(Bishop of Winchester)

Born: 1568?

Died: 1618

Father: Edward MONTAGUE of Boughton Castle (Sir Knight)

Mother: Elizabeth HARRINGTON

Son of Sir Edward Montague of Boughton, and bro. of Henry, Sidney and Edward. Educ. Cambridge; first master of Sidney Sussex College; dean of Lichfield, 1603; dean of Worchester, 1604; Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1608; restored the church at Bath; Bishop of Winchester, 1616. Edited and translated the writings of King James I, 1616.

James was apparently a confidant of Bess of Hardwick, a very wealthy and powerful woman of the period. Bess, like may old ladies, reposed a lot of her confidence in a clergyman. She developed a friendship by letter with Dr. James Montague, Dean of the Royal Chapel and later Bishop of Bath and Wells, leaving him 20 Pounds in her will. Practical in all things, this exchange of correspondence had its uses: Montague, through his job, was close to the King and in fact he saw and spoke with him many times every day. He was thus able to keep Bess informed on what went on in the immediate royal circle and conversely could pass on to the King whatever Bess wanted him to know.

In the spring of 1605 Bess was reported unwell, and in a forgiving spirit Lady Arabella Stuart asked is she might make a visit to her old grandmother... James provided a letter of recommendation, an unusual step, which in effect made the visit a royal command. Bess, suspicious in most things concerning forgiveness, particularly when defaulting members of her family might be after her money bags, wrote to Montague that she thought it strange of Arabella to come when she had previously been so anxious to leave. Suspecting that Arabella was coming to ask for money she told the Dean - for the King's ears of course - that her granddaughter had been provided.


DNB, Bess of Hardwick.

Durant, D: Bess of Hardwick: Portrait of an Elizabethan Dynast

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