Angus Montagu, 12th Duke of Manchester

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His Grace
The Duke of Manchester
The 12th Duke of Manchester at Kimbolton Castle Allan Warren cropped.jpg
The Duke of Manchester outside Kimbolton Castle in 1989
Member of the House of Lords
as Duke of Manchester
In office
3 June 1985 – 11 November 1999
Preceded by Sidney Montagu
Succeeded by House of Lords Act 1999
Personal details
Born Angus Charles Drogo Montagu
(1938-10-09)9 October 1938
Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire, England
Died 25 July 2002(2002-07-25) (aged 63)
Bedford, England
Spouse(s) Mary Eveleen McClure
Diane Pauline Plimsaul
Anne-Louise Taylor
Biba Hiller, née Jennians
Children Alexander Charles David Drogo Montagu
Lord Kimble William Drogo Montagu
Lady Emma Montagu
Parents Alexander Montagu, 10th Duke of Manchester
Nell Vere Stead

Angus Charles Drogo Montagu, 12th Duke of Manchester (9 October 1938 – 25 July 2002) was a British hereditary peer. Until he inherited the dukedom in 1985, he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Angus Montagu.

Angus grew up in Britain, Ceylon and Kenya. After serving the Royal Marines, he settled in Australia and had a number of jobs. During middle age, he suffered from financial hardship and fell victim to a number of confidence tricks for which he took the blame. He was known for his friendly and outgoing personality, and his few speeches in the House of Lords were viewed positively.

Early life[edit]

Angus was born on 9 October 1938 as the son of Alexander Montagu, 10th Duke of Manchester, and Nell Vere Stead, and was the younger brother of Sidney Montagu, 11th Duke of Manchester.[1] He was separated from his family aged two while his father served in World War II, and spent time living with nuns in Ceylon. He did not enjoy his time there, later saying the nuns "weren't very pleasant people".[2]

In 1950, he joined his father in Kenya for a short period after the family home of Kimbolton Castle was sold.[2] He was educated at a Welsh prep school and Gordonstoun School, before serving for three years in the Royal Marines.[3] Upon discharge, he had jobs in the oil industry and in tourist-related activities across the United States. He moved to Australia in 1959 and was variously employed as a clothes salesman, a barman, and a crocodile wrestler. He later spent time in Canada and eventually moved into a bedsit in Bedford, England, near Kimbolton.[2]

Political career[edit]

As a hereditary peer, the Duke was able to take a seat in the House of Lords and made his maiden speech there on 25 November 1991, in a debate on the European Union. Though the speech was only three minutes long, it was praised for its brevity and succinctness by other peers, including Viscount Tonypandy.[4] He also raised questions about redundancies in the Armed Forces with the Leader of the House of Lords, Viscount Cranborne.[5]

Other work[edit]

The Duke established the Duke's Trust with photographer Allan Warren, a charity for children in need.[6] Towards the end of his life, the Duke set up the company Unique Tours, to show American tourists places such as Stratford Upon Avon. He found that customers liked meeting a genuine English peer.[2]

Criminal charges[edit]

He was the perfect fall guy. Every time Montagu was involved, someone was handing him a drink. He was used because he's gullible, he's vain, he's foolish – and none of that is a crime

The Duke of Manchester's defence council at his trial for fraud in 1996.[2]

The 10th Duke's business venture in Kenya failed, reducing the family estate from millions to £70,000. By time of his father's death, the new duke had little money, and his warm and outgoing personality made him vulnerable to fraudsters and confidence tricksters.[1]

In 1985, Angus was arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud against the National Westminster Bank for £38,000. He inherited the title of Duke of Manchester while awaiting trial following the death of his brother. He was acquitted after he was ruled to be insufficiently competent and intelligent enough to conduct and organise the raid, and had been set up to take the blame. The trial judge said of him "on a business scale of one to 10, the Duke is one or less, and even that flatters him".[1]

In 1991, the Duke became honorary chairman of the Tampa Bay Lightning ice-hockey team, pledging to raise $25 million. He was also chairman of a holding company based in Dublin, Link International, which was responsible for raising the money. The company failed, unable to pay significant debts, and in 1996 the Duke was convicted of fraud.[2][7] At the trial, his defence lawyer argued that he was the victim of a confidence trick by a business partner. He was jailed for 33 months and served 28, following which he was deported back to Britain.[2]


The Duke of Manchester together with his younger son, Lord Kimble Montagu.
Photo: Allan Warren (1993)

On 22 November 1961 at Geelong, Australia, Lord Angus Montagu married Mary Eveleen McClure, daughter of Walter Gillespie McClure of Geelong. They were separated in 1965 and divorced in 1970,[3] but she continues to be known as Lady Angus Montagu. There were three children of the marriage:

  • Alexander Charles David Drogo Montagu (born 1962)[3]
  • Lord Kimble William Drogo Montagu (born October 1964), married 1997 Sally Elizabeth Nurse; children: Emily Elizabeth Beatrix Montagu (born 1999) and William Anthony Drogo Montagu (born 2000)
  • Lady Emma Montagu (September 1965 – 29 April 2014), married 2001 Lance Vincent Hodgkinson. by who Lady Emm Montagu Gave birth to Nicholas James Hodgkinson on the 5th November 2002.

In 1971, Lord Angus Montagu married secondly Diane Pauline Plimsaul of Wimborne, Dorset, daughter of Arthur Plimsaul of Corfe Mullen in the same county. They were divorced in 1985, after Montagu had inherited the dukedom, and his second wife is now Diane, Duchess of Manchester. In 1989, Manchester married thirdly Anne-Louise Taylor, formerly Mrs Bird, daughter of Dr. Alfred Butler Taylor of Cawthorne, Yorkshire. They were divorced in 1998. She is now Anne-Louise, Duchess of Manchester. On 22 April 2000, at the Swedish Church, Mayfair, in London, the Duke of Manchester married fourthly the former fashion model Biba Hiller (born Jennians on 3 February 1942). They were divorced in 2001. Biba, Duchess of Manchester, died of cancer aged 61 on 11 October 2003.


The Duke died of a heart attack at home on 25 July 2002, aged 63.[3] At the time of his death, his estate had a net deficiency.[8]

Titles and styles[edit]

The Duke was also 15th Earl of Manchester, 15th Viscount Mandeville and 15th Baron Montagu of Kimbolton.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary: The Duke of Manchester". The Guardian. 2 August 2002. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Duke of Manchester". The Daily Telegraph. 30 July 2002. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Duke of Manchester". The Times. London. 29 July 2002. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 17 September 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ "European Council, Maastricht". Hansard. 25 November 1991. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Armed Forces: Redundancies". Hansard. 23 March 1993. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Daily Express, 25 March 1988
  7. ^ "The Duke of Manchester". Hansard. 24 July 1996. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Deficiency cannot be used to cut tax liability". The Times. 14 January 2005. p. 79. Retrieved 20 September 2016. (subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sidney Montagu
Coat of arms of the Duke of Manchester.svg
Duke of Manchester

Succeeded by
Alexander Montagu