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National Maritime Museum

Montagu, Edward, 1st Earl of Sandwich (1656-1669)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 SAN/A

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Montagu, Edward, 1st Earl of Sandwich (1656-1669)

Date(s): 1656-1669

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 5 volumes

Name of creator(s): Montagu | Edward | 1656-1669 | 1st Earl of Sandwich


Administrative/Biographical history:

Montagu, Edward, first earl of Sandwich, KG, (1625-1672), army and naval officer and diplomat, was born at Barnwell, Northamptonshire, on 27 July 1625, the second but eldest surviving son of Sir Sydney Montagu (c 1571-1644) of Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdonshire. Montagu was an MP for Huntingdonshire and groom of the bedchamber to James I.

In October 1655, he was appointed to the admiralty committee and later general at sea on 2 January 1656. This was a position he shared with Robert Blake whose illness led to Cromwell's need for another trusted authority in the fleet, thus securing Montagu's elevation. The fleet under Montagu and Blake sailed on 15 March 1656 and took command in the first-rate Naseby. Successfully reconnoitring Tangier, Tetuan and Gibraltar the Naseby returned home and on 17 July Montagu commanded the fleet to support the attacks on Dunkirk and Mardyke. In 1659 Montagu took command of a fleet set for the Baltic, finding forces of Charles X of Sweden at Copenhagen and redirecting his efforts to persuade the Dutch to remain peaceful and not intervene. However Montagu withdrew upon hearing the fall of Richard Cromwell. He was appointed to the council of state on 23 February and made general at sea jointly with Monck on 2 March 1660; appointed to the admiralty commission on 3 March.

Montagu's critical involvement in the landing of the royal party at Dover on 25 May 1660 led to his being made an earl, choosing Sandwich for his title on 12 July 1660, later a knight of the Garter. In the Second Anglo-Dutch War, 1665-1667, he fought at the Battle of Lowestoft and later defeated at the Battle of Vagen. He was re-appointed in 1672 at the start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War he was appointed Vice- Admiral of the Blue serving in the ROYAL JAMES. He was killed at the Battle of Solebay, his ship destroyed by a group of fire ships. He was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey on 3 July 1672 after a state funeral beginning along the River Thames as part of decorated barges sailing from Deptford. Interestingly, Montagu was the first cousin of the father of Samuel Pepys.


Scope and content/abstract:

Five volumes containing papers relating to Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich's political career, 1656-1669.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-04-19

English Civil Wars (1642-1651) | Civil wars (events) | Wars (events)
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Politics | Political science

Personal names
Montagu | Edward | 1656-1669 | 1st Earl of Sandwich

Corporate names