Montagu, James (1568?-1618) (DNB00)

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MONTAGU or MOUNTAGUE, JAMES (1568?–1618), bishop of Winchester, fifth son of Sir Edward Montagu of Boughton,, Northamptonshire, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Harington of Exton, Rutlandshire, was born about 1568, his eldest brother being Edward [q.v.], created Lord Montagu of Boughton in 1621, and his third brother being Henry Montagu, first earl of Manchester [q. v.]. He was a fellow-commoner of Christ's College, Cambridge, and was appointed first master of Sidney Sussex College (Le Neve,. Fasti, iii. 703), signing in 1596 a letter from the vice-chancellor and other heads to Lord Burghley, complaining of the teaching of Peter Baro [q. v.] He beautified the interior of his college chapel, and expended 100l. of his own money in purifying the King's Ditch in Cambridge (Willis and Clark). In 1603 he was installed dean of Lichfield, but resigned that office the next year on being appointed dean of Worcester (Le Neve, i. 56). Being already dean of the chapel to James, he was in 1608 elected to the bishopric of Bath and Wells, and, resigning his mastership, was consecrated on 17 April. He repaired the episcopal palace at Wells and the manor-house at Banwell, and vigorously took in hand the restoration of the nave of the abbey-church at Bath, spending, it is said, 1,000l. upon it. There is a story that Sir John Harington [q. v.] of Kelston, walking with him one day in the rain, took him into the abbey, then roofless, under pretence of seeking shelter, and, by this means impressing upon Montagu the neglected state of the building, stirred him to exert himself to repair it. On 4 Oct. 1616 he was translated to the see of Winchester. He died of jaundice and dropsy at Greenwich on 20 July 1618, at the age of fifty, and was buried in Bath Abbey, where a tomb with his effigy is on the north side of the nave. Over the west door of the church are the arms of the see impaling Montagu. He edited and translated the works of King James I [q. v.], published in English in one vol. fol. in 1616, and in Latin in the same form, 1619. Montagu's portrait is in the bishop's palace at Wells, and has been engraved by Renold Elstracke [q. v.] and Pass, and an engraving is also in the 'Herωologia Anglica' of Henry Holland [q. v.]

[Cassan's Bishops of Bath and Wells, pt. i. p. 69, ii. 22; Cassan's Bishops of Winchester., pt. ii.p. 78; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 145, 563, iii. 703,. ed. Hardy; Willis and Clark's Architectural Hist. of Cambridge, ii. 739; Fuller's Worthies (Northamptonshire),ii. 164; Strype's Annals, iii. i. 719, iv. 322, and Whitgift, ii. 437; Collinson's Somerset, iii. 388; Warner's Hist. of Bath, p. 159; Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 261, 282; Somerset Archæol. and Nat. Hist. Society's Proc. 1876, xxii. i. 33, 34.]

W. H.