Edward Wortley Montagu

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A 1775 portrait of Edward Wortley Montagu by Matthew William Peters

Edward Wortley Montagu (1713 – 29 April 1776) was an English author and traveller.

He was the son of Edward Wortley Montagu, MP and of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whose talent and eccentricity he seems to have inherited.

He twice ran away from Westminster School, and the second time made his way as far as Porto. He was then sent to travel with a tutor in the West Indies, and afterwards with a keeper to the Netherlands. He made, however, a serious study of Arabic at Leiden (1741), and returned twenty years later to prosecute his studies. His father made him a meagre allowance, and he was heavily encumbered with debt.

He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Huntingdonshire in 1747, and was one of the secretaries at the conference of Aix-la-Chapelle that closed the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1751 he was involved in a disreputable gaming quarrel in Paris; arrested for cheating a Jew at cards and then robbing him when he refused to pay;[1] and was imprisoned for eleven days in the Châtelet. He was cleared after the first court hearing before the decision was overturned by the Parlement of Paris and he was ordered to pay a fine of 300 livres. He continued to sit in parliament, and wrote Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republics ... (1759). His father left him an annuity of £1000, the bulk of the property going to Lady Bute, the author's sister,

He set out for extended travel in the East, and George Romney describes him as living in the Turkish manner at Venice. He had great gifts as a linguist, and was an excellent talker. His family thought him mad, and his mother left him a single guinea in her will, but her annuity devolved on him at her death. He died at Padua in Italy.

References[edit]

  • Curling, Jonathan (1954). Edward Wortley Montagu 1713–1776: The Man in the Iron Wig. The Rogues Gallery Number One (Illustrated ed.). London: Andrew Melrose. 
  • Isobel Grundy, "Edward Wortley Montagu", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscription)

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

  1. ^ Jeremy Black, "The British and the Grand Tour", (1985), p118
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Foster
William Breton
Member of Parliament for Bossiney
with Richard Heath

1747
Succeeded by
Richard Heath
William Ord
Preceded by
Coulson Fellowes
William Montagu
Member of Parliament for Huntingdonshire
with Coulson Fellowes

17471754
Succeeded by
Coulson Fellowes
The Lord Carysfort
Preceded by
William Ord
William Montagu
Member of Parliament for Bossiney
with Edwin Sandys 1754–1761
John Richmond Webb 1761–1766
Lord Mount Stuart 1766–1768

17541768
Succeeded by
Lord Mount Stuart
Henry Luttrell