Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Manners-Sutton, John Henry Thomas

MANNERS-SUTTON, JOHN HENRY THOMAS, third Viscount Canterbury (1814–1877), the younger son of Charles Manners-Sutton, first viscount Canterbury [q. v.], by his first wife, Lucy Maria Charlotte, eldest daughter of John Denison of Ossington, Nottinghamshire, was born in Downing Street, London, on 27 May 1814. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated MA. in 1835. He was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn on 18 Sept. 1835, but was never called to the bar, and took his name oiF the books of the society on 25 Nov. 1853. In September 1839 he defeated Thomas Milner Gibson at a by-election for the borough of Cambridge, but was subsequently unseated for bribery (Journals of the House of Commons, xlv. 293-4). At the general election in June 1841 he was again returned for Cambridge, and on 25 Aug. following spoke for the first time in the House of Commons (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. lix. 216-17). On the formation of Sir Robert Peel's second administration in September 1841, Manners-Sutton was appointed Under-Secretary for the home department, but he took little part in the parliamentary debates. He resigned office upon Sir Robert Peel's overthrow in June 1846, and losing his seat for Cambridge at the general election in August 1847, did not again enter the House of Commons. In 1851 he published the 'Lexington Papers' (London, 8vo), which had been discovered at Kelham, Nottinghamshire, in the library of his cousin, John Henry Manners-Sutton, M.P. for Newark. On 1 July 1854 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, a post which he retained until October 1861, when he was succeeded by Sir A. H. Gordon. He became governor of Trinidad on 24 June 1864, and on 19 May 1866 was promoted to the post of governor of Victoria. He was created a K.C.B. on 23 June following, and assumed the office of governor on 15 Aug. 1866. On the death of his elder brother, Charles John Manners-Sutton, in November 1869, he succeeded as third viscount Canterbury. He resigned his post of governor of Victoria, where he was very popular, in March 1873, and returning to England took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time on 28 April following Journals of the House of Lords, cv. 270). In May 1873 he spoke in the debate on the second reading of the Australian Colonies (Customs Duties) Bill, and in July 1874 made some observations on the cession of the Fiji islands (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. ccxv. 2006–8, ccxx. 1341, ccxxi. 187–8, 189), but took no other part in the debates of the House of Lords. He was created a knight grand cross of St. Michael and St. George on 25 June 1873. He died in Queensberry Place, London, on 23 June 1877, aged 63. He married, on 5 July 1838, Georgiana, youngest daughter of Charles Tompson of Witchingham Hall, Norfolk, by whom he had five sons — viz. (1) Henry Charles, the fourth and present viscount Canterbury; (2) Graham Edward Henry, who died 30 May 1888; (3) George Kett Henry, who died 2 March 1865; (4) John Gurney Henry, and (5) Robert Henry, who was called to the bar at the Inner Temple on 7 May 1879 — and two daughters, viz. (1) Anna Maria Georgiana, who married, on 25 Aug. 1868, Charles Edward Bright, C.M.G., of Torrak, Australia, and (2) Mabel Georgiana. His widow is still living. He succeeded his father as registrar of the faculty office in 1834, and retained that appointment until his death.

[Annual Register, 1877, pt. ii. p. 149; Illustrated London News, 30 June and 7 July 1877 (with portrait); Dod's Peerage, &c., 1877, pp. 177–8; Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, i. 316–317; Burke's Peerage, &c. 1890, p. 235; Heaton's Australian Dictionary of Dates, 1879, p. 33; Lincoln's Inn Registers; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, pt. ii. pp. 364, 379; Grad. Cantabr. 1856, p. 367; Stapylton's Eton School Lists, 1864, pp. 127, 134; Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1890.]

G. F. R. B.