Victor Montagu

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Victor, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, in 1943
Coat of arms of the Earls of Sandwich

Alexander Victor Edward Paulet Montagu (22 May 1906 – 25 February 1995), known as Viscount Hinchingbrooke from 1916 to 1962, as the Earl of Sandwich from 1962 to 1964 (when he disclaimed his peerages) and as Victor Montagu from 1964 to 1995, was a British Conservative Member of Parliament (MP). He was usually known to family and friends as 'Hinch Hinchingbrooke' or 'Hinch Sandwich' or, later, as 'Hinch Montagu'. In 2015, it was revealed that he was cautioned for indecently assaulting a child for a period of two years between 31 December 1970 and January 1972.[1]

Early life[edit]

Montagu was the eldest son of The 9th Earl of Sandwich and his wife, Alberta (née Sturges), and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1926, he joined the 5th (Huntingdonshire) Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, as a Lieutenant.

Political career[edit]

A member of the Conservative Party, Lord Hinchingbrooke, as he then was, was Private Secretary to the Lord President of the Council, Stanley Baldwin, from 1932 to 1934 and Treasurer of the Junior Imperial League from 1934 to 1935.

He briefly served in France in 1940, during the Second World War. A year later, he was elected MP for South Dorset, replacing Viscount Cranborne, who was called up to the House of Lords. A radical backbencher, Lord Hinchingbrooke set up the Tory Reform Committee in 1943, and was its founding chairman until a year later. It was at this time he wrote Essays in Tory Reform, a response to the party's moves toward liberalism.

Hinchingbrooke was elected in the following five general elections, and continued as MP for South Dorset until 1962 when his father died. Viscount Hinchingbrooke succeeded to his father's titles and could no longer sit in the House of Commons.

Lord Sandwich, as he had become, disclaimed his peerages in 1964, however, under the Peerage Act, which was passed a year earlier. As Victor Montagu, he unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate at Accrington at the 1964 general election.[2] Although he did not sit in the House of Commons again, Montagu was President of the Anti-Common Market League from 1962–84; he also joined the Conservative Monday Club in 1964 and wrote The Conservative Dilemma in 1970.

Personal life[edit]

Victor, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, married Maud Rosemary (1916–1998), only daughter of Major Ralph Peto and a goddaughter of Queen Maud of Norway, on 27 July 1934; they were divorced in 1958. They have seven children:

  • Sarah Jane Helen Montagu (25 August 1935); she married Alessandro Ballarin on 21 July 1959 and they were divorced in 1971. They have two daughters:
    • Caterina Teresa Ballarin (19 January 1960)
    • Antonia Barbara Ballarin (10 March 1964)
  • Elizabeth Anne Montagu (8 February 1937); she married Sir Torquil Norman on 8 July 1961. They have five children and three grandchildren:
    • Alexander Jesse Norman (23 June 1962); he married Hon. Catherine Bingham in 1992. They have three children:
      • Samuel Norman (4 September 1995)
      • Nell Norman (17 January 1998)
      • Noah Norman (1 June 1999)
    • Casey William Norman (1 October 1963)
    • Lucy Patricia Norman (28 February 1965)
    • Casper Joe Norman (11 August 1967)
    • Amy Jean Mary Norman (13 October 1969)
  • Henrietta Mary Montagu (14 January 1940 – 17 February 1940)
  • John Montagu, 11th Earl of Sandwich (11 April 1943); he married Susan Hayman on 1 July 1968. They have three children and four grandchildren.
  • Lady Katherine Victoria Montagu (22 February 1945); she married Nicholas Hunloke on 15 July 1965. They have three children and three grandchildren:
    • Henrietta Yvery Hunloke (14 May 1968); she married Lucien Thynne on 17 October 1998. They have two daughters:
      • Atalanta Xenia Thynne (27 December 2000)
      • Cassia Victoria Thynne (15 July 2002)
    • Edward Perceval Hunloke (1 November 1969); he married Philippa Collett in 2005. They have one daughter:
      • Molly Evelyn Hunloke (6 February 1999)
    • Matilda Anne Hunloke (25 July 1972)
  • Lady Julia Frances Montagu (12 April 1947 – 19 May 1995); she married Martin Lee-Oakley on 20 December 1972 and they were divorced in 1976. She remarried Peter Edward Gerald Body in 1976. They have one son and two grandchildren.
    • Timothy B. E. P. Montagu (1982); he married Hon. Pollyanna Mary Clare Harmsworth. They have two children:
      • Amelia Faye Julia Montagu (8 March 2011)
      • Theodore Alfred James Montagu (7 January 2015)
  • Hon. George Charles Robert Montagu (25 November 1949); he married Marzia Colonna in 1970. They have four children:
    • Flamma Fleur Montagu (1971)
    • Bona Frances Montagu (1972)
    • Oliver Drogo Montagu (1974)
    • Cosimo Ralph Montagu (1988)

Montagu was gay.[3] After he and Maud divorced in 1958, she left him for a female companion. Their youngest son, therapist Robert Montagu, has since alleged that his father sexually abused him on an almost daily basis from the ages of seven to eleven.[4] In addition to his son's allegations of child sexual abuse, in 2015, Freedom of Information requests revealed that Victor Montagu "was let off with a caution by police and the director of public prosecutions in 1972 for indecently assaulting a boy for a duration of nearly two years".[1]

Lord Hinchingbrooke was married a second time to Lady Anne Holland-Martin (née Cavendish), the youngest daughter of The 9th Duke of Devonshire, on 7 June 1962, but they were to divorce in 1965. He succeeded as The 10th Earl of Sandwich upon his father's death on 15 June 1962, about a week after his second marriage. Lady Anne was the widow of Christopher Holland-Martin, MP.

Montagu died in 1995, aged 88. A grandson resides in Brighton, England.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Laville, Sandra; Travis, Alan (15 May 2015)."Tory MP Victor Montagu escaped child sex abuse trial in 1970s". The Guardian. London.
  2. ^ "Socialist Cotton Vote that Melted". The Times. London. 14 October 1964. p. 15.
  3. ^ Bloch, Michael (16 May 2015). "Double lives – a history of sex and secrecy at Westminster". The Guardian.
  4. ^ Sanderson, Elizabeth (23 August 2014). "My father, the Earl who raped me as a boy". Daily Mail. London.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Viscount Cranborne
Member of Parliament for South Dorset
1941–1962
Succeeded by
Guy Barnett
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Montagu
Earl of Sandwich
1962–1964
Disclaimed
Title next held by
John Montagu