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Granby, John Manners, marquis of

Granby, John Manners, marquis of (1721–70). Granby, heir to the dukedom of Rutland, became a national hero after brilliant cavalry actions at Minden (1759) and Warburg (1760), during the Seven Years War. He was elected to Parliament before he was 21 and remained in the Commons all his life. From 1763 to 1770 he was master of the ordnance, and commander-in-chief from 1766. He spent lavishly, drank heavily, gambled on the turf, and was always in debt. He was less at home in politics than on the field of battle. A newspaper attack upon Granby in Junius' first letter in 1769—‘nature has been sparing of her gifts to this noble lord’—led to Sir William Draper defending him and provoked the Junius series. In January 1770 he resigned office, having changed his mind on the Wilkes issue: ‘he recanted a vote he had not understood,’ wrote Horace Walpole, ‘for reasons he understood as little.’ He died unexpectedly at the age of 49, leaving Chatham to declare, extravagantly, that his loss was ‘irreparable’. Reynolds painted his florid, bald, ruddy countenance many times, and for decades less distinguished portraits swung outside countless taverns.

J. A. Cannon

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