Charles Manners-Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury

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The Viscount Canterbury

Charles Manners Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury by Henry William Pickersgill.jpg
Portrait of Lord Canterbury by Henry William Pickersgill, 1833.
Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
MonarchGeorge III
George IV
William IV
Preceded byCharles Abbot
Succeeded byHon. James Abercromby
Personal details
Born9 January 1780 (1780-01-09)
Screveton, Nottinghamshire
Died21 July 1845(1845-07-21) (aged 65)
Southwick Crescent, Paddington, London
Political partyTory
Spouse(s)(1) Lucy Denison (d. 1815)
(2) Ellen Power (d. 1845)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Charles Manners-Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury, GCB, PC (9 January 1780 – 21 July 1845) was a British Tory politician who served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1817 to 1835.[1]

Background and education[edit]

A member of the Manners family headed by the Duke of Rutland, Manners-Sutton was born at Screveton, Nottinghamshire, the son of the Most Reverend Charles Manners-Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury, fourth son of Lord George Manners-Sutton, third son of John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland. His mother was Mary, daughter of Thomas Thoroton, of Screveton, Nottinghamshire, while Thomas Manners-Sutton, 1st Baron Manners, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was his uncle. He was educated at Eton[2] and Trinity College, Cambridge,[2][3] and was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, in 1805.[2]

Political career[edit]

In 1806 Manners-Sutton was elected Tory Member of Parliament for Scarborough, a seat he would hold until 1832,[2][4] and then sat for Cambridge University from 1832 to 1835.[2][5] He served as Judge Advocate General under Spencer Perceval and Lord Liverpool from 1809 to 1817[2] and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1809.[2][6]

In 1817 Manners-Sutton was elected Speaker of the House of Commons, a post he would hold for the next eighteen years.[2] Antonia Fraser described Manners-Sutton as "a fine, friendly, genial figure, if inclined to pomposity (but that was a forgivable offence in a Speaker)."[7] Manners-Sutton, notably, was Speaker during the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. Following the King's prorogation of Parliament, Manners-Sutton led an angry group of MPs to the House of Lords to hear his proclamation. Manners-Sutton himself was said to be "red-faced and quivering with rage" at the news.[8]

When Lord Grey resigned as Prime Minister in May 1832, this caused a period of political unrest known as the Days of May. The King asked the Duke of Wellington to form a government to replace Grey's, but he was reluctant to do so. Nevertheless, according to Fraser, "There was the possibility that... Charles Manners-Sutton might prove an acceptable anodyne leader because, by the nature of his office, he was not tarred by the brush of his own anti-Reform declarations."[7] Manners-Sutton spent three hours outlining his views on the matter at "exhaustive and exhausting length" during a crucial meeting of the Tories at Apsley House. Following the meeting, Lyndhurst flung back his chair and exclaimed that he refused to listen any longer to such "a damned tiresome old bitch."[7]

Manners-Sutton was only the third candidate in contention to lead a Tory administration, behind Wellington and Sir Robert Peel. In the end, however, "he was understood to have declined" the opportunity to head the proposed Tory administration.[9]

In 1835 Manners-Sutton was appointed High Commissioner for Canada, but did not take up the post.[citation needed] He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1833[10] and in 1835 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bottesford, of Bottesford in the County of Leicester, and Viscount Canterbury, of the City of Canterbury.[11]


Lord Canterbury was twice married. He married as his first wife Lucy Maria Charlotte, daughter of John Denison, in 1811. After her early death at Ossington, Nottinghamshire, in December 1815, he married as his second wife Ellen, daughter of Edmund Power and widow of John Home Purves, in 1828. There were children from both marriages. Lord Canterbury died at Southwick Crescent, Paddington, London, in July 1845, aged 65, from apoplexy, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles. His second wife only survived him by a few months and died at Clifton, Gloucestershire, in November 1845.[2]


Coat of arms of Charles Manners-Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury
Coronet of a British Viscount.svg
Manners-Sutton arms.svg
Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, a canton sable (Sutton) 2nd & 3rd: Or, two bars azure, a chief quarterly azure and gules, the 1st and 4th quarters charged with two fleurs-de-lis or, and the 2nd and 3rd a lion of England (Manners)
On either side a Unicorn Argent armed maned tufted and unguled Or, around the neck of the dexter supporter a Chain Or pendent therefrom an Escutcheon Azure charged with a Mace erect Gold, around the neck of the sinister supporter a like Chain pendent therefrom an Escutcheon also Azure charged with an Archiepiscopal Mitre also gold jewelled proper
Pour y Parvenir [12]



  1. ^ The Times, 20 February 1835, Page 1
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Charles Manners-Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury
  3. ^ "Manners-Sutton, Charles (MNRS798C)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ " House of Commons: Salisbury to Shaftesbury". Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
  5. ^ " House of Commons: Caernarfon to Cambridgeshire South West". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
  6. ^ Privy Counsellors: 1679-1835
  7. ^ a b c Fraser, p. 232
  8. ^ Fraser, p. 109
  9. ^ Fraser, p. 241
  10. ^ "No. 19082". The London Gazette. 6 September 1833. p. 1642.
  11. ^ "No. 19245". The London Gazette. 3 March 1835. p. 391.
  12. ^


  • Fraser, Antonia (2014). Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832. London: Phoenix.
  • Shenton, Caroline (2013). The Day Parliament Burned Down. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edmund Phipps
Lord Robert Manners
Member of Parliament for Scarborough
With: Edmund Phipps 1806–1818, 1820–1832
Viscount Normanby 1818–1820
Succeeded by
Sir John Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone, Bt
Sir George Cayley, Bt
Preceded by
Henry Goulburn
William Yates Peel
Member of Parliament for Cambridge University
With: Henry Goulburn
Succeeded by
Henry Goulburn
Charles Law
Legal offices
Preceded by
Hon. Richard Ryder
Judge Advocate General
Succeeded by
John Beckett
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Abbot
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Hon. James Abercromby
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Canterbury
Succeeded by
Charles John Manners-Sutton