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enmity to the Roman Catholics, took from him the post which he had obtained. This disgust prepared the offended nobleman for the Revolution, towards which he contributed by his influence and exertions. Honours and fortune then became abundant. The titles of Earl of Montague and Viscount Monthermer succeeded to that of a simple baron. A second marriage added to his wealth ; for his first wife having died in giving birth to his only surviving son, he resolved to acquire, by an union with the Duchess of Albemarle, a revenue of six thousand pounds additional to his wealth, and, moreover, to unite his family with the house of Newcastle. The Duchess of Albemarle, whom he for these interested motives addressed, was the heiress of Henry Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and relict of Christopher March, Duke of Albemarle. There was only one slight blot upon her perfections as a wife-she was insane. In her delusion she had resolved to marry no one but a monarch; but her suitor soon compassed this difficulty, for he is said, with what truth it is not easy to determine, to have wooed and married her, in 1690, as Emperor of China, and to have cherished the delusion, which appears to have lasted nearly forty years ; for the Duchess, during her residence at Newcastle-house in

Clerkenwell, where she lived until her death, in 1734, would never suffer any person to serve her, save on the bended knee.

A later acquisition of wealth to the family took place, also, on the death of the celebrated Sir Ralph Winwood, Secretary of State to James the Second.

The vast fortune which had been thus from various sources accumulated, was spent by the Earl of Montague in a manner peculiarly befitting his lofty station. He could sustain his rank with splendour and dignity, and yet think his table honoured, not encumbered, by the presence of learned men, of no rank, but whose talents shed upon their welljudging patron a reflected lustre which wealth could not give. At his magnificent residence in Bloomsbury-house, now the British Museum, the ingenious St. Evremund, and other eminent foreigners, were seen mingling with the wits and artists of the time, in saloons and halls, to garnish which the arts of painting and sculpture had been called into requisition, and liberally remunerated. The taste of this excellent and high-minded nobleman for architecture, for gardening, as well as for the other arts which embellish, was displayed both in his abode in London and his estate

* Noble, vol. ii. p. 36.

in Northamptonshire. His style of living corresponded with his lofty ideas, and equalled, if it did not excel, that of the most princely of his contemporaries.

From this noble stock sprang John Montague, Viscount Monthermer, who became the son-inlaw of Marlborough. An intimacy had for some time subsisted between the Earl his father, and the Duchess, his future mother-inlaw.* But the Lady Mary Churchill, his destined bride, when the match was proposed to her, proved averse from complying with the wishes of her parents, having already, as report alleged, “ set her eyes and her heart upon


young gentleman, a very handsome youth.” “ Yet she must,” adds Cunningham, “ have obeyed her mother's commands immediately, had not an accident happened, which proved very lamentable to the Marlborough family.” The event to which he alludes was the death of Lord Blandford ; and the marriage of the reluctant young lady was suspended until the period of mourning had been duly observed. It then, however, took place ; for it was not the custom of the day to take into account the affections, in the calculations which were made in matrimonial contracts. Nor were the

Boyer, App., p. 46.

family of the young bridegroom likely to relax in their efforts to promote a favourable issue. Such is the mutability of human affections, and the folly of our most ardent desires, that Marlborough appears

afterwards to have disliked, and the Duchess to have despised, though without adequate reason, the man whom she at this time preferred for her son-in-law. “ All his talents,” thus she wrote of his lordship thirty-seven years afterwards, “ lie in things natural in boys of fifteen years old, and he is about two-and-fifty-to get people into his garden and wet them with squirts, and to invite people to his country-houses, and put things into their beds to make them itch, and twenty such pretty fancies like these.” * Such was her opinion of this son-in-law; how far it was guided by prejudice will be seen presently.

The union, when once completed, seems to have afforded many means of happiness to the beautiful Lady Mary. As far as worldly advantages were to be considered, she encountered no disappointment. Soon after her marriage, the father of her husband was created a duke through the interest of her parents, and the reversion of the post of master of the wardrobe settled on his son through the influence of the Duchess of

Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 197.

Marlborough, and, as she herself alleges, as part of her daughter's portion. *

An unbroken course of prosperity attended the long life of Lord Monthermer, who had not many years to wait before he attained a higher title, on the death of his father, the Duke of Montague.f The disposition and character of the Lord Monthermer, those most important points of all, were, notwithstanding the character given of him by the Duchess, said, by a keensighted judge, to have been truly amiable. “He was,” says Horace Walpole, writing to his friend Sir Horace Mann, “ with some foibles, a most amiable man, and one of the most feeling I ever knew.” “ He had,” says Lord Hailes, in reference to the Duchess's description of the Duke's childish propensities, “other pretty fancies, not mentioned in the memoranda of his mother-inlaw; he did good without ostentation. His vast benevolence of soul is not recorded by Pope; but it will be remembered while there is dition of human kindness or charity in England.” The defects of this nobleman appear to have been a thirst for gain, producing an inveterate place-hunting, which detracted from his better qualities. “ He was,” says Walpole, “incessantly obtaining new, and making the most of * Cunningham, b. vi. p. 328.

+ Boyer.

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