Edward Hussey-Montagu, 1st Earl Beaulieu

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Edward Hussey-Montagu, 1st Earl Beaulieu, KB (1721 – 25 November 1802) was a British peer and politician.

Arms of Lord Beaulieu
(as 1st Baron Beaulieu)

Born Edward Hussey, he was the son of Irish parents, James Hussey and Catherine née Parsons (a daughter of the 1st Viscount Rosse). In 1743, he married Lady Isabella Montagu, a daughter of the 2nd Duke of Montagu and Lady Mary née Churchill (a daughter of the 1st Duke of Marlborough). In 1749, he legally changed his surname to Hussey-Montagu and was made a Knight Companion of the Bath in 1753.

From 1758 to 1762, he was Whig Member of Parliament for Tiverton and on his retirement was raised to the Peerage as Baron Beaulieu, of Beaulieu in the County of Southampton, and later Earl Beaulieu, of Beaulieu in the County of Southampton, in 1784. Upon his death in Dover Street (off Piccadilly) in 1802, his titles became extinct as his only son, John, Lord Montagu had died in 1787. He was buried on 14 December that year at Warkton, Northamptonshire.

"Edward Montagu lived in the shadow of his proud and wealthy wife : she, the daughter and widow of dukes, was determined that her husband's rank should correspond to her fortune. Montagu was returned for Tiverton at Newcastle's recommendation, and himself seems never to have applied for a peerage.

That was left to his wife, but her success in 1762 was short of what she had hoped : three days before her husband was created a peer, the family title of Montagu was given to the son of her younger sister, Lady Cardigan ; and in 1766 the dukedom of Montagu was revived for Lord Cardigan. On this, Lord Beaulieu went into opposition and his wife ceased to attend a court.

When in 1776 the Duke of Montagu was to be created Earl of Montagu with reminder to her daughter, Lady Beaulieu protested that she had been promised this title for her husband. But, the King wrote to North on 30 May 1776, « she never had any promise from me, and no other proof can be necessary that her manifest appearances of neglect in never coming to court since the Duke of Montagu was advanced, which conduct has uniformly been followed by her son, and the political part Lord Beaulieu has taken if the others are not proofs sufficient show none of the family placed any hopes on me.»

North recollected that he had given such a promise in 1772, but the King would not go back on his word to the Duke of Montagu. The affair blew over when Montagu waived his claim to the earldom. (Fortescue, iii. 365-7). Beaulieu was created an earl in 1784 by Pitt ; even so, the title of Montagu was withheld from him."

Private life[edit]

Edward Hussey had two children from Isabella Montagu :

  • John Hussey-Montagu, 1746-1787, MP 1772-1787, styled Baron Montagu, and
  • Isabella Hussey-Montagu 1750-1772 ; both died without descendants ;

and one child from Martha Howel, housemaid in the service of Lord Beaulieu :

  • Elizabeth Hussey, 1780-1865, "described or alleged to be his natural daughter" (600 descendants in October 2012, mainly in France).

References[edit]

  • The peerage of England. 3 vols. in 4. Sig. N6,7 of vol. 1, 3B1 of vol. 2 ... /Baruch Longmate.
  • Kearsley's Complete peerage, of England, Scotland and Ireland / George Kearsley p 146.
  • The peerage of Ireland : or, a genealogical history of the present nobility /John Lodge, Mervyn Archdall p 45 &c.
  • National Archives File Ref : PROB 37/80 Prerogative court of Canterbury, Cause Papers.
  • The House of Commons, 1754-1790, Volume 2 / Lewis Namier, John Brooke pp 664–5.
  • Parliamentary Archives, Houses of Parliament, London.
  • The gentleman's magazine 1802, p 1167.
  • The pursuit of the heiress: aristocratic marriage in Ireland 1740-1840 / A. P. W. Malcomson p 102 &c.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Henry Pelham
Nathaniel Ryder
Member of Parliament for Tiverton
1758–1762
With: Nathaniel Ryder
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Ryder
Charles Gore
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Earl Beaulieu
1784–1802
Extinct
Baron Beaulieu
1762–1802