Ref NoMS/206a
TitleLetter to George Montague - W.E. Leach
AdminHistoryGeorge Montagu (1753 – 20 June 1815) was an English army officer and naturalist, best known for producing his 'Ornthological Dictionary' of 1802.

Montagu was born in 1753 at Lackham House, Wiltshire, to James Montagu (1713–1790) and baptised at Lacock Church on 9 July 1753. In 1770 he joined the army as an Ensign in the 15th Regiment of Foot. He resigned his commission as a Captain in 1777, but eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Wiltshire Militia. Montagu had an interest in marine and freshwater natural history, and in 1803 published his Testacea Britannica, a History of British Marine, Land and Freshwater Shells. This described 470 species of molluscs, 100 of which were new to the British list. He supplied some new species of crustacean to William Elford Leach at the British Museum, and recorded some species of fish for the first time in English waters, as well as discovering new species including Montagu's blenny and Montagu's snapper (Lutjanidae).

In 1773 he married Ann Courtenay, niece of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, and they settled at Alderton House in Wiltshire. In 1798 Montagu left his wife and moved to Prospect House, near Kingsbridge in Devon. He died on 20 June 1815 and is buried at Kingsbridge Parish Church. Montagu's collection of birds was bought by the British Museum, about 200 of which are now housed at the Tring Museum. His annotated copies of the Dictionary and Testacea were bequeathed to the Linnean Society.
DescriptionLetter from William Elford Leach to George Montaga relating to specimens of British sponges, a dissertation by Messr G. Cuvier on Delphinus and Physeteres of Linnaeus.
Date[1829]
LevelFile
Extent1 file
LanguageEnglish
NotesIn inside front cover of MS/206
AdoptLINN: The conservation of this item has been made possible by the generous support of Ian Endersbry, FLS. July 2018.
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