Manners, Robert (1758-1782) (DNB00)

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MANNERS, Lord ROBERT (1758–1782), captain in the navy, born Feb. 1758, was the second son of John Manners, marquis of Granby [q. v.], and grandson of John, third duke of Rutland. On 13 May 1778 he was promoted to be lieutenant of the Ocean, in which he was present in the action off Ushant on 27 July. On 17 Sept. he was moved into the Victory, flagship of Admiral Keppel, and on 15 July 1779 into the Alcide, one of the ships which went out to Gibraltar with Rodney and defeated the Spanish squadron off Cape St. Vincent. On 8 Dec. 1779 Lord Sandwich had written of Lord Robert to Rodney: 'There is another young man of fashion now in your squadron concerning whom I am tormented to death. I cannot do anything for him at home; therefore, if you could contrive while he remains with you, by some means or other, to give him rank, you will infinitely oblige me' (Mundy, Life of Rodney, i. 207). Rodney accordingly took the first opportunity, 17 Jan. 1780, to promote Manners to be captain of the Resolution, under Sir Challoner Ogle (d. 1816) [q. v.], whom he constituted a commodore. The Resolution returned to England with Rear-admiral Robert Digby [q. v.], and was shortly afterwards sent out to rsorth America with Rear-admiral Thomas (afterwards Lord) Graves [q. v.] When Rodney, after his visit to the coast of North America in the summer of 1780 [see Arbuthnot, Marriot; Rodney, George Brydges, Lord], returned to the West Indies, he took the Resolution with him, shortly after which Ogle, having been promoted to be rear-admiral, went home, leaving Manners in command of the ship. The whole business is a curious illustration of the crooked policy of the then first lord of the admiralty. In the following year the Resolution went north with Sir Samuel (afterwards Lord) Hood [q. v.], and took part in the action off Cape Henry on 5 Sept. She was afterwards with Hood at St. Kitts in January 1782, and in the battle of Dominica, 12 April 1782, was in the centre of the line, the third ship astern of the Formidable. In the action Manners received several severe wounds, in addition to having one leg shot off. From the strength of his constitution hopes were entertained of his recovery. He was put on board the Andromache frigate for a passage to England, but some days later lockjaw set in, and terminated fatally (Blane, Observations on the Diseases incident to Seamen, p. 479). He is described as a young man of great gallantry and promise. His portrait by Reynolds has been engraved.

[Commission and warrant books in the Public Record Office; Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs.]

J. K. L.