The World  Drogo de Monte-acuto's Coat of Arms

Great Britain


WILLIAM, Lord of Montacute
WILLIAM MONTACUTE, Second Earl of Salisbury


In the old Chronicles of France, mention is made of forty-seven different incursions by various Scandinavian bands called Northmen. The most important of these, under the command of Rollo the Dane, resulted in the permanent occupation of a large province which was subsequently called Normandy. "It was thus the settlement of these northern pirates," says Freeman, "which finally made Gaul French in the modern sense. It was at the same time the alliance with Romanic France which brought the Northmen fully under the influence of French language, law and custom, which made them Normans, the foremost Apostles alike of French chivalry and Latin Christianity." In this province and of this people was born on the 14th of October 1024, William, Duke of Normandy, the bold leader in the Norman conquest of England "the great turning point in the history of the English nation."

In this province also flourished, one thousand years ago, the Norman family of Montagu. They were seated probably at Montagules-Bois in the district of Coutances of which place it was said "Its ancient lords were famous in the middle ages." The name and family of Montagu was probably prominent and distinguished at that time, for we find mountains, castles, fortresses and towns bearing their name.

History has at least recorded the name of one of the family who held at that time an important position of trust and honor.


was born about the year 1040. He became the trusted companion, follower, and intimate friend of Robert, Earl of Moriton (or Mortain), the favorite brother of William, Duke of Normandy.

Drogo and the Earl of Moriton were of the same age and both entered heartily into the plans of William in his proposed expedition against England.

This expedition was in active preparation in the summer of 1066 and was composed of sixty thousand men and over three hundred ships. Drogo de Monte-acuto accompanied the expedition in the immediate retinue of Robert, Earl of Mortain.

They landed at Pevensey upon the coast of Sussex, late in September, 1066, and immediately burned and scuttled their ships, that their only hope might lie in their courage and resolution, their only safety in victory.

This marked the advent of the first Montague upon the shores of England, and as he marches on toward the plain near Hastings (where, upon the 14th of October, the battle of Hastings was fought and won), we note that he bears the kite-shaped shield of the Norman invador, it's color is cerulean blue, and upon it is the full length figure of a Griffin, segreant (rampant with wings spread), and painted a bright golden hue. This was the original Coat of Arms of the Montagues in England *.

* A gryphon (or griffin) was an imaginary animal devised by the ancients and consisted of the body and tail of a lion with the head and claws (or talons) of an eagle, thus denoting great strength united with great swiftness.

William having conquered England and ascended the throne his followers were rewarded with large grants of land.

Both his favorite brother the Earl of Moriton and his trusty follower Drogo de Monte-acuto received large possessions.

Drogo obtained the grant of several Manors, particularly in the county of Somerset. The original castle or seat of Drogo was at Montacute, an eminence and parish in Tintinhull Hundred, Somersetshire, four miles south from Ilchester. Its ancient name appears to have been Logoresburg and was also called Bishopston. Here the Earl of Mortain built a castle and named it after his friend Drogo de Monte-acuto. (Cappers Topog. Dict.).

Camden says of this place that "the Castle has been quite destroyed these many years and the stones carried off to build the Religious houses and other things, afterward on the very top of the hill was a Chapel made and consecrated to St. Michael, the arch and roof curiously built of hard stone and the ascent to it is around the, mountain up stone stairs for near half a mile."

A later writer has this graphic description of this spot. "Adjacent to the churchyard rises that noble mount called Montacute, the base of which contains near twenty acres. Its form is conical and its ascent very steep, the top terminating in a flat of half an acre whereon stands a round tower sixty feet in height and crowned with an open ballustrade. On this tower is a flag-staff fifty feet high, on which a flag is occasionally displayed floating fifty-six yards in the air and exhibiting a grand and picturesque appearance.

The summit of this tower, being so highly elevated above the level of the central part of the country, affords a rich and extensive prospect extending westward to the hills below Minehead and Blackdown in Devonshire and north eastward over Taunton, Quantock Hills, Bridgewater bay, the Channel, and coast of Wales.

To the north, Brent-Knoll, the whole range of Mendip, the city of Wells and Glastonbury-Torr. Eastward, Creeche. Southward over the Dorsetshire Hills to Lamberts Castle near Lyme, the whole a circle of above 300 miles in which on a clear day 80 churches are distinguished.

This hill is planted from bottom to top with oaks, elms, firs and sycamores the intermingled foliage of which (especially in the autumnal season) forms a rich and beautifully tinted scenery."

While this was the original home of the Montagues, the seat of their barony was at Shepton Montacute a villa at no great distance from Montacute. This parish contains the hamlets of upper and lower Shepton *, Knolle, and Stoney Stoke, and was held by Drogo de Monte-acuto and his direct descendants until the time of King Henry VIII. when Sir Thomas Montacute leaving no male issue, this estate was divided between three sisters.

