President of the Board of Trade (1748-61); sought to strengthen the Board’s authority and effectiveness in colonial affairs. Lord lieutenant of Ireland (1761-63). First Lord of the Admiralty (1762). Principal secretary of state (1762-65). Lord privy seal (1770) and secretary of state (1771) in Lord North’s ministry.
Son of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, and his wife Lady Mary Lumley; uncle of Lord North. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. Married Anne Richards (1741); had issue. Also had two children by his long- time mistress Mary Anne Faulkner, a popular singer.