by Peter Lely, ca. 1660-65.

Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, KG FRS (27 July 1625 – 28 May 1672) was an English Infantry officer who later became a naval officer and a politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1645 and 1660.


Montagu was the only surviving son of Sir Sidney Montagu, by his wife Paulina Pepys of Cottenham (great-aunt of Samuel Pepys) and was brought up at Hinchingbrooke House.

He served the Cause of Parliament by raising a regiment of infantry in June 1643. In 1645, he was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdonshire as a recruiter to the Long Parliament.[1] He was nominated MP for Huntingdonshire in 1653 for the Barebones Parliament and was elected MP for Huntingdonshire in 1654 for the First Protectorate Parliament. He continued to serve in the army for the Commonwealth of England and, in 1656 he became a General at Sea. In 1656 he was re-elected MP for Huntingdonshire in the Second Protectorate Parliament.[1]

Sir Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, 1625–1672 by Sir Peter Lely, painted 1666, part of the Flagmen of Lowestoft series.

In 1660 Montagu was elected MP for Dover and Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and chose to sit for Dover in the Convention Parliament.[1] At the Restoration he served Charles II as Admiral, commanding the fleet that brought him back from exile in May 1660. Two months later, on 12 July 1660, he was created Baron Montagu of St Neots, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, and Earl of Sandwich. King Charles also made him a Knight of the Garter and appointed him Master of the Great Wardrobe, Admiral of the narrow seas (the English Channel), and Lieutenant Admiral to The Duke of York, Lord High Admiral of England. He carried St. Edward's staff at Charles' subsequent coronation.

In the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665 to 1667 he fought at the Battle of Lowestoft but defeat at the Battle of Vågen led to him being removed from service. During his absence from battle Edward Montagu served as England's ambassador to Spain. After the Great Fire of London Montagu downplayed the damage to the Spanish King claiming that London's slums were the only thing in ashes. This slant on the events was also practiced by England's ambassadors throughout Europe.[2] He was subsequently reappointed however, and by 1672 at the start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War he was Vice-Admiral of the Blue with the Royal James as his flagship. At the Battle of Solebay his ship was attacked by a group of fire ships and was destroyed with the loss of many lives, including Sandwich himself, whose charred body was found washed ashore and only recognizable from the remains of his clothing.

On Wednesday 3 July 1672 he was buried in Westminster Abbey after a state funeral that started with a procession along the River Thames of five decorated barges from Deptford. The body was landed at Westminster at about 5 pm and carried to the Abbey in a grand procession.


On 7 November 1642, Montagu married Jemima Crew, daughter of John Crew, 1st Baron Crew, whom Pepys in his Diary refers to with great affection as "My Lady", and by whom he had ten children:

Montagu was the first cousin of the father of Samuel Pepys. Pepys started his career as a minor member of the Montagu household and owed his appointments first to the Wardrobe and then as Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board to Montagu's influence. Pepys' diary provides a detailed primary source for Montagu's career in the 1660s.


London Gazette #691 Monday 1 July, to Thursday 4 July 1672

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Court offices
English Interregnum Master of the Great Wardrobe
Succeeded by
Sir Ralph Montagu
Honorary titles
English Interregnum Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
jointly with The 2nd Earl of Manchester 1660–1671
The 3rd Earl of Manchester 1671–1672
Succeeded by
The 3rd Earl of Manchester
Custos Rotulorum of Huntingdonshire
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Richard Fanshawe, 1st Baronet
English Ambassador to Spain
Succeeded by
Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland
Peerage of England
New title Earl of Sandwich
Succeeded by
Edward Montagu