Mont, Christopher (DNB00)
|←Monson, William (1760-1807)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 38
|Montacute, John de→|
MONT, MOUNT, MUNDT, or MONTABORINUS, CHRISTOPHER (d. 1572), English agent in Germany, was a native of Cologne. He seems from a passage in a letter of Melanchthon to have been brought up as a lawyer, and to have received the degree of D.C.L. He was made a denizen of England on 4 Oct. 1531, and entered Cromwell's service. Cromwell employed him, according to Chapuys, as a German servant, doubtless as an interpreter, and he spent his spare time in translating German chronicles into Latin, for which on one occasion he received 6l. 13s. 4d. (cf. Letters and Papers Henry VIII, ed. Gairdner, vi. 717 and 1448).
In July 1533 Mont and Vaughan, another of Cromwell's men, were sent by Henry VIII to Germany to report on the political situation there. They arrived at Nuremberg on 22 Aug., and thence Mont went to Augsburg to confer with the heads of the Suabian League or their deputies. Vaughan wished to go home, remarking that Mont could do as well as both. From this time onwards Mont was constantly employed in Germany, and only returned to England for short periods. He gave satisfaction to his masters from the outset (cf. ib. iv. 1374), and his salary was for some time more punctually paid than that of Henry's other servants. In January 1534 Nicholas Heath [q. v.] was sent out to join him (ib. vii. 166), and their instructions, which have been preserved, are obviously Henry's own composition. Their mission was to the German princes, to whom, the king said, they had to declare the whole progress of his great cause of matrimony, the intolerable injuries done him by the pope, and the means by which he intended to maintain his just cause (cf. Froude, ii. 199). As an advanced Lutheran Mont found the work congenial. On 26 June 1534 he was granted an annuity of 20l. for life. In July 1535 he was instructed with Dr. Simon Heynes [q. v.] to go unofficially into France, and there to counteract the influence which the French were bringing to bear on Germany; above all to invite Melanchthon to England. Contrary to expectation, Melanchthon was still in Germany, whither Mont went to find him, and though he could not induce Melanchthon to come to England, he induced him to abstain from visiting France. They became friends, and Melanchthon wrote of Mont later that he was a cultivated man (Letters and Papers, ix. 540, 593). During his residence in Germany he found the friendship of the leading reformers of very great service to him. Mont seems to have been skilful in answering unpleasant questions, and managed to reassure the Germans when in 1539 they were disturbed by Henry's refusal to allow the priests to marry. He had a still more difficult task in explaining Henry's conduct in regard to Anne of Cleves.
Early in Edward VI's reign he was living at Strasbourg, and he continued to act as agent, going on one occasion as ambassador to the senate of Zurich ; his pension was also paid regularly. Under Mary he was recalled (Acts of the Privy Council, 1552-4, p. 346). But he regained his position when Elizabeth became queen, and kept it, though strongly opposed to the queen on the question of vestments. He lived as before chiefly at Strasbourg, where he died between 8 July and 15 Sept. 1572.
Many of his letters have been preserved. They will be found in the 'Zurich Letters,' in the 'Calendar of MSS. at Hatfield,' in the 'State Papers,' in the 'Letters and Papers of Henry VIII,' in the manuscripts at the Record Office, and among the Cotton MSS. An interesting account by him of the progress of Lutheranism, written from Strasburg on 10 Oct. 1549 to the Duke of Somerset, was printed in 'Troubles connected with the Prayer Book of 1549' (Camd. Soc.), 110-11.
[Froude's Hist, of Engl. ii. 199, iv. 380 sq. ; Dixon's Hist, of the Church of Engl. i. 509, ii. 105 &c., iii. 98; Thomas's Hist. Notes (with details of Mont's missions under Henry VIII) ; Letters and Papers Hen. VIII, passim ; Cal. of State Papers (Engl. and Spain), iv. ii. 877, 996, v. ii. 3, 25, 511, 1558-67 pp. 203, &c. ; Cal. of State Papers, For. Ser. 1547-72, passim (many letters) ; Strype's Memorials, i. i. 355 &c., ii. i. 167 &c., ii. 18, 87, Life of Sir Thomas Smith, p. 75, Annals, n. i. 163, &c. j Ascham's Letters, ed. Oxf. 1703, passim (where he is always called Montius); Cranmer's Works, ii. 377 n. ; Zurich Letters, 1st ser. pp. 173 &c., 2nd ser. pp. 91 &c., 3rd ser. pp. 1 &c. (Parker Soc.) ; Trevelyan Papers (Camd. Soc.), ii. 19.]