* In Drogo's time, in demesne are two carucates, 8 servants, 8 Villanes (farmers), 5 cottagers, 3 ploughs, 2 mills, one not rated, the other pays seven shillings and sixpence. There are 30 acres of meadow, and wood ten furlongs long and four furlongs broad.

Drogo de Monte-acute also held of Robert Earl of Moriton, the following Manors. The manor of Yarlinton. (For description see at Sir Simon Montacute, 8th generation). Sutton Montacute, a small parish six miles east from Ivelchester, lying in a fruitful woody vale under the south west brow of Cadbury castle, with other high hills toward the east. It contains thirty houses which compose a long street in the turnpike road from Ivelchester to Castle Cary.

Thulbeer, (ancient name Torlaberie).

Drogo held this manor from the Earl of Moriton and it descended through a long line of ancestry together with the manor of Chidzoy, to the unfortunate Edward, son of George Duke of Clarence.

Drogo also held of the said Earl one hide * of land in Montagud in this county. Reverend John Collinson says, "it is altogether probable that the Earl of Mortain if he had any other reason than that of a Latin definition---imposed on his demesnes at Bishopton (Logoresburg) the appelation of Montagud in compliment to this Drogo, his favorite and confidential friend."

* A hide of land was supposed to consist of 160 acres and was made up of the following parts, viz.-ten acres make a ferundel, or fardingdeal, four ferundels make a yard land, and four yard lands make a hide, so four hides it is said, or 640 acres, make a Knight's fee.

But waving this matter, we find the said Drogo-de-Monte-acuto in possession of these estates until his death, which took place about the latter end of the reign of King Henry I. (about 1125)

A curious fact may be here recorded, that upon the spot where the battle of Hastings, was fought, William the Conqueror founded an Abbey which was called Battle Abbey, and in the words of his charter, "Instituted a market to be kept there on the Lord's day free from all toll-" and that Anthony Viscount Mountague, a lineal descendant of Drogo, about the year 1575 or 1600, built a fine house there and obtained authority of Parliament to have the market changed to another day.

Drogo was succeeded by his son and heir---

who erected a Monastery at Montacute Mountain and endowed it with the borough and Market of Montacute. An ancient record written about 1538 states, that--- "within the ruins of the Castle at Montacute is now a mean house for a farmer, the town hath a poor market and is builded of stone as commonly all towns thereabout be" -(Leland's Itinerary, Vol. 1, Oxford, 1710.")

But little is known with regard to this William Montacute except that, one author says---, "He was an only son" ---and that he took care of the estate left him by his father, and died leaving it entire to an only son.

1 Editors Note: I received the following information from a reader.
I live in Montacute, Somerset, England and have been reading with interest your articles on the Montacute family particularly with reference to the early post Conquest period. There is however an error in the entry in respect of William Montacute son of Drogo de Monte-Acuto. The entry reads 'who erected a Monastery at Montacute Mountain and endowed it with the borough and Market of Montacute.' This is incorrect - the monastery at Montacute - Montacute Priory - was founded  by the Duke of Mortain - probably William son of Robert the half brother of King William I circa 1100 - and it was he who endowed it with the borough and market of Montacute. This can be confirmed from the Foundation Charter (No. 1) of Montacute Priory to be found in The Cartularies of Bruton and Montacute Priories published by the Somerset Record Society No. 8. There has obviously been confusion between the two Williams.
[John Powlesland]



probably the first Richard Montague who ever lived.

It is recorded of him, that in the second year of Henry II. (1156) he paid �20 into the King's exchequer for the ancient pleas; and 7th of Henry II. (1161) upon the collection of the scutage then levied, he paid 20 marks for the Knight's fees (a yard land Of 40 acres paid two shillings and sixpence tax) which he at that time held, soon after which he died, leaving issue his son Drue, who was called "Drogo Juvenis" -or Young Drue.


upon the assessment of the aid for marrying the King's daughter, 12th Henry II. (ii67) certified his Knight's fees to be in number-nine, a half and a third part of the old feosment and one of the new 1 (64o acres made a Knight's fee).

He married Aliva, daughter. of Alan Basset, baron of Wiccomb in County of Buckingham. After his death she married second, Richard SOD of Gilbert Talbot, ancestor to the Earls of Shrewsbury.

His eldest son, also named Drue, died during his father's lifetime, he married, however, and left two sons,-John and William de Montacute. The younger, William, had no male issue, and but two daughters, namely, Margaret, married to William de Echingham; and Isabel, married to Thomas de Audham 2.

The elder son, John 3, was seated at Marsh, in County Buckingham, a manor situated northwest from Alesbury and near the Oxford County line - he married Lucy *____ * and had a daughter Katherine, who married Warine Bassett.

1 The fees were thus held William Malherbe, 3 fees, Robert Fitz John 1 fee, Jordon Geulhame 1 fee, Robert Fitz William 1-2 fee, Helias de Arden 1-2 fee, Hamo 1-2 fee, Thomas de Toire 1-2 fee, Richard Fitz Bernard 1-3 fee, and of the new feosment Will de Montacute 1 fee, Besides 1 fee in Dishcove whereof he was unwarrantably dispossessed by Henry Lovel. For all which fees, '4th Henry II.-(ii68) he paid 10 marks.

