MANNERS, John (1730-92), of Grantham Grange, Lincs.
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Family and Education
b. 27 Sept. 1730, 1st illegit. s. of Lord William Manners. M.P. (2nd s. of John, 2nd Duke of Rutland), by Corbetta, da. of William Smyth, apothecary, of Shrewsbury. educ. Westminster 1741-7. m. 4 Sept. 1765, Lady Louisa Tollemache, da. of Lionel, 4th Earl of Dysart [S], sis. and h. of Wilbraham Tollemache, and later Countess of Dysart 9 Mar. 1821, 4s. 6da. suc. fa. 1772.
Housekeeper at Whitehall 1756- d.
Manners was treated by Lord William Manners as his lawful heir, and in 1754 successfully contested Newark, his father’s old seat, on the Rutland interest. Dupplin classed him as ‘pro’ with other members of the Manners family. On 4 Dec. 1755 Lord William wrote to his sister, Lady Katherine Pelham, widow of Henry Pelham, that he was anxious for an appointment for his son: ‘some notice being taken of a young man on his first appearance in the world, may be of great consequence to him hereafter’. On 22 Dec. he wrote that he was obliged to the Duke of Newcastle for the offer made to Mr. Manners but thought that among several employments yet to be filled up there might be something more suitable such as the office of paymaster of pensions, then vacant.1 Manners did not obtain that office, but in June 1756 was made housekeeper of the palace at Whitehall. In 1761 he was returned unopposed for Newark. He does not appear in Henry Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762. In the autumn of 1763 Jenkinson classed him as ‘pro’. Rockingham, July 1765, also classed him as ‘pro’, but he voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766. He voted with Administration on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and appears in Newcastle’s list, 2 Mar. 1767, as ‘Administration’.
In 1768, when the Manners seat at Grantham seemed likely to become vacant, John Manners was put forward by his father who had in 1766 purchased the manor and soke of Grantham with a view to establishing his own interest in the borough. This nomination, however, was opposed by the influential Cust family, and by Lord Granby who told Sir John Cust that John Manners would be the last person he should think of recommending to Grantham.2In fact the vacancy did not occur, and Manners was again returned unopposed at Newark. Again he followed the rest of his family; voted with the court on the expulsion of Wilkes, 3 Feb. 1769, and the Middlesex election, 15 Apr., 8 May 1769; and in opposition on the Middlesex election, 25 Jan. 1770, and the Spanish convention, 13 Feb. 1771. In Robinson’s surveys on the royal marriage bill, March 1772, he was described as ‘doubtful, present’. No other vote of his is known, but Robinson in September 1774 classed him as ‘contra’. He did not stand again in 1774. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
Manners was a large-scale dealer in annuities, outstanding by the extent of his activities, and by the nature of his clients.3 Horace Walpole wrote to Lady Upper Ossory, 11 June 1773, that Manners had come ‘civilly ... to ask me if he might not seize the pictures at Houghton which he heard were worth threescore thousand pounds for nine thousand he has lent Lord Orford’. Manners also seems to have been behind Charles James Fox’s faro bank.4
In 1784 he received a promise from the Prince of Wales to be created an Irish peer, ‘when opportunity offers’.5 In 1786 when the creation of Irish peerages was being discussed, the Duke of Rutland protested to Thomas Orde against the inclusion of Sir Sampson Gideon, and added: ‘Another matter creates embarrassment; a Jew of my own name (Jack Manners) applied to me to recommend him as an Irish peer’,6 but Manners did not achieve this ambition.
He died 23 Sept. 1792, according to the Gentleman’s Magazine (1792, p. 870) ‘worth near half a million’.