Elizabeth Montagu (Kadwell Portfolio, Bromley Historic Collections
2 October 1718 – 25 August 1800
‘Queen of the Blue Stockings’ and Society Hostess
It was through Elizabeth Montagu’s contact with the poet Gilbert West of neighbouring West Wickham that she visited a house in Hayes (later Hayes Place), which her husband Edward leased for them in 1751 for three years. In September 1751, she wrote to her husband that she was going to Hayes ‘to enjoy quiet and my books till you arrive’. Her guests included Gilbert West and also William Pitt, for whom she arranged in 1753 for the delivery of a feather bed for his comfort. William Pitt decided to take over the lease in 1754 and that event had a great impact on the little village. Elizabeth remained in contact, visiting William Pitt and reporting on what was happening to the house and the family.
- ‘Queen of the Blue Stockings’, Ed. Emily J Climenson, Vols 1 & 2, London 1906
- Brilliant Women, 18th-Century Bluestockings, Elizabeth Eger and Lucy Peltz, National Portrait Gallery 2008