2 Stone, in- Aylesbury Hundred was held by John D. St. Clair, who m. Jane, daughter. of Thomas de Audham by Isabel, daughter. of William Montacute (sister of Margaret Montacute) which William was a younger brother of John de Montacute of Marsh, County Ducks, temp. Henry Ill.

3 The Coat Arms of John de Montacute of Marsh in Buckinghamshire were-" Five fusils in fess gules.11

Drue de Monteacuto and his wife Aliva (Basset) had an only daughter who became a nun at Shaftsbury, and a second son,-


who succeeded to the barony, and in the sixth year of Richard I. (1196) paid �6-1s-6d for his estates in the County of Somerset as scutage for the King's ransom,

He was sheriff of Dorsetshire and Somersetshire in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth years of King John (I 2 05-I 2 09) ; which fully proves his importance at that time, when none but persons of the greatest rank and property were admitted to that office. For the first of these years he had under him Osbert, the clerk, his deputy. Being one of the great barons of that reign who stood up for the liberties of their country, and being found ('7th John) in arms with the rebellious barons against the King, he was stripped of all his lands in Counties of Somerset and Dorset, which were seized by the King and given to Ralph de Ralegh. He died 18th of King John (1218). He married Isabel, daughter. of *____* and left an only son and heir who succeeded to the estate.


This son recovered all of the lands which his father had lost. But in the '7th of Henry III. (1233) he also had his lands, distrained by Virtue of the King's precept for omitting to repair to Court at the feast of Whitsuntide, there to receive the dignity of Knighthood, as was required by law. But the next year on doing his homage be was by the Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset reinstated in his possessions,. He died 31st of Henry III. ('1247) leaving issue William his son and heir.


(son of William No. VI.), had summons to attend the King into Gascony, against Alphonse 10th, King of Castile, who had usurped the province. The 4'st of Henry III. (I 2 5 7) he was summoned to be with the King at Chester on the feast day of St. Peter, ad 7iincula-well furnished with horse and arms, thence to march against Llewellin ap Griffith prince of Wales. 42d of Henry 111. he had a similar citation. By Berta his wife he left issue his son and heir, Simon.


(son of William No. VII.) was in several expeditions into Wales, particularly in that of 10th of Edward 1. (j286) when Llewellen lost his territory and life. He obtained from Edward I. confirmation of the manor of Shipton Montague in Somersetshire with the woods thereunto belonging in the forest of Selwood and a grant of several other manors in the same county and in those of Dorset, Devon, and Oxford.

The same lord Montacute made several campaigns with reputation both in France and Scotland, in the reign of Edward I., in which he was also Governor of Corffe Castle in Devonshire. In the Reign of Edward II. he again served in Scotland and was governor of the Castle of Beaumaris in the isle of Anglesey, and Admiral of the King's fleet. In that reign he also obtained a grant for a weekly market on Tuesday at his Manor of Yardlington, County of Somerset, and a fair on the eve day and morrow after the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. The 7th of Edwd II. (1314) he obtained a license of the King to fortify his Manor house at Yardlington This Manor was very beautifully situated in a picturesque locality upon a very fine lawn, and remained in, this family through many descents until, through the last Countess of Salisbury (who was beheaded at the age of 70 years by Henry VIII), it passed to the Poles and thence to Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Sir Simon Montacute also owned the Manor of Goat-hill, granted to him by Edwd I., and it descended to Gen. Thomas Montacute 4th Earl of Salisbury, thence to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and to John Neville, Marquis of Montacute. He also owned the Manor of Laymore in Somerset. This Sir Simon Montacute bore as his Coat of Arms the original shield of his ancestor Drogo First, (Azure---a Gryphon Segreant, or, [gold] as also did his father and each of his ancestors.

However, this Sir Simon changed the Arms to "Argent (white) three fusils * in fess gules (red)." See plate.

* A lozenge is of a diamond shape, and a fusil is an elongated lozenge, and these Arms were a white shield with three red fusils joined in line.

It is however recorded that Sir Simon. used both Coats of Arms, the one which he had made and the other which he received by inheritance. Fortunately we are not left in doubt as to what Arms he really bore, for the Pope had at that time made unwarranted pretentions with regard to Scotland and had issued an insolent bull, to which all the barons of England had made reply in a letter which was signed by all the Barons, who affixed to their names, as their seals, their Coat of Arms. This letter to Pope Boniface VIII. was written A. D. 1301, and was signed by Sir Simon de Montacute, with the other barons. A duplicate of this letter is preserved in the British Museum, and the plate of the Coat of Arms of Sir Simon Montague, appended to this work, is copied from his Seal to that letter. These Arms, with some modification for differences in families, have been the arms of all the succeeding English families of Montague. Sir Simon married Aufricia, daughter of Fergusius, King of the isle of Man, descended from Orry, King of Denmark. The Historian records that Aufricia, daughter of Fergus, King of Man, having fled to King Edward, when dispossessed by Alexander III. King of Scots, Edward bestowed her in marriage upon Simon lord Montague, baron of Shipton Montague, who by the King's assistance recovered the Island and enjoyed it in her right many years. (Camden says it was Simon's son William who recovered the Island.)

