Lord William Manners

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Lord William Manners (13 November 1697 – 23 April 1772), English nobleman and Member of Parliament, was the second son of John Manners, 2nd Duke of Rutland and his first wife, Catherine Russell.

He never married, but by his mistress Corbetta Smyth, daughter of William Smyth, Apothecary of Shrewsbury, he had ten children:

  • Corbetta Manners (1728–1760), eloped to marry Capt. George Lawson Hall; their daughter Corbetta Hall was a chief beneficiary of her grandmother's will.[1]
  • John Manners (1730 – 23 September 1792) politician, married Louisa Tollemache, 7th Countess of Dysart and had issue, several children.
  • Rev. Thomas Manners (1731 – 1 December 1812), twice married; firstly in 1758 to Susannah Buckland, who suffered from a mental condition, and secondly immediately after her death. His son William Manners married Frances Whichcote of Aswarby, and has descendants.[2]
  • William Manners (1734–1827), married Caroline Pickering
  • Russell Manners (1736–1800), married Mary Rayner
  • Augusta Manners (1737–1828)
  • Frances Manners (1739–1817)
  • Robert Manners (b. 1740), died young
  • Caroline Manners (1741–1800), married Jeremiah Ellis
  • Robert Manners (1743 – 18 April 1810), married Elizabeth White (1749–1817)

He entered Parliament for Leicestershire in 1719, for which he sat until 1734. He returned as MP for Newark in 1738, and held that seat until 1754, when he was succeeded by his eldest son John.

He died on 23 April 1772 as the result of a riding accident.

His descendant David Drew-Smythe speculates that Lord William Manners and his mistress Corbetta Smyth, who had a long-term relationship, never married because of inheritance clauses. All Corbetta's children were recognized by their father.

Conditions of inheritance being linked to stipulations about specific marriage expectations or restrictions are not uncommon and have been known to "force" couples into living and bringing up their children in 'unmarried' relationships in order to avoid losing an inheritance. This is speculation, of course, but there must have been some specific reason why they chose to be unmarried.


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Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Cave, Bt
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Bt
Member of Parliament for Leicestershire
with Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Bt 1719–1722
Edmund Morris 1722–1727
Sir Clobery Noel, Bt 1727–1733
Ambrose Philips 1734

Succeeded by
Ambrose Philips
Edward Smith
Preceded by
Richard Sutton
James Pelham
Member of Parliament for Newark
with James Pelham 1738–1741
Job Staunton Charlton 1741–1754

Succeeded by
Job Staunton Charlton
John Manners