1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montagu, Elizabeth Robinson

MONTAGU, ELIZABETH ROBINSON (1720-1800), English leader of society, was born at York on the 2nd of October 1720. In 1742 she married Charles Montagu, cousin of Edward Wortley Montagu and son of the earl of Sandwich—a wealthy man, considerably her senior. Thanks to her, his Mayfair house became the social centre of intellectual society in London, and her breakfast parties and evening conversaziones gained for her from her admirers the title of “The Madame du Deffand of the English capital.” In other quarters the term “blue-stocking” was applied to her guests. From her husband, who died in 1775, she inherited a considerable fortune and large estates, in the management of which she showed much ability. In 1781 she built Sandleford Priory, near Newbury, and Montagu House, now 22 Portman Square, London, the latter from designs by James Stuart. With the colliers in the north she was extremely popular, and every May-day she entertained the London chimneysweeps. She died on the 25th of August 1800. There is an admirable portrait of her by Reynolds.

See Elizabeth Montagu, the Queen of the Blue Stockings: Her Correspondence from 1720 to 1761, edited by E. J. Climenson (2 vols., 1906); and R. Huchon, Mrs Montagu and her Friends, 1720-1800 (Eng. trans., 1907).