He had been summoned to parliament from the 28th of Edward I. to the 8th of Edward II. (1315), soon after which he died. Their issue was William and Simon de Montacute, the former succeeded his father and continued the line, the latter was married to Hawise, daughter of Almeric lord St. Amand.

Almeric de St. Amand was a great baron of that age whose chief seat was at Grendon Underwood, a parish in the hundred of Ashendon in Buckinghamshire ten miles west N. W. from Aylesbury. The male line became extinct and the property passed (through daughters) to other families. It would seem that Simon Montacute and Hawise de St. Amand, his wife, probably had a son whose name was William Montacute from the following passage taken from a very rare and ancient work *. "From thence he (the King) passeth on to the Castle of Salisbury which Castle belonged to William Montacute Earl of Salisbury in right of his wife but himself being then prisoner in France, onely his Countesse, and one William Montacute, a cousin of his was in the Castle." This William Montacute, who is called a cousin of the first Earl of Salisbury, was therefore a son of Simon and Hawise (Amand) Montacute, as it is recorded that the Earl's father had only two sons. As this Simon Montacute was the younger son, his subsequent history (and that of his son William) is unrecorded.

* The work referred to is, "A Chronicle of the Kings of England by Sir Richard Baker, Knight." London, 1660.


lord of Montacute, eldest son of Sir Simon de Montacute (No. VIII.), served in several expeditions into Scotland, both before and after his father's death, in the reigns of Edward I. and II. In the former he also received the honor of Knighthood, along with Edward prince of Wales; and in the second year of the latter, he obtained the royal charter for free warren at his manor of Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire, as he did afterward for those of Saxlingham, in the County of Norfolk, Knolle in the County of Somerset, and Woneford in the County of Devon. In the same reign he was governor of Berhamstead Castle and steward of the King's household; and had a grant of the bodies and ransoms of Rene ap Grenon, Madock ap Vaughan and Audoen ap Madock, Welsh barons who had rebelled and been taken prisoners.

Moreover, he obtained from the King a special license to make a Castle of his house at Kersington in the County of Oxford, and was appointed Seneschal of the duchy of Aquitain and at last in 1318 of Gascony. In the 11th and 12th of that reign he had summons to parliament and died in 1320 in Gascony, but was interred at St. Frideswide, now Christ Church Oxon *.

* William de Montagu, who held the Manor of Aston Clinton, in the County of Buckingham, held it of our Lord the King, by grant of Sergeanty, viz.---by the service of finding for our lord the King a lardiner at his own proper costs." Harl, MSS, British Mus.6126.---"The lord William Montacute holds the Castle of Denbigh, with the honour from the lord the King in Capite." Denbigh and its lordships, "William de Montacute held Wynford by the gift of Hugh de Courtenay by Sergeanty, viz. by the service of finding a bedell to serve in the hundred of Wynford in the office of bedell for all service."---Tenures of land---Blount.

"Alexander III., King of Scots, had invaded Man also, and entirely subdued it, and set a King over the isle. However, Mary, the daughter of Reginald King of Man, addressed her self to the King of England for justice in her case. Answer was made that the King of Scots was then possessed of the Island and she ought to apply herself to him. Her grandchild, John Waldebeof, notwithstanding this, sued again for his right in Parliament, held 33rd of Edward I., urging it there before the King of England as Lord Paramount of Scotland, yet all the answer he could have was that he might prosecute his title before the justices of the King's Bench; let it be heard there and let justice be done. But what he could not effect by law his kinsman Sir William Montacute (for he was of the royal family of Man) soon did by force of arms. For having raised a body of English, he drove the Scots out of the Isle with these raw soldiers. But, having plunged himself into debt by the great expense of this war, and become insolvent, he was forced to mortgage the Island to Anthony Bec, Bishop of Durham, and Patriarch of Jerusalem; and make over all the profits thereof to him for seven years, and quickly after, the King gave the Island to the said Anthony for term of life. Afterward King Edward II. gave it to his great favorite Peter de Gaveston. Soon after this the Scots recovered it again under the Conduct of Robert Brus. Afterward, about the year 1340, William Montacute, the younger (Earl of Salisbury), rescued it by force of Arms from the Scots and in the year of our Lord 1393 sold Man, and the Crown thereof, to William Scrope) for a great sum of money."-Camden's Britannia.

By Elizabeth, daughter of Peter lord Montfort of Beaudefert in the County of Warwick, he had issue four sons and seven daughters.

Of his four sons the eldest died in the life time of his father, the second succeeded him, Simon the 3rd son in the 8th of Edward III. was made Bishop of Worcester and in 1336 was translated to Ely. He was a great benefactor to the University of Cambridge and laid out a large sum on the fine Lady Chapel, on the north side of the Cathedral of Ely, though he did not live to finish it.

