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John Manners, Marquess of Granby

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Title: John Manners, Marquess of Granby  
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Subject: John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier, Henry Seymour Conway, Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend
Collection: 1721 Births, 1770 Deaths, Alumni of Trinity College, Cambridge, British Army Generals, British Army Personnel of the Jacobite Rising of 1745, British Army Personnel of the Seven Years' War, British Courtesy Marquesses, British Mps 1741–47, British Mps 1747–54, British Mps 1754–61, British Mps 1761–68, British Mps 1768–74, Heirs Apparent Who Never Acceded, Lord-Lieutenants of Derbyshire, Manners Family, Members of the Parliament of Great Britain for English Constituencies, Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain, People Educated at Eton College, Royal Horse Guards Officers
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John Manners, Marquess of Granby

John Manners, Marquess of Granby
John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1745)
Born 2 January 1721
Kelham, Nottinghamshire
Died 18 October 1770
Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1745 - 1770
Rank Lieutenant-General
Battles/wars Seven Years' War

Lieutenant-General John Manners, Marquess of Granby PC, (2 January 1721 – 18 October 1770), British soldier, was the eldest son of the 3rd Duke of Rutland. As he did not outlive his father, he was known by his father's subsidiary title, Marquess of Granby. Granby served in the Seven Years' War as overall commander of the British troops on the battlefield and was subsequently rewarded with the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. He was popular with his troops and many public houses are still named after him today.


  • Early life 1
  • Elected to Parliament 2
  • Military career 3
  • Political offices 4
  • Death 5
  • Family 6
  • Footnotes 7
  • Sources 8

Early life

Born the eldest son of the 3rd Duke of Rutland and Bridget Manners (née Sutton), John Manners was educated at Eton, leaving in 1732 and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1738.[1] In 1740 he went to Italy on the Grand Tour travelling eastwards to Turkey, returning in 1742.[2]

Elected to Parliament

He was returned as Member of Parliament for the family borough of Grantham in 1741, which was a market town, however its electorate was relatively small and the affairs of its council were in the 18th century sponsored alternately by the titled Manners, Cust, Thorold and Heathcote families who had nearby family estates.[3] In 1745 he assisted his father set up a volunteer regiment in Rutland, which was limited to garrison at Newcastle, but was the only one of its type that raised its full requirement, a quota of 780 recruits.[4]

Military career

Four years later he received a commission as colonel of a regiment raised by the Duke of Rutland to assist in quelling the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.[3] This corps never got beyond Newcastle, but young Granby went to the front as a volunteer on the Duke of Cumberland's staff, and saw active service in the last stages of the insurrection, when he was present at the Battle of Culloden. Very soon his regiment was disbanded, but he retained his rank and campaigned in Flanders in 1747. Based in Newcastle they had mutinied as unpaid. Granby paid the money owed out of his own pocket. Thereafter he left England for Flanders as Intelligence Officer to Cumberland.[5]

In 1752, the Government suggested to Earl of Oxford, Granby was both courageous and competent as a soldier.[9] He was then appointed overall commander of the expedition replacing Sackville on 21 August 1759.[10] He became Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance on 15 September 1759.[11]

He was one of the first who understood the importance of welfare and morale for the troops. The character of British soldiering improved, and properly led the army was unbeatable in war. Nearly all the portraits show mounting a horse, or helping the wounded.[12]

Granby was sent to Paderborn in command of a cavalry brigade.[3] While leading a charge at the Battle of Warburg, he is said to "have lost his hat and wig, forcing him to salute his commander without them". This incident is commemorated by the British Army tradition that non-commissioned officers and troopers of the Blues and Royals are the only soldiers of the British Army who may salute without wearing headdress.[13] He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1759:[14] later that year he fought at the Battle of Minden as commander of the second line of cavalry under Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.[3]

Granby's tactical skill commanding the allied cavalry required courage, control and communication, also bringing Horse artillery to bear. The victory at the Battle of Warburg in July 1760 of an army three times the size distinguished his generalship, and marked the man as a genuine British military hero. His opponent, the duc de Broglie, was so impressed that he commissioned a portrait of Granby by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Further successes came at the Battle of Emsdorf in July 1760, the Battle of Villinghausen in July 1761 and at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal in June 1762.[3]

Political offices

Granby returned to England as a hero: a painting by Master-General of the Ordnance under his ministry on 14 May 1763.[15] Granby was also made Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire on 21 February 1764.[16]

Granby painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1763-65.

