Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

Our common ancestors - Herbert - Contents

Augustus Reebkomp (later Montgomery)

Capt. Augustus Montgomery, Royal Navy, 1789.
This is is a (very good) painted copy of the Beechey portrait at Wilton House.
Light adjusted digitally. See full size.
Picture in possession of Gibbon of South Africa.
Image courtesy of Mike Hilligan.

Augustus Reebkomp (later Montgomery),
born 23 Nov 1762, probably in Holland,
bapt in Holland, 16 Dec 1762.
Descendant of Edward III.
See wikitree and and thepeerage.

Illegitimate son of 10th Earl of Pembroke, born "Augustus Reebkomp":
Reebkomp was the illegitimate son of the 10th Earl of Pembroke.
See The elopement of the 10th Earl and Kitty Hunter.
It is about as well-documented an illegitimacy as you could imagine, and about as well-accepted by the legitimate family. Even Lady Pembroke generously welcomed him at their seat Wilton House (though she blocked his adoption of the surname Herbert).
He was liked especially by his half-brother George (the future 11th Earl), who had no other brother.
Money came out of the Herbert family for him and his descendants for almost a full hundred years.
Think he grew up mainly at Wilton.
Not sure how much contact he had with his mother Kitty Hunter. The Earl of Pembroke paid her a pension. Presumably she did not visit Wilton. But they stayed in contact. Her new lover the (future) Earl of Bristol was Reebkomp's godfather, and her eventual husband Alured Clarke stayed in contact with Reebkomp (and with the Montgomery family, after Reebkomp's death).
He was educ Eton 1767 (age 4) to 1771. His older brother was sent to Harrow.
[Thomas, 2008] references research about the youngest ever boys at Eton, and says Reebkomp was "the youngest Etonian ever."

Royal Navy career:
He entered the Royal Navy as a child.
First record is June 1773, age 10.
See Royal Navy career of Augustus Montgomery 1773 to 1797.
He was in England and present at Wilton House during the Royal visit to Wilton, 1778.
Lady Pembroke writes from Wilton on 18 Feb 1779 and says "Rep. is with me." [PP, vol.1, p.150]
He sailed to North America in May 1779.
He served in American Revolutionary War, 1779 to 1783.
He wrote to his father from his ship at Port Royal, Jamaica, on 21 Nov 1779. He sends love to stepmother, half-sister and mother: "My kind love to Lady P. and Charlotte. Let Mrs. C. know that I am well." Interesting that his father remains in contact with Kitty Clarke. See [PP, vol.1, p.323].

There was a story among his Gibbon descendants that he went on the Grand Tour with his half-brother the future 11th Earl. But [PP, vol.1] shows no sign of him on his brother's lengthy tour (which was in 1775-1780).

Becomes Captain. Takes the name "Augustus Montgomery".
He took the surname "Montgomery" on becoming Commander in 1781.
He became Captain in 1782. He then requested Navy records change to "Montgomery".
Listed as "A. Montgomery" in [Dublin Almanack, 1783].
American Revolutionary War ended Sept 1783.
He went on leave in Sept 1783 for nearly 5 years.

See lost portrait of Augustus Montgomery, painted maybe around 1783.
[PP, vol.2, p.242] shows him joining Lady Pembroke and 11th Earl at Nice in Nov 1783.
[PP, vol.1, App.A] says that when out of the Navy, in 1783-88, Augustus spent his time between England and the Continent.
His half-brother the 11th Earl defends him against some worries by their father, in a letter of 3 Apr 1787: "he is going on very well, living a great deal in a circle of very good acquaintance, whom he likes, and who like him ... rejoice at his being a thorough worthy and pleasant being, which he most undoubtedly is." [PP, vol.2, p.346]

Serves in Mediterranean, meets wife:
He re-joined active service in the Navy in 1788.
See Beechey portrait, painted 1789.
He served in the Mediterranean in 1790-91. Presumably in the Eastern Mediterranean, and that is how he met his wife.
He went on leave on 5 May 1791. He got married in Oct 1791. He does not seem to have returned to service until around the time George was conceived in early 1793.

He mar Oct 1791, Smyrna, Turkey, to Susan Maltass [born est c.1774].
On 8 Jan 1793, he was appointed Captain of the Inconstant.
George would be conceived around Feb 1793. In Apr 1793, the Inconstant is listed as having left England.
The 11th Earl writes to his mother, 27 Aug 1793, saying that Reebkomp's marriage is not happy: "A Wasp's Nest there very likely is, but I fear she has been herself insupportable to him, and she is such an execrable fool, that I am inclined to fear there are but small hopes, and I have likewise heard enough to make me suspect that her conduct has not always been the most regular in any respect." [PP, vol.2, p.489]
However, Reebkomp in his will 1796 still refers to "my beloved wife Susan".