Sir Edward Montacute, the 4th son, was governor of the Castle of Werk. He served afterward in the French wars with great reputation. In the 23rd of Edward III. (1330), he had livery of all those lands which descended to his wife Alice, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk, fifth son of Edward I., and Marshal of England. He died in 1342.


eldest surviving son of William lord Montague (No. IX.), was made a banneret in the end of the reign of Edward II. In the first of Edward III. (1327) he was present at the expedition then made into Scotland, and in the 3rd of same reign attended the King when he was summoned to do homage to the King of France for his duchy of Aquitaine. In the 4th year of same reign he again attended the King to France, and had also the honor to wait on his holiness the Pope with Bartholomew de Burgherth, as Edward's ambassador, to thank him for confirming a bull of his predecessor Honorius, in favor of the Monks of Westminster. But the best service, perhaps, which this brave man ever performed for his master, was his bringing the famous Mortimer Earl of March the Queen's gallant, to punishment *. A parliament being held the same year it was enacted that William lord Montacute and all others with him, at the apprehension of the Earl of March and others, since what they did was authorized by the King's command, should be---"wholly acquitted thereof and of all murders and felonies they have done." This act of indemnity was not only passed in his behalf, but many manors and lands forfeited, by the attainder of the Earl of March and others, were bestowed upon him.

* The lord Montacute, having laid before the young King the infamy which the course of the life of the Queen, his mother, had brought upon his family, and the dangers which Mortimer's greatness threatened to the Crown, met with a favorable hearing from his Majesty, who ordered him to associate himself with such of the nobility as be could trust, and then apply to Sir William Eland, Constable of the Castle of Nottingham, in which the Queen and Mortimer had shut themselves up for defence. As the Keys of the Castle were brought every night to the Queen and nobody permitted to come in or go out without her knowledge, Sir William Eland directed Montacute and his associates to a private passage, by which they entered the Castle and marched directly to Mortimer's apartment, where the lord Montacute before he could seize his prisoner, was forced to kill Sir Hugh Turplington, steward of the household, and Sir John Monmouth. Mortimer was then made prisoner and carried before the King, and a short time after he was with his chief friends and abettors put to death.

In the same year (1330) he was also appointed governor of Sherbourne Castle in the County of Dorset, and of the Castle of Corffe with the Chace of Purbeck.

In the 5th of Edward III. he had a charter of free warren in all his lordships of Cookham in County of Berkshire, Swyneston in County of Southampton, Fulmere in County of Bucks and of Catsound and Lewisham in Kent. Likewise wreck, waif, stray goods of felons and fugitives, with fines and forfeitures of his tenants in his manors of Christ-church, Twyneham, Ringwood, and Swyneston, in the Isle of Wight and County of Southampton. Next year he obtained for John, his son-in-law, a grant of the Castle of Werk, on condition of his fortifying it and keeping it in repair; and for himself a release of all his Majesty's claim, right and title, in the isle of Man, and its appurtenances for him and his heirs forever. In 1335 he was constituted governor of the Isles Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Alderney, and Seul. In 1336 he was made Constable of the Tower of London, and in consideration of his great expenses in divers services obtained a grant of the forest of Selkirk and Ellerick, with the town and County of Selkirk in Scotland to hold in farm to him and his heirs. In the same year he also obtained a grant in fee of several manors, lands, and hundreds lying in the Counties Somerset, Dorset, Wilts, and Buckingham.

In 1337 he was constituted Admiral of the King's fleet, from the mouth of the Thames westward, and the following year in consideration of his faithful services in the Scottish wars, and otherwise, he was advanced to the title and dignity of Earl of Salisbury, with a grant of the annual rent of �20 out of the profits of that County.

The same year he was one of the Commissioners that were sent to the duke of Bavaria to engage him on behalf of Edward against Philip, King of France. Upon his return he was immediately joined with Richard, Earl of Arundel, in the command of a body of troops designed for Scotland, in consequence of which he was present at the memorable siege of the Castle of Dunbar. The same year he attended the King to Brabant and obtained several more grants of lands, castles, fairs and advowsons in the Counties of Oxford, Wilts, Dorset, Somerset, Chester, Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincoln.

In 1339 he obtained the King's precept to the lord treasurer and barons of the exchequer for an allowance of five marks each day while he was abroad on his service, and for the reimbursement of all the expenses he was put to thereby. The same year, in consideration of his services both in the field and cabinet, he obtained a grant of the office of Earl Marshal of England.

In 1340 he had the command of the army jointly with the Earl of Suffolk. These two commanders having laid siege to Lisle, then in possession of the French, were both unfortunately made prisoners by the besieged, who sallied out and drew them after them into the town. During their captivity they suffered great indignities; and upon their arrival at Paris would certainly have been put to death, had not the King of Bohemia (possibly a relative of his wife) interposed in their behalf. Upon a conclusion of a truce with France they were exchanged for the Earl of Murray and �3000 in addition.

