At the weekend, some of our members visited Kimbolton Castle, now owned by Kimbolton School, but formerly the ancestral home of the Earls of Manchester. As part of the visit, some of us put on a display for Year Eight pupils and their parents – great fun for us and the audience seemed to enjoy it too!
We also made the front page of the local paper: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?referral=other&re…
Afterwards, we were given a guided tour of the castle and Kimbolton Parish Church by former history teacher and local historian Nora Butler, who told us about the second Earl, who was involved in the English Civil War and whose regiment we re-enact.
This is the man himself – the second Earl of Manchester, Edward Montagu: General, Lord of the Realm, Major-General of the Eastern Association of the Army of Parliament, member of the Committee of Both Kingdoms, custodian of the Great Seal, Knight of the Order of the Garter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Lord Chamberlain, Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire, Custos Rotulorum of Northamptonshire, and Baron Montagu of Kimbolton!
Kimbolton Parish church and the castle are full of images of the family crest and the three diamonds, or ‘lozenges’, which come from the Montagu family’s claimed descent from the Earls of Salisbury. They are said to be the coat-of-arms of a Norman knight called Drogo de Monte Acuto (the jagged diamonds are a pun on his name, which means ‘pointed mountain’). In the 19th Century, the family decided they WERE descended from him and so started using Drogo as a Christian name – the current Duke of Manchester is Alexander Charles David Drogo Montagu.
That coat-of-arms is literally all over the place – including the Montague family at the church, showing the coat-of-arms of the Earls of Manchester