Sandwich, 4th Earl of [Montagu, John ]
- William Weber
[Montagu, John ]
(b Lackham, Wilts., Nov 3, 1718; d London, April 30, 1792). English statesman and amateur musician . He followed a naval career, served as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1748–51 and 1771–82 and significantly reorganized the administration of the navy; he became embroiled in political conflict as a spokesman for George III, especially during the prosecution of John Wilkes and the American War. After his first period in office, Sandwich turned his energies to the performance of ‘ancient’ music which under his leadership was redefined from music of the 16th century to that two or more decades old. In this he was supported by his secretary, the amateur musician Joah Bates, who was an avid Handelian. While he was patron to the violinist Giardini, Sandwich's main early pursuit was the founding in 1761 of the aristocratic Catch Club, where professional singers performed catches, madrigals and glees, both ancient and modern. In the same period he held regular performances of Handel's oratorios, odes and masques at his estate, Hinchingbrooke, near Huntingdon, and at the parish church in Leicester. Thomas Greatorex, who joined Sandwich's household after a chance meeting in Leicester, assisted at these concerts in ...