The History of  
Hinchingbrooke House  

the Hart of Hinchingbrooke



oliver cromwell

edward montagu


fourth earl

5th-7th earls

Eighth Earl

ninth earl





 Ninth Earl

George Charles Montagu, Ninth Earl

We have information about Hinchingbrooke in the 19th century from the Victoria County History (a secondary source, printed 1920s) and from the Census returns (a primary source). Life in an Edwardian Country House was described in a re-enactment by Channel Four TV and adapted extracts giving details of the life of servants are featured here.

Formal architectural description of the House written in the 1920s

Colourful description in local paper of Hinchingbrooke - 1921
The great characteristic of Hinchingbrooke, as it is now, is its brightness. In all the principal rooms, immense windows let in floods of sunshine, in the cosy library lighting up the woodwork, all of which is of oak black with age, richly and elaborately carved by the hand of some great master.
Hinchingbrooke can rightly be called a memory haunted place, filled as it is with recollections of battles and victories by sea and land; of men and women who have attained the highest pinnacles of earthly glory, and who long hundreds of years ago were filled with passionate human purpose, and who had a prominent part in shaping the destinies of our Empire.

The Ninth Earl

More details

The Montagu family in the 1930s.

The 9th Earl holds the dog, Gillie, behind him is Lady Olga Montagu and to her left the Hon Drogo Montagu and Lord Hinchingbrooke. The young girl is Lady Elizabeth and looking from the window is the Countess of Sandwich.

Hon William Drogo Sturges Montagu was a flying officer (no. 91111) in the RAF and died on Friday 26th Jan 1940 at the age of 31. He is buried in Brampton St Mary's churchyard.


Victor Montagu who would have been the tenth Earl did not succeed, let alone inhabit the house, for Lord Hinchingbrooke relinquished his title and his seat in the House of Lords in order to continue his active life in the Commons. Sadly, he lost his seat at the next election. He was Assistant Private Secretary to Stanley Baldwin who was Prime Minister on three occasions and is shown with him at Hinchingbrooke in 1926.

The Countess left the Dower House and the unique collection of pictures, built up with such skill and such perceptiveness, was sold and scattered, though some went to the Tate Gallery.

One of the final indignities was a flood at Hinchingbrooke caused by the fire safety features

The Ninth Earl died in 1962. So, after nearly five hundred years as a home, did Hinchingbrooke.

... By 1963 there was no alternative. The house would have to be sold... from Houseful at Hinchingbrooke - Mary Stuart


"The tenth Earl would not succeed" means he refused the title.
What does this tell us about the role of a hereditary peerage in the late 20th and early 21st century?
Why would someone not want to inherit a title, house and land?

Other Links

Kelly's Directory of Huntingdonshire 1903