The Earl of Salisbury, immediately after his release, went with many other English Knights into Spain and joined the army of Alphonsus against the Saracens.

In 1341 he was again in Flanders, and in 1342 in France. In 1343 he served upon the borders of Scotland with the Earl of Ulster. And about this time he conquered the isle of Man, when King Edward (having before given him the inheritance thereof ) crowned him King of Man.

In conjunction with Robert of Artois, he had the command of the forces sent to France in aid of the Countess of Mountfort, by sea and land; where, after defeating the French fleet, they took Vannes, but a truce having been concluded for three years the Earl returned to England, where he exercised himself so immoderately, in jousts and tournaments, that he fell into a fever of which he died in the forty-third year of his age, January 30, 1344, and was buried at the White Friars in London * (Vol. I, p. 51, Edmondson's Heraldry). He was possessed at his death of a vast estate and bore the titles of Earl of Salisbury, King of Man, and lord of Denbigh.

* Some authors state, that this great man was buried at Bisham priory which he had founded. This error probably was caused by the fact that his son built a magnificent monument to his memory, in that Abbey, which was however demolished by Henry VIII. at the dissolution. Not only Edmondson's Heraldry but Glover's Ordinary of Arms, and also the very high authority of Dugdale, assert that he was buried at White Friars, London. Edmondson's Heraldry, Vol. I, p. 51, states that he became 21 years old in the 19th of Edward II., which would place his birth A. D. 1304; the same authority also states, that he owned the Manor of Cookham in Berkshire. Lipscombe's Bucks states that the hamlet of Boveney anciently belonged to Cookham in Berkshire, and the inference is that this Earl of Salisbury may have been possessed of Boveney also.

Vol. I, P. 51, Glover's ordinary of Arms, Edmondson's Heraldry, says, this earl owned Fulmere in Buckinghamshire. Lipscombe's History of Bucks says, he sold it, in or before 1335. This was a hamlet and Chapelry of Datchet in Stoke Hund. Bucks, near Stoke Poges and not far from Boveney.

This great man, who died so young and who also accomplished so much in his busy career, also found time to establish at Bisham in Berkshire, on the banks of the Thames 4 miles from Maidenhead, a Monastery, and he also founded a priory (in 1338) for Canons of the order of St. Augustine, in the words of his charter, "dedicated to Our Lord and the Virgin." This priory was re-founded by Henry VIII. for an abbot and 13 Benedictine Monks. Here Henry VIII. confined one of his wives; afterward, it was a favorite resort of Queen Elizabeth; here was buried the wife of the founder, Katherine de Grandison, the Countess of Salisbury, and the inscription upon her tomb stated, that her father was "descended out of Burgundy, cousin german to the Emperor of Constantinople, the King of Hungary and Duke of Bavaria."

Here William Montacute, the 2nd Earl of Salisbury (son of the founder), was interred. By his will he directed that a monument should there be erected to the memory of his father, which was done upon a magnificent scale 1.

His wife Catherine was daughter of William (and sister and heir to Otho) lord Grandison by Sibylla, daughter and heir of John de Tregoz, a great Baron. She was a brave woman, worthy of such a brave and noble man as was her husband the Earl of Salisbury. She 2 nobly defended and aided with heroic valor the defence of the castle of Werk, with her husband's brother, Sir Edward Montacute, who was its Governor, and also bravely defended her own Castle of Salisbury from King David of Scotland, with the aid of William Montacute, her husbands cousin, while her husband was a prisoner of war in France as before mentioned in the history of Sir Simon No. VIII.

1 "The bones of John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, who was beheaded, were brought from Cirencester, (by order of his widow) and re-interred at Bisham Priory." Crosse's Antiquities. Here also were laid the "mortal parts" of the 4th and last Earl of Salisbury, General Thomas Montacute, killed at the siege of Orleans (1428). Here, also rest the remains of John, Marquis of Montacute, killed at the battle of Barnet in 1470, and also his brother Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, called the "king maker." Here also sleeps that unfortunate youth Edward Plantaganet, son of the Duke of Clarence, beheaded in 1499 for attempting an escape from confinement.

2 It was this countess of Salisbury who, while dancing with King Edward, lost her garter, which gave rise to the founding of the order of the garter, (and not Joan Plantaganet, the Fair Maid of Kent, as was stated in the " Montagues at Hadley.") See History of the Orders of British Knighthood by Sir N. Nicholas. Rambles about Eton and Harrow, by Alfred Rimmer, London, 1882, et al.

They had seven children, three sons and four daughters. Of the sons, William, the eldest, succeeded his father and became the second Earl of Salisbury, but was killed in a tilting match at Windsor.

Sir John Montacute, the second son, married Margaret Monthermer, grand-daughter of Ralph and Joan of Acres, daughter of King Edward I, and his son became 3rd Earl of Salisbury.

