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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Earls and Dukes of Manchester

The Manchester title, in the English peerage, belongs to a branch of the family of Montagu. The first earl was SIR Henry Montagu (c. 1563-1642), grandson of Sir Edward Montagu, chief justice of the king's bench 1539-1545, who was named by King Henry VIII. one of the executors of his will, and governor to his son, Edward VI.. Sir Henry Montagu, who was born at Boughton, Northamptonshire, about 1563, was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, and, having been called to the bar, was elected recorder of London in 1603, and in 1616 was made chief justice of the king's bench, in which office it fell to him to pass sentence on Sir Walter Raleigh in October 1618. In 1620 he was appointed lord high treasurer, being raised to the peerage as Baron Montagu of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire, and Viscount Mandeville. He became president of the council in 1621, in which office he was continued by Charles I., who created him earl of Manchester) in 1626. In 1628 he became lord privy seal, and in 1635 a commissioner of the treasury. Although from the beginning of his public life in 1601, when he first entered parliament, Manchester had inclined to the popular side in politics, he managed to retain to the end the favour of the king. He was a judge of the Star Chamber, and one of the most trusted councillors of Charles I. His loyalty, ability and honesty were warmly praised by Clarendon. In conjunction with Coventry, the lord keeper, he pronounced an opinion in favour of the legality of ship-money in 1634. He died on the 7th of November 1642. Manchester was 1 The title was derived, not from Manchester in Lancashire, but from Manchester (or Godmanchester) in Huntingdonshire, where the Montagu family estates were.

married three times. One of his sons by his third wife was father of Charles Montagu, created earl of Halifax in 1699. Edward Montagu, 2nd earl of Manchester (1602-1671), eldest son of the 1st earl by his first wife, Catherine Spencer, granddaughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorpe, was born in 1602, and was educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He was member of parliament for Huntingdonshire 1623-1626, and in the latter year was raised to the peerage in his father's lifetime as Baron Montagu of Kimbolton, but was known generally by his courtesy title of Viscount Mandeville. His first wife, who was related to the duke of Buckingham, having died in 1625 after two years of marriage, Mandeville married in 1626 Anne, daughter of the 2nd earl of Warwick. The influence of his father-in-law, who was afterwards admiral on the side of the parliament, drew Mandeville to the popular side in the questions in dispute with the crown, and at the beginning of the Long Parliament he was one of the recognized leaders of the popular party in the upper House, his name being joined with those of the five members of the House of Commons impeached by the king in 1642. At the outbreak of the Civil War, having succeeded his father in the earldom in November 1642, Manchester commanded a regiment in the army of the earl of Essex, and in August 1643 he was appointed major-general of the parliamentary forces in the eastern counties, with Cromwell as his second in command. Having become a member of the "committee of both kingdoms" in 1644, he was in supreme command at Marston Moor (July 1, 1644); but in the subsequent operations his lack of energy brought him into disagreement with Cromwell, and in November 1644 he strongly expressed his disapproval of continuing the war (see Cromwell, Oliver). Cromwell brought the shortcomings of Manchester before parliament in the autumn of 1644; and early in the following year, anticipating the self-denying ordinance, Manchester resigned his command. He took a leading part in the frequent negotiations for an arrangement with Charles, was custodian with Lenthall of the great seal 1646-1648, and frequently presided in the House of Lords. He opposed the trial of the king, and retired from public life during the Commonwealth; but after the Restoration, which he actively assisted, he was loaded with honours by Charles II. In 1667 he was made a general, and he died on the 5th of May 1671. Manchester was made a K.G. in 1661, and became F.R.S. in 1667. Men of such divergent sympathies as Baxter, Burnet and Clarendon agreed in describing Manchester as a lovable and virtuous man, who loved peace and moderation both in politics and religion. He was five times married, leaving children by two of his wives, and was succeeded in the title by his eldest son, Robert, 3rd earl of Manchester (1634-1683).

See Lord Clarendon, History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (7 vols., Oxford, 1839) and Life of Clarendon (Oxford, 1827); S. R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649. (4 vols., London, 1886-1891); The Quarrel between Manchester and Cromwell, Camden Soc., N.S. 12 (London, 1875); Sir Philip Warwick, Memoirs of the Reign of Charles I. (London, 1701).

Charles Montagu, 1st duke of Manchester (c. 1656-1722), son of Robert, 3rd earl of Manchester, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and succeeded to his father's earldom in 1683. Warmly sympathizing with the Whig revolution of 1688, he attended William and Mary at their coronation, fought under William at the Boyne, became a privy councillor in 1698, and held various important diplomatic posts between that date and 1714, when he received an appointment in the household of George I., by whom on the 28th of April 1719 he was created duke of Manchester. He died on the 20th of January 1722, and was succeeded successively in the dukedom by his two sons, William 2nd duke of Manchester (170o-1739), and Robert 3rd duke (c. 1710-1762), who was vice-chamberlain to Queen Caroline, wife of George II.

George Montagu, 4th duke of Manchester (1737-1788), was the son of Robert, the 3rd duke. He was a supporter of Lord Rockingham, and an active opponent in the House of Lords of Lord North's American policy. In the Rockingham ministry of 1782 Manchester became lord chamberlain. He died in September 1788.

WILLIAM MONTAGU, 5th duke of Manchester (1768-1843), second son of the preceding, was educated at Harrow, and having become a colonel in the army in 1794, was appointed governor of Jamaica in 1808. Here he remained, except for a visit to England (1811-1813) till 1827, administering the colony with ability in a period of considerable difficulty, and doing much to prepare the way for emancipation of the slaves. From 1827 to 1830 he was postmaster-general in the cabinet of the duke of Wellington, and died in Rome on the 18th of March 1843. His wife was Susan, daughter of the 4th duke of Gordon. He was succeeded by his son George, 6th duke (1799-1855), a captain in the navy; whose son William Drogo, 7th duke (1823-1890), married Louise, daughter of the Comte d'Alten of Hanover, who after his death married Spencer Cavendish, 8th duke of Devonshire. William was succeeded by his son George Victor Drogo, 8th duke of Manchester (1853-1892), on whose death the title devolved on his son, William Angus Drogo, 9th duke of Manchester (b .18 77). (R. J. M.)

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Earls and Dukes of Manchester'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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