Granby supported the government's issue of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, in the hopes that his popularity would help quell the riot of the London silk weavers.[3] The king refused, having promised the reversion of the post to the Duke of Cumberland, but obtained Granby's retention as Master-General of the Ordnance in the new Rockingham ministry, although Granby did not co-operate with the ministry and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act.[3]

Under the Chatham Ministry, Granby was appointed commander-in-chief on 13 August 1766. Despite rumors of his retirement, he vigorously electioneered during the 1768 season, and increased the Rutland interests seats to seven, at some expense.[3] With the resignation of Chatham, he found himself somewhat isolated in the Grafton Ministry.[3] While he had opposed the attempts of the government to expel Wilkes from his seat in Middlesex, his personal dislike of Wilkes overcame his principles, and he voted in favor of the expulsion on 3 February 1769 and for the seating of Henry Luttrell afterwards.[3] It was to prove a serious political mistake.[3] Junius, a political writer, attacked the ministry accusing Granby of servility towards the court and personal corruption. Granby's great popularity might have let him ride out the affair, but his reversal on Wilkes provided new ammunition. Worse still, a reply to Junius by his friend Sir William Draper, intended in his defence, essentially validated the charge that the hard-drinking and personable Granby was easily imposed upon by less scrupulous acquaintances.[3]

Ultimately, it was not the attacks of Junius, but the return of Chatham that brought about his departure from politics. Granby had always respected Chatham, and through the intermediation of John Calcraft, was eventually persuaded to break with the ministry. On 9 January 1770, he announced that he had reversed himself once more on the propriety of expelling Wilkes, and shortly thereafter resigned as commander-in-chief and Master-General of the Ordnance, retaining only the colonelcy of the Blues.[3]

An Inn in Lincolnshire, named after him

Once out of office, Granby found himself hard-pressed by his creditors, and the loss of his official salaries had weakened his financial position. In the summer of 1770, he unsuccessfully campaigned for

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
The Viscount Tyrconnel
Sir Michael Newton, Bt
Member of Parliament for Grantham
With: Sir Michael Newton, Bt 1741–1743
Sir John Cust, Bt 1743–1754
Succeeded by
Sir John Cust, Bt
Lord George Manners
Preceded by
Soame Jenyns
Viscount Royston
Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire
With: Viscount Royston 1754–1764
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt 1764–1770
Succeeded by
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Sir Sampson Gideon, Bt
Military offices
New regiment Colonel of the 21st Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Royal Forresters)
Succeeded by
Lord Robert Sutton
Preceded by
The Viscount Ligonier
Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards
Succeeded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Preceded by
Lord George Sackville
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Hon. George Townshend
Preceded by
The Viscount Ligonier
Master-General of the Ordnance
Title next held by
The Viscount Townshend
Title last held by
The Viscount Ligonier
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
Title next held by
The Lord Amherst
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire
Succeeded by
Lord George Cavendish
  • Brumwell, Stephen; Speck, W. A. (2001). Cassell's Companion to Eighteenth Century Britain. Orion.  
  • Mannings, David (2000). Sir Joshua Reynolds: a complete catalogue of his paintings. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. pp. 321–325.  
  • Massie, Alastair W. (May 2006) [2004]. "Manners, John, marquess of Granby (1721–1770)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 October 2006. 
  • White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. Macmillan.  


  1. ^ "Manners, John Marquess of Granby (MNRS738J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ "The British Sale: Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours" (PDF). Sotheby's. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "John Manners, Marquess of Granby". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  4. ^ White-Spunner, p.232
  5. ^ White-Spunner, p.232
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9370. p. 1. 7 May 1754. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9459. p. 2. 15 March 1755. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9794. p. 1. 23 May 1758. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  9. ^ White-Spunner, p. 229
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9924. p. 2. 21 August 1759. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9930. p. 1. 11 September 1759. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  12. ^ Brumwell & Speck, p. 166-7
  13. ^ Interpretive sign at the Household Cavalry Museum in London.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9871. p. 1. 17—20 February 1759.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10312. p. 5. 10 May 1763. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10393. p. 1. 18 February 1764. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  17. ^ The Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Rutland, Preserved at Belvoir Castle, Charles Manners Rutland, Richard Ward, John Horace Round, Robert Campbell. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London. 1889. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  18. ^ Some Account of the Military, Political and Social Life of the Right Hon. John Manners, Marquis of Granby, Walter Evelyn Manners,. Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London. 1899. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  19. ^ Blackborne had served Granby's father during the Duke of Rutland's term as Lord Steward of the Household as his Steward of the Court of the Board of Green Cloth.
  20. ^ "What's in a pub name?". This is Kent. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  21. ^ This mistress was likely connected to
  22. ^ "The Peerage". Darryl Lundy. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 


He married Lady Frances Seymour (1728–1761), daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset on 3 September 1750. They had six children:[22]

He had two illegitimate children by an unknown mistress:[21]


He is probably best known today for being popularly supposed to have more pubs named after him than any other person - due, it is said, to his practice of setting up old soldiers of his regiment as publicans when they were too old to serve any longer.[20]

Granby died at [18][19]



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