Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Montagu, George Brudenell

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655419Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 38 — Montagu, George Brudenell1894Henry Manners Chichester

MONTAGU (formerly BRUDENELL), GEORGE BRUDENELL, Duke of Montagu of a new creation, and fourth Earl of Cardigan (1712–1790), eldest son of George Brudenell, third earl of Cardigan, and his wife Lady Elizabeth Bruce, eldest daughter of Thomas, second earl of Ailesbury, was born on 26 July 1712, and on the death of his father, 5 July 1732, succeeded as fourth earl of Cardigan. He married in 1730 the Lady Mary Montagu, third daughter and coheiress of John, second duke of Montagu, and last of that creation [see Montagu, John, second Duke of Montagu], and on the death of that nobleman in 1749 took the name and arms of Montagu. On 13 March 1762 he was made K.G. while beyond seas, this being the first investiture of a subject in absentia. In 1766 dukedoms were offered to Cardigan and Sir Hugh Smithson, both being husbands of daughters of dukes whose ducal honours had become extinct at their death. But George III proposed to limit the titles in entail to the issue in each case of the ladies whose ducal parentage suggested the new titles. Smithson accepted, and was at once made Duke of Northumberland, but Cardigan objected to the restriction, and soon after (6 Nov. 1766) received the dukedom of Montagu without the limitation (Walpole, Letters, vi. 209). In 1776 Montagu was appointed governor to the youthful Prince of Wales [see George IV] and his brother, the Bishop of Osnaburg [see Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany]. At the time of his death the duke was master of the horse, governor and captain of Windsor Castle, a privy councillor, lord-lieutenant of Huntingdon, president of the London Hospital and of the Society of Arts. He died at his residence in Privy Gardens, London, on 23 May 1790, when the dukedom and marquisate became extinct, and the earldom of Cardigan devolved on his next brother, James Brudenell, fifth earl.

By his marriage the duke had four children, viz. a son, who was called to the upper house as Baron Montagu of Boughton, and died unmarried in 1775, and three daughters, one of whom, Lady Elizabeth, married in 1767 Henry, second duke of Buccleuch, while two died unmarried. The entailed estates (12,000l. a year) went with the earldom; but the personal estate (100,000l.), the family jewels (valued at 50,000l.), the plate, and various residences passed to the Duchess of Buccleuch. The duke directed in his will that his town house should be kept up, and their full wages paid to all his servants as long as they lived.

[Collins's Peerage, 1812 ed. iii. 498-9; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Gent. Mag. 1790, pt. i. pp. 482, 568.]

H. M. C.