1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sandwich, Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of
SANDWICH, EDWARD MONTAGU, or MOUNTAGU, 1st Earl of (1625–1672), English admiral, was a son of Sir Sidney Montagu (d. 1644) of Hinchinbrook, who was a brother of Henry Montagu, 1st earl of Manchester, and of Edward Montagu, 1st Lord Montagu of Boughton. He was born on the 27th of July 1625, and although his father was a royalist, he himself joined the parliamentary party at the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1643 he raised a regiment, with which he distinguished himself at the battles of Marston Moor and Naseby and at the siege of Bristol. Though one of Cromwell’s intimate friends, he took little part in public affairs until 1653, when he was appointed a member of the council of state. His career as a seaman began in 1656, when he was made a general-at-sea, his colleague being Robert Blake. Having taken some part in the operations against Dunkirk in 1657, he was chosen a member of Cromwell’s House of Lords, and in 1659 he was sent by Richard Cromwell with a fleet to arrange a peace between Sweden and Denmark. After the fall of Richard he resigned his command and joined with those who were frightened by the prospect of anarchy in bringing about the restoration of Charles II. Again general-at-sea early in 1660, Montagu carried the fleet over to the side of the exiled king, and was entrusted with the duty of fetching Charles from Holland. He was then made a knight of the Garter, and in July 1660 was created earl of Sandwich. His subsequent naval duties included the conveyance of several royal exiles to England and arranging for the cession of Tangier and for the payment of £300,000, the dowry of Catherine of Braganza.
During the war with the Dutch in 1664–1665 Sandwich commanded a squadron under the duke of York and distinguished himself in the battle off Lowestoft on the 3rd of June 1665. When the duke retired later in the same year he became commander-in chief, and he directed an unsuccessful attack on some Dutch merchant ships which were sheltering in the Norwegian port of Bergen; however, on his homeward voyage he captured some valuable prizes, about which a great deal of trouble arose on his return. Personal jealousies were intermingled with charges of irregularities in dealing with the captured property, and the upshot was that Sandwich was dismissed from his command, but as a solatium was sent to Madrid as ambassador extraordinary. He arranged a treaty with Spain, and in 1670 was appointed president of the council of trade and plantations. When the war with the Dutch was renewed in 1672 Sandwich again commanded a squadron under the duke of York, and during the fight in Southwold Bay on the 28th of May 1672, his ship, the “Royal George,” after having taken a conspicuous part in the action, was set on fire and was blown up. The earl’s body was found some days later and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Edward (d. 1688) the eldest of his six sons, succeeded to the titles; another son, John Montagu (c. 1655–1728) was dean of Durham.
Lord Sandwich claimed to have a certain knowledge of science, and his translation of a Spanish work on the Art of Metals appeared in 1674. Many of his letters and papers are in the British Museum, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and in the possession of the present earl of Sandwich. He is mentioned very frequently in the Diary of his kinsman, Samuel Pepys. See also J. Charnock, Biographia Navalis, vol. i. (1794); John Campbell, Lives of the British Admirals, vol. ii, (1779); and R. Southey, Lives of the British Admirals, vol. v. (1840).