A blue plaque to Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800) was unveiled on Thursday morning, 20 June 2019, at Treasurer’s House, York.

Glennis Whyte, National Trust, unveils the plaque as Peter Addyman (YCT President) and Matthew Constantine (National Trust’s curator for Yorkshire) approvingly look on

Montagu was a leading literary figure in London during the Enlightenment, but as a girl grew up in York’s Treasurer’s House.

Peter Addyman and members of YCT’s Historians’ Group besides the Montagu plaque

The role of that women might play in cultural society during the C18 was questioned. Montagu was amongst the most pioneering women of her day to challenge this, at least for women of her social class. Her London home in Mayfair became a centre of intellectual discussion, with visitors requiring tickets in order to manage the demand to attend. Those who favoured this type of progressive soiree were known as “bluestockings”.

Treasurer’s House, York, with YCT’s historic plaque to John Goodricke (left) and new, blue plaque (right) to Montagu

The plaque is affixed to the Treasurer’s House and the unveiling event was well attended, with over 40 people gathering to watch Glennis Whyte, an expert on Montagu’s life, unveil the plaque.

More details about Montagu’s life and works can be found on our website.

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