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Lambton was the fourth son of Ralph Lambton (c. 1651–1717). He was commissioned as an ensign in the Coldstream Guards in 1732, then promoted to lieutenant in 1739, captain and lieutenant-colonel in 1746 and colonel of the 68th Foot in 1758.
He married Susan Lyon (died 1769), daughter of The Earl of Strathmore, in 1763. Their children included:
- William Henry Lambton of Lambton (1764–1797), who succeeded him as MP for Durham City and father of the First Earl of Durham
- Susan Mary Anne Lambton, who married John Wharton, MP
- Ralph John Lambton (c. 1767–1844), also MP for Durham City
- Jane Dorothy Lambton
- Chichester, Henry Manners (1892). "Lambton, John (1710-1794)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Stearn, Roger T. "Lambton, John (1710–1794)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15946. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
|Parliament of Great Britain|
John Tempest, Sr.
|Member of Parliament for Durham City
With: John Tempest, Sr. 1762–1768
John Tempest, Jr. 1768–1787
John Tempest, Jr.
William Henry Lambton
|New regiment||Colonel of the 68th Regiment of Foot
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