MANNERS, Lord Robert (?1717-82), of Bloxholm, Lincs.
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Family and Education
b. ?1717, 8th s. of John, 2nd Duke of Rutland, by his 2nd w. Hon. Lucy Sherard, da. of Bennet, 2nd Baron Sherard [I]. m. 1 Jan. 1756, Mary Digges of Roehampton, Surr., 3s. 2da.
Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1735, lt. 1740; capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1742; col. 1747; lt.-gov. Hull 1749- d.; col. 36 Ft. 1751-65; maj.-gen. 1757; lt.-gen. 1759; col. 3 Drag. Gds. 1765- d.; gen. 1771.
Lord Robert Manners had the support of Government (and probably also of the corporation) throughout his parliamentary career, and his appointment as lieutenant-governor must have strengthened his position. He was Member for 35 years and survived five contested elections—a remarkable achievement in so open a constituency.
He did not belong to the Manners group, but supported each successive Administration except that of Rockingham (he voted against them on the Anstruther election and the repeal of the Stamp Act). North in 1781 wrote of the ‘steady, constant, uniform, and zealous part Lord Robert has always maintained in the House of Commons on behalf of Government’.1
The Public Ledger in 1779 described him as ‘a venerable old man [he was then about 62], attached strongly to his profession, and unable from bodily infirmities to attend his duty in Parliament’; and the English Chronicle in 1781: ‘he still fights the battles of his country over a hospitable fireside, and, amidst the honest garrulity of age, displays a soul still warm for the interests of Britain’. Thomas Thoroton wrote to Rutland on 7 Apr. 1780, the day after Dunning’s motion:2 ‘poor old Lord Robert attended to vote against the question’. He also voted with Government on the motion against adjournment (24 Apr.)—his last known vote. There is no record of his having spoken in the House, though he was a Member for nearly 35 years.
He died 31 May 1782, aged 64.