Of Robert Montacute, the third and youngest son, the records give no history.


second Earl of Salisbury, eldest son of William the first Earl, was born in June, 1328. -Before he was of age he was Knighted when Edward landed at La Hague. He afterward served at the siege of Can, and at the glorious battle of Crecy. When the Order of the Garter was instituted he was the seventh of its original knights, and when the Black Prince obtained Aquitaine he attended him to France and served under him in all his excursions and expeditions. At the battle of Poitiers he commanded the rear of the English army, and was highly instrumental in gaining that famous victory. In short, almost his whole life was a perpetual campaign under Edward III. and his son, the Black Prince.

In the succeeding reign, he was continued in all his posts and preferments, and also made governor of Calais, whence he harrassed the French with continual excursions. In the fifth of that reign he convoyed to England the King's intended Consort, daughter of Charles, King of the Romans, and in the seventh and eighth he served against the Scots. In the ninth, a grant was made to him during life, of the custody of the Isle of Wight and Castle of Carisbrook. In the twentieth, the year ,397, he departed this life, having ordered by his will, that every day until his corpse should be interred at Bisham, distribution should be made of one pound five shillings to three hundred poor people; likewise that twenty poor men should bear torches on the day of his funeral, each torch eight pounds weight, and each of them wearing a gown of black cloth with a red hood; also, that there should be nine wax lights about his corpse, and upon every pillar of the church there should be fixed banners of his arms; moreover that �3� should be given to the religious, to sing "rentals and pray for his soul.

He first married Joan, who by way of distinction was called Fair Maid of Kent, daughter to Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Kent, but having been separated from her upon a petition from Sir Thomas Holland to the Pope, in which he alleged that she had been pre-contracted to him, his lordship married second, Elizabeth, dau. and co-heir of John lord Mohun, one of the original Knights of the Garter by whom he had a son who died without issue, having been accidentally killed by his father in a tilting at Windsor in the year 1383. This son was named Sir William Montague and married Elizabeth, dau. of Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel. His widow married in 1388 Thomas lord Mowbray, Earl Marshal of England.

Sir John Montacute, the brother of this Earl, married Margaret, dau. and heir of Sir 'I Thomas Monthermer son of Joan of Acres, dau. Of King Edward I., in whose right he had summons to Parliament from the 31St of Edward to the 13th year of Richard II., when he died. He had three sons, John his heir (who became 3d Earl of Salisbury), Thomas Montague, Dean of Salisbury, and Richard .Montague, of whose issue there is no trace. This Richard lived about the year 1400. None of the English genealogies make any further mention of him except to state his name. It is claimed that there was also a fourth son, whose name was Simon Montague, and from /'in the nobility of England of this name claim descent. Collins' Peerage, however, states that there is no evidence that this Simon ever lived, and is inclined to the belief that the nobility are descended from James Montague, a natural son of General Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. This James Montague had large possessions in (County Kent, where he was a man of distinction, and is buried in the (Church of Ludsdown in Kent. Sir John Montacute had also three daughters, Sybil, Catherine and Margaret.


third Earl of Salisbury (and eldest son of Sir John), was thirty-nine years of age at his father's decease, and forty when his uncle died. He was early engaged in a military life and had been in most of the memorable battles during the reign of Edward III. In the 15th year of Richard II. he obtained leave to serve in Prussia and from the 16 h year until he became Earl of Salisbury, was summoned to parliament as a baron, after which he not only had livery of all the lands of which his Uncle died possessed (as he had before of those of his mother, dau. and heir of Thomas lord Monthermer), but also obtained a grant to himself and his heirs, of several Manors in the Counties of Worcester and Norfolk.

This Earl of Salisbury was the only temporal Nobleman, who remained firm to King Richard's interest after the invasion of the duke of Lancaster, and even when Richard was deposed, and the duke had mounted the throne, he joined in a plan for the murder of -the latter, which being discovered, he and the earl of Kent were pursued to a village near Cirencester where the rabble struck off their heads and sent them to London. His body was buried at Bisham Abbey (which his ancestor the first Earl had founded) by the side of the second Earl of Salisbury, having been removed thither by order of his widow.

He married Maude, dau. of Sir Adam Francis, Knight (she was the widow, first of John Aubrey, second of Sir Allan Boxhull, Knight of the Garter). Their children were, Thomas, the eldest son, who was afterward 4th Earl of Salisbury, Richard, who died without issue, and three daughters, Anne, (3 times married) Margaret, and Elizabeth.


Fourth Earl of Salisbury and eldest son of the 3d Earl, was only twelve years of age at his father's death. Though the great estate, of which the last earl had been possessed, was now forfeited, yet a considerable part of it was recovered before his son became of age and at last, in the reign of Henry V., he retained a reversion of his father's attainder and was restored in blood.

This noble Earl was concerned in so many military exploits, that to give an account of them all, would be to write the history of the reign of Henry V. Suffice to say, that as he lived so he died in the service of his Country, for, having been mortally wounded by a stone, shot from a cannon at the siege of Orleans, he was carried to Meun on the Loire where he departed this life in November, I428. He was twice married. First to Eleanor, dau. of Thomas Holland, sister of Edmond, Earl of Kent. Second to Alice, dau. of Thomas Chaucer. He had but one child, a daughter Alice. His body was brought to England and interred by the side of his ancestors in the Abbey at Bisham.


dau. of General Thomas above mentioned, became at his death Countess of Salisbury.

