Thomas Manners-Sutton, 1st Baron Manners

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Manners
Lord Manners.
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
In office
Monarch George III
George IV
Prime Minister The Duke of Portland
Spencer Perceval
The Earl of Liverpool
Preceded by George Ponsonby
Succeeded by Sir Anthony Hart
Personal details
Born 24 February 1756
Died 31 May 1842 (1842-06-01) (aged 86)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) (1) Anne Copley (d. 1814)
(2) Hon. Jane Butler
Alma mater Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Thomas Manners-Sutton, 1st Baron Manners, PC, KC (24 February 1756 – 31 May 1842) was a British lawyer and politician who served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1807 to 1827.

Background and education[edit]

Manners-Sutton was the sixth son of Lord George Manners-Sutton, third son of John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland. His elder brother the Most Reverend Charles Manners-Sutton was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1805 to 1828 and the father of Charles Manners-Sutton, 1st Viscount Canterbury, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1817 to 1834. His father had assumed the additional surname of Sutton on succeeding to the estates of his maternal grandfather Robert Sutton, 2nd Baron Lexinton. Manners-Sutton was educated at Charterhouse and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, in 1780.[1]

Political, legal and judicial career[edit]

Manners-Sutton was elected Member of Parliament for Newark in 1796, a seat he held until 1805, and served under Henry Addington as Solicitor-General from 1802 to 1805. From 1800 to 1802 he was Solicitor General to the Prince of Wales (later King George IV).

In 1805 he became a Baron of the Exchequer, which he remained until 1807. The latter year he was admitted to the Privy Council, raised to the peerage as Baron Manners, of Foston in the County of Lincoln,[2] and appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, in which position he served until 1827. A staunch protestant, Lord Manners was an opponent of Catholic emancipation and argued against the Catholic Relief Act 1829 in the House of Lords. His unfamiliarity with Irish conditions led him to rely heavily on the Attorney-General for Ireland, William Saurin, who thereby acquired unprecedented power and virtually controlled the Dublin administration until his dismissal in 1822.

Although opposed to Emancipation, Manners as a judge showed no bias against Catholics: indeed he handed down a landmark ruling in Walsh's case in 1823, that in Ireland as opposed to England a bequest for the saying of Mass for the testators' soul was valid in law. The increasing number of Catholic barristers (even Daniel O'Connell, who had a low opinion of most judges) also paid tribute to his impartiality.


Lord Manners married firstly, Anne Copley, daughter of Sir Joseph Copley, 1st Baronet, of Sprotborough, in 1803. They had no children. After his wife's death in 1814 he married secondly the Honourable Jane Butler, daughter of James Butler, 9th Baron Cahir. They had one son, John Manners-Sutton. Lord Manners died in May 1842, aged 86, and was succeeded in the barony by his only son, John. A family relation, Evelyn Levett Sutton, graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, acted as private chaplain to Lord Manners.[3]


External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Manners-Sutton
William Crosbie
Member of Parliament for Newark
With: Mark Wood
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Newark
1801 – 1805
With: Mark Wood to 1802
Sir Charles Pole, Bt from 1802
Succeeded by
Henry Willoughby
Sir Charles Pole, Bt
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir John Mitford
Chancellor of Durham
Succeeded by
Samuel Romilly
Preceded by
Spencer Perceval
Solicitor-General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir Vicary Gibbs
Political offices
Preceded by
George Ponsonby
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Hart
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Manners
Succeeded by
John Thomas Manners-Sutton