Lord Montagu 1926-2015

Lord Edward Montagu, famed as the founder of the Beaulieu national motoring museum, has died aged 88.

He inherited his peerage aged 2 and took his seat in the House of Lords in 1950, aged 21, as a Conservative peer.

In 1954 he was charged and convicted of consensual sex with another man – a court case which would in turn┬ábring about the Wolfenden report and the decriminalisation of sex between men in England and Wales thirteen years later.

Having remained silent about the conviction for nearly half a century he addressed it in his 2000 memoirs, commenting in interview with the Southern Daily Echo that, “My attraction to both sexes neither changed nor diminished at university and it was comforting to find that I was not the only person faced with such a predicament.

“I agonised less than my contemporaries, for I was reconciled to my bisexuality, but I was still nervous about being exposed.”