She m. Sir Richard Nevil, who in her right became Earl of Salisbury. He was the eldest son of Ralph, first Earl of Westmoreland He followed the York party, was taken prisoner in a battle at Wakefield and beheaded. At his death, their eldest son, Richard Nevil, succeeded to the title of Earl of Salisbury, and, in right of his father, Earl of Warwick.

He was that Earl of Warwick, to whom the House of York owe their ascent to the throne. He also bore the titles of lord Monthermer, great chamberlain and High Admiral of England, lord Warden of the north marches toward Scotland and High Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster, and among his many titles, was also known as "the: King maker." He was a man of invincible courage and took delight in dangers, engaged his country in a fresh civil war in which he lost his life. He was slain at the battle of garnet, 14th April, 1471, though some authors affirm that he was murdered by his own party.

John Nevil, the younger of the two sons of Richard and Alice (Montague) Nevil, Earl of Salisbury, was 1st of Edward IV. created Baron Nevil of Montague, and 10th of the same reign, Marquis of Montague.

He was slain at the battle of garnet, (some say murdered) 147r, while endeavoring to succor his brother Richard, Earl of Warwick.

They were both laid in state at Westminster, London, and afterward were carried to Bisham Abbey and buried among their ancestors.

Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick, had two daughters namely, Isabel, married to George, Duke of Clarence, and Anne, married first to Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI.; second to King Richard III.

George, Duke of Clarence, was murdered in a hogshead of wine,. leaving his wife Isabel with an only son Edward who was beheaded on Tower hill at the age of fifteen by order of Henry VII., and an only daughter Margaret who became Countess of Salisbury in right of her mother. She was the last Countess of Salisbury and with her death the title became extinct until revived in the person of Cecil, in the year 1605 by King James.

The title of Countess of Salisbury had been restored to Margaret by Henry VIII. in full parliament about the fifth year of his reign.

Both George, Duke of Clarence, (who was a brother of both King Richard III. and Edward IV.) and his unfortunate son, the young Edward, were taken to Bisham Abbey and buried among their ancestors. Margaret the last Countess of Salisbury, married Sir Richard Pole (also often spelled Poole), and had four sons and one daughter. Ursula, married Henry Stafford, son of the Duke of Buckingham. She was beheaded 27th of May, z3d of Henry VIII. The sons were, Henry Pole, created Baron Montague, Sir Arthur, Sir Jeffray, and Reginald Pole who was Dean of Winburne, then made a Cardinal by Pope Paul III., and afterward Archbishop of Canterbury. He was, for his religion, banished from England by King Henry VIII. He went to Rome and became eminent with Pope Paul III., at whose death he was unanimously chosen Pope, as. his successor. This he refused to accept. " Thereupon, one night the Cardinals came unto him, being in bed, and sent him word they came to adore him (which is one special kinde of electing the Pope) but he being awakened and made acquainted with it was firm in his refusal."-(Baker's Chronicles). The Cardinals remained with him all night.

Her son, Henry Pole, was made Baron Montague in 1504 by King Henry VII. He married Jane, dau. of Sir George Nevil, lord of Abergeveney. Being connected with a plot to re-instate his brother, Reginald, Cardinal Pole, he was beheaded upon Tower hill in 1538, together with his co-plotters and relatives, Henry Courtney, Marquis of Exeter, and Sir Edward Nevil. Sir Jeffry Pole was concerned in the same plot but gained his pardon by becoming informer. Sir Reginald the Cardinal was chosen to become the husband of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) to whom he was much attached. He died the 18th November, 1558, on the next day after the death of Queen Mary. The mother, Margaret pole, Countess of Salisbury, now at the age of seventy years, was beheaded by Henry VIII. in the year 1541.

Anne, the other daughter of Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury, and Warwick, married as before stated King Richard III. '['hey had one only son Edward whom his uncle, King Edward IV., in the 17th year of his reign created Earl of Salisbury, and Richard his father, usurping the Kingdom, made Prince of Wales. He died young and his mother soon after died, not without suspicion of poison. While King Richard himself perished upon the field of Bosworth.

Thus in darkness and blood, and in a violent manner, upon the scaffold, perished the descendants of Alice Montague the gentle and only daughter of General Thomas Montague, fourth and last Earl of Salisbury of the name of Montague, and this branch so prolific in great men, who bathed all England in blood during the dissensions of the Houses of York and Lancaster, became extinct.

Their lineage has thus been traced to its final ending, not because it is supposed the American family were lineally descended from any of these personages who are so well known in history, but because they all lived previous to the year 1550, at which date the will of William Montague, from whom it is known that the American family are descended, was proved, and therefore it would not be out of place to mention their history as descendants of the Earls of Salisbury.

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