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Lord John Manners, as he was styled until 1857, was the second son of the 5th Duke of Rutland. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1839. In 1841 he entered parliament as one of the Conservative M.P.s for Newark in Nottinghamshire.
Manners was a member of the Young England group of Conservatives, and was a supporter of the 10-hour day in factories. His support for the Maynooth grant proposal in 1845, and his split with Peel over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 were not appreciated by some of his Newark constituents, and he did not contest the seat in 1847.
Manners was returned to parliament for Colchester in 1850 and began a consistent career as a member of the Cabinet in all Conservative governments. He was a supporter of the established church, spoke in favour of import tariffs to protect British agriculture, and was an imperialist.
He succeeded his brother as Duke of Rutland in 1888.
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