Montagu, Walter

Montagu, Walter a Roman Catholic divine of note, was born at London in 1604. He was the son of Sir Henry Montagu, who afterwards became earl of Manchester. After being educated at Sidney College, Cambridge, he travelled abroad, and became a convert to Romanism. though opposed by his nearest friends. On returning to his native land, he attracted the attention and secured the favor of his queen, who appointed him her confessor. She also honored him by sending him on a confidential mission to Rome, where he met with a gracious reception by pope Urban VIII. The breaking out of the Civil War clouded his prosperity, and in 1643 he was imprisoned in the Tower, where he remained confined for several years. As soon as he was released he retired into France, where he became abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Nanteuil. He afterwards obtained the rich abbey of St. Martin's, near Pontoise, where he remained until the Restoration, when the queen-mother of England appointed him master of St. Catharine's Hospital, a position occupied by him till his death at Paris in 1677. As an author, the chief works of his pen are, The Shepherd's Paradise, a pastoral comedy possessing some merit, though ridiculed severely by Sir John Suckling in his "Sessions of the Poets": — Miscellanea Spiritualia, published in two parts (1648-54), a series of religious essays or tracts: — a Letter from Paris to his father, in which he justifies the Church of Rome, and states his personal reasons for changing his belief. This letter was printed with lord Falkland's Discourse on Infallibility (1651). He also made an English translation of Bossuet's Exposition of the Doctrines of the Catholic Church (1672). (H.W.T.)

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