MANNERS, John, Mq. of Granby (1696-1779).
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Family and Education
b. 21 Oct. 1696, 1st s. of John Manners, M.P., 2nd Duke of Rutland, by his 1st w. Catherine, da. of William Russell, M.P., Lord Russell, and sis. of Wriothesley, 2nd Duke of Bedford; bro. of Lord Robert, Lord Sherard and Lord William Manners. educ. perhaps Eton c.1707. m. 27 Aug. 1717, Bridget, da. and eventually h. of Robert Sutton, 2nd Baron Lexinton of Aram, 5s. 6da. suc. fa. as 3rd Duke 22 Feb. 1721. K.G. 13 Nov. 1722.
Ld. lt. Leics. 1721-d.; ld. of the bedchamber 1721-7; P.C. 17 July 1727; chancellor of duchy of Lancaster 1727-36; ld. steward of the Household 1754-61; one of lords justices Apr.-Sept. 1755; master of the horse 1761-6.
Returned for Rutland in 1719, Granby voted for the peerage bill. In 1721 he succeeded to the dukedom, carrying an extensive electoral interest in Rutland and Leicestershire, as well as the control of one seat at Grantham. The death of his father-in-law, Lord Lexinton, in 1723, brought him further electoral influence in Nottinghamshire, where he controlled one seat at Newark. A lord of the bedchamber under George I, he was promoted on George II’s accession to the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster, which he resigned in 1736 on being rebuked by the King for disposing of a duchy office without obtaining royal approval.1 Going into opposition, he voted in the Lords against the Government, eventually attaching himself to the Prince of Wales, in whose shadow cabinet he figures as lord chamberlain. After Frederick’s death in 1751 Henry Pelham, who had married Rutland’s sister, tried to persuade the King to win over the Manners family by giving the Blue Regiment, later the Royal Horse Guards, to the Marquess of Granby. Writing to Newcastle at Hanover about the next general election, Pelham observed that ‘if this affair were once settled as we wish, the King’s interest in the north would be almost without a negative, our own family connection easy, and your elections without expense there’.2 George II, however, flatly refused to give the regiment to Granby, commenting unfavourably on his character and those of the other members of the Manners family: ‘I love none of them’.3 When the Duke of Rutland was at last brought into the Cabinet as lord steward in the summer of 1754, Newcastle wrote to him:
the support and countenance which your Grace and your family are so good as to give us are the greatest honour and strength that any Administration can have.4
He died 29 May 1779.