Richard Montagu 1577-1641

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Richard MONTAGU or MOUNTAGUE 1577-1641

Biographical Note

Born at Dorney, Buckinghamshire, son of Lawrence Mountague, vicar there. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge 1597, BA 1598, MA 1602, BD 1609. He worked for a while for Sir Henry Savile at Eton on his Greek edition of St John Chrysostom, before becoming chaplain to James Montagu, Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1608, and prebendary of Wells. Fellow of Eton College 1613, royal chaplain 1615, Dean of Hereford 1616; he had various other ecclesiastical preferments before becoming Bishop of Chichester in 1628, and of Norwich in 1638. He published numerous works of doctrinal controversy and was one of the leading figures in the rising Arminian, anti-Calvinist thinking in the Church of England during the second quarter of the century.


A few scattered books with Montagu's inscription survive, and commonplace books in Marsh's Library, Dublin. His letters to John Cosin include numerous references to the obtaining of books, and he evidently had a significant library, dispersed after his death. He left no will, and administration of his estate was granted to his son in 1641. He was not wealthy at the time of his death, a fact attributed partly to his buying of books and manuscripts from abroad; according to Sir Thomas Browne, his "excellent library", including his papers, was sold in London after his death. Examples: Peterhouse, Cambridge C.5.16, K.13.1.