John Montagu (Royal Navy officer)

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John Montagu
John Montagu (1719-1795).jpg
Born 1719
Lackham, Wiltshire
Died 1795 (aged 75–76)
Fareham, Hampshire
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held North American Station
Portsmouth Command
Battles/wars War of the Austrian Succession
American Revolutionary War

Admiral John Montagu (1719–1795) was an English naval officer and colonial governor of Newfoundland.

Naval career[edit]

He was born in 1719, son of James Montagu of Lackham, Lacock, Wiltshire (died 1747), and great-grandson of James Montagu of Lackham (1602–1665), third son of Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester. [1] Montagu began his naval career in the Royal Naval Academy, Portsmouth on 14 August 1733.[2]

He was promoted lieutenant in 1740 and served on HMS Buckingham and, in 1744, was present at the Battle off Toulon.[2] In 1757 he was present at the execution of Admiral John Byng.[2] Promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1770, he served as Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station from 1771 to 1774.[2]

He was promoted Vice-Admiral in 1776 and then appointed Governor and commander-in-chief of Newfoundland.[2] Montagu captured St. Pierre and Miquelon for the British and defended Newfoundland from both French and American privateers.[2] By his swift actions he had prevented the French from capturing Carbonear and Harbour Grace.[2]

In 1783 he was made Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.[3] His honorary appointments included Admiral of the Blue in 1782 and Admiral of the White in 1787.[2]


Montagu married Sophia Wroughton on 2 December 1748 and had one daughter and four sons. Of his sons, George and James became naval officers, while Edward became a lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Artillery. His daughter Sophia lived at Dale Park and the house there was constructed for her and her husband.[4]


  1. ^  Laughton, John Knox (1894). "Montagu, John (1719-1795)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Biography at Government House The Governorship of Newfoundland and Labrador
  3. ^ History in Portsmouth Archived 27 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Jacob M. Price, ‘Smith, John Abel (1802–1871)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 16 April 2017

See also[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Edward Montagu
Kelland Courtenay
Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
With: Edward Montagu
Succeeded by
Edward Montagu
Robert Jones
Military offices
Preceded by
James Gambier
Commander-in-Chief, North American Station
Succeeded by
Samuel Graves
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Duff
Commodore Governor of Newfoundland
Succeeded by
Richard Edwards
Military offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pye
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Viscount Hood