Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland (1696-1779), and his descendants


The lives of the Thoroton family in the second half of the 18th century were intimately bound up with the family of the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle. Thomas Thoroton (1723-1794) married Roosilia, daughter of the 3rd Duke by his long-term mistress, 'Mrs Drake'. The Duke and Mrs Drake lived together openly for 45 years, and Thomas and Roosilia also usually lived with the Duke at Belvoir Castle or Rutland House. The Duke left estates in Leicestershire and Yorkshire, and Rutland House in London, to his natural son Captain Edward Manners, Roosilia's brother. 


  • John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland (1696-1779), married Bridget Sutton, and had 11 legitimate children including:
    • John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1721-1770), married Lady Frances Seymour (1728-1761), and had children including:
      • Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland (1754-1787)
  • The 3rd Duke of Rutland also had a mistress, Elizabeth Drake, by whom he had two illegitimate children: 
    • Roosilia Drake (1736-1823), married Thomas Thoroton (1723-1794) in 1751
    • Captain Edward Manners of Goadby Marwood, Leicestershire (1745-1811), lived with Ann Stafford, and had numerous illegitimate children including: 
      • Fursan Manners (-1835), married Elizabeth. He was an ancestor of Walter E. Manners (c.1851-1942)
      • Edward Manners (c.1786-), rector of Goadby Marwood 
      • Walter Manners (1789-), Lord of the Manor of Boltby, Yorkshire, in 1840 
      • Otho Manners (1794-1879), married Ann Singleton, by whom he had: 
        • Otho Augustus Manners (1818-1897), rector of Hawnby, Yorkshire. Unmarried 

Archive Collections

  • Collections relating to the Manners family, Dukes of Rutland, are listed on the National Register of Archives . There are no known archive collections relating to the family of Captain Edward Manners.

Published Sources 

  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. 'The Thorotons of Thoroton, Car Colston, Screveton and Flintham', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society , vol. 58 (1954), 57-64
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. The Thorotons (privately printed, 1991) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 150.V30 THO]  

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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