His father the 10th Earl died in Jan 1794.
His mother died Aug 1795.
Elizabeth would be conceived around Oct 1795.
He went on leave on 16 Nov 1795, though was apparently already in England (in Portsmouth).

Augustus dies, 1797:
His will is dated 13 June 1796, written on board his ship the Theseus at sea. He says if his wife and children die he leaves his estate to his half-brother the 11th Earl.
Augustus died 6 Feb 1797, age 34 yrs, on board his ship the Theseus at Cawsand Bay, Plymouth.
There was apparently no fighting so he may have died of some illness.
See notice on p.173 of The Gentleman's Magazine, Feb 1797.
He was bur 16 Feb 1797 in churchyard of Stoke Damerel church, Plymouth. No monument erected to him there.
His will was proved (by 11th Earl) 11 Mar 1797, Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
There were family names Augustus, Augusta and Montgomery in the Gibbon family after him.

Wilton papers show that the 11th Earl took care of Reebkomp's children after his death. The children regularly visited, or even largely grew up at, the Earl's homes, Wilton House and Pembroke House.
Susan lived on for decades.
She went to live in France by 1818.
She had an affair as a middle-aged widow, and gave birth to a natural son in Paris in 1818.
See Susan's life after Augustus.
Augustus and Susan had issue:

  1. Rev. George Augustus Montgomery,
    born 7 Nov 1793.
    [Sorowka, 2021, p.20] says he was born in the Netherlands. Is it possible this is confusion with his father?
    He was bapt 5 Apr 1794, St Mary, Islington, London. See entry from here.
    Seems clearly named after his father's half-brother the 11th Earl.
    He was known as "George", e.g. see Aug 1822 letter from his uncle the 11th Earl.
  2. Elizabeth Montgomery,
    born 12 July 1796,
    bapt 13 July 1796, St.Margaret's, Westminster, London (beside Westminster Abbey, see map and street view).
    See copy of baptism entry.
    [Thomas, 2009] thinks she was named after the 10th Earl's widow Elizabeth Spencer. This is possible. Her father was very much part of the Herbert family.
    Another possibility is she was named after the 11th Earl's 1st wife Elizabeth Beauclerk who died in 1793.
    Another possibility is she was named after her grandmother Kitty Hunter [Elizabeth Catherine] who died in 1795.

A formerly lost portrait of Augustus Montgomery painted maybe around 1783.
It was inherited by his descendants, the Gibbon family, and sold after 1913.
It was then mis-labelled, and lost for a century, before I re-discovered it in 2023.
See full size.

Entry for Reebkomp on pp.446-447 of [Eton College register, 1753-1790].
He went there in 1767-71.
Quite something for an illegitimate child to be sent to Eton.

[Steel's List, Jan 1790] shows Augustus Montgomery as Captain of the Mercury, then in the Mediterranean.
Montgomery served in the Mediterranean in 1790-91.
Presumably in the Eastern Mediterranean, and that is how he met his wife, Susan Maltass of Smyrna, who he married in 1791.
See full size.


Lost miniature portrait and other things


Will of Arthur Augustus Gibbon (died 1907) mentions a miniature portrait of Reebkomp and Susan.
Two copies of the same picture, framed in gold.
One copy went to Mildred Gibbon (died 1952).
The other copy went to either Lily Gibbon (died 1932) or Florence Gibbon (died 1949).

Will of Arthur Augustus Gibbon (died 1907) mentions cutlery with the initials "A.M."
This would be Augustus Montgomery.
The will here says that it went to Florence Gibbon (died 1949).

Gold chronometer watch

There was a large gold chronometer watch made by John Arnold given to Reebkomp by his father the 10th Earl of Pembroke.

Reebkomp's will refers to "the gold repeating time keeper by Arnold left me by my father".

Will of Arthur Augustus Gibbon (died 1907) says it went to either Monty Gibbon (died 1920) or Mildred Gibbon (died 1952).


I get Augustus Montgomery into Burke's Peerage

Burke's Peerage was first published in 1826.
For 177 years their entry for PEMBROKE excluded the Augustus Montgomery line because it was illegitimate.
When Burke's Peerage was re-launched in 1999, they said they would include illegitimate lines. So I contacted them in 2000.
Due to my research, in the next edition in 2003 I managed to get Augustus Montgomery and his children into Burke's Peerage.

The Reebkomp-Gibbon line appears in the PEMBROKE entry in Burke's Peerage.
Extract from [Burke's Peerage, 2003].




Sources yet to be consulted


Reebkomp's will mentions a grant of a coat of arms from the Herald's Office "by which my father the Earl of Pembroke acknowledges me as his son".


"I am glad Lord P. [Pembroke] provided well for them [George and Elizabeth] and he was obviously very fond of them."
[Letter from 16th Earl of Pembroke, 1960] after making contact with the Gibbon descendants of Elizabeth Montgomery.
The 10th Earl died after George was born but before Elizabeth existed.
It was the 11th Earl who really provided for them.


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