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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu


Edward John Barrington Douglas Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, was a longstanding member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and was our Honorary “Millennium President” in the year 2000. He was perhaps best known in recent years for his tireless championing of British tourism and for the success of the National Motor Museum which he founded, based on his own collection of vintage and classic cars, and which to this day is housed at his country estate, Beaulieu, in Hampshire.

Montagu was in many ways an archetypal English Tory of his generation – Eton, Oxford and the Guards – but his career was marred early on by high jinks at the Bullingdon Club (seemingly more acceptable now than in Montagu’s day!) which led to his leaving university in his second year, and allegations of homosexuality (in those days still a criminal matter) and several high-profile court cases in which he faced the same charges as Oscar Wilde more than half a century earlier. (The story of the witch-hunt against Montagu was the subject of the 2008 Channel Four documentary A Very British Sex Scandal.)

Notwithstanding these blots on his character he continued collecting, conserving, writing and promoting, and became highly regarded as an ambassador for Britain’s heritage industry and tourism. He served as Chairman of the Historic Houses Association in the 1970s and then of English Heritage in the following decade, and when the Blair government “reformed” the House of Lords in 1999 he ended up as one of the 92 Hereditary Peers who stayed in Parliament after being elected to remain there by their fellow Peers.

Edward Montagu was a well-liked and respected figure in both Parliament and the media, and was a popular choice as our Institute’s Honorary President in 2000.

Andy Smith (CIoJ President 2001-3)