Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester

Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester (c.1563  7 November 1642) was an English judge, politician and peer.[1]

Henry Montagu redirects here. See also Henry Montagu, 6th Baron Rokeby.
The Earl of Manchester
Lord High Treasurer
In office
Preceded byIn Commission
George Abbot as first lord
Succeeded byThe Earl of Middlesex
Lord Chief Justice of England
In office
Preceded byEdward Coke
Succeeded byJames Ley
Personal details
Died7 November 1642 (aged 78/79)
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge


He was the 3rd son of Edward Montagu of Boughton and grandson of Sir Edward Montagu, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench from 1539 to 1545, who was named by King Henry VIII one of the executors of his will, and governor to his son, Edward VI.[2]

Henry was born at Boughton, Northamptonshire, about 1563. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge,[3] was admitted to Middle Temple on 6 November 1585 and was Called to the Bar on 9 June 1592. He was elected recorder of London in 1603, and in 1616 was made Chief Justice of the King's Bench, in which office it fell to him to pass sentence on Sir Walter Raleigh in October 1618.[2]

In 1620, he was appointed Lord High Treasurer, being raised to the peerage as Baron Montagu of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire, and Viscount Mandeville. He became President of the Council in 1621, in which office he was continued by Charles I, who created him Earl of Manchester in 1626. In 1628, he became Lord Privy Seal, and in 1635 a commissioner of the treasury.[2]

Although from the beginning of his public life in 1601, when he first entered Parliament, Manchester had inclined to the popular side in politics, he managed to retain to the end the favour of the King. He was a judge of the Star Chamber, and one of the most trusted councillors of Charles I. His loyalty, ability, and honesty were warmly praised by Clarendon. In conjunction with Coventry, the Lord Keeper, he pronounced an opinion in favour of the legality of ship money in 1634.[2]


Manchester was married three times: first, Catherine, daughter of Sir William Spencer of Yarnton, Oxfordshire; second, Anne, in 1613, daughter of William Wincot of Langham, Suffolk and widow of Sir Leonard Holliday, third, Margaret, on 26 April 1620, daughter of John Crouch of Cornbury, Hertfordshire, who died in 1653.[1]

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, from his first marriage. The second son of Henry and Catherine was Walter Montagu, the courtier and abbot.[4]

One of his sons by his third wife, Margaret Crouch, was George Montagu, father of Charles Montagu, created Earl of Halifax in 1699, and James Montagu, Attorney General from 1708 to 1710.


  1. Rigg, James McMullen (1894). "Montagu, Henry" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: McNeill, Ronald John (1911). "Manchester, Earls and Dukes of". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 543.
  3. "Montagu, Henry (MNTG582H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. Cooper, Thompson (1894). "Montagu, Walter" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord St John of Bletso
The Duke of Lennox
Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
jointly with The Lord St John of Bletso 16241627, 16291636

English Interregnum
Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward Coke
Lord Chief Justice
Succeeded by
James Ley
Preceded by
The Archbishop of Canterbury
as First Lord of the Treasury
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
The Earl of Middlesex
Peerage of England
New title Earl of Manchester
Succeeded by
Edward Montagu
Viscount Mandeville
Baron Montagu of